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Bug #11628

Error message on not-enough-free-space in Tails Upgrader is confusing

Added by sajolida about 2 years ago. Updated about 1 month ago.

Status:
In Progress
Priority:
Normal
Assignee:
-
Category:
-
Target version:
-
Start date:
08/10/2016
Due date:
% Done:

10%

QA Check:
Feature Branch:
Type of work:
Code
Blueprint:
Starter:
Affected tool:
Upgrader

Description

It's unclear to users that (or why) the system partition has limited space, independently from the full USB stick. See for example:

https://twitter.com/yawnbox/status/760938796527476737

Some work can probably be done on this error message.

upgrade.png View (29.2 KB) sajolida, 08/02/2017 04:05 PM


Related issues

Related to Tails - Feature #11627: Consider updating the default system partition's size Resolved 08/10/2016
Related to Tails - Feature #12705: Update the size of the system partition to >= 4 GiB Resolved 06/15/2017
Related to Tails - Bug #14905: Not enough space to auto-upgrade in 10GB .qcow2 virt. hard-drive Rejected 10/28/2017
Related to Tails - Feature #14544: Spend software developer time on smallish UX improvements In Progress 08/31/2018

History

#1 Updated by sajolida about 2 years ago

  • Related to Feature #11627: Consider updating the default system partition's size added

#2 Updated by emmapeel almost 2 years ago

Should we maybe say something when doing automatic upgrades about this?
(Like: 'Only two automatic upgrades left, enjoy!)


Many users say for example: 'I have a 32 Gb space on the disk', so it looks like they mistake the two different Tails partitions, or they think Tails has only one partition.

Maybe the manual update message should show the two partitions' free space?

#3 Updated by intrigeri almost 2 years ago

Should we maybe say something when doing automatic upgrades about this? (Like: 'Only two automatic upgrades left, enjoy!)

We could surely do that, but it'll be a rough guess as at that time we don't know how large the next N upgrades will be.

Many users say for example: 'I have a 32 Gb space on the disk', so it looks like they mistake the two different Tails partitions, or they think Tails has only one partition.

Right. I think that this situation is the main topic this ticket is about.

Maybe the manual update message should show the two partitions' free space?

Worth considering. sajolida?

#4 Updated by sajolida almost 2 years ago

Should we maybe say something when doing automatic upgrades about
this? (Like: 'Only two automatic upgrades left, enjoy!)

We could surely do that, but it'll be a rough guess as at that time
we don't know how large the next N upgrades will be.

It's good to warn people but here they can't really do anything so I'm
afraid that telling them "in 2-3 releases you will suffer" won't make
the overall experience less painful or more understandable.

Maybe the manual update message should show the two partitions' free space?

Worth considering. sajolida?

Showing a graphical representation of the two partitions and their
respective free space should help correcting the erroneous mental model
that lead people think that having a big USB stick allows for more
upgrades. I think that this is the root cause of the confusion, but
having such a graphical representation is probably not the only possible
remedy.

Making things visual is cool but probably requires more work than
changing the phrasing. So we should study different option for
correcting this erroneous mental model before picking one.

I'd like to take a screenshot of the error message so we have something
to comment upon.

#5 Updated by intrigeri almost 2 years ago

Showing a graphical representation of the two partitions and their respective free space should help correcting the erroneous mental model that lead people think that having a big USB stick allows for more upgrades. I think that this is the root cause of the confusion, but having such a graphical representation is probably not the only possible remedy.

This would be perfect. Just telling the numbers for both partition, using text, may already solve a great part of this problem (right?), and be much cheaper to implement.

#6 Updated by intrigeri over 1 year ago

intrigeri wrote:

Just telling the numbers for both partition, using text, may already solve a great part of this problem (right?), and be much cheaper to implement.

Should we go ahead with that? It would help avoiding too much confusion while implementing the changes proposed on #11627.

#7 Updated by intrigeri over 1 year ago

  • Related to Feature #12705: Update the size of the system partition to >= 4 GiB added

#8 Updated by sajolida about 1 year ago

Here is the dialog we're talking about.

New version available
=====================

*You should do a manual upgrade to Tails 3.0.*

For more information about this new version, go to https://tails.boum.org/news/version_3.0/

It is not possible to automatically upgrade your device to this new version: there is not enough free space on the Tails system partition.

To learn how to do a manual upgrade, go to https://tails.boum.org/doc/first_steps/upgrade/#manual.

#9 Updated by sajolida about 1 year ago

  • Assignee changed from sajolida to intrigeri
  • QA Check set to Ready for QA

What about this:

New version available
=====================

*You should do a manual upgrade to Tails 3.0*.

For more information about Tails 3.0, go to https://tails.boum.org/news/version_3.0/.

There is not enough free space on your Tails system partition
to do an automatic upgrade.

Your Tails USB stick (8 GiB):
  * System partition (2.5 GiB): 142 MiB free, 560 MiB required
  * Persistent storage (5.5 GiB): 3.4 GiB free

Manual upgrade instructions: https://tails.boum.org/upgrade/

If there is no persistent storage:

  * No persistent storage (5.5 GiB available)

If the persistent storage is locked:

  * Persistent storage (5.5 GiB, locked)

#10 Updated by intrigeri about 1 year ago

  • Status changed from Confirmed to In Progress
  • Target version set to Tails_3.2
  • % Done changed from 0 to 10

I'll try to give this a look during this cycle, but I can't promise I'll be able to implement the code changes it requires (no idea how hard it'll be yet).

#11 Updated by intrigeri about 1 year ago

  • QA Check deleted (Ready for QA)
  • Type of work changed from User interface design to Code

The proposed strings look OK to me. Regarding the code changes required to implement this, at first glance:

  • info about the system partition available size seems easy: $no_incremental_reason becomes a hash; when we do $no_incremental_reason = 'not-enough-free-space', we'll store the additional info no_incremental_explanation will need to build the error message
  • info about the needed available space: same as above (we already have access to this info at the time we'll need to store it in $no_incremental_reason)
  • info about the system partition total size: we have no code to do that yet, but I can't imagine why this would be hard
  • info about the persistent storage: this might be more involved. The code we have to identify the persistent volume lives in persistent-setup.git. It uses code from perl5lib.git + a constant from persistent-setup.git, so a little bit of refactoring is needed. Probably no big deal.

Next step is to actually implement this. I'll try to do it during the 3.2 cycle but I really can't promise anything.

#12 Updated by intrigeri about 1 year ago

  • Target version changed from Tails_3.2 to Tails_3.5

(As kinda expected. The code changes will probably be too invasive for a point release so that won't be in 3.3.)

#13 Updated by intrigeri about 1 year ago

  • Tracker changed from Feature to Bug

#14 Updated by intrigeri 9 months ago

  • Related to Bug #14905: Not enough space to auto-upgrade in 10GB .qcow2 virt. hard-drive added

#15 Updated by intrigeri 9 months ago

  • Target version changed from Tails_3.5 to Tails_3.6

intrigeri wrote:

(As kinda expected. The code changes will probably be too invasive for a point release so that won't be in 3.3.)

… and 3.5 is going to be a point release as well. Besides, before investing substantial dev time into the Upgrader, I'd rather wait for our sprint on #11679: if we're going to ditch the Upgrader soonish, I'd rather focus on that instead.

#16 Updated by intrigeri 7 months ago

  • Target version changed from Tails_3.6 to Tails_3.9

One of the nice effects of #15281 is that it will make the problem this ticket is about more rare. More specifically, according to the research anonym did on https://tails.boum.org/blueprint/Endless_upgrades/, with #15281 the problem this ticket is about will remain a thing with 2.5GB system partitions (that we created before Tails 3.2), but it will disappear with 4+ GB system partitions.

So for Tails 3.6 I'll prioritize fixing the root cause for recently created and future system partitions (via #15281) over working it around for older system partitions via improved UI messages, following the "direct 80% of your resources towards your target userbase that does not use Tails yet, and 20% of them towards your existing users" motto.

Once we're done on #15281 let's come back to this and discuss how it should be prioritized vs. other non-budgetted UX improvements we have in mind.

#17 Updated by intrigeri 4 months ago

  • Target version changed from Tails_3.9 to Tails_3.10

intrigeri wrote:

So for Tails 3.6 I'll prioritize fixing the root cause for recently created and future system partitions (via #15281) over working it around for older system partitions via improved UI messages, following the "direct 80% of your resources towards your target userbase that does not use Tails yet, and 20% of them towards your existing users" motto.

Once we're done on #15281 let's come back to this and discuss how it should be prioritized vs. other non-budgetted UX improvements we have in mind.

I've done my part of #15281 that got postponed to 3.10. Let's see where we are on that front in September/October.

#18 Updated by intrigeri about 1 month ago

  • Related to Feature #14544: Spend software developer time on smallish UX improvements added

#19 Updated by intrigeri about 1 month ago

  • Assignee deleted (intrigeri)
  • Target version deleted (Tails_3.10)

intrigeri wrote:

intrigeri wrote:

Once we're done on #15281 let's come back to this and discuss how it should be prioritized vs. other non-budgetted UX improvements we have in mind.

I've done my part of #15281 that got postponed to 3.10. Let's see where we are on that front in September/October.

#15281 is stalled so I'm removing this from my plate until we decide if/when/how we'll finish implementing it and how to handle #14544.

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