Multibooting UX, how well it ought to work

Chris Murphy lists at
Fri Jun 27 00:51:16 UTC 2014

This is largely directed to the WG, as a request to clarify a part of the workstation product tech spec. It relates to a thread on the anaconda list regarding os-prober, and a thread on this list regarding release criteria, both of which are referenced below. 

I am cross posting to the server@ list as well, while they don't have a dual-boot requirement in their spec it stands to reason the ability to dual-boot Fedora Server/CentOS/RHEL version n and n+1 could come in handy when doing migrations while still having a fall back position. Perhaps replies should drop the other cross posting since the requirements for the two products are different? But I leave up to the person replying to decide.

The WorkstationTechnical Spec says:
"One aspect of storage configuration that will be needed is support for dual-boot setups (preserving preexisting Windows or OS X installations), since e.g. students may be required to run software on those platforms for their coursework."

1a. Does preserve preexisting include providing a working menu entry in the boot manager (e.g. in the GRUB menu)? 
1b. Or is it sufficient to just preserve the installation data — meaning it's permissible for its bootability to be either non-obvious or broken?

2. If the answer to 1a. is yes, and 1b. is no, does this dual-boot requirement apply to both BIOS and UEFI?

3. If resources cannot meet the dual-boot requirement by ship time, should the installer inform the user that their previous installation will be preserved but may not be bootable?

4. Why is the preservation of an existing Linux OS, including a previous Fedora, not explicit in the spec? Should it be?

The answers to the above will help determine the scope of QA testing in this area, and avoid lengthy debate during blocker meetings. Maybe it'll provide some kick in the pants for old bugs with unimplemented solutions. Or maybe it will make it clear that the UX in this area doesn't need improvement and therefore effort testing and developing can be better spent elsewhere. So in any case, clarification will be helpful.


"grub2, 30_os-prober, os-prober: A Proposal"

Initial very rough Workstation release criteria draft


Chris Murphy

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