Fedora's New Web-Based Installer UI Is Shaping Up Nicely

Written by Michael Larabel in Red Hat on 10 February 2023 at 05:55 AM EST. 35 Comments
Red Hat engineers have been working on a new web-based user-interface for Fedora's installer for more than on year now and it's been worked into good shape while still not at feature parity to the Anaconda installer with its GTK interface. Martin Kolman presented at FOSDEM last weekend on Fedora's new installer UI to offer insight into their motives for making it web-based and what work remains.

As for the Fedora installer deciding to go for a web-based UI, it was attributed to lightening the dependence on the X.Org Server, moving away from "outdated tech" like GTK3, inefficient and insecure remote access with VNC, and the "clear trend" for system management tooling moving to being web-based.around the Cockpit project. With being web-based it's "easier to achieve consistency", can make use of modern and widely-used tools and libraries, and can provide more secure and efficient remote access.

Fedora Web UI Installer

Since Fedora 37 there has been an unofficial ISO image that features this web UI. Those interested can find it here.

For displaying the Web UI locally they have been deciding between GTK3 WebKit and Firefox. With GTK3 WebKit it's smaller and with less RAM usage but worse performance and no acceleration. Firefox is larger and with increased RAM usage but uniform performance. Those working on the Fedora installer have also been working through remote connection security, more advanced storage configuration options, and implementing other functionality into the web UI that isn't currently wired up.

Fedora Web UI Installer

We'll see if by Fedora 39 later in the year if the new UI is ready to take over or it will drag on longer before seeing all of the features wired up into the new UI for hitting parity to the GTK3-based Anaconda. Those wishing to learn more about the Fedora Web UI Installer effort can see Kolman's presentation embedded below along with the slide deck.
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