Hardware and Installation Reporting

Some of you may have seen the polls on our Twitter, Mastodon, Telegram, and Discord. These polls where asking our community something of a loaded question:

If we asked for user data (CPU, GPU, PCIe, RAM, swap, disk partitioning set up, and installation experience), assuming you had the ability to opt out and see what exactly is sent, would you send the data?

Most people said they would be willing to send data of some kind (this is counting people who said they would send all the data mentioned and people who said they would send some data). So, we added a feature to our system-installer that allows users to report what hardware they have, as well as send us the log generated during installation. However, there is one notable difference:

We made this feature OPT-IN, not opt-out.

Why did we do this? Simple. Two reasons:

  1. Some in the community asked we do this.
  2. It was easier to write the reporting feature to be opt-in vs opt-out.

So, in order to encourage users to send their hardware info and installation log, I plan to detail what exactly the process of sending this data is, what is sent, and what this data is used for.

 

How to send your data

Once your installation has completed, the screen below will show up. If you do not wish to send any data, you may click any where and it will not send any data.

If you do wish to send data, click the “Send Installation Report” button on the right.

At this point, the window should be just a toggle button and a back button. If you want to send data, click the toggle button. This will enable the ability to send your installation report.

Once you have enabled this ability, click the options you would like to send. Selecting what data to send is essential. Otherwise, all we, the developers, are told, is that there was an installation at a specific time. If you want a quick explanation on why we need the data requested, there are buttons to the right of each option to explain why we need that info.

Once you have selected what data to send, you can click “Preview Message” to see what exactly the developers will see when the report is received.

This window does not allow you to edit the report, so if you don’t like what you see, you can hit the “Abort” button on the bottom left corner. Otherwise, the “Send Message” button will be in the bottom right corner.

 

What data is sent

Assuming you told the installation reporting mechanism to report everything, there is quite a bit of information sent.

 

CPU

The only thing about your CPU sent is what model it is and what frequency it runs at. This is because we can just look up what we want to know about a given CPU. We don’t need to know everything, just how many cores/threads it has, it’s base and boost frequency, whether it is AMD or Intel, and roughly how old it is.

 

GPU / PCIe

These two pieces of information are grouped together because we use lspci to report this info. This will report to us what is using your PCIe bus, such as WiFi and other networking cards, USB expansion cards, Audio cards, and graphics cards. We can use this info to ensure support for these devices is enabled in our kernel at compile time. We can also use the graphics card information to know whether we need to put more emphasis on supporting AMD or Nvidia graphics cards. It also can help us in knowing whether we should worry about bleeding edge GPU features such as real-time ray tracing or variable refresh rate technologies.

 

RAM / SWAP

RAM and swap are grouped together because we we use the command free to obtain this information. This does tell us how much of your RAM and swap is used, but it also tells us the total amounts, which we can use to decide what amount of idle RAM usage is acceptable. SWAP allows us to determine if we should more strongly emphasize it’s importance to our community, as well as potentially whether a laptop or desktop is in use. This isn’t something that we will know for sure, but we can make some careful assumptions that will help us in optimizing Drauger OS for laptops or desktops, whichever is used more.

 

Disk Partitioning Setup

The way your disk is partitioned can tell us whether you used the automatic or manual partitioning systems. This information is useful to us because it can inform us of both potential bugs, as well as where to focus our limited development power.

 

Installation Log

This is the most important data to send. It only sends the installation log, which will more than likely make up most of your report. The only personally identifying information this log contains is your username and the name of your computer ( known as it’s “hostname”). Other data, like password or time zone, is intentionally absent from this log. However, we can see what language you speak (assuming that’s the language you set the system to use). We can use this log to determine if your installation had a bug that we should take a look at.

 

Custom Message

This one should be fairly apparent. If you want to send a quick message to the developers, ask for help, provide feedback, or even rick roll them (cause we all need a good laugh sometimes), you can do that here!

 

What this data is used for

This data is used exclusively for improving Drauger OS and it’s installation experience. We share none of the data with anyone else, be they government agency, third party company, individual outside Drauger OS Development, or anyone else, period.

Currently there is no way to validate a specific report belongs to a specific user. However, in the future we plan to add this feature so that users can tell us which log is theirs so we can help them fix bugs, as well as delete the report or share it with them.

We hope this new feature will help us bring everyone an even better experience on Drauger OS in the near future.

Sincerely,

Thomas Castleman

Lead Dev, Founder

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