live cd installer - should warn when memory low

Bug #82385 reported by ibob63 on 2007-01-30
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
ubiquity (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: ubuntu-live


On old computers, the live cd installation can fail due to insufficient memory (i.e. less than 500mb). This information isn't provided to user, who are often confronted with an installation which stalls/freezes/takes a very very long time for no apparent reason. Frequently people check the cd for errors, change their cd roms etc... before they can't work out what is happening.

Ubuntu live should check the amount of available memory before attempting installation and provide a warning or use the swap file if the memory is too low. Fedora Core and others do this before installation



Xpi6 (xpi6-dale) wrote :

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 the ubiquity-only option would stall before starting (showing the first install screen).

Solution: I followed the recipe given in
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 yes, if swap is available, then use it (ask first, to be polite).

Furthermore, 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 if swap does not already exist yet? 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...

Brian Murray (brian-murray) wrote :

You might be interested to know that there is an option in Hardy Heron to Install Ubuntu that will use ubiquity without launching a full desktop environment and it is usable with 256MB of RAM. While this isn't a solution to the bug you have brought up I thought you might find it useful.

Changed in ubiquity:
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
Charlie Kravetz (charlie-tca) wrote :

Thanks for reporting this bug and any supporting documentation. Since this bug has enough information provided for a developer to begin work, I'm going to mark it as confirmed and let them handle it from here. Thanks for taking the time to make Ubuntu better!

Changed in ubiquity (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
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