During the installation process from the Live or Alternate disc, the installer queries the Apt repository. In the case of the Alternate installer, you are prompted for an optional proxy for the installer to use to get to the official Apt repository.
It would be good to be able to specify an optional alternate location to access the Apt repository, eg: a local portable hard-drive, or your own personal server on your local network with a mirror of the official repository, without having to wait until installation has finished before you can reconfigure your setup to use your preferred local repository.
In the Live installer, it could simply be a text box somewhere to enter in an optional repository URI, eg: file://media/disk/myrepo/ubuntu or http://mirror.mydomain.com/ubuntu
and in the Alternate installer, you could ask it when the proxy question is asked in an expanded dialog box.
If the URI specified fails or is left blank, then the installer proceeds using the default "factory" repository as currently employed by Ubuntu.
If the URI provided is successful, then the /etc/apt/sources.list file could be automatically populated by default with the URI specified during installation instead of the usual one.
- The user has an up-to-date local repository.
- The user has all the required sub-sections present in that repository, ie: hardy, hardy-updates, hardy-security, hardy-proposed, hardy-backports, hardy-partner.
- Saves a little time installing, especially for those with slow Internet access.
- Saves a little time reconfiguring for a local repository after installation because it's now done for you.
- Streamlines updates upon first boot - go straight to the Update Manager, knowing that all the updates will come from your selected URI.
- Could potentially reduce traffic on the official parent and child mirrors.
- May potentially confuse novice users who think something NEEDS to be specified. Perhaps only offer this option on the Alternate installer?