Ubuntu Server : Installation process

Alberto Lepe dev at alepe.com
Thu Sep 10 03:12:40 UTC 2015

Hi, this is my first post in this list.

I have long time experience with Ubuntu and specially Ubuntu Server
edition. In general I think the installation process (standard install, not
advanced) is easy to follow, but there are some things that I think they
could be improved:

1) COLLECT INFO BEFORE INSTALL: It could be great if all questions are
asked as soon as possible so you can leave the installation unattended
until it finished. In other words, ask all you need to ask and then
install. There may be technical limitations, but I think its not impossible.

2) BROKEN INSTALL: Some days ago, I was installing a server and close to
the end the ethernet cable got loose (I didn't noticed that). The screen
was at the "Cleaning installation..." stage. After some time (I assume a
timeout) that message was cleared and stayed without displaying any other
message. I checked the logs screen "Ctrl+Alt+F4" and I saw a timeout while
connecting to the ubuntu repository. As it was already finishing the
installation and I didn't now why at that point it was required to connect
to the repository I decide to pull the plug. I was unable to boot, so I
tried to continue with the few last steps of the installation, but failed.
It would be nice if you could finish a broken installation so we don't need
to reinstall all from the beginning. Recommendations:

    a) Add an option to skip files installation (currently you can keep
disk contents but still the installation wants to proceed with copying the
    b) Autodetect until which point an installation was successful and try
to continue from that step

3) RECOVERY MODE: IMHO before jumping into setting up an environment system
(and thus downloading packages), it could be nice if a menu is shown with
some options like (example):

        ========= RECOVERY MENU =========
        - Reset password
        - Repair or manage disks
        - Continue broken installation
        - Reinstall system
        - Fix boot problem
        - Fix kernel installation (suggest to install latest kernel)
        - Manual (root access)

   (For sure you can think of more useful options at that menu)

   Having a "recovery menu" will help to decide what kind of tools to
download or load from CD. For example if you just want to reset your
password, you really don't need to load a bunch of packages. If you want to
repair disks, it would be nice to have "fdisk, cfdisk, sfdisk, btrf tools,
parted, mdadm, lvm, etc" available. If you want to fix boot problems, then
be sure all required grub/lilo packages are available, and so on.

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