Ubuntu 23.10 Beta Released with GNOME 45 and Linux Kernel 6.5

This release enables native Wayland mode on the Firefox Snap and brings back ZFS installation.
Ubuntu 23.10 Beta

Canonical released today the beta version of the upcoming Ubuntu 23.10 “Mantic Minotaur” operating system release to public testing for early adopters, developers, and bleeding-edge users who want an early taste of the new features and improvements.

Powered by the latest and greatest Linux 6.5 kernel series with zstd-compressed modules to speed up boot time, new Apparmor / Stacking LSM patch set, updated shiftfs patch set, support for idmapped Ceph mounts, multi-gen LRU page reclaiming enabled by default, and desktop-oriented .config tweaks for the lowlatency kernel flavor.

Canonical also notes the fact that Ubuntu 23.10’s kernel now requires programs to have an AppArmor profile in order to use unprivileged user namespaces, in an attempt to mitigate the larger attack surface presented by unprivileged user namespaces.

Ubuntu 23.10 beta also includes the just-released GNOME 45 desktop environment (yes, the final version) by default and all of its cool new features, for the Ubuntu Desktop flagship edition, of course, and for the educational-oriented Edubuntu flavor.

With GNOME 45 you’re getting a new Activities indicator, a new camera indicator, a new Quick Setting for changing the keyboard backlight, much-improved and revamped Settings and Nautilus file manager apps, and many other changes.

Ubuntu 23.10 has not gone all-Snap yet, as Canonical planned for a future update, but some of the default Snap apps received performance improvements, such as the Firefox Snap, which now comes with the native Wayland mode enabled by default when using the Wayland session for a snappier browsing experience.

Another interesting change that might like if you want your Ubuntu on ZFS is the return of the ZFS on Root installation option in the installer. However, this feature will be marked as “EXPERIMENTAL” in Ubuntu 23.10 because it uses a development release of OpenZFS to support Linux kernel 6.5, so use it with caution.

In addition, the installer now defaults to Minimal Installation (a.k.a. Default Installation), so it requires an extra click if you want a normal installation with an office suite, games, and other applications. I should also mention the fact that the “Normal Installation” is now called “Expended Installation.”

New “Default” and “Expanded” installation options

Another experimental feature introduced in Mantic Minotaur is support for unlocking full-disk encrypted Ubuntu 23.10 installations without typing a passphrase. This is possible only on TPM 2.0-capable devices and it’s not compatible with NVIDIA graphics cards.

Of course, you’re also getting the latest software releases, including the LibreOffice 7.6 office suite and Mozilla Thunderbird 115 “Supernova” email client.

On top of that, Ubuntu 23.10 brings a brand-new App Store called “App Center” written in Flutter, which replaces the previous Snap Store, to give you full access to all of Canonical’s Snaps. Rest assured that LibreOffice and Thunderbird aren’t installed as Snaps (yet).

The new App Center for Snaps in Ubuntu 23.10

Under the hood, Mantic Minotaur uses GCC 13 as the default system installer, GNU Binutils 2.41, PHP 8.2, GNU C Library (glibc) 2.38, Go 1.20, LLVM 17, and many of the latest GNU/Linux technologies.

Among other noteworthy changes, Ubuntu 23.10 uses Netplan as the default settings storage backend for NetworkManager, comes with the GNOME Clocks app installed by default, and adds a new standalone Firmware Updater app for updating your device’s firmware at a glance.

The official Ubuntu flavors are shipping with updated desktop environments too, including KDE Plasma 5.27 LTS for Kubuntu and Ubuntu Studio, LXQt 1.3.0 for Lubuntu, Cinnamon 5.8 for Ubuntu Cinnamon, and Budgie 10.8 for Ubuntu Budgie.

The final release of Ubuntu 23.10 “Mantic Minotaur” is expected on October 12th, 2023. Until then, you can download the beta version right now from the official website. Keep in mind that this is a pre-release version, so don’t install it on a production machine.

Last updated 5 months ago

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