Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

Steve Langasek steve.langasek at
Wed Aug 29 21:55:46 UTC 2012

On Wed, Aug 29, 2012 at 02:34:45PM -0700, Bryce Harrington wrote:
> 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.

Thanks Bryce, that's useful information.  I agree with you that this is also
not a justification for keeping the alternate CDs around.  We should instead
make sure the nomodeset option is documented appropriately (and
independently of the alternate CD deprecation).

> 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.

Right - if you can't install Ubuntu it's very hard to engage with Ubuntu
around this problem.  I don't think having alternate CDs makes this
significantly easier either, though.  Do we need to consider having a more
prominent support link on the download page?

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                          
slangasek at                                     vorlon at
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