First Look at Ubuntu 23.04’s Brand-New Desktop Installer Written in Flutter

Ubuntu 23.04 (Lunar Lobster) is expected to hit the streets on April 20th, 2023.
Ubuntu New Installer

With the upcoming Ubuntu 23.04 (Lunar Lobster) release, Canonical is finally ready to deploy its brand-new installer for the Ubuntu Desktop flavor written in Google’s Flutter UI SDK for mass consumption.

The first week of February 2023 marks two years since Canonical announced that the Ubuntu development team is working on a new installer for the Ubuntu Desktop flavor to finally replace the Ubiquity installer.

The new installer aims to provide a modern implementation of the Ubuntu Desktop installer and uses the Ubuntu Server Installer (subiquity) as a backend and Flutter, an open-source UI software development kit created by Google, for the graphical user interface.

The new Flutter-based installer has been around for a while now, but you had to download a special ISO image that was only available in Ubuntu’s daily-canary builds. But, with the upcoming Ubuntu 23.04 release, the new installer will finally be enabled by default.

Apart from having a modern and pretty user interface, the new installer starts won’t look much different from the old installer, but there are a few interesting things added, such as the ability to connect to a Wi-Fi network and to choose between using the Light or Dark theme for the installed system.

The keyboard and timezone selection, disk partitioning, as well as user setup look pretty much the same. One thing I noticed is that there’s no Active Directory support in the new installer and I have no idea if Canonical plans to implement it before Ubuntu 23.04 hits the streets. The ability to download updates during the installation is also missing, for now.

For now, the installation slideshow is unchanged from the old Ubiquity installer since the Lunar Lobster daily builds are still based on the previous release, Ubuntu 22.10 (Kinetic Kudu). But I really like the “Installation complete” screen, which now also offers the option to shut down the system.

I know for a fact that some users out there don’t agree with Canonical writing the new Ubuntu Desktop installer in Flutter instead of GTK4, but I have to admit that it looks and feels great and it’s a welcome addition that would probably make Ubuntu more attractive to Linux newcomers.

If you want to give the new installer a try, you can download the latest Ubuntu 23.04 daily builds from here. Just keep in mind that these are pre-release versions of the OS, so don’t install them on a production machine.

Last updated 1 year ago

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