Comment 127 for bug 120375

agent 8131 (agent-8131) wrote :

I think it's time for some tough love. No one would be taking the time to comment on this if they didn't want to see Ubuntu Server be a better product. I personally feel this is a significant issue for because it demonstrates Canonical's interest in supporting an LTS release and seriousness about becoming a presence in the server market. I know it can be difficult when people are lambasting a product you've put a lot of time into, believe me, I got more than my fair share of that this week. However, sometimes you have to step back and realize that your product quality has been lower than many people expect and you have to either step up or risk losing more customers. Make no mistake, this bug has lost a lot of sysadmins, some of whom had to fight hard to get Ubuntu onto servers in their workplaces in the first place. I was one of them, and I know a few more personally. I pitched that it made sense to have Ubuntu on the Server because of the benefits of the LTS release, including the longer support time and the large community that contributes to Ubuntu, therefore leading to more bugs being found and resolved. However, I doubt I will be able to propose Ubuntu again until version 10.04. If this bug were to be resolved in 8.04.2 I might at least start pitching it next year, barring any other bugs of this level of severity.

To respond to Steve Langasek, while I understand that a lot of these emails are not terribly useful, this bug is exactly what the SRU team is supposed to be addressing. There have been many proposed fixes in this thread and 8 patches uploaded. Do any of them work correctly? Well that is the question, but it's inaccurate to state that this bug does not contain proposed fixes. Furthermore this fits the SRU criteria of being a high impact bug representing a severe regression from earlier versions and one which also may lead to a loss of user data. When the average user is confronted with the initramfs shell during a drive failure I suspect they have the potential to do serious damage to their file systems in an attempt to fix the problem.

I don't feel it's possible for me to understate the severity of this bug and how badly sysadmins are going to react when they encounter it or read about it. It is certainly not the kind of bug one can dismiss in an LTS release if LTS is to say anything about quality, and hence suggestions to upgrade to Intrepid, while acceptable to a home user building a server, are not going to be acceptable in the workplace. If this is a market segment that Ubuntu Server is catered to than this issue needs to be addressed. If on the other hand Ubuntu Server is meant merely for enthusiasts with their home file servers than the solution should be to make sure that goal is clearly articulated.

To keep us focused on the work at hand and to avail myself of the opportunity that having this number of people working for fix this bug represents I'll say that I've tried a number of solutions on this page but none have been satisfactory. I tried changing the udev rule as suggested above (see Plnt 2007-12-25) but got the same results that have been reported: I can get the system to boot any time the disk is degraded but at the expense that it boots degraded sometimes even when the disks are fine. This is the setting on my remaining Ubuntu servers (which will be migrated to Debian in the near future). This option is suboptimal but better than the default behavior. I would say that the ideal (and expected) behavior is for the system to boot in the case of a degraded array by default, with an option to turn that off if the sysadmin chooses. For those with Ubuntu servers, assuming this never gets fixed, I think an initramfs script (in /etc/initramfs-tools/scripts/) that anyone could copy onto their server might be ideal. Alternatively patching the mdadm udev script to try and start with --no-degraded and on failure use --run might also be an option. I have a server I may be able to user for testing but if anyone has a script to start with that would be great.