I'm writing a shell script that automatically installs some drivers and programs that depend on each other sequentially, which are required to run the main application. After each successful installation, the computer needs to reboot before the next program can be installed.

I have tried to make the script as easy to use as possible, for example the script automates the reboot process and deletes itself after completion. Once the script is executed, the user can basically grab a cup of coffee and chill for 15 minutes until it is completed.

Still, I'm concerned about whether it will make a difference in the user's decision to install the main app if the script didn't require those restarts.


Avoid Multiple Reboots When Possible

  • In general, no more than one reboot should be needed. Install "almost everything" and set the reboot to handle fitting the last few pieces in place that can't be done while the operating system or older application is running
  • Even antivirus programs, which require very high integration with the operating system, can typically be done with one reboot, and sometimes none at all
  • Every reboot raises the perceived risk of "what if something goes wrong and my system won't reboot properly", a fear that has been fed by numerous legitimate Windows updates that don't work properly
  • Many users are used to ignoring the request to reboot since many applications say they need a reboot but work fine without a reboot.

In general, most applications should NOT need even one reboot. The primary exceptions are:

  • Low-level hardware device drivers (e.g., hard disk, video)
  • Antivirus, firewall and other security software
  • Operating system updates
  • Software that responds to remote actions - e.g., scanning software for a network-connected (as opposed to USB) scanner that can be triggered from a button on the scanner. Actually, this type of software should not require a reboot, but often it does (IMHO due to poor design).
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Yes, it's an inconvenience. I think most people are annoyed when even just ONE restart is required. If you can clearly communicate to your users upfront why these multiple restarts are required, maybe it won't be an issue, so it isn't a surprise at least. But obviously, if you can have the app install fully with only one restart, that would be preferable. But that is more of a programming question.

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