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I'm trying to install Ubuntu 12.10 from a DVD onto a very fast desktop. My first installation attempt was very slow, taking over an hour for the "Copying files..." stage. Then it seemed to stall completely when downloading updates. After it sat on the same step for a very long time I pulled the plug to start fresh.

Now I am trying again; this time with the checkbox about installing package update UNCHECKED (since that seemed to be the straw that broke the camel's back last time). Again, the "Copying files..." stage is taking a very, very long time considering the speed of this desktop (including SSD).

I expanded the console to try to find some clue about what's going on, but there's nothing useful there. No errors, just what seems like normal commands that are spaced way too far apart in time.

Feb  7 21:07:05 ubuntu install.py: keeping language packs for: en_US.UTF-8
Feb  7 21:17:01 ubuntu CRON[17922]: (root) CMD (   cd / && run-parts --report /etc/cron.hourly)

From 21:07 to 21:17, the only command shown is "keeping language packs"?!

I don't know exactly what to ask, except:

Why is 12.10 installation from a live DVD so, so, so slow on a fast desktop?


Update

Additionally, while stalled, there seems to be nothing happening, including no DVD spinning.

Update 2

The second installation was just as slow as the first, despite skipping the update-packages step. I allowed it to finish and after the 2.5-3 hour install time things are working. After installation I began to have other problems like very slow 'apt-get update's and an extremely slow untar that took ~5-6 hours to extract a 16GB gzipped tar with default compression. More research has led me to worry that these problems may be caused by my SSD (Plextor PX-256M3) and/or EXT4's interaction with it. For reference, I previously had 12.04 installed using BTRFS (which had it's own host of insane problems). I tweaked several recommended SSD settings, including adding "discard" to /etc/fstab as well as the line

tmpfs /tmp tmpfs defaults,noatime,mode=1777 0 0

and adding to cron.daily:

sudo fstrim -v /

My next step is to upgrade the firmware for my SSD...

Update 3

After upgrading my SSD firmware I've still had lots of slowness related to disk activity. I decided to re-install after a week of painfully slow use and ran into the same problems again during installation. This time, I tried several different things including:

  • Install 12.10 32-bit from live DVD, with btrfs again (which worked well before my recent installations)
  • Install 12.04.2 32-bit from live DVD, with btrfs
  • Install 12.04.2 32-bit from USB disk image, with ext4

All of these failed. Hard. Insanely slow installs (I let the latest attempt of 12.04.2 32-bit go all night and it was 2/3 done) with nothing happening on the DVD drive or the USB drive.

Resolution

After trying so many variations of things I was beginning to lose hope, but it struck me that all of my attempts had been with 32-bit Ubuntu. I downloaded the ISO for 12.04.2 64-bit this morning and it installed (with ext4) in less than 5 minutes, including downloading updates and third-party packages! Performance is great again and all is well.

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CD/DVD ROMs are usually slow, regardless of how fast the rest of the system is. Make sure you check the DVD for errors before installing. –  mikewhatever Feb 7 '13 at 21:57
    
Good point. However, (and I'll edit question to mention this) there seems to be nothing happening while it's stalled - the DVD isn't even spinning. When burning the ISO (in Windows 7) I did check something like "verify the burn" or "check for errors" and that was successful. Is there something else you have in mind as a way to "check the DVD for errors"? –  janoside Feb 7 '13 at 21:59
    
Yes, I had this in mind. –  mikewhatever Feb 7 '13 at 22:08
1  
Have you tried using a USB-stick instead? It will be faster than a DVD... –  Alvar Feb 7 '13 at 22:08
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3 Answers 3

hp notebooks always have problem in reading Disc [i have hp dv6 ] yet it doesn't even read a simple CD disc always go with USB-stick because it is faster than DVD

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First, let me say, I reiterated the exact same question, to hopefully strengthen the effort to investigate. Secondly, I have constructed a successful method to overcome that hangup, but it resulted in a fresh install without saving my programs/files (which were already backed up).

After an unsuccessful installation, I rebooted the Ubuntu secure-remix 64 bit ISO and restarted another installation attempt. Shortly after electing "Install Ubuntu" there's a screen which asks "quit" as well as "continue." I hit the "quit" which caused the screen to blank for a brief moment, then the 12.10 Ubuntu screen opens up with the toolbar on the left. Towards the bottom of the tools is "UNINSTALL OS" that eliminated the existing Ubuntu, and a button higher up restarted a fresh 12.10 Installation. It repartitioned about 73Gb for 12.10 and installed quickly. Where it had frozen previously was at the very end of the routine. Hope this helps!

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

The resolution for me was to install 64-bit Ubuntu instead of 32-bit. I tried many combinations of Ubuntu versions and filesystems which all failed miserably, but installing 64-bit 12.04.2 with ext4 finished in less than 5 minutes and performance is great.

I'd love to know why 32-bit failed so miserably, especially since the Ubuntu download site so clearly "recommends" it...

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