Ubuntu's New Installer Taking Shape Nicely For Ubuntu 23.04

Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 2 January 2023 at 09:54 AM EST. 28 Comments
A new Ubuntu desktop installer has been talked about going back many years and over the past two years has been focused on providing a rewritten installer making use of Subiquity and Flutter. With Ubuntu 23.04 "Lunar Lobster" in April that new desktop installer is poised to finally be used by default.

When testing some Ubuntu 23.04 daily builds over the holidays on various test systems, I was pleased to see the new installer finally being used by default... This is making use of the Subiquity/Curtin install tech already used by Ubuntu Server and leveraging Google's Flutter SDK for the user-interface.

Previously this new installer was available via an alternate ISO while the latest Ubuntu 23.04 daily builds are using it by default in place of the older Ubiquity with GTK interface.

The user interface in my opinion is pleasant and subtly improved over the older Ubiquity installer.

Compared to the initial language selection at the start, it would seem they could better integrate the keyboard layout selection with that language page rather than splitting it out to two pages?

The workflow and functionality is much the same as with the prior Ubiquity installer.

The standard Ubuntu Linux desktop install can be selected or the minimal installation as well as opting for proprietary graphics drivers and WiFi support at install-time along with extra multimedia codecs.

By default Ubuntu 23.04 continues targeting EXT4 as the default file-system choice.

The "advanced features" for the installation type are just about opting for LVM if desired and in particular to setup full disk encryption for Ubuntu Linux. Notably absent from the "advanced features" area is the optional OpenZFS for the root file-system if desired, as has been available with Ubiquity in the past. It seems Canonical is no longer interested in OpenZFS for Ubuntu at least on the desktop side and it's been a long while since hearing them talking about OpenZFS + Ubuntu possibilities.

It would be nice if the advanced features area made it easier for users to opt-in to using Btrfs or F2FS, but they can be setup via the "something else" area albeit not as quickly/conveniently.

Overall the Flutter-based UI felt subtly refined compared to the long-used Ubiquity installer.

The process remained quick and easy.

One addition that some users will enjoy is that from the installer is now the ability to immediately select whether you want your Ubuntu 23.04 desktop with a light theme or dark theme preference.

That's where things stand as of the start of January with the latest Ubuntu 23.04 daily ISOs with the new installer. It will be interesting to see what further refinements are made to the installer for the Ubuntu 23.04 "Lunar Lobster" ahead of its April release.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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