Ubuntu installer slideshow

  • Personal project

Ubiquity Slideshow is a simple presentation that appears while users install the Ubuntu operating system. The project aims to encourage and inspire people so they are more comfortable using the system. I created it with the help of some talented designers in the Ubuntu community.

The slideshow has been included since Ubuntu 9.10, shipping to millions of users. It is implemented as HTML and JavaScript, embedded in the installer using WebkitGTK.

The project has seen many contributors through its life and it also includes slideshows for different Ubuntu flavours such as Xubuntu and Kubuntu. The project’s build system uses po4a, so it is easy for translators to localize the slideshow through Launchpad’s web interface for translations. The slideshow currently supports over 50 languages.

At this point, the design and copy is contributed by Canonical’s design team. I implemented those designs and I wrote code to fit the pieces together — always making sure slideshows are easy to create. Since I wandered off to other places, I have enjoyed watching this project from the sidelines. I am glad that it is generally running fine: people know how to continue maintaining it so Ubuntu makes a good first impression, and it appears to be relatively trouble-free.

Working on the slideshow gave me a wonderful opportunity to interact with different people in the Ubuntu community, and I greatly enjoyed it.