[ec2-beta] some feedback on the i386 image

Mark Shuttleworth mark at ubuntu.com
Mon Jan 12 17:02:01 GMT 2009

Alex Polvi wrote:
> Hope this email finds you well. Just got a chance to play with the
> beta (ami-814aaee8), and wanted to provide some feedback. While I've
> launched hundreds of instances, they have only been with the alestic
> ubuntu images ... so some of the stuff I think is weird might be
> because of my narrow view on AMIs. My interest in the "official"
> ubuntu images is because I trust Canonical. I would prefer to get an
> image from Canonical, than I would from a random provider (i.e.
> alestic)

Just to confirm Eric's comments in this thread - I'm very happy that
Eric is working directly with Canonical, in particular helping to define
the best possible user experience for the standard, official Ubuntu
images that we will provide support for on EC2. Alestic's been a
pioneering forum for those explorations and Eric's guidance is
invaluable to us here.

> 1) The initial login experience is odd. I'm after root on the box, not
> to be forced to login with the ubuntu user.
We'd prefer to keep folks "conscious of being root" and use the sudo
mechanisms that we use in the normal desktop and server editions. I
think we could do some work in the toolchain to ensure that the
privilege escalation password is unique to you but consistent across all
of the images you create, by default.

> 2) I would much prefer a bare-bones, ec2 tailored image, instead of an
> install dialog.
I would also like to have "reference JeOS" images - just enough to be
Ubuntu, no more than you need for that. I think the idea of the install
dialog is to prevent having n different images, instead to have a
standard way to add to the base image to handle those common workloads.
We should make it so that the default option in that list is "bare bones
system", and so that the tools allow you to skip that dialog altogether
if you know what you're doing.

> 3) The first apt-get update threw warnings:
[thanks for the report - Soren, where are bugs supposed to be filed on

> Also, would be great if you could provide an EC2 local mirror in the
> default sources.list (bandwidth is free within EC2). I would be happy
> to help with this!
Thank you! If you could help Eric with that, we'll be up and running sooner.

> 4) I've found the included ec2-bundling tools on the alestic images
> very helpful (ec2-bundle-vol, ec2-upload-bundle, etc), although I have
> yet to miss them on this beta image.

> 5) In fact, it would be really awesome if the
> ec2-api-tools/ec2-bundle-tools were apt-get'able -
> http://developer.amazonwebservices.com/connect/entry.jspa?externalID=351
We've requested permission to make all the Amazon tools apt-gettable,
and will let this list know if that comes through. Any tools that Eric
makes available for redistribution could be packaged and published
appropriately too. Soren would be the best person to coordinate that with.

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