he Canonical Design Team and therefore the Ubuntu Desktop Team are collaborating on a replacement install utility to be used within the Ubuntu desktop. The tool will use Flutter, leverage Curtin, and cash in of the trouble put into Subiquity, the new Ubuntu Server installer, and set-up tool.
Ubuntu could be Coming With A fresh Installer
But why maybe a new installer needed? What’s wrong with the present one?
Ubuntu uses the Ubiquity installer in its desktop images (as do many of the official Ubuntu flavours). First introduced in 2010, Ubiquity is functional and moderately fast, but it’s considerably of its time; i.e., its ancient codebase is claimed to be ‘cumbersome’ to figure with.
So development is underway on a leaner, faster, and more modern Ubiquity replacement.
Why make a replacement installer?
Duplication of effort may be a “meme” in open source, so if you’re sat there mouthing “what about Calameres?” (or the other well-made alternative to Ubiquity) you’re probably not alone!
Why doesn’t Ubuntu just switch to something else rather than creating its own?
Well, it comes right down to consistency and purpose. Ubuntu desktop lead Martin Wimpress says his team evaluated the (many) alternative installers and toolkits that are out there, but felt a bespoke installer experience is that the best solution. Firstly, it’ll be ready to adapt “across the Ubuntu product portfolio”, secondly it can use Ubuntu’s Yaru design language, and thirdly, it’ll be easier to create because of Curtin and Subiquity.
Plus, a start-over gives devs the prospect to built-in support for other forms of features that Ubuntu’s users (who span desktop, enterprise, and server don’t forget) need in 2021, e.g., ZFS support, repair options, GRUB rescue, advanced partitioning, etc.
“Consolidating the installer for server and desktop on common technologies will mean we will deliver a uniform, robust, installation experience across the Ubuntu family and focus our efforts on maintaining one code base,” Ubuntu desktop lead Martin Wimpress explains.
The Ubiquity installer isn’t going anywhere, mind. it’ll handle new installs of Ubuntu 21.04 (releasing this April), and remain within the Ubuntu archive beyond this date (meaning users and official flavours can still use it if they want).
Available to undertake in Ubuntu 21.10?
Users can expect to undertake the new installer by the time Ubuntu 21.10 arrives. this could give developers ample time to check the tech “in production” and choose whether it’s robust enough to feature it within the next long-term support (LTS) release.