Future Tech

Ubuntu, Kubuntu, and openSUSE to get better installation

Tan KW
Publish date: Thu, 22 Feb 2024, 06:30 PM
Tan KW
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Future Tech

Installation remains a pain point for many Linux distros, but everyone is working hard on it. Some of those efforts are bearing fruit… but not all of them.

Ubuntu's next LTS version, 24.04, is taking shape. As we mentioned back in October, it is codenamed Noble Numbat. This release will have the new installer, "Subiquity," based on Google's Flutter framework, as described on Reg sister site Devclass.

Canonical has been working on Subiquity for a few years now - we reported on it in 2021, as well as on its absence from 22.04. Linux specialist Phoronix reports that the latest Noble daily builds now supports GNOME's accessibility tools within the installer.

This is a welcome improvement: many people with disabilities have lower incomes, and Ubuntu remains one of the dominant free OSes. This is especially timely as Windows 10 approaches end of life, since Windows 11 won't run on many older PCs. Many users will need a free alternative to retain perfectly usable older kit. (For context, the Reg FOSS desk is writing this article on a laptop model released in 2011.)

One group of Ubuntu users who won't see this, though, are KDE fans favoring Kubuntu. Earlier this month we reported that Kubuntu 24.04 will use KDE Plasma 5.27, but another line in the announcement slipped beneath our attention: Kubuntu "Noble" will switch to the Calamares cross-distro installer. The Lubuntu flavor of Ubuntu has used this for years, as the Lubuntu "Noble" announcement explains.

The Calamares project just released version 3.3.2, with improvements for disk partitioning and network setup. Since Calamares 3.3, it has supported Qt 6, the toolkit used in KDE Plasma 6, which is expected in about a week's time. The latest edition removes support for older versions of Qt 5 except for the final 5.15 release.

SUSE and the openSUSE community are also working on a new installer, as we reported in late 2022. This is codenamed Agama, and the team just published its 2024 roadmap, as summarized in the latest openSUSE News post. Agama has thus far used elements from the Cockpit project, a web-based admin tool for Linux that is sponsored by Red Hat.

This is going away. The Agama team said:

The team describes its plans in detail on Github.

Another project using Cockpit as a basis for building a web-driven installation program is Fedora, although when we tried it last September we had some serious issues running it under VirtualBox. It now seems that will not feature in Fedora 40. The Fedora Engineering and Steering Committee has been discussing this issue:

FESCo has now decided that the new webUI will be postponed until Fedora 41. Changes are always disruptive to users familiar with older methods, and this seems like a pragmatic choice for what could potentially be a destructive action. ®

 

https://www.theregister.com//2024/02/22/distro_installer_news_roundup/

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