Handling complete failure in the installer

Evan Dandrea evand at ubuntu.com
Thu Nov 12 14:18:12 GMT 2009

Right now, when the installer crashes it simply exits and an apport
icon appears in the panel.  Clicking on the apport icon tells you that
"ubiquity" crashes, but doesn't mention the installer, or next steps
you can take to install.  It's also not obvious that you need to click
on the apport icon.  Equally, apport is also supposed to be disabled
for release, so users wont see anything at all when ubiquity crashes
(save this time when Martin apparently forgot to disable it).

My thought is to leave the apport interaction as is, but also pop up a
dialog on failure that explains what recourse the user has, and
provides a button that launches apport-collect ubiquity.  I've
discussed this with Colin and he agrees that we need a better

The mockup below is what I've come up with.  What does everyone think?

<title>Well, this is embarrassing.</title>

|(X)| The installation has failed due to an unrecoverable error.

This is likely due to a bug in the installer.  Would you like to report it?
[ Report Bug ]

<b>You have several options before you</b>

- <b>Try the installation again.</b>
   <s>The bug you are encountering may be related to a particular option.
   Choosing a different set of options could allow the installation to

- <b>Try to install an older version of Ubuntu, then upgrade.</b>
   <s>You may not encounter the same error if you <a:1>install an older
   version</a> of Ubuntu.  You may then <a:2>upgrade for free</a> to the latest

- <b>Check CD for defects, try a new CD or a different installation medium.</b>
   <s>The installation medium could be faulty.  It is reccomended that you run
   the "Check CD for defects" option you saw when booting this CD/DVD.
   This may rule out the possibility of a bad CD burn.

   It may help to clean the CD/DVD, to burn the CD/DVD at a lower speed, or
   to clean the CD/DVD drive lens (cleaning kits are often available from
   electronics suppliers).

   The <a:3>Startup Disk Creator</a> application will let you copy your
   installation CD to a bootable removable device, such a USB disk.  These
   devices are often more reliable than traditional CD media.</s>


1: <s> is my shorthand for <small>, <a> represents a link, - represent bullet
   points in a list.
2: The "this is a bug, would you like to report it" message and "report bug"
   button are only visible when /etc/default/apport has enabled=1.  Pressing
   the button would run `apport-bug ubiquity`.
3: The Check CD for defects option is not visible when running from a USB


1: Does not exist yet.  We would need a page that displays older versions of
   Ubuntu.  Until that exists, we can use http://releases.ubuntu.com.
2: http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/upgrading
3: Links to http://wiki.ubuntu.com/StartupDiskCreator.  While it could launch
   usb-creator-{gtk,kde}, it would be copying the potentially faulty image to
   another device.  Linking to the wiki page also allows them to obtain the
   Windows version of usb-creator.

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