October 23, 2014

Ubuntu Flavors 14.10 Officially Released (WebUpd8.org)

 Author: Andrew | Date: Thursday, October 23, 2014

All the Ubuntu flavors reached version 14.10 today. Let's take a quick look at what's new in Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME and Kubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn).

Xubuntu 14.10

Xubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn

Xubuntu is an Ubuntu flavor which uses Xfce, a fast, light desktop environment.

Changes in Xubuntu 14.10:
  • the display dialog has been updated and it now allows arranging multiple displays by drag and drop;
  • the Xfce power manager can now control the keyboard-backlight and features a new panel plugin, which shows the battery status, other connected devices with batteries and controls the display backlight brightness;
  • Setting-related menu items earlier available only under Settings manager are now shown and searchable in Whisker Menu;
  • the alt-tab dialog can now be clicked with the mouse to select a window;
  • updated GTK themes with various changes, including GTK 3.12 support;
  • changed desktop icon size to 48px, desktop tooltip size to 64px;
  • the number of desktops was reduced to 1 by default, but this can easily be changed (Settings > Workspaces);
  • saner defaults for DPMS timeouts;
  • enabled lock-screen on suspend and hibernate;
  • Light Locker is enabled and will lock on suspend, but not auto-locking after being idle;
  • to allow users to use pkexec instead of gksu(do), appropriate profiles are now included for Thunar and Mousepad;
  • enabled clutter as default videosink in Parole;
  • updated panel layout for login screen;
  • enabled minimize and maximize on GtkHeaderbars;
  • XChat is no longer included by default;
  • Inxi, a tool to gather system information, is now included by default.

Here are screenshots with some of these changes:

Xubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn
Added minimize and maximize buttons for apps using header bars

Xubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn
Inxi, a system info tool

Xubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn
Xfce4 Power Manager

Xubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn
New Xfce4 Power Manager panel plugin

Xubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn
Xubuntu 14.10 login screen (LightDM GTK greeter)

Xubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn
Display settings

Xubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn
Running Thunar via pkexec

Also, Xubuntu 14.10 uses magenta highlights:

Xubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn

According to the release notes, this change (which they refer to as pink but it looks closer to magenta to me) was made to celebrate the 14.10 codename "Utopic Unicorn" and to demonstrate the easy customizability of Xubuntu.

That's because this change wasn't made to the theme - the pink/magenta highlights are applied via Theme Configuration (gtk-theme-config) and is used no matter what theme you're using. You can easily change this and other theme colors from Settings > Theme Configuration (simply turn "Highlight Colors" off to turn this off):

Xubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn

Ubuntu GNOME 14.10

Ubuntu GNOME tries to bring a pure GNOME experience in the Ubuntu "family". It uses GNOME Shell by default and this release ships with a combination of GNOME 3.10 and 3.12.

Ubuntu GNOME 14.10
Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 includes GNOME System Settings / Settings Daemon 3.12

Changes in Ubuntu GNOME 14.10:
  • many GNOME components, like GNOME Shell, GTK+, GNOME Control Center, etc. have been updated to version 3.12 which brings improvements (compared to 3.10, available in Ubuntu 14.04) such as:
    • proper HiDPI support;
    • improved network menus;
    • Jumplists (also known as Quicklists in Unity) support;
    • a geolocation indicator was added to the status menu
    • refined animations;
    • window previews are now keyboard navigable;
    • allow specifying monitor for OSD;
    • GNOME Online accounts has better Facebook and Google support and also, it now supports Pocket (a web service that lets you save videos, articles and pretty much anything from the browser for later use)
    • Google Cloud print support;
    • updated Adwaita GTK theme: new style for tabs and buttons, etc.;
    • GTK 3.12 introduces restyled tabs and "popovers", an overlayed bubble interface element;
    • for more information, see our GNOME 3.12 article (but keep in mind that some apps, like Nautilus, Totem or Gedit are still at version 3.10.x).
  • GNOME Maps (3.12.2) and GNOME Weather (3.12.1) are now installed by default.

Here are a few Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 screenshots:

Ubuntu GNOME 14.10

Ubuntu GNOME 14.10

Ubuntu GNOME 14.10

Ubuntu GNOME 14.10

Lubuntu 14.10

Lubuntu is a lightweight Ubuntu flavor which uses the LXDE desktop environment, useful for old computers.

Lubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn

For Lubuntu 14.10, there's basically no changelog available - besides updated artwork, the wiki page mentions that many LXDE components have been updated with bug fix releases and that Lubuntu 14.10 is a "general bug fix release as we prepare for LXQt".

Kubuntu 14.10

Kubuntu is an Ubuntu flavor which uses the KDE Plasma Desktop as the graphical environment. Even though it's now sponsored by Blue Systems and not by Canonical, Kubuntu is still an official Ubuntu derivative.

For 14.10, there are two Kubuntu ISOs available for download: Plasma 4 Stable and Plasma 5 tech Preview.

The Stable Plasma 4 ISO includes KDE Applications and Platform 4.14.1 - check out the changes here: 4.14.0 | 4.14.1.

Here are a few Kubuntu 14.10 screenshots (mostly with the Plasma 5 ISO since the default Kubuntu 14.10 with Plasma 4 looks pretty much the same):

Kubuntu 14.10 Plasma 5
Kubuntu 14.10 with Plasma 5

Kubuntu 14.10 Plasma 5
Kubuntu 14.10 with Plasma 5

Kubuntu 14.10 Plasma 5
Kubuntu 14.10 with Plasma 5 (with Breeze window decorations - Oxygen is still default though)

Kubuntu 14.10 Plasma 4
Kubuntu 14.10 with Plasma 4

Download Kubuntu 14.10 (includes the official release notes)

For changes shared between all the Ubuntu flavors (Linux kernel changes, etc.), see our Ubuntu 14.10 article.

Source: http://www.webupd8.org/2014/10/ubuntu-flavors-1410-officially-released.html

Ubuntu 14.10 is now available for download. This release doesn't ship with any new Unity features and it includes mostly bug fixes. Still, there are some under the hood changes and of course, updated applications.

Unity 7

Ubuntu 14.10 screenshots

As you probably already know if you've been following WebUpd8 or basically any Ubuntu-related blogs, Ubuntu 14.10 ships with almost no noticeable visual changes: there are no new Unity (Unity 7) features, the default applications, even though some were updated, look the same and so on. There's not even a new default wallpaper.

Even though there are no new Unity features, the default Ubuntu desktop shell did receive various improvements, especially on the HiDPI front: the lockscreen, Dash filters and previews and other bits were updated with proper UI scaling based on current monitor scaling:

Ubuntu 14.10 screenshots

Also, Unity can now suspend, shutdown, hibernate or start the screensaver when the screen is locked, using the Suspend, Sleep, Hibernate and PowerOff hardware keys.

And of course, Unity also received quite a few bug fixes - see THIS page for a complete changelog.

systemd status in Ubuntu 14.10

Back in February, Mark Shuttleworth announced that Ubuntu will be switching to systemd (a system management daemon for Linux). Mark's blog article on Ubuntu switching to systemd, called "losing graciously", denotes that he wasn't very happy with this, and systemd will made it in Ubuntu mostly because Debian switched to it.

With this release, systemd is available in the repositories and Ubuntu can boot with systemd. However, systemd is not used by default in Ubuntu 14.10 because the transition from upstart is a pretty tedious task: many packages only have upstart jobs and they need to be updated to provide corresponding systemd units. That's why it's not yet known when Ubuntu will switch to systemd by default.

Linux Kernel changes

Ubuntu 14.10 uses the Ubuntu Kernel 3.16.0-23, based on the upstream 3.16.4 Linux Kernel. Here are the major changes since Linux Kernel 3.13, which is used in the previous Ubuntu release (14.04):

  • zram is considered stable with Linux 3.14; zram received LZ4 compression support;
  • stable support for Intel Broadwell CPU graphics (3.14);
  • the SCHED_DEADLINE scheduling class was added to the Linux scheduler in version 3.14 of the Linux kernel mainline;
  • faster resume from suspend;
  • EFI mixed mode support: 64-bit kernels can be booted from 32-bit firmware (with Linux 3.15);
  • various Nouveau improvements, including initial NVIDIA Maxwell GPU support, initial GK20A and GK110B GPU support as well as support for allowing to change the frequency of the GPU from the BIOS predefined values for nv40, nvaa, and nve0 clock types;
  • Radeon performance improvements through improved APU power management have been enabled in some APUs;
  • Intel Cherryview graphics support;
  • NVIDIA Tegra PRIME support;
  • Broadwell support for the Intel P-State driver (3.16);
  • various other improvements to audio and sound, btrfs and ext4 improvements, better support for newer laptops and much more.

You can read more about all the important Linux kernel changes here: Linux 3.14 | Linux 3.15 | Linux 3.16

Applications / packages

Ubuntu 14.10 screenshots

Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) ships with Firefox 33, Thunderbird 31.2.0, LibreOffice 4.3.2, Nautilus 3.10.1, Totem 3.10.1, Gedit 3.10.4, Brasero 3.10.0, Eye of GNOME 3.12.2, Empathy 3.8.6, Rhythmbox 3.0.3, Transmission 2.84 and Shotwell 0.20.1. Also, Ubuntu 14.10 includes Mesa 10.3.0 and Xorg server 1.16.0.

Also, since the final Ubuntu 14.10 beta, GTK was updated from version 3.10 to 3.12 (3.12.2).

Why GTK 3.12 and not the latest 3.14? Well, that's because GNOME 3.14 was released after Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn had its feature freeze. As for the GNOME applications like Nautilus, Totem and Gedit, they are still at version 3.10 because they need to be patched to properly support Unity and with the work required to get Ubuntu for Phones ready, the developers didn't have time to update them for this release.

Other changes

Other notable changes in Ubuntu 14.10 include:
  • Improved hybrid graphics support:
    • nvidia-prime and gpu-manager now support GDM (these changes were backported to older Ubuntu versions, but without the GDM patch that allows this);
    • added support for "gpumanager_uxa" and "gpumanager_modesetting" boot parameters, so that there is an option to force NVIDIA Optimus systems (that don't work well with Intel/SNA) to use either Intel/UXA or modesetting);
    • allow RandR offloading even without bbswitch;
  • Netflix now works without any extra plugins in Ubuntu 14.10 (the changes were backported to Ubuntu 14.04), the only requirement being Google Chrome;
  • Pidgin comes with Unity support thanks to a new Unity integration plugin (can be enabled from the Pidgin Plugins > Unity Integration) - this includes (both are optional) Messaging Menu integration and Unity Launcher unread messages/conversations
  • Applications using client side decorations (header bars) look better under Unity with Ubuntu 14.10, but they are still not fully supported: for instance, CSD applications have no shadow, but at least the header bar looks as it should now and the windows can be resized.
Ubuntu 14.10 screenshots
Client side decoration apps (not installed by default) under Unity in Ubuntu 14.10

Also, with Ubuntu 14.10, an Unity 8 ISO called Ubuntu Desktop Next is available a preview for "the adventurous and curious [who] want to get a preview of what's coming on their desktops soon". Unfortunately, I couldn't get Ubuntu Desktop Next 14.10 to work and I've tried it on two different computers - there's a bug with the password but that's easily fixable as explained on the Ubuntu wiki however, upon logging in, the desktop didn't load in my test.

If you want to give Ubuntu Desktop Next a try, you can download it from HERE.

Download Ubuntu 14.10

Overall, Ubuntu 14.10 looks (and on a side note, it's also basically just as stable) pretty much the same as Ubuntu 14.04 LTS so if you only care about that, there's no reason to upgrade. 

Ubuntu 14.10 is for you only if you want to take advantage of the latest under-the-hood improvements and/or you can't live without the latest version of your favorite applications (non-GNOME core apps - because most of those are still not the latest version, though some were updated) and you don't want to use PPAs.

However, keep in mind that Ubuntu 14.10 is only supported for 9 months and after it reaches end of life, you'll have to upgrade to Ubuntu 15.04.

Download Ubuntu 14.10 (includes the official release notes - make sure you read them before installing -, and download links for all Ubuntu flavors)

Are you using Ubuntu 14.10 already (what's your experience with it so far?) or do you plan to upgrade?

Download Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn final


Source: http://www.webupd8.org/2014/10/ubuntu-1410-available-for-download.html