Measuring success/failure in the installation

Evan Dandrea ev at
Tue May 17 10:44:26 UTC 2011

While we have a set of unit tests and a continuous integration system doing
system testing of the installer, we ultimately have no idea what the failure
rate is in the real world.

Without this information, we have no means of actually measuring the true
quality of the installation experience.  It may look gorgeous and be
dead-simple to use, but that's worthless if it's not leading to people using

I am therefore proposing that we actually measure this.  In Oneiric, I would
like to add code to ubiquity that, once connected to the Internet, sends a
GUID as generated by uuidgen.  At the end of installation it would send this
again, and the pair of values in a database would constitute a successful
installation.  Finally, it will send this value one last time, at first boot,
to ensure that the system actually works.  From this point the GUID will be
discarded and never used again.

I will obviously make the code for this open source, and publish the results
to a public-facing website.

The user will be able to disable this functionality by preseeding a
well-documented key. The documentation will include a brief visual overview of
how to accomplish this, for those unaccustomed to preseeding the installer.

This addition to the installer will keep us honest. With real data to hand, it
will be very difficult to ignore the problem if ubiquity regresses in its
failure rate from release to release.

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