Measuring success/failure in the installation

Jussi Schultink jussi01 at
Tue May 17 10:56:28 UTC 2011


On Tue, May 17, 2011 at 1:44 PM, Evan Dandrea <ev at> wrote:
> 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
> Ubuntu.
> 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 sounds sane to me, although it is important to inform the user
what is being collected and how it will be used - and the fact that
he/she cannot be identified by such information.

> 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.

The information gathered could also give us an idea of how many
installations we are doing as well, which is useful. Do you plan to
implement this only for ubiquity or for the alternate install as well?
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