Ubuntu 24.04 LTS Aims For A Nice Desktop Provisioning Experience

Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 4 February 2024 at 08:45 AM EST. 13 Comments
In addition to exploring low-latency changes for the "generic" kernel image, frame pointers by default, and possible x86-64-v3 optimizations, another area being invested into feature work for this next long-term support release is on the desktop provisioning side. Building off work of their new Ubuntu desktop installer and unifying the installation tech that has already been used by Ubuntu Server, Canonical is hoping for a nice desktop provisioning experience in facilitating automated installations, managed desktop setups within enterprises, and OEM/ODM deployments.

Canonical's Tim Holmes-Mitra outlined this week the plans for provisioning with the Ubuntu 24.04 LTS as a "top priority" at the company. He explained:
"In Ubuntu 24.04 LTS provisioning is a top priority. The concept of provisioning – preparing and equipping a system for use – is particularly crucial now that we’ve aligned the Ubuntu desktop installer’s backend with that of Ubuntu Server. This alignment not only streamlines our development processes but also introduces features to desktop users that were previously exclusive to server environments. This change enables us to better address the needs of modern OEMs and managed environments – key stakeholders in Ubuntu’s ecosystem and crucial to its longevity. By evolving from installation to provisioning, we aim to offer a more robust, efficient, and versatile experience, ensuring Ubuntu continues to meet the evolving demands of all our users."

As part of the provisioning effort, they are working on generating Ubuntu ISO images via Imagecraft, improve the first boot initialization process, and providing various new hooks around provisioning and adapting to different use-cases. More details can be found via this Ubuntu Discourse post. As part of that they also showed off some new work-in-progress UI screens for the provisioning/installation process:

Ubuntu desktop provisioning, Canonical screenshots WIP

This post today outlines more of their ongoing work for Ubuntu desktop provisioning. The new code is being hosted via canonical/ubuntu-desktop-provision on GitHub.
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