Admin user confusion with user directory exists by different ID

Bug #48630 reported by Steve White on 2006-06-06
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
ubiquity (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

The Dapper installer asks for an admin user name. That's fine. I put in the same user name I have always used, which had a directory in my /home partition.

My first login was a disaster.

The reason was, the user ID was previously 500, but the installer arbitrarily chose the new UID to be 1000. So the admin user couldn't access its home directory.

I propose that the installer look in the /home directory to see if there's a directory corresponding to the admin user name provided, and do something right when there's a conflict

Some possibilities:

- just take the UID of the existing directory
- change the UID of the existing directory and all its files
- ask the user to resolve the conflict

William Grant (wgrant) wrote :

1000 is not abitrary, it's always the UID of the initial user on Debian/Ubuntu.

Which installer did you use? The Alternate or Desktop CD?

Steve White (stevan-white) wrote :

I guess that was the Desktop started up from the CD, and I started some installer from what looked like a KDE desktop.

The choice of 1000 was for all Debian systems was arbitrary, just as was 500 on some other system. (That's not to say it's BAD. I'm quite fond of 1000.)

Thank you for taking the time to make Ubuntu better. Since what you submitted is not really a bug, or a problem, but rather an idea to improve Ubuntu, you are invited to post your idea in Ubuntu Brainstorm at [WWW] where it can be discussed, voted by the community and reviewed by developers. Thanks for taking the time to share your opinion!

Changed in ubiquity:
status: New → Confirmed
Steve White (stevan-white) wrote :


Thanks for the offer for further discussion! It isn't called for in this case however.

This is effectively a bug. For many users, it sufficiently fouls things up that they will conlude an Ubuntu installation has failed. For others such as myself, it merely wasted a lot of time.

Please consider fixing it!

Colin Watson (cjwatson) on 2008-09-14
Changed in ubiquity:
status: Confirmed → Triaged
Steve White (stevan-white) wrote :

Please fix this bug.


pablomme (pablomme) wrote :

Ubiquity should check for the existence of the user's home directory. I always upgrade Ubuntu by means of fresh installs, formatting my / partition and leaving my /home partition untouched. Usually I'll move /home/pablo to /home/pablo.old before doing that, but now upgrading to lucid alpha 3 I forgot to do it. I chose to reinstall -without even trying to reboot- to avoid mismatching settings etc.

It would be great if ubiquity offered to move the directory out of the way (possibly as $HOME/Old\ Personal\ Folder or something), in addition to just using it as-is. chowning it should definitely be done in either case.

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