Trying Out The New Ubuntu 10.10 Installer
Following last week's Ubuntu 10.10 Alpha 3 release but landing before the Ubuntu 10.10 "Maverick Meerkat" feature freeze this week were a number of last-minute features like X Server 1.9 integration and other updated packages along with the committing of the revamped Ubuntu desktop installer to Maverick. Via this revamped Ubuntu installer it's possible to install proprietary bits directly like support for MP3 audio files and proprietary graphics drivers.
Using this new installer for Ubuntu 10.10 also supports specifying network connection information for easy wireless setup and Ubuntu package updates can also be installed automatically. We tried out this new installer over the weekend using an Ubuntu daily LiveCD. Ubuntu's alternate/server installer is unchanged.
Our initial testing of this installer found it to still be incomplete, but there's still two months for it to be completed and polished. Those interested in trying out the latest Ubuntu 10.10 development snapshot can fetch it here or wait around until the Ubuntu 10.10 Beta release in early September.
Sadly, two items still lacking from this new Ubuntu installer is the ability to install to an encrypted LVM, which has been a feature of the Ubuntu alternate installer for three years now since the Ubuntu 7.10 release (instead the desktop installer continues to be limited to setting up an encrypted home folder), and installing to a root Btrfs file-system, which was a feature introduced to Ubuntu Maverick's alternate/server CD installer.