Timeout for Ubuntu Server ISO bootsplash

Christian Ehrhardt christian.ehrhardt at canonical.com
Thu Nov 23 09:55:38 UTC 2017

On Thu, Nov 23, 2017 at 1:02 AM, Mathieu Trudel-Lapierre
<mathieu.trudel-lapierre at canonical.com> wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm revising some of the bootloader logic for the ISO images. Ubuntu Server
> currently seems to be one of the things that just wait indefinitely at the
> bootloader (grub or isolinux, depending on what/where you are booting).
> Is anyone against putting a 5 second timeout in the bootloader, such that
> the system carries on to starting the installer automatically?

Hi Mathieu,
not against the change, but I want to check on a Detail.
Is it correct that today it does:
A1. boot into bootloader
A2. wait forever on users choice

And you suggest:
B1. boot into bootloader
B2. wait 5 sec for users to choose anything special
B3. go into the installer (and wait there on the user)

If a user can influcence/choose anything in A2 that they can not do
anymore in B3 (e.g. special kernel boot options I'd think).
Then we should make the timeout on server a bit more than 5 seconds IMHO.

The reason I point this out is the (unfortunately usual) combination
of slow remote consoles plus 5-10 minute server initialization times.
I'm afraid of the admin sitting on a remote server control on a crappy
connection for 10 minutes and hitting "oh crap B2 just passed faster
than I could see it".
Not sure what the right value would be, but 30 seconds seem safer to
me and it would still eventually reach B3.

> The install would still not do anything more and users would still have a
> way to pick a different installer language or keyboard, just straight from
> the installer (debian-installer or subiquity), unless they press a key to
> cancel the timeout early and select a different option.
> If there are no objections, I'd go and apply this change on Tuesday,
> November 28.
> Kindly,
> Mathieu Trudel-Lapierre <cyphermox at ubuntu.com>
> Freenode: cyphermox, Jabber: mathieu.tl at gmail.com
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Christian Ehrhardt
Software Engineer, Ubuntu Server
Canonical Ltd

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