Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

Bryce Harrington bryce at
Wed Aug 29 21:34:45 UTC 2012

On Wed, Aug 29, 2012 at 12:29:35PM -0700, Steve Langasek wrote:
> Hi Doug,
> On Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 10:18:36PM -0400, Doug McMahon wrote:
> > On 08/27/2012 05:50 PM, Steve Langasek wrote:
> > >Do any of you see reasons for not making this change, and dropping the
> > >alternate CDs?  Are there shortcomings to the proposed fallback solutions
> > >that we haven't identified here?
> > Purely from a user/tester perspective a current reason to not remove
> > in beta1 is currently for many or most users the live image is
> > completely unusable. No live session or install is possible due to
> > total video degradation. (quite similar to the
> > lightdm/greeter/nvidia issue in 12.04 dev.
> The purpose of the alternate CD is to install an Ubuntu desktop.  If the
> desktop is not usable for you, then what purpose does it serve to use the
> alternate CD instead of the desktop CD?  You're then only testing the
> alternate installer itself, which we want to discontinue anyway.  So it
> would be better to get rid of it to save testers from spending time doing
> such testing!

I do know that users are installing from the alternative CD in order to
work around graphics problems with the live cd.  For instance, nouveau
locks up on their hardware, but they can do the alternate CD and
manually install nvidia.  Searching for "Live" against
xserver-xorg-video-nouveau shows a couple dozen bugs in this class filed
over the past several releases.  #1040495 and #1037915 are examples.
There's probably a bunch filed against the kernel and other X components
too.  So, it's definitely a legitimate issue.  But it's less common than
Doug suggests.

However, while the alternative CD is one way to work around these kinds
of issues it's not the only way.  For instance, in those bugs the users
used "nomodeset" to work around it.  Obviously, few users will know to
try that, but even so I don't think this is very strong justification
for keeping the alternative CD.  Time would be better spent a) making
the kernel parameter workarounds more obvious to users, and especially
b) solving the actual bugs.

One complication we should consider is that when a user *can't* boot the
CD on their system for whatever reason, filing a bug report about it
becomes *very* hard.  Since they can't boot, they can't invoke
ubuntu-bug to file a bug with auto-collected log files.  They can't
manually collect log files either.  They probably have no idea what
package to file the bug against, and maybe don't even know where to go
to file it (challenge: try getting to the +filebug page from  Chances are high that a lot of these problems are just not
getting reported, at least not through the channels we expect.


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