Timeout for Ubuntu Server ISO bootsplash

Christian Ehrhardt christian.ehrhardt at canonical.com
Thu Nov 23 15:24:51 UTC 2017

On Thu, Nov 23, 2017 at 4:01 PM, Mathieu Trudel-Lapierre
<mathieu.trudel-lapierre at canonical.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Nov 23, 2017 at 4:55 AM, Christian Ehrhardt
> <christian.ehrhardt at canonical.com> wrote:
>> 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.
> There is, but it's a matter of setting custom kernel options
> (disabling ACPI, for instance) or adding command-line parameters such
> as for preseeding (which obviously needs to happen before the
> installer starts).
>> 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".
> It's always a possibility, but putting the timeout too high is also
> just waiting for no reason. We should also expect users who preseed or
> install many systems to do so via the network or other means; and the
> idea behind this is to have one common timeout value everywhere rather
> than having many different images behave differently.
>> Not sure what the right value would be, but 30 seconds seem safer to
>> me and it would still eventually reach B3.
> Does it really need to be 30 seconds though? If you're looking for
> things to be more or less automatic, and if you preseed via the initrd
> (which you may do, and we do for automatic testing AFAIK), then you're
> sitting there waiting for 30 seconds when you could have waited for
> much less.
> Remember, any keypress will cancel the timeout, you don't need to have
> done everything within that window.
> On trans-oceanic links, 5 seconds is maybe cutting it a bit short, but
> I wouldn't make it past 15.

15 certainly would be better than 5
In the past I missed bios timers of 12 seconds which is rather close.
But I understand your argument that you don't want it to be too high.

So yeah +0.5 on 15 :-)

> --
> Mathieu Trudel-Lapierre <mathieu.trudel-lapierre at canonical.com>
> Freenode: cyphermox, Jabber: mathieu.tl at gmail.com
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