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why is Debian not using Ubuntu's GUI installer?

Asked by [ Editor ] , Edited by Tshepang Lekhonkhobe [ Editor ]

I am interested in technical reasons why Debian isn’t using Ubuntu’s GUI installer. Why work on a separate project? Or are the reasons purely a matter of taste?

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3 answers


helmut [ Editor ]

You could have asked for why Ubuntu isn’t using Debian’s GUI installer, too. It basically boils down to differing requirements. Ubuntu requires ease of use. Debian requires flexibility. So what does flexibility mean in practice?

  1. The Debian installer requires little memory, so it can target lower hardware.
  2. It also targets more architectures.
  3. The text UI is just a different interface for the same installer (Ubuntu does not have a text UI afaik).
  4. You can heavily customize and automatize installation using preseeding ( ).

(This list is definitely not exhaustive.)

NN comments

Ubuntu has two installers: the graphical one (called ubiquity), and an adapted version of the Debian installer, run in text mode.

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Another question as answer:

Which features has Ubuntu installer which are not in Debian installer ? If it has any awesome feature a wishlist bug should be added to b.d.o in debian-installer metapackage

One of them, I think it that you can install from live-cd. I suppose that in Debian Live this feature will be implemented in a near future.

Second point in helmut answer is the strong point here, d-i support many archs that u-i don’t.

Too with d-i you will can install (afaik)  Debian Kfreebsd


NN comments

Well, Ubuntu’s installer has the ability to resize partitions (even ntfs) before the installation. That’s a great feature

Debian installer also has that feature. Why do you mention it here? You didn’t know?

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richslxh [ Editor ]

Customization and control. The d-i Debian installer is an very underrated piece of software. You can create custom netinstall isos with practically any options you need. (language, with/without framebuffer etc).

Having worked on a few distros, there always seems to be too much emphasise on the “Desktop” gui installers. In theory, if you do things right, and you’ve found the right distro, you will only see that installer once, right? ;–) (Ubuntu)

Whereas Debian is used by Linux server Admins who do regular fresh installs on new servers and need that flexibility, especially with remote installs on varying client hardware and necessities.

Basically comparing anything Debian/Ubuntu is pointless as they are aimed at, and used by different people with different priorities.
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