Graphical Installer



Improve the Ubuntu installer to incorporate a graphical user interface


Two options for a graphical installer were considered:

  1. Graphical d-i
    • Debian community momentum
    • Shares maximum code with the existing installer
    • Lower memory requirements (doesn't involve starting a full desktop first)
    • Improved infrastructure allows improvements in text-based installer too
    • More flexibility for non-default installs (e.g. server mode)
    • Partial automatic installs are easy (e.g. for customers who want to preseed parts of the installation)
  2. Casper (live CD) based installer
    • Development in high-level languages (fewer space constraints)
    • Full X environment and toolkits
    • Core install process is much simpler and faster (copying files rather than installing packages)
    • Single CD (no confusion between CDs, cost savings for shipit)
    • Multitasking (e.g., get help with installation)

Scope and Use Cases

See UbuntuExpress.

Implementation Plan

While graphical extensions to d-i would be useful in the future, our primary focus for a graphical installer is the desktop user. For this use case, an installer based on the live CD will generally be acceptable, as the extra flexibility of the normal installer is often not required. As such, we will focus on the casper-based approach. See UbuntuExpress for a specification of this development work.

It will still be useful to ship a single CD that can be used for server installations. The amount of extra space required for this is relatively small (around 70MB). Therefore, we will add the base system packages and the required additional installer components to the live CD. As well as trimming optional components such as the Windows applications and language packs, it may be necessary to move to 700MB CDs. If we leave the installation CD at 650MB, we will still have a fallback option for older systems.

Our DVD images will remain as combined images including both the traditional installer and the live system.

Data Preservation and Migration

Packages Affected

casper, and others affected by UbuntuExpress

User Interface Requirements

Outstanding Issues

UDU BOF Agenda

UDU Pre-Work

UbuntuDownUnder/BOFs/GraphicalInstaller (last edited 2008-08-06 16:39:57 by localhost)