Rethinking Ubuntu Desktop: a more thoughtful default installation

What is your prospective about making gufw into a Snap?

I don’t see why not … someone simply has to do it though :slight_smile:


Some thoughts not organised in any particular way (not talking about LibreOffice and Thunderbird because everything I’d say has pretty much already been said in this thread) -

I don’t mind the removal of Shotwell because its UI doesn’t match the current GNOME design language, so it feels out of place. Photo gallery apps have fairly limited appeal on the desktop especially today when most people take pictures on their phones and that’s where they stay. I’m someone who does use a “proper” camera, and I’ve always just used the file manager to organise my photos rather than Shotwell, digiKam, etc.

While both macOS and Windows include music library apps, I do support the removal of Rhythmbox for one reason alone - the UI is grossly outdated, even more than Shotwell’s. Unfortunately, there’s no real replacement for it - GNOME’s Music app is barely maintained and ridiculously under-developed. Just a few of its problems: it still lacks a volume slider, still can’t directly open files from Nautilus, and still doesn’t let you change where it searches for music files.

Using Totem for opening audio files is meh - yes it “works”, but the visible app name is “Videos”, it opens maximised which is annoying, and its developers have made it clear multiple times that they don’t really like it being used for audio files. Amberol might be a good choice for a replacement - it’s a dedicated audio player, but not a full library management app. It’s part of the “GNOME Circle” set of apps, which means it matches GNOME’s design language and it looks great!

File Roller was recently ported to GTK 4, but still doesn’t support drag-and-drop to Nautilus, which is disappointing. I don’t mind it being removed.

There’s another thread here proposing the inclusion of gnome-sushi by default, and I agree it should be. It’s been a part of the GNOME core set since 2011 and provides an easy-to-use preview function when you select a file and press the space bar, just like Quick Look on macOS. Nautilus lacks a preview function of its own, so having gnome-sushi would be nice.

GNOME 45 replaces EOG with a new app called Loupe, and Cheese is to be replaced with a new app called Snapshot. Will these be packaged for Ubuntu 23.10?

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this looks perfect. It should be in categories (for example: Office Work - Choose your software: Libreoffice, Onlyoffice, etc…)

Well what about changing the category of “custom install” into a “Welcome Screen”?
So after the complete/minimal installation of Ubuntu, the user would get a welcome screen providing him with some information and settings (for example setup night mode, setup back ups, install 3rd party software, install popular software)
Then under (Install popular software) we can have categories for Browsers, Office Suits, etc…

That makes sense, but the advantage of a custom installation category is that it would allow an installation without a graphical interface, or even choose another interface. It would also allow for a really minimal installation, so that users could customize for the projects they want.

What are you talking about? This isn’t even Ubuntu-related.

I have a proposition: We could put:

In the first boot of an OEM install, we could put a choose your own apps in the setup screen after the account creation if the user is connected to the internet.

In the install on your own computer installation type of thing, we could put the advanced installation feature. This would be very useful for OEM’s like Dell who want to tweak the software for their purposes and for those users who like to customize their installations.

First of all, I appreciate this proactive and forward-thinking initiative, which I believe is vital for Ubuntu’s evolution and growth. After reading your post, I’d like to propose an idea that, while somewhat radical, I believe could be transformative for Ubuntu.

In my opinion, traditional desktop and email clients can be foregone entirely. Instead, I’d suggest directly partnering with Microsoft and Google to incorporate their web-based productivity tools into Ubuntu/Gnome. This integration would result in a streamlined, modern experience for users who are already leveraging these popular productivity tools.

For instance, as an Office 365 user, the absence of a reliable OneDrive client in Ubuntu is quite apparent. Wouldn’t it be incredible if we could interact with local files using the web-based Office 365 suite? The integration of the Outlook calendar into Gnome would also be a significant convenience.

Not only would this approach greatly enhance the user experience for many Ubuntu users, but it could also serve as a new revenue stream for Canonical. The possibility of selling subscriptions to Office 365 or Google Workspace through Ubuntu could provide a win-win situation for both Ubuntu and the users.

I understand this is quite a departure from the norm, but given the increasing prevalence of cloud-based productivity tools and the current trends in the software landscape, I think it’s an idea worth considering.

Looking forward to the evolution of Ubuntu Desktop!

A big reduction in ISO size is coming soon. Anyone interested can subscribe to


Checkout the server installation. I think that broadly does what you’re describing?

Its not in the “installer” because that doesn’t help OEM provisioned machines. 23.10 won’t see such a view but will have a reworked “welcome” experience. Hopefully for 24.04, we’ll have something similar to what you’re describing.

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I agree and disagree :slight_smile:

I think we need to do a lot more to make PWAs act like first-class applications on the desktop; privacy and performance considerations to the side for now.

You semi-get this experience if you use Chrome and then “install” the desktop app which gives you a launcher for that application, it runs in its own window, and you can super+tab to it. Iirc Web use to support this as well but not sure if its still there.

So I disagree because don’t think something like this should come out of the box, but I agree that we should have first-class support for this experience (macOS is getting ready to roll out in Somona.

Yes with the server installation this is possible. However, a user may not want to set up a server, and therefore does not have the need to go through some steps more for a server. Besides, of course, some packages suggested for installation are essentially for servers.

I still think it would be beneficial to have this custom option that was mentioned above, similar to what is possible to do in Debian, OpenSuse, and other distros.

This would not bring more complexity to someone who simply wants to install a standard desktop, and would give more freedom to a slightly more advanced user. Ubuntu also needs to attract advanced users to the project.


For me, having the option for a fully featured OS (Out Of The Box) was gold. This said, I also respect the other views of having a leaner installation option.

So I agree with the other poster who suggested we have a full installation, minimal option, and custom option. This would meet the needs of those who want a fully featured out of the box option, minimalistic approach, and a custom designed installation.


Thanks for replying, I honestly didn’t expect you to.

To some extened you do, I miss one thing, and that’s a “tray icon” and “minimize to tray” rather than closing the PWA.

It would be a game-changer to have this “out of the box” in Ubuntu. One of Ubuntu’s biggest hurdles in terms of adoption is that the productivity tools people expect aren’t available.

True story, I once gave my sister a laptop with Ubuntu for schoolwork, but she didn’t want to use it because “LibreOffice is ugly” (her words). She would rather use pen and paper than Ubuntu and LibreOffice, and it’s hard to argue against that because LibreOffice indeed has an unappealing interface and ugly default stylings. Moreover, the other office suites available for the Linux desktop lack what LibreOffice offers in terms of compatibility.

Google Workspace and Microsoft Office 365 are industry standards. Why not add first-class support for those office suites right out of the box?

Check out this merge request regarding adding basic support for OneDrive to Gnome, literally nothing happens: I think this is because the only entities capable of bringing these features are commercial Linux desktop vendors like Canonical.

I would pay for an Ubuntu Pro subscription if features like these were supported.

Unfortunately, I don’t believe that independent open-source communities like LibreOffice and Gnome will ever improve user experience and functionality in these regards.

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I think you’ve made a solid point here so thanks for raising it.

I’d love something in the initialisation step to facilitate this … as simple as toggling gsuite on/off or o365 on/off or etc.

We’ll need to do more thinking on this though because the devil is always in the details!


Thank you for listening. :slight_smile:

Perhaps Gnome Online Accounts could be the ideal place for this?

Regarding Office 365, you might want to take a look at this repository, particularly at who the author is: There might be some useful insights there.

I’ve been thinking about creating a small agent that would seamlessly move files to my OneDrive folder when I double-click them or by adding context menus in Nautilus to facilitate this. Then, the agent would launch Office 365 in either a browser or via an Electron wrapper, similar to the one mentioned above.

But I’m confident that you guys could build something even more awesome.

like simplifying installation, and reducing the time it takes for users to go from installation to productivity.

I have wanted this for as long as I have been using Ubuntu (and it goes a long time back :slight_smile: )
If the installer would be so kind to automagically insert all the options for me it would make it less likely for me to mess it up.

I would not mind if the installer also would fetch my wifi connection and make it connect (it is always a hassle to find and insert my password :slight_smile:

Further down the road, we could offer app bundles, curated experiences, or even the possibility for users to provide their own list of apps

I love this. And I would love to see the installer to be remade into an aggregate of what we all remove and install after installation. An ISO by popular demand.

Another cool option to have would be a checkbox to have it install the software currently installed. Almost always is the new install newer versions of the software. Most of us will fall back to the software we like and used in the previous version.


BAOBAB reappeared in today ISO ???
In the live ISO I find Gparted, please don’t remove in the installed system.
I install in English language with Italian keyboard and local, please don’t remove Italian language during install.