Development of Ubuntu 14.10 continues, as the second alpha releases of the cycle are made available for download.
Ubuntu proper and Xubuntu sit this minor milestone out, but four official flavours are happy to get involved: Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME and Ubuntu Kylin. All four have made updated .iso images available for testing.
As a prerelease version you won’t want to use these latest alpha releases as your primary operating system, especially if you value stability. But if you do take a punt (using a Live USB or virtual machine) you should expect to battle bugs and entertain errors.
Caution out of the way, alpha builds are ideal jump-on point for anyone wanting to help test fixes, report bugs, or contribute to development of a release.
Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 Alpha 2 includes GNOME Shell 3.12 and comes with two new apps, Weather and Maps, installed by default.
Kubuntu Alpha 2 updates the KDE Platform to 4.14 beta, the third beta release in the series but the first made post-freeze, with changes focused on bug fixing and interface polish.
For the more adventurous, test images using the new Plasma 5 desktop as default are also available to test.
Lubuntu 14.10 Alpha 2 includes a batch of stability improvements and package updates.
Last, but by no means least, is Ubuntu Kylin. The second alpha of the Chinese-language spin bumps the Ubuntu Kylin software centre to 0.3.2 and introduces the open-source Qt note taking app Wiznote to the default app line-up.
As the last alpha the next milestone will be beta, and is due for all flavours on August 28. Mainline Ubuntu joins the fun just under a month later with the second beta release. A release candidate follows in mid-October, with the final stable release due a week later on October 23.