Great news! The new Ubuntu 23.10 is now available for download

Exciting news for Ubuntu users! The latest version, Ubuntu 23.10, is now available for download

"Hey, guess what? You can now get your hands on Ubuntu 23.10, nicknamed 'Mantic Minotaur'. Time to dive in and check it out!"

This particular release is supported for a period of 9 months, which means it will receive ongoing bug fixes, security updates, and critical application enhancements during this time. Keep in mind that while this support period might seem short, the next long-term support release, Ubuntu 24.04, is set to arrive in April 2024 and will offer a generous 5 years of support.

In terms of user experience, Ubuntu 23.10 can be best described as a refinement of the previous version. The GNOME 45 interface update is a key highlight, bringing several improvements to the overall desktop experience. Some of these enhancements include better window tiling, a sleeker web browser, and the introduction of a couple of new apps built with Flutter technology. Moreover, the software lineup that comes preinstalled with Ubuntu has undergone a significant overhaul, focusing on including only the most essential tools and applications.

On a technical level, Ubuntu 23.10 operates on the Linux kernel 6.5 and incorporates Mesa 23.2 graphics drivers, with the added convenience of in-distribution access to proprietary NVIDIA drivers for users who require them. Additionally, developers can benefit from updated tooling, toolchains, and programming packages that are necessary for their projects and applications.

One of the most notable changes in this release is the default installation option.

 The default install now features a minimal setup, meaning that the installation process will only include fundamental utilities such as a web browser, text editor, and terminal. This streamlined setup aims to provide users with a lighter initial system, allowing them to add additional software as per their requirements.

GNOME 45 Enhancements

Delving into the improvements in the GNOME 45 interface, users will notice a dynamic workspace indicator in the top-left corner, which replaces the previous static 'Activities' label. This dynamic indicator elegantly displays the active workspace and smoothly animates transitions between workspaces. Users can also utilize the indicator as a button, enabling them to access the workspace switcher by clicking on it.

Furthermore, navigating the Quick Settings menu has been made more convenient with the addition of the super + s keyboard shortcut. This minor but time-saving adjustment can significantly enhance the overall user experience. Additionally, the Quick Settings menu now incorporates a keyboard backlight toggle, which appears only when supported hardware is present. Users can easily control the keyboard backlight by toggling it on or off, or adjusting the brightness using the provided slider in the sub-menu.

Another significant improvement can be seen in several core GNOME applications, such as Nautilus, Settings, and Characters, all of which now feature full-height sidebars. This aesthetic upgrade not only contributes to a more visually appealing interface but also enhances the applications' adaptability as users resize them.

Specifically focusing on the Nautilus file manager, Ubuntu 23.10 introduces a notable performance boost, enabling the application to deliver search results within milliseconds, even when dealing with folders containing a substantial amount of content. Furthermore, users can expect a notable improvement in file thumbnail generation speed. The addition of a 'search everywhere' button facilitates an instant expansion of search locations, ensuring a more efficient and comprehensive file search experience.

New Ubuntu Features and Apps

Guess what's new in Ubuntu 23.10? They've made it super easy to organize your windows just how you like them. Now, you can split your screen into quarters or halves with the Tiling Assistant extension. It even pops up to help you out!

There's also a new and sleek App Center to manage all your software needs. It works faster than before, letting you browse, search, and install different apps, whether they're Snap apps or Deb packages.

Additionally, they've included a tool to update the firmware on your devices. This way, you can keep everything running smoothly with the latest updates from the LVFS.

Just remember, the new App Center and Firmware Updater tools are part of Snaps, so if you remove Snapd, they'll go too.

If you have a super high-resolution screen, you'll notice that Firefox looks extra sharp now. It's all thanks to the Wayland mode it runs in by default. Plus, it's more touch-friendly for those with touchscreen displays.

Oh, and they've made a small but significant change to the fonts. They've switched from DejaVu to Noto fonts, making things look better in apps like web browsers and text editors, especially for non-Latin scripts.

Under the hood, Ubuntu 23.10 is powered by Linux kernel 6.5, which means better performance for some AMD processors, among other things. Graphics are taken care of by Mesa 23.2, which is great news for gamers. They've even added patches for full GPU support in the Raspberry Pi 5. 

Some core software includes:

  • Mozilla Firefox 118
  • Thunderbird 115.2
  • LibreOffice 7.6.1
  • Shotwell 0.32.2, and Transmission 4.0.2.

You'll also find Linux kernel 6.5, Mesa 23.2.1, BlueZ 5.68, NetworkManager 1.44, and Pipewire 0.3.79.

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