Discover Agama: openSUSE’s ALP release’s next-gen installer. A successor to YaST, it promises a refined installation experience.
The installer is your first handshake with a distribution, making it a crucial aspect of the user experience. But why is it so important? Above all, it sets the tone. A smooth, intuitive installation can attract and retain users.
On top of that, an effective installer ensures that users of all levels, from novices to experts, can efficiently set up their systems. In other words, inclusivity in the installation process widens the user base.
In this regard, openSUSE’s drive to enhance the user experience. Enter Agama, the next-generation installer set to (probably) debut in openSUSE’s ALP releases.
Initially known as “D-Installer,” which we agree sounds slightly confusing, Agama is a new Linux installer still in development by openSUSE’s YaST team. Its features include:
- Integration with third-party applications
- The ability to create sophisticated user interfaces on top of it
If you’re a long-time openSUSE user, the first question that comes to mind is, “Why a new installer? Isn’t YaST good enough?” We’ll answer those questions like this.
YaST is a fantastic installer with over 20 years of proven reliability. And it is still the primary tool SUSE and openSUSE distribution installers use. However, despite its undeniable qualities, times are changing, and technology is evolving.
In light of this, YaST is finding it more and more difficult to get around the following challenges:
- YaST has a complex structure and excessive technical debt in its code base.
- Designing and building sophisticated, modern user interfaces takes a lot of work.
- It is pretty hard to share logic with other third-party tools.
- It isn’t easy to contribute to the project because it uses some in-house solutions like LibYUI.
But most of all, ALP (Adaptable Linux Platform) is looming on the horizon, which will be the next turning point in openSUSE’s evolution. So, to address the needs and challenges that ALP will bring up, Agama is being built with that in mind entirely.
On the technical side, it comprises a web client, a command-line interface, and a collection of D-Bus services. Under the hood, the services leverage YaST-based libraries, which reuse many of YaST’s preexisting functionality.
Moreover, implementing a new, improved, and more modern installer is a trend that has been massively followed in the last year by all leading Linux distributions.
For example, the just-released Ubuntu 23.10 now relies on its brand-new Flutter-based installer. Debian has improved its installer in the Bookworm release, and Fedora is also hard at work on their new web-based one. So, openSUSE also keeps up with this effort to address evolving user needs and face technical challenges.
Lastly, in the true spirit of open source, openSUSE is asking for feedback and thoughts from its community to help improve the Agama installer’s concept. Read more about it here. The most impatient can download a preview of the upcoming installer here.
For any in-depth details, visit the project’s GitHub repository.