From the Canyon Edge -- :-Dustin

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ubuntu Server Quick Install, No Questions Asked!

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As you might imagine, I install the Ubuntu Server a lot, so I'm frequently asked about preseeding Ubuntu Server installations.

There are some excellent resources out there.  I have learned much from several Debian sites, as well as from fellow members of the Ubuntu and Debian developer communities.

Most of my daily installations are throwaway KVM virtual machines on my development laptop.  I have answered the same questions in Ubuntu's installer thousands of times...  "Yes, I still speak English, my keyboard is US, please do remove all partitions and yes that partition layout is just fine!"

Of course these questions are preseedable in Ubuntu.  You just need to craft that magic preseed file, but that's necessarily trivial.  In this post, I am sharing just such a layout with you at

Start with a released or daily development Ubuntu Server ISO, or just use TestDrive, as I always do.  Append the following options to your kernel command line (ESC, then F6 at the boot screen):

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 And your installation should proceed from start to finish, with no questions asked!

The preseed I've provided at is generally useful, but you may well want to customize it yourself.  A few important notes about the choices I have made in that preseed configuration:
  1. Keyboards and language are US/English
  2. Networking is default DHCP
  3. Target disk is completely repartitioned/reformatted
    • fine for my VMs, might not be so fine for real hardware!
  4. Default username/password is ubuntu/ubuntu
    • again, fine for my VMs with no outside connectivity
  5. Additionally install a couple of essential tools, in case they aren't already there
    • linux-server kernel, openssh-server
  6. Launch Byobu by default at login
You are welcome to point your installations at, if you like.  I'll keep the above documentation up-to-date, and that URL active and functional, as I'm using it all the time!