We recommend using the built-in OEM installation procedure provided by the Ubuntu installer. OEMs can install the OS, configure anything necessary, and then prepare the device for shipping to end users.
Note: a new installer is being developed that will simplify the installation process.
System Settings offers several advantages to OEMs shipping elementary OS. From its pluggable architecture to easily-provided branding, System Settings was designed with OEMs in mind.
System Settings (codenamed Switchboard) uses a concept of “Plugs” to provide pluggable settings for various hardware and software concerns. For example, Mouse & Touchpad settings are provided by a plug.
OEMs are able to develop and ship custom plugs if there is special or unique hardware in the machine that would require configuration outside of what is available by default in elementary OS; for example, special sensors or input methods that are not present in most hardware and therefor not implemented by default. Of course if this configuration could be relevant to a broader set of users, contributing upstream to the existing plugs is heavily encouraged.Documentation
The About plug displays system information to the user and provides several system-wide actions, such as restoring settings, reporting issues, and getting help. In addition to software information (like the OS version), it also provides a space for hardware information. By default, this is filled in with a generic image and the system’s hostname. However, OEMs can provide custom branded data for this section.
By providing an
oem.conf file, OEMs can fill in the manufacturer name, product name, model number, and manufacturer URL. An image can also be provided which replaces the generic hardware icon.
It is highly discouraged to ship elementary OS with software repositories other than the defaults in elementary OS plus a single repository provided and controlled by the OEM. Third-party repos effectively give root access and the ability to overwrite any system packages to potentially untrusted third parties. Even if the party is trustworthy, an OEM’s customer’s security and privacy are now at stake if third parties are compromised, reuse their password on multiple services, etc.
Further, if a third-party repository ever becomes unmaintained or unpublished, it may prevent normal system upgrades. This could hold back potentially serious security and stability updates from reaching the OEM’s users.
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