Mathias Hasselmann

The limits of "community driven"

So I decided to finally upgrade from Karmic to Lucid. Easy task, only should take some time: After all I did a plain default install. Well, ok - I've used the alternative ISO as my employer requires me to use full disk encryption. It's a good idea anyway, no idea why this feature isn't the default for all installs.

So after some time the install finishes, the computer reboots and grub the kernel tells me it cannot find the root fs.

Obviously nobody cared to check if upgrade with encrypted disks works. Too boring. Still would not have happend with some professional OS vendor. Especially not four mounths after the initial release.

EPIC FAIL! Thank you. Not.

Update: In case you need proof for "too boring" check this rotting bug report.

Comments

Vampir achtneunacht commented on August 22, 2010 at 2:40 p.m.

> no idea why this feature isn't the default for all installs

now you know why

> Obviously nobody cared to check if upgrade with encrypted disks works.

Disks are not encrypted by default so why should they check. encrypting disk
is an additional step which the user does. Should the Upgrade also diff every
single config file on your computer and check what you changed there.
Ubuntu Wiki about Encrypten: "This is an task for experienced users with a lot
of linux knowledge and should only be done if you know what you do"

Mathias Hasselmann commented on August 22, 2010 at 2:42 p.m.

> Disks are not encrypted by default so why should they check. encrypting disk is an additional step which the user does.

Wrong, it's an option the text based installer provides.

> Should the Upgrade also diff every single config file on your computer and check what you changed there.

No, but at least the options provided by the installer should be checked.

> Ubuntu Wiki about Encrypten: "This is an task for experienced users with a lot of linux knowledge and should only be done if you know what you do"

That's a quite lame excuse, sorry.

Vamp898 commented on August 22, 2010 at 3:17 p.m.

Im no Ubuntu user at all and didn´t expected that there is an option in the installer for that and that these option is not checked at upgrade

so in that case, thats really bad... and dummy user wouldn´t have any idea nor knowledge to get a running system back...

waldi commented on August 22, 2010 at 3:27 p.m.

hah, upgrade to a real distro: fedora

Vamp898 commented on August 22, 2010 at 3:38 p.m.

As he posted, he have to use Ubuntu in his company.

andre klapper commented on August 22, 2010 at 5:19 p.m.

Worked fine with encrypted disks when upgrading from Fedora 10 to Fedora 12 (and 12 to 13), hence other distros are able to handle this...

kitkat commented on August 22, 2010 at 5:49 p.m.

Encrypted disks works fine from an alternate cd of ubuntu.

"Still would not have happend with some professional OS vendor"
Yes maybe you should try some professional OS vendor or contact canonical they provide paid support too.

Before bragging like a baby, maybe you should have consider you've done something wrong or forget something. You just deserve paid support acting like a customer no community answers for you.

Stu commented on August 22, 2010 at 6:20 p.m.

I had the same problem with nvidia raid + ntfs on the main partition. Getting grub installed was a right pain in the arse as ubuntu wouldn't resize the ntfs partition to put a boot partition before it. Took a few weekends to get it all working- in the end had to repartion in windows, then finally could install ubuntu and grub too and actually have a bootable Linux.

Rahul Sundaram commented on August 22, 2010 at 9:58 p.m.

Fedora and RHEL supports this feature out of the box very visibly (no need for special alternative live images) and upgrades are explicitly tested as part of the release criteria (that is not a guarantee of no bugs but the QA team does make a dedicated effort).

same ol' song and dance commented on August 23, 2010 at 12:39 a.m.

A quick Google search will show that this sort of Upgrade Fail is pretty much S.O.P. for Ubuntu. I started out with a Server Edition install of Dapper Drake and for several releases in a row doing a simple Dist-upgrade (of VANILLA installs) would bork the system! People on the Ubuntu User Forums would just shrug and tell me to back up my ~/home dir and do a clean install while blithely ignoring the fact that Canonical should never have been offering the option to run dist-upgrade when it was known to be such a crap-shoot.

Of course if you stick to the Long Term Support releases and only do a fresh install when the time comes to upgrade it cuts down on the pain somewhat; but you'll be even more annoyed when running into the Fan Boi attitude on display here in the comments (it's YOUR fault that it doesn't work!!); as well as the sinking feeling you'll notice when you find that your problem is a Known Issue that's been rotting in the bug reports for months (if not years) and either isn't going to be fixed or will only be dealt with in an upcoming (and presently alpha/beta quality release).

Personally I went over to Arch Linux for the Rolling Release model when I got sick of having to deal with the fact that Ubuntu left me with the non-choice of using broken software in the CURRENT release's repos OR installing the BETA of the UPCOMING release to get the patched software that was only to be found in those repos. That was over a year ago now and I can't see ever going back to the '6 month cadence' thing: for example Arch has already updated to the 2.6.35.2 kernel (with the recent security fix) while Ubuntu Lucid is still on 2.6.32-24.41 : )

DeeJay1 commented on August 23, 2010 at 8:22 a.m.

Well, this happens a lot on one of my machines, even without an encrypted disk. However on an other machine everything works perfect…

Loïc Minier commented on August 23, 2010 at 11:09 a.m.

Hi

The bug you link to (LP #590927) doesn't refer to encryption at all, in fact it's a terrible bug report with almost no information and a very generic error message in the subject.

You are using your personal experience to make the point that "community driven" doesn't work, even "four months after the release", but you took a consumer standpoint for a relatively advanced and uncommon option. You found a random bug unrelated to your particular issue, and didn't bother subscribing to the one you thought related, you didn't offer any debugging help, or provided information on how you solved the issue.

It is fine to just "consume" Ubuntu and not develop it, but not while criticizing advanced features of the non-default installer...

Consider providing your upgrade log in a bug report targeting your exact setup, or opening a new bug. If you know the fix, share it in the bug as well.

Thanks,

Tim commented on August 23, 2010 at 10:40 p.m.

Yay!
Loic was the first one who got it.
This blog post was just very lame.

Mathias Hasselmann commented on August 23, 2010 at 11:58 p.m.

Tim wrote:
> Loic was the first one who got it.
Yes, almost.

> This blog post was just very lame.
Don't say something is lame, just because you don't get the point.

Loïc wrote:
> It is fine to just "consume" Ubuntu and not develop it,
Developing a distribution is very specific hobby, which not many people share, and that's exactly the point. It's just not possible yet to "just consume Ubuntu". Frequently you'll hit major issues, which only get fixed if you have time and motivation to actively participate in developing Ubuntu.

Proper commercial projects usually have a huge number of paid testers which find and properly report such issues before the software is released. Well, and that's the limit I hit. Become a developer of something that's extremly useful but also extremly boring for you, or suffer.

Wondering what it'd take to throw one, or two dozens of WiPro¹) testers at Ubuntu.

> but not while criticizing advanced features of the non-default installer...
No idea how you get this idea. Of course it is valid to publicly criticize public stuff. Supressing critique is the very death of every project.

¹) Just an example, there are many other companies specialized on testing software.

Tim commented on August 24, 2010 at 10:47 a.m.

There you had one experience and with that you make up a whole system failure.

Business works with 'proper commercial projects' and they have epic fails too. It's just time for workarounds then.

This is no excuse for failing but I don't see the limits of 'community driven' here. Maybe the community is just too small to cover all eventualities.

Jef Spaleta commented on August 24, 2010 at 10:24 p.m.

Just to be clear.
Does openismus require the use of a particular linux distribution with full disk encryption? Or does it just require the use of full disk encryption without making a recommendation to employees as to which linux distribution to use?

It would seem to me that anything required by openismus as a matter of company policy should have a pre-tested and technology upgrade path to recommend to employees. And as a company, openismus should look into paying for support contracts with software vendors to make sure technology requirements are achieved in the deliverables they recommend employees use.

It's more than a little ironic that employees of a software consulting company would come to expect unpaid volunteers to keep critical features working in an otherwise gratis operating system when their employer's business is based entirely on the exchange of monetary resources for software development services.

-jef