Ubiquity chooses which drive to install to with no user input

Bug #964331 reported by Jane Atkinson on 2012-03-25
This bug affects 2 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
ubiquity (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

I was testing Precise beta 2 live ISO, using the "Install Ubuntu alongside" option.

I have two internals drives, and both of them have other systems on them.

Ubiquity didn't ask me to choose which drive. I got a message to the effect that it was installing to /dev/sdb but NO "Are you sure?" It just went ahead and started installing. The only way to stop that seems to be to reboot.

I would expect the user to be able to check that everything is OK before proceeding.

Ubuntu QA Website (ubuntuqa) wrote :

This bug has been reported on the Ubuntu ISO testing tracker.

A list of all reports related to this bug can be found here:

tags: added: iso-testing
Jane Atkinson (irihapeti) wrote :

"Erase disk and install Ubuntu" *does* give the choice of which drive to use. Installing side-by-side should do the same.

Erick Brunzell (lbsolost) wrote :

Jane, I did a bunch of retesting - going back as far as Oneiric live CD's - and I think we're OK. Maybe more accurately we're where the ubiquity spec says we should be:


I've recently been testing the alternate and netboot images for totally unrelated reasons and the new ubiquity is certainly a departure from that level of simplicity.

You may find the info at bug 766265 useful.

Jane Atkinson (irihapeti) wrote :

I'm not quite sure I follow. Are you saying that this is expected behaviour - that Ubuntu will start the install the moment you click on that option?

Erick Brunzell (lbsolost) wrote :

I'll try to explain a bit better. If you have two drives and neither drive has adequate free space (as little as 4.4GB for Ubuntu I believe) and you select Use entire drive another window opens that'll allow you to choose which drive you wish to use.

But if you have two or more drives and there is adequate free space on any drive (could even be an external drive or flash drive/card), and you select Install alongside then the installer just proceeds to use that free space. The only way to differentiate what is going to happen is the fact that the button in the lower right hand corner should change from "Continue" to "Install now".

If it says Continue when you click on it a new window should open allowing you to select which drive is going to be used and allowing you to move the "slider" to adjust partition size.

If it says Install now then as soon as you click on it the installation begins using the largest continuous available free space.

Quite simply, if it says Continue you should expect to be offered more options, but if it says Install Now it really means just that. Please see:


Does that help explain things at all?

Changed in ubiquity (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → High
Jane Atkinson (irihapeti) wrote :

Still present in ISO of 20120419.1

Colin Watson (cjwatson) wrote :

I would like to redesign this for Q, since it's come up several times as a problem. However, it's been this way for a few releases, and we aren't going to be able to do anything about it for 12.04 at this point.

Colin Watson (cjwatson) wrote :

(It's kind of emergent behaviour from the fact that the underlying resize_use_free method in partman-auto only offers one disk, and I think the current documented design probably reflects that, but that doesn't make it ideal.)

tags: added: rls-p-nottracking
Changed in ubiquity (Ubuntu):
status: New → Triaged
Changed in ubiquity (Ubuntu):
status: Triaged → Confirmed
Diamond Luke (costineanpaul) wrote :

I can confirm something quite similar to this happened. It fully formatted my HDD to ext4 though, without any prompt, after clicking "Install alongside .. ".

Phillip Susi (psusi) wrote :

Please don't demote bug status from triaged back to confirmed.

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