Ubuntu annoyance: asks for DVD

Sometimes when you install Ubuntu (a flavor of Linux) and then try to install new packages, you get this annoying message:

Media change: please insert the disc labeled
‘Ubuntu 7.10 _Gutsy Gibbon_ – Release i386 (20071016)’
in the drive ‘/cdrom/’ and press enter

To fix that message, click on

System->Administration->Software Sources and uncheck the “CD-ROM/DVD” option at the bottom of the menu:

Uncheck the DVD option

26 Responses to Ubuntu annoyance: asks for DVD (Leave a comment)

  1. Crazy, I had seen this error a couple of times, but not enough for it to be an annoyance. I am going to go and change the setting on my Ubuntu machine now. Thanks!

  2. And here I thought only Windows asked for discs during installation of appllications 🙂

  3. Hey Matt!

    This is an excellent opportunity to discuss your wifes opinion of Ubuntu. Failing that, I would love to hear your opinion on Ubuntu for us fairly tech aware readers who know what a 301 redirect is, but get totally lost reading anything about Apache.

    I know that almost every programmer I talk to loves Linux.

    Correct me if i am wrong, but I guess that your wife is probably very, very smart, does not have tons of programming experience, and that you have tried to get her to try your Umbuntu machine? If I am correct, what does she have to say about the interface, and using it? How do you think us mortals will react to it?

    I am just about to buy a Mac, but am still willing to be talked into Ubuntu instead.

    Thanks so much!

  4. Fedora 8 behaves similarly.

    To fix that in Fedora 8 (running KDE and with yum installed), click on

    K Menu->System->Add/Remove Software to open Package Manager; then click on Edit->Repositories and uncheck “InstallMedia”.

  5. Alternatively, for those people who prefer the command prompt (or don’t have a GUI installed on their Ubuntu server), you can achieve the same by editing /etc/apt/sources.list and sources.list.distUpgrade, and comment out any lines that starts with “deb cdrom:”.

  6. ooh usefull

    I had this a couple of times – almost if they are trying to mimic windows to closely 🙂

  7. There is an alternative way to have the ubuntu iso (from your pc) and use it as a source. This will avoid the annoyance of the CD/DVD search and ease intall offline.

  8. Yep, I also experienced this problem recently. Fortunately you only have to correct it once, but still.

    Dr. David Klein: You know that you can run Ubuntu on a Mac just fine, right? I have a Mac mini with OSX Tiger and Ubuntu Gutsy.

  9. Oh, it gets a lot worse. I’ve had this happen on racked machines on the other side of the world. Somewhere, in a data-center in the US, a cd-rom drive lies ejected for months because I foolishly forgot to check that Ubuntu hadn’t set itself up in an insane fashion.

    And, yes, I am reminded of the wonderful old Windows behaviour (I think it’s gone as of XP) of demanding the Windows cd when the user performs a highly complex task, like inserting a USB key.

  10. I never have problem with ubuntu. 🙂

  11. I’ve got ubuntu running on an old machine and I love it!

  12. Wow, this article on Ubuntu was a really exciting read. I’m glad there wasn’t any big search engine news that you might have found more appropriate to discuss! We would all have lost out had you neglected to discuss the “DVD tries to take over Ubuntu” issue! It’s good that you’re not employed by Canonical or they might have tried to silence you on this issue, even if it is just your personal blog.

  13. David Klein, I would probably go with a Mac for a newer user for the time being. Ubuntu keeps getting better and better and you can live boot Ubuntu on a Mac when you want to try it out.

    marty, good point. Thanks for mentioning that. P.S. I liked your Jetty picture!

    ludo, I’m not sure. I think you could store the .iso as a file and then there’s probably a way to mount the .iso as if it were a file system. See http://ubuntu.wordpress.com/2005/10/24/nautilus-script-to-mount-iso-files/ for example, which I found by searching for [mount .iso ubuntu] on Google.

    But that’s probably not what you want to do. Remember that you typically use a CD/DVD to install because it’s a great way to get a lot of data right to your computer quickly. But if your computer has a broadband connection, then once you’ve installed you probably want to switch over to downloading packages off the net. That way you’ll always be downloading the most recent package. CDs can lag behind by months-to-years.

    Brandon, glad you like Ubuntu! It’s a lot of fun, in my opinion. I really like that it’s easy to use, but you can modify everything to your heart’s content.

  14. Hey….I was looking to send you an email about an idea that may help Google. Maybe you guys are already working on it…

    My Idea – It maybe a good idea for Google to place a ‘checkmark’ on links that show up in the searches.
    Links that are a part of DMOZ can show up as ‘google verified’ on the searches..and have a checkmark next to their link.
    If they show up as number 7-10…the consumers may still click on these links at the bottom when they see this checkmark next to it.

    Just an idea as I see a lot of ppl are paying to get into Yahoo, and I’m sure they can use this to drive their revenue. I’m in neither DMOZ or Yahoo.

    I know you’re in charge of webspam, but would you know a place where I can submit my ideas?


  15. Hahahahaha.

    I used to get a very similar messaage with floppy disks back in the day of MS-DOS 3.3 – so it looks like what’s old is new again.


  16. This behavior is probably inherited from Debian. It makes a lot of sense if you originally installed from a CD or DVD, as that often means that you are either on a slow connection or not on the Internet at all.

    Both Ubuntu and Debian probably ought to pop up a dialog at the end of the original installation and as if you want to continue using the CD/DVD in the future for adding software components.

  17. What’s Ubuntu? Can I run it on xp home?
    While Ian runs MS-DOS, I’ve got SuperDOS, well not anymore since Bluebird is gone, but we still run it on our HYMS boxes. Get some!!!

  18. There is a similar annoyance with Mandriva 2007/2008 as well. I also had to reconfigure rmpdrake in order to download the packages from the internet.

  19. Ha, I just recently had the same problem myself. And I panicked – i’m not new to the command line but I am new to Linux as an operating systems. So I assumed the worst: when an app asks for the source CD, I assume I’m about to get to reinstall. And then a little research revealed the same easy fix you published here. I really appreciate when bloggers make a post about how to solve irritating computer problems. You even quoted the error message you received so that if someone put that search into a search engine, maybe Mamma or Dogpile 🙂 then they would find this helpful post.

  20. If this happens to a server on the other side of the world (i.e. without a GUI) just comment out (put a # at the front of the line) the relevant line in /etc/apt/sources.list, then run “apt-get update”. Which line should be obvious!

    If you administer Debian or Debian derived distros like Ubuntu on servers it paid dividends to read the “Debian Reference” stuff on “apt” and package management.

    I’m the kind of user who had to reinstall Microsoft Windows once a month because it couldn’t cope with me installing and removing, and developing software. Microsoft Windows is more robust these days, but the package management in Debian is just amazing. Not reinstalled the Debian desktop box in years, and it has run at least three different versions of Debian, and at one point reinstalled every graphical application on the box, run out of disk space during upgrades (when Microsoft Windows did this it corrupted the registry and forced a complete reinstall of Windows – eek another day wasted – and that wasn’t a desktop box but one of the office file servers).

  21. I’m running Ubantu on an old Toshiba Portege notebook at work. I can’t believe how well it functions and how fast it is compared to XP, let alone Vista.

    Speaking of Vista, it’s amazing the amount of Internet chatter about “upgrading” from Vista to XP. I’ve heard a few horror stories and will probably wait another 18 months before giving Vista a try.

    With Microsoft that’s a rule that works well for me. My trusty old XBox is still banging away without a fault whereas XBox 360 have a high failure rate from what I’ve seen on TV.

    Thanks for the info about the CD message, I had an install CD, but it was still quite annoying.

  22. I’ve had this problem on racked machines too, and it was a complete hassle to begin with (until I found sources.list)

    I thought this was removed in Ubuntu Gutsy (7.10) when using the ubuntu installer, but I may be wrong. It definately happens when you use the alternative installer disk (it uses the debian installer)

  23. Yea I too get same annoying message even in other flavor too like fedora, thanks for the help how to fix it up.

  24. I wonder that so many people don’t know how to change the settings in /etc/apt/sources.list

    The behavior is the always the same on Ubuntu / Debian systems for years

  25. Hi Matt!

    Normally, I would refer to you as Mr. Cutts, but I have read your BLOG for a long time… one of the downfalls of BLOG’s – they create one-way relationships. =)

    I have two questions and can’t seem to find the answers.

    404 – 301 After a site update, several pages for which the file name was changed showed up as being not found (404), but the pages existed, with slightly updated content. Is a 301 redirect permissible in that situation? Or will it cause problems in the SERPS? How about if the old name was removed from the sitemap, and the new name added? Is it okay to do a 301 in that instance to help the new page get found?

    FAQ pages – Of all pages, FAQ’s seem to present the worse possible problems. There are tons of Q’s and long A’s. Is it okay to do show/no show clickables so long as script/no script is included, too, and not get in trouble for a cloaking situation? Or do all the Q’s and all the A’s need to be always visible? This seems to be an area where the search engine rules are not in the users best interest; often times, they have a particular question and want to just scan the questions to find it. This also seems to be an issue for citations for papers – it would be easier if those citations were in a “clickable” open and read and “clickable” close and let me continue reading script/no script set up. What do we do about the FAQ’s to keep the pages cleaner?

  26. Thanks! This was a huge time saver…. hardly ever have physical access to my server and hate having to wait until i can put the disk in to update stuff….