Ubuntu plan to release a new minimal ISO as part of the upcoming Ubuntu 23.04 release.
While there’s nothing to download or test (yet – that I’m aware of) a good overview of the project was shared on the Ubuntu developer mailing list at the weekend. Interestingly, the effort is being headed up by Dan Bungert, the maintainer of Subiquity, which is the tech underpinning Ubuntu’s new Flutter-based installer).
“The ubuntu-mini-iso is a small bootable iso that can be either downloaded and used on a CD/USB-drive or even via UEFI HTTP that brings up a dynamic TUI menu of what Ubuntu images you want to download/install to your target system,” Canonical’s Lukasz Zemczak explains.
“It uses simplestreams to select which images, so it’ll be quite customizable regarding the selection. The difference is that it then downloads the iso-of-interest into memory and chain-boots into it, allowing the installation of any image as one would normally do.”
Sounds pretty interesting, right?
Further posts say the mini ISO should be around 140MiB in size, though it could even be smaller (the current bulk is “dominated by use of the existing Ubuntu initrd with a few things added on top”). Notably, this ISO will be officially supported and tested, unlike previous Ubuntu Mini ISOs (which work differently too).
There is also some discussion about whether the TUI (that’s ‘terminal user interface’, if you’re unfamiliar with it) that the user interacts with to selecting their desired image could also be used to list Ubuntu flavors, making the mini ISO more versatile.
Now, nothing about this 100% concrete as of writing. If this marvellous-sounding mini ISO doesn’t manage to materialise in a few months then please: don’t get miserly.
That said, things do sound promising.
I reckon this mini ISO could prove a massive highlight of the Lunar release.