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subiquity & console-conf

Ubuntu Server Installer & Snappy first boot experience

The repository contains the source for the new server installer (the "subiquity" part, aka "ubiquity for servers") and for the snappy first boot experience (the "console-conf" part).

We track bugs in Launchpad at Snappy first boot issues can also be discussed in the forum at

Our localization platform is Launchpad, translations are managed at

To update translation template in launchpad:

  • update po/ with any new files that contain translations
  • execute clean target, i.e. $ debuild -S
  • dput subiquity into Ubuntu

To export and update translations in subiquity:

Acquire subiquity from source

git clone

cd subiquity && make install_deps

Testing out the installer Text-UI (TUI)

Subiquity's text UI is available for testing without actually installing anything to a system or a VM. Subiquity developers make use of this for rapid development. After checking out subiquity you can start it:

make dryrun

All of the features are present in dry-run mode. The installer will emit its backend configuration files to /tmp/subiquity-config-* but it won't attempt to run any installer commands (which would fail without root privileges). Further, subiquity can load other machine profiles in case you want to test out the installer without having access to the machine. A few sample machine profiles are available in the repository at ./examples/ and can be loaded via the MACHINE make variable:

make dryrun MACHINE=examples/simple.json

Generating machine profiles

Machine profiles are generated from the probert tool. To collect a machine profile:

PYTHONPATH=probert ./probert/bin/probert --all > mymachine.json

Testing changes in KVM

To try out your changes for real, it is necessary to install them into an ISO. Rather than building one from scratch, it's much easier to install your version of subiquity into the daily image. Here's how to do this:

  1. Build your change into a snap:

    $ snapcraft snap --output subiquity_test.snap
  2. Grab the current version of the installer:

    $ urlbase=
    $ isoname=$(distro-info -d)-live-server-$(dpkg --print-architecture).iso
    $ zsync ${urlbase}/${isoname}.zsync
  3. Run the provided script to make a copy of the downloaded installer that has your version of subiquity:

    $ sudo ./scripts/ ${isoname} subiquity_test.snap custom.iso
  4. Boot the new iso in KVM:

    $ qemu-img create -f raw target.img 10G
    $ kvm -m 1024 -boot d -cdrom custom.iso -hda target.img -serial stdio
  5. Finally, boot the installed image:

    $ kvm -m 1024 -hda target.img -serial stdio

The first three steps are bundled into the script ./scripts/