Ubuntu

Automatically use lowRAMinstall/only-ubiquity option if not enough RAM for Desktop CD

Reported by Aaron Whitehouse on 2007-10-23
2
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
ubiquity (Ubuntu)
Medium
Unassigned

Bug Description

Binary package hint: ubiquity

This bug is inspired by the following thread on the mailing list:
http://<email address hidden>/msg01690.html

Especially my comments in:
http://<email address hidden>/msg01915.html

A new option was added to Ubquity by Bug #148341 that allows low-memory machines to boot into a lighter version of Ubuntu for Live Installation.

I propose that the memory be ascertained and the only-ubiquity option should be automatically used if the machine has less than the required RAM.

Colin Watson (cjwatson) wrote :

In fact, for Hardy we're likely just going to default to only-ubiquity across the board and make the full live CD experience an option.

Changed in ubiquity:
importance: Undecided → Medium
status: New → Triaged
Xpi6 (xpi6-dale) wrote :

Even the only-ubiquity does not work for some lomem machines.

Trying to run Xubuntu 7.10 on an old Gateway Solo 3350 with only 256MB of memory (= max installable) was a pain, with constant "swapping" of data in from the live-cd.
Trying to install was completely impossible, and even only-ubiquity would stall before starting (showing the first install screen).

Solution was found in http://cutecomputer.wordpress.com/2006/07/18/ubuntu-606-installation-on-legacy-pc-low-ram/
Basically, I booted from the live-cd, immediately Ctrl+Alt+F1'ed to the console, created a 1GB swap partition ($ sudo fdisk /dev/sda)($ sudo mkswap /dev/sda1), added the new swap area to the live-cd system ($ sudo swapon /dev/sda1), then Ctrl+Alt+F7'ed back to the desktop and double-clicked the installer icon.
This time it ran like a charm.

So if swap is available it should be used (ask first, to be polite). If it isn't then, since we're talking about somebody wanting to use the installer, and the installer requires the existence of a swap partition anyway, why not run fdisk (or similar) for them? Especially if there is free space already available on the disk!

Because a really helpful fix will cost time/money, if it is judged that there is not enough real need for a real fix, then at least provide useful info about the lack of memory being a problem, and what to do about it, instead of just spinning the wheels off the cd...

Aaron Whitehouse (luna-tick) wrote :

It looks like Hardy automatically uses a low-memory version by default.

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