Ubuntu 23.10 Beta is now available for download
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A beta version of Ubuntu 23.10 is now available for download.

This development milestone is for testing and feedback. It comes ahead of the planned stable release of Ubuntu 23.10 on October 12 – just 3 weeks away!

The goal is to allow you and me to pop the proverbial tires, track down bugs, and file reports for any nasty issues we encounter.

Since Ubuntu 23.10 is a short-term release (supported for 9 months), but the last before the next long-term support comes, developers have tried to pack a lot into it.

So, Mantic’s The development cycle was an eventful one to say the least!

New in Ubuntu 23.10

Ubuntu 23.10 ‘Mantic Minotaur’

One big change: the default installation option for Ubuntu 23.10 (i.e. the one that most people will leave selected when they hit the ‘next’ button in the installer) is now minimal. This comes with the basics: a web browser, a terminal client, a text editor, and a way to install more apps.

If you want a wide range of software available in your setup, including LibreOffice, Thunderbird, Rhythm box, GNOME Calendar, Archive managereven the Totem video player, now make sure you check the ‘extended installation’ option.

‘Standard’ is now minimal, ‘Extended’ is the old standard

GNOME 45 is the core of Ubuntu 23.10. Most of the GNOME 45 features I mentioned recently are here, including the new dynamic workspace indicator, keyboard backlight, updated Institutions panels, and faster Nautilus file manager with full height sidebar.

Ubuntu 23.10 ships (as planned) with the Tile Assistant GNOME extension pre-installed. This brings advanced window tiling capabilities, including quarter tiling, to the desktop. To take advantage of this, simply drag windows by the title bar to the sides or corners of the screen.

Snap (not that type) away

a new Fultter-based App Center takes over software management tasks and takes over the duties of the GNOME-based software Ubuntu software. The new store has a clean, sleek design, is responsive to use, and lets you search and install Snaps (default) or Deb packages using a filter.

The new ‘App Center’ supports Deb and Snap apps

a new Flutter based firmware updater tool included. I wrote about this app ages ago, so it’s a fun thing to do Finally see that it takes up a place in the default installation. Side note: like App Center the new firmware tool is a pre-installed module, so if you remove it snapd you delete it too – c’est la vie!

Free 11:10 p.m powered by Linux kernel 6.5 (with Ubuntu patches at the top). This ensures better performance and energy efficiency on AMD Ryzen Zen 2 and higher; enables AMD FreeSync by default; faster parallel direct I/O overrides in EXT4; and rumble support in Xbox controllers.

The (Flutter-based) Ubuntu installer seems (although I haven’t done the research to prove it) much less fussy in Mantic. In Moon I had frequent issues (post-release) where the installer would flip itself vertically or fail to complete an installation consecutive time. None of that here – what a relief!

Experimental TPM-supported disk encryption is now available via the Advanced features button in the installer. While promising from a security POV, the TPM option has some drawbacks, such as not supporting native NVIDIA graphics drivers, dual-boots, and more – don’t just opt ​​for it.

ZFS is back and TPM is new (and highly experimental)

Moreover, after a short break it is again possible to install Ubuntu using ZFS (Zettabyte file system). Nice to see this interesting, recommended file system again – especially since many Linux distributions don’t support it in the first place.

For now, here’s a top-level overview of what’s new and improved in Ubuntu 23.10:

  • Ubuntu 23.10 uses Linux kernel 6.5
  • Includes GNOME 45 and many of its features
  • Tile assistant extension pre-installed for quarter tiles etc
  • The default installation is now minimal (no LibreOffice, Thunderbirdetc)
  • Added extended installation option to the installer
  • GNOME Clocks added to extended installation software set
  • New App Center for finding and installing software
  • New Flutter-based Firmware updater tool
  • Network manager applications Network plan as a settings backend
  • Experimental TPM supported disk encryption option in the installer
  • Added ZFS installation option to installer
  • Noto fonts replace DejaVu Sans
  • Raspberry Pi build now supports official Raspberry Pi camera modules

The available core software (repo versions unless otherwise noted) includes:

  • Mozilla Firefox 117 (click)
  • Thunderbird 115.2
  • LibreOffice 7.6.1
  • Schotwell 0.32.2
  • Shipping 4.0.2

Also on board:

  • Linux kernel 6.5
  • Knife 23.1.7
  • BlueZ 5.68
  • Network Manager 1.44
  • Pipe thread 0.3.79

And that’s it!

The things that didn’t happen

Initially, the new minimum default installation was intended to be the only choice. Developers have rethought that approach; apps like LibreOffice were added back to the ISO (making them available in live sessions) and an ‘extended installation’ option added to the installer – much to my relief if no one else!

Developers also wanted to use default deb822 sources for all repos in Mantic. Unfortunately, due to problems in the software-properties app, which has been revised. Currently, Mantic only uses deb822 source files for PPAs and not the main Ubuntu repositories; an SRU will migrate these sometime after release.

CUPS (the desktop printing stack) was switched to Snap, but again, nasty bugs killed that plan. The CUPS Snap will now likely be made standard in next year’s Ubuntu 24.10 release (as Ubuntu 24.04 will be a long-term support release and a major change like a CUPS Snap needs to be properly tested).

Download Ubuntu 23.10 beta

As with anything labeled “beta,” you probably shouldn’t install this beta candidate as your primary operating system on your main computer. Curiosity is expected; If you want to try the Ubuntu 23.10 beta firsthand, play it safe by booting it from a USB drive or installing it in a virtual machine.

You can download Ubuntu 23.10 beta from the Ubuntu release server straight away.

As a reminder, you can upgrade the Ubuntu beta to the final release. Simply install every update released between now and the release date, and like magic you should be running the same version Mantic Minotaur as those performing a new installation.

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