Problem with Quantal and a KVM

Dale Amon amon at
Thu Jan 3 15:13:09 UTC 2013

On Thu, Jan 03, 2013 at 01:33:16PM +0100, Soren Hansen wrote:
> We'd be happy to explore possible ways Ubuntu Server could stand out. I
> can just say that historically the Ubuntu Server community has by far
> preferred that Ubuntu Server remain a minimal install. It's been a
> while since this discussion has last been active, though. Would you care
> to start this discussion on the ubuntu-server mailing list?

Servers are usually enabled for access via a serial line 
so that the system can be accessed remotely during the
BIOS boot. It would be useful if the defaults were to 
make sure that absolutely everything from power start
(which is done via remotely cycling the power) through
the end of boot shows up on the serial console.

Yeah, I know, there are supposed to be all of these
fancy new methods of doing things. The problem is,
in practice they fail when you need them and the only
thing I am aware of that has worked fairly consistantly
is the serial line.

Next, under no circumstance should a server blindly come
up in a mode in which it cannot display to a virtual
console. Never. Ever. No Excuse. 

Next, if a system locks up, it should not ever blank the
screen. That may be the only data you have to diagnose
a rare problem. 

Assume that a server is going to connect to an ancient
KVM and probably a glass tty that is there because it
is so old and crufty (but reliable) that no one wants
it any more. 

This is not a matter of special cases. This is *typical*
of corporate backend racks in data centres. 

You have to assume that the guy doing the install has
a fixed scheduled amount of time to do an upgrade. At
the end of that time period, things should just work.
They should not require research, argument, or philosophy.
The guys working in these facilities could care less
about such things. It either works or it doesn't. If
it causes bother and requires special admin, then 
unless it provides something unique that is mission
critical... it gets pulled and replaced by something
that is less trouble free. Time is money.

Ubuntu, for a number of years, was very trouble free.
The last few years I have been having more and more
agony with it, and I find I am not alone in starting
to shift back to Debian for a number of things. 

I am simply stating the facts as seen by someone who
spent nearly two decades doing admin on two continents,
for systems or critical services in universities, 
major banks, accounting firms and large corporation
via a customer in Manhattan.

Them's the hard facts of life in a fast past world
where *lots* of money rides on keeping them running.

I am very glad to say I am (mostly) out of that world
and doing something much more fun and far less 
stressful... (I work in NewSpace now).

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