Ubuntu – Clarification of the third-party software options during system installation


During installation, the user is presented with the following dialogue:

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The 'Flash' and 'MP3' options are pretty self-explanatory, but what about the 'wireless hardware' and 'other media' options. What 'other media' is this referring to, and how is the installation of wireless hardware handled. Does Ubiquity attempt to recognise the computer's wireless device and install the appropriate drivers or does it just dump a 'proprietary wireless driver module' into the kernel and be done with it? How does it react if the computer has no wireless card?

Best Answer

The "Install this third-party software" checkbox does two things:

  1. It installs ubuntu-restricted-addons much later on in the main install process. This currently includes gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly, flashplugin-installer (Adobe Flash support), gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad, gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg, icedtea6-plugin (Java and the browser plugin for it), and gstreamer0.10-fluendo-mp3 (MP3 playback support).
  2. It asks the Additional Drivers (jockey) program to enable any drivers that can be automatically installed. Currently this is limited to just the Broadcom wireless (binary) driver.

If the computer is not connected to the Internet, the install will complete successfully; however, the following will happen:

  1. Your location will not be automatically determined on the 'Where are you?' page.
  2. The set of locations you can look up by typing in the box on the 'Where are you?' page will be limited to just the cities that represent a timezone (Oslen database locations).
  3. If you have checked the 'Download updates while installing' box, this step will be skipped.
  4. If you have selected a language without full language support shipped on the CD, the language support packages will not be downloaded as part of the Ubuntu installation process.