Arriving alongside the main Ubuntu 15.10 Beta 2 release are beta candidates for the rest of the Ubuntu family.
The change logs on offer for these releases vary. Some spins pack more significant changes than others, but all releases feature a stack of app and package updates, the new Linux kernel 4.2, and benefit from improvements and bug fixes.
Kubuntu 15.10 Beta 2
Kubuntu 15.10 Beta 2 is not too dissimilar to the first beta shipped last month. It offers the brand new Plasma 5.4 desktop environment, see our previous coverage for more details on all of the shiny stuff wrapped up in that, plus the latest point release of KDE Applications 15.08.
Lubuntu 15.10 Beta 2
If Ubuntu gets it in the neck for not evolving much while work on Unity 8 is on-going, spare a thought for fans of Lubuntu. The lightest Ubuntu distro has been in veritable stasis since 13.04, as work progresses on the new LxQt desktop environment.
The lack of major development in Lubuntu makes one of the changes arriving in this beta sound comparatively revolutionary: Lubuntu 15.10 beta 2 removes the ‘extra sessions’ package.
This package provided users with bespoke shell tweaks, including a now archaic looking netbook UI and a stripped back gaming mode.
Fans of the extra session needn’t panic as it’s not gone entirely. If you liked what it offered you can it back easily. Just install ‘lubuntu-extra-sessions’ from the command line, log-out and everything will be as it was.
One package removal aside it is left to a few lonely bug fixes and theme tweaks to make up the bulk of this beta. The usual kernel, app and system updates provided by Ubuntu are also included.
Xubuntu 15.10 Beta 2
Although not quite as quiet as Lubuntu, Xubuntu is also taking things a little easier this cycle. Ardent Xubuntites will spot the following changes:
- Panel back-up/restore switch, with 5 preset panel layouts
- Accessibility icons for the window manager
- Bug fixes, including a resolution for webcam’s not initialising in Mugshot
- App updates, including new versions of MenuLibre and Catfish
While these are no huge updates on their own they are ones that build nicely upon the app updates featured in August’s beta release.
Ubuntu GNOME 15.10 Beta 2
Fans of Ubuntu GNOME are in for a treat this October. The distribution is based on the GNOME 3.16 stack released in March, and makes full use of it, too.
GNOME Photos replaces the Shotwell photo manager. A not-too shocking decision given the aesthetic and system integration the former offers. Also installed by default is GNOME Music, an application we desperately want to love but can rarely get to work!
Bluez 5 handles bluetooth; there’s a new ‘getting started’ guide that runs on first login, and the Ubuntu Software Centre can now be used under the Adwaita Dark theme.
For those who like things of an experimental nature there’s also an entirely-optional (and potential buggy) wayland session available. The GNOME Wayland session will only work with open-source graphics drivers.
Ubuntu MATE 15.10 Beta 2
The most recent addition to the Ubuntu family is sporting the biggest changeset of them all.
Ubuntu MATE 15.10 Beta 2 completes the migration to the MATE 1.10 desktop (and includes most components). It also features improved bluetooth, a new community wallpaper and improves the new ‘MATE Welcome’ app.
The welcome app collates a bunch of useful information, including some neat app suggestions, all in once place.
It’s a great addition to the MATE desktop and should make using the distribution easier for new users — it may even teach experienced ones something new!
For a reminder of upcoming Ubuntu release dates refer to our handy infographic.