Install report

Matt Zimmerman mdz at
Fri Sep 24 07:20:58 UTC 2004

On Thu, Sep 23, 2004 at 02:53:08PM +1000, Stuart Bishop wrote:

> - Default is to erase my entire hard drive? Eek! I hope there is a 
> confirmation on the next page (and I'm not tempting fate to find out)!

There is, of course.  And since you're installing on a brand new machine,
it's clearly the right default in this case. :-)

> - No way to shrink the existing NTFS partition on the install CD. 
> Downloaded the Gentoo based System Rescue CD 
> (, containing QTParted which looks cool and 
> worked well. Something like this needs to be integrated into our 
> installer for Hoary. We might want to document using as a 
> workaround until this is done?

I think more recent versions of parted are able to resize NTFS, and also fix
some other bugs.  Colin is considering bringing in a new version from

> - Most linux newbies, as they have a windows partition to worry about, 
> will have to do a manual partition. A third option (Use all free space) 
> would be nice. The partition editor says use one big file system + 
> swap, but neglects to mention how much swap linux wants or needs. I've 
> gone for what the partition editor recommended after I told it to use 
> the rest of the disk space - hopefully this was done based on how much 
> RAM I have installed.

The amount of swap you need is a function of things that are difficult to
determine in advance, like the type of workload the machine will be doing.
We just choose a sane default amount of swap.  If you want something
different, the manual partitioning option provides more flexibility.

> - 2 second timeout on grub seems way too fast. I'd go for 5 or 6 with a 
> more informative message, or people might think Ubuntu nuked their 
> Windows.

See discussion in

> - Seems to have booted into the correct resolution. Man that font is 
> tiny on a 1900x1600 15" LCD display - couldn't we increase the default 
> font size for high resolutions? At least for the login box lost in the 
> middle of the display?

We should all be so fortunate as to have that problem. :-)  Sounds like a
Hoary polish item.

> - No wireless. The card is detected, but nobody wants to know what my 
> WEP password is so it is not surprising it cannot connect. I've managed 
> to get it connected by manually entering some iwconfig comands and 
> rerunning the GUI, but I have no idea if it will stick after the next 
> reboot. Hmm.. adding the relevant line to /etc/network/interfaces does 
> the job, but the Gnome config applet nukes this if I run it. So I won't 
> run it for now.

> - Trying to configure the wireless the first time crashed 
> 'network-admin', but no idea what product to send the bug report too. 
> Discussions I had with Martin Pitt at the conference tell me we can fix 
> this for Hoary (the bug reporting - not network-admin).

Product: Ubuntu, Component: gnome-system-tools, but check that it's not
already reported.

> - Setting up a tethered connection using the GUI tool worked, although 
> my nameserver was not picked up from DHCP. I needed to manually enter 
> the IP address in the DNS panel.

That's odd.  What ended up in /etc/resolv.conf?

> - The buttons on my keyboard that DELL tells me controls volume don't. 
> No idea if there is a standard for these sorts of 'multimedia keys' 
> that we can support. Brightness control buttons (Fn-up and Fn-Down) do 
> work. Other Fn-magic keys don't (eject CD etc.)

> - Hitting the power button appears to want to shut down the system but 
> fails (hangs after outputting acpi_power_off. Holding down the power 
> button completes process)

> - Suspend key does nothing

There is apparently no suspend method available which is reliable enough to
enable by default.

> - Closing the lid and opening it shows the screen saver has kicked in, 
> or sometimes shows nothing but a flashing cursor that requires a power 
> cycle

The former is normal, the latter is not.

> - There is no firewall GUI. Looks like we have no filters configured by 
> default, which scares more advanced Windows or OSX users. I shouldn't 
> have to port scan my own machine to determine what is open and what is 
> not.


> - Synaptic seems cool. I wouldn't have had a clue what the various 
> optional repositories were though if I hadn't picked it up through 
> osmosis on IRC and at the conference (well - I still don't know why we 
> have warty and warty-security. It can't be crypto as gpg is already 
> installed from the cd). Selected the deb universe and dev 
> warty-security repositories. Maybe I should read that documentation... 
> nah...


> - Gaim notification sound defaulted to 'system beep' which was most 
> annoying. Setting it to 'ESD' works, and rent-a-cat agrees.

It should default to 'auto', which will find ESD if it's there.

> - Trying to add a timeserver using the 'Time and Date Settings' control 
> panel gives me the error message:
> 	'NTP support is not running. Please run NTP support in the system to 
> enable synchronization of your local time server with internet time 
> servers'.
>  I have no idea what 'run NTP support in the system' means, even though 
> it parses as English.

I don't think "install the ntp-simple package" would be much better.

> - My time in Windows is correct. My time in Ubuntu is 10 hours out. I 
> assume this means one OS is running with the system clock in localtime, 
> and the other with the system clock in UTC. *update* appears to be 
> fixed after package upgrades.

Not fixed, probably Ubuntu just set your clock to the correct UTC time.

> - If there is no network when login in, the gaim error dialog is hidden 
> behind the ubuntu startup splash, which doesn't go away because gaim 
> isn't finished...

Bug (upstream).

> - Clicking on the 'Desktop' button in Synaptic's package manager gives 
> a 'Folder unreadable: No such file or directory' error. I guess its 
> concept  of Desktop is different to Ubuntu's.

Bug.  I didn't even know it _had_ a Desktop button anywhere in it.

> - Firefox '0.99+1.0PR-0ubunto' has a broken about dialog (just get a 
> gecko error).

Bug (upstream).

> All up, at first I was thinking 'oops - should have bought the Mac
> instead' but I'm coming around now :-) I'm sure there  is gobs of cool
> stuff for me to be playing with in the packages - I need some sort of
> 'recommended in Universe' list so I only have to test one or two mp3
> players rather than 10 (I guess this would have to be more editorial than
> official, since it is based on opinions. I guess that 'popularity contest'
> package I saw might help here too). Or maybe ubuntu + restricted serves
> this purpose?

Where there is a leading choice, we ship it on the CD. :-)  Rhythmbox is our
recommended jukebox.

 - mdz

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