The Dell Linux Engineering team publishes the open source content that is overlaid and used in the Dell factory for installation. Because the original live filesystem from the Ubuntu media is used, it's possible to generate an image that emulates the open source portions of the Dell factory process.
By using an image like this, you'll get the following customizations applied on top of the standard Ubuntu image:
You will have the Dell recovery framework put in place that allows you to do a recovery from a recovery partition.
Adobe Flash will be pre-installed
AMD or NVIDIA proprietary drivers will be pre-installed if necessary
Broadcom Wireless drivers will be pre-installed if necessary
If you already have a Dell system with Ubuntu shipped on it,
you should use that DVD to perform the recovery. The DVD playback
software and media playback codecs are NOT included in an image generated by this tool. This tool will produce a system very similar to what you
receive when ordering Ubuntu, but not identical.
To start out you will need the following:
After you've installed the tool, you'll find it in you System->Administration menu.
If you run it on a computer that isn't shipped with a Ubuntu on it, it will offer the following:
If this is factory shipped computer, you'll need to start the tool like this:
# dell-recovery-media --builder
The first question will be about what to use for the base media.
Any of the following are valid base targets:
Other sources may also work, but will require some extra workarounds.
Next, you'll need a copy of the Dell factory content. If your base image already contains this, you can use it from there. Otherwise, it can be fetched using GIT. Keep in mind that the GIT tree is fairly large, so it may take a short period of time for it to fetch.
If Dell has any support for this OS version, you will see it in the list of tags. If it's not yet supported, you can use the origin/master tag, but keep in mind this is least likely to work as it represents the latest development.
Next you have the ability to add in additional overlay packages. These are an advanced feature, and it's recommended that you first get your media working without adding in these types of packages.
The last question will determine what to do when the media is generated. Either way, and ISO image is created, but you can optionally burn it to a USB stick or writable DVD.
The summary page will display all of the content you previously selected as well as optionally let you set the version number.
So the short answer is because they work best. The long answer can be addressed in several parts
This is addressed in several parts.
Ubuntu media is the only media known to include all the necessary dependencies for the GTK based Dell Recovery tool. Xubuntu and Kubuntu media might work with some additional hacks, but out of the box will require additional work.
DVD media is recommended because it will include the AMD and NVIDIA graphics drivers on the media as well as full language support. CD media will work, but you'll have to manually modify these things post install
The preseed that is included is only tested with Ubiquity. The installer used for alternate or server media is d-i, and it requires some extra preseed options.
For directions on how to use and install the image, please visit OS Reinstallation
You may have performed an installation with the network cable plugged in. Unplug the network cable and try again.
Additional packages need to be placed in gzipped tarball (.tar.gz) under the directory debs/main. All dependencies that are not included in the livefs need to be placed here too.
Bugs can be filed at https://bugs.launchpad.net/dell-recovery
Please subscribe to the mailing list at https://launchpad.net/~dell-recovery and raise your questions there
The source code for this tool is available at https://code.launchpad.net/dell-recovery
The source for the factory installation overlay is available at http://linux.dell.com/git/?p=ubuntu-fid.git;a=summary
This image now has the option to perform an
installation side by side with Windows w/ Dell addons or to remove all
existing content and perform a fresh install.
Please visit OS Reinstallation
for more information.
I'm running Ubuntu 8.04. Can I use this process to generate a 9.10 image? The instructions seem to imply this only works if you already have 9.10. Thanks.
Sorry, no the tool will not run on Ubuntu 8.04. One of the prerequisites is"# An Ubuntu installation, version 9.10 or later."