The first, and final, beta of Ubuntu 14.10 ‘Utopic Unicorn’ is now available to download.
With all hands on polishing up the RTM builds of Ubuntu for Phones ahead of the first handset launch before year’s end, little attention has been given to bringing new features to the desktop.
There’s not even a new default desktop wallpaper.
It’s not an exact clone of 14.04 LTS, however. There’s a lick of paint here, a band-aid there, and a round of package bumps for LibreOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird and so on. The majority of the GNOME stack remains on 3.10 (Nautilus, Totem, Rhythmbox, Eye of GNOME, etc.).
If you planned to take it for a ride to revel in the newness you’ll need to temper expectations accordingly. This is the first Ubuntu milestone in nearly six years of coverage that even I am struggling to find big differences in.
Despite the beta tag the OS performs great —testament to the strict quality assurance framework Ubuntu has in place. While there is little compelling to make upgrading a must-do come next month, those who like to have some of the latest software will want to jump aboard the Unicorn.
Key changes since 14.04 LTS
- Linux Kernel 3.16
- Unity 7.3.1 (bug fixes)
- LibreOffice 4.3.1
- Mozilla Firefox 32
- Mozilla Thunderbird 31
- 12 New Wallpapers
The next point release of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS is likely feature the Utopic Unicorn kernel. If you plan on keeping trust in Trusty, rest assured you’ll be getting the latest hardware support in due course.
You can download Ubuntu 14.10 Final Beta at the link below. Usual caveats regarding beta software apply.
Ubuntu 14.10 Flavors
Ubuntu may be releasing its first beta, but its family of flavors are on their second releases. Much like Ubuntu proper there is minor iterative changes to be found in most since their respective 14.04 counterparts.
Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 Beta 2 includes GNOME 3.12 in all its glory, and adds Weather and Maps to the default app selection.
Xubuntu 14.10 Beta 2 supports GTK 3.12, keyboard backlight controls through the Xfce power manager, and various updates to key Xfce components. See the official release announcement for more information.
Kubuntu 14.10 Beta 2 continues to offer improvements, both in its stable Plasma 4 offering, which adds KDE Applications and Platform 4.14, and in the ‘Tech Preview’ of Plasma 5.
Ubuntu Kylin 14.10 Beta 2 introduces new apps, including the Kylin Software Center (see screenshot above), Youker Assistant and WizeNote.
Lubuntu 14.10 Beta 2 sees only bug fixes and stability improvements.