The current Ubuntu Desktop installer, Ubiquity, dates back to 2006. While still functional, Ubiquity hasn’t seen significant feature development for some years and due to its legacy is becoming cumbersome to maintain. Meanwhile, a new installer for Ubuntu Server has been developed, called Subiquity, which uses curtin.
Consolidating the installer for server and desktop on common technologies will mean we can deliver a consistent, robust, installation experience across the Ubuntu family and focus our efforts on maintaining a single code base.
The development process for the new desktop installer is being led by the Canonical Design Team and Ubuntu Desktop Team. Both teams have a wealth of experience navigating the challenges presented when installing a modern operating system.
We have started working on the new desktop installer, and plan to have a preliminary version ready for testing in the 21.10 release; due in October 2021. This paves the way to transitioning to the new installer for the next LTS release, which will be 22.04, due for release in April 2022.
The Ubiquity installer will remain available in the Ubuntu archive for official flavours, remixes or derivatives to continue using in their images.
We have evaluated existing desktop installer projects and toolkits. Our goal is to deliver a consistent installer experience across the Ubuntu product portfolio. Flutter is a great Open Source technology to deliver highly optimised desktop applications for Linux. We will leverage existing work of the Yaru team to ensure the new installer is consistent with the Ubuntu desktop style.
Creating a new desktop installer gives us the opportunity to revisit what features are most desirable to our community and enterprise customers. We have scoped the initial functional requirements, but welcome your feedback and contributions for the capabilities most important to you, your flavour, derivative or organisation.
Here are some early prototype screenshots:
Here are links to the new desktop installer and associated technologies. We’ll share more details as the project develops.