Ubuntu development team has revealed that they plan to work on a new, modern installer created using Flutter. You won’t see it in Ubuntu 21.04, though.

When introduced more than a decade back, the Ubiquity installer from Ubuntu was an instant hit for its simplicity and modern (at its time) looks.

Over the time, the Ubiquity installer saw many face lifts but the code base at the core remained the same. And that’s what become a problem.

New installer on a new code base for adding new features

Ubuntu desktop lead Martin Wimpress mentions that the legacy code base of Ubiquity installer has become bulky and difficult to manage, specially for adding new features. And this is why they are looking to build a new installer.

While still functional, Ubiquity hasn’t seen significant feature development for some years and due to its legacy is becoming cumbersome to maintain.

Martin Wimpress, Ubuntu Desktop Lead

Ubuntu server, on the other hand, started using a new text-based installer Subiquity which is based on curtin.

Ubuntu dev team plans to utilize this with Flutter to give you a new installer that is more consistent across the Ubuntu universe.

If you are not aware, Flutter is an open source UI framework from Google. Ubuntu is already working with Google and Flutter. With Flutter, the installer should definitely have a look more suited for the 2020s.

Flutter is a great Open Source technology to deliver highly optimised desktop applications for Linux. We will leverage existing work of the Yaru team to ensure the new installer is consistent with the Ubuntu desktop style

Looks are not the only thing here. Since it’s not using the legacy code base anymore, adding new features is easier now. One of the proposed plan is to add a ‘repair’ option and I am sure a lot of Ubuntu users will be thankful for it, if it works properly.

The GitHub repository for the project has been created and the initial source code is already available for those interested.

When will the new Ubuntu installer be available?

For sure not in Ubuntu 21.04. The plan is to make it ready for Ubuntu 21.10 which will be in October this year. This gives Ubuntu dev team a good chance to test it out ahead of the next LTS release of Ubuntu 22.04 in April, 2022.

The Ubiquity installer won’t be discontinued immediately. It will remain available in the Ubuntu archive for official flavors, remixes or derivatives to continue using in their images.

Is the new Ubuntu installer a good idea?

In my opinion, it is. Change is inevitable after all and since the new installer will be bringing new features along with the new looks, it should be a positive change.

What do you think?