The first Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet beta is now available for download. with most community flavors taking part.
As has been the case for some years the mainline Ubuntu release, that is the version that uses Unity as the default desktop, does not participate in this development milestone.
Not that you’ll miss it. Alongside beta downloads for Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Xubuntu, the China-focused Ubuntu Kylin and Ubuntu GNOME is a new build of Ubuntu MATE — which becomes an official flavor as of this milestone.
It is the first new spin to be added to the Ubuntu family since 2013 with Ubuntu Kylin.
Ubuntu MATE Is Now An Official Ubuntu Flavor
Today’s news will be remembered less for the changes in the distributions themselves and more for who they are joined by. As of today Ubuntu MATE is an official flavor of the Ubuntu project.
With two well received releases under its belt Ubuntu MATE has garnered praise from users and reviewers alike thanks, in part, to its seamless blend of the latest Ubuntu base and the ever-improving ‘classic’ GNOME desktop.
‘Official status gives Ubuntu MATE access to Canonical’s huge infrastructure…’
The newly gained “official” status doesn’t result in too many user-facing differences — the most noticeable change for now is that Ubuntu MATE download images are now being hosted and distributed on the main Ubuntu image server.
Behind the scenes and the benefits of official community flavor status are more substantial.
Being welcomed into the official flavor fold now provides the Ubuntu MATE team access to Canonical’s huge infrastructure for automated building, testing and distributing, including the creation of live daily images and PowerPC spins.
The move could offer some extra promotion, media coverage and community attention, all of which are sure to be richly welcomed.
Ubuntu MATE 14.04 LTS and 14.10 will remain “unofficial” releases despite today’s announcement.
What’s New in Ubuntu 15.04 Beta 1
Ubuntu MATE 15.04 Beta 1
Ubuntu MATE 15.04 Beta 1 itself makes for a somewhat rough debut.
The MATE 1.8 series desktop currently has a number of issues with Ubuntu’s glibc. An additional PPA needs to be added to the system’s Software Sources so pending fixes can be delivered.
Elsewhere you’ll find improvements to the MATE Tweak utility, which gains a session interface layout switching option, fixes for multi-monitor under GTK2, the addition of ‘folder-colors’, and plenty more.
Testers hopping aboard can also expect a few extra packages to filter down in the coming month, including Caja (file manager) actions installed by default and a new lock keys applet.
Ubuntu GNOME 15.04 Beta 1
As with the previous alpha releases Ubuntu GNOME 15.04 Beta 1 includes GNOME 3.14, GNOME Shell 3.14.2 and a handful of extra applications.
Adventurous users can try an experimental Wayland session, new to this beta. This requires the ‘gnome-session-wayland’ package to be installed, the “GNOME on Wayland” session selected at login and currently only works with open-source GPU drivers.
Testers will also find a new default wallpaper (above) and updated slides in the Ubiquity installer slideshow.
Kubuntu 15.04 Beta 1
Kubuntu 15.04 Beta 1 is looking gorgeous now that the Plasma 5 desktop is enabled by default. It’s also more stable and more featured. It features refinements, bug fixes and feature tweaks thanks to the fast Plasma 5 releases, with Plasma 5.2.1 shipped in this beta.
Also bundled in is KDE Applications 14.12.2, which comes loaded with bug fixes and translation updates, and the new LibreOffice 4.4.
Xubuntu 15.04 Beta 1
This latest beta of Xubuntu 15.04 features a new LightDM configuration tool, a developer-only wallpaper, and improved support for multiple monitor configuration.
The XFCE window manager can now handle window previews and client side decorations.
As in earlier alpha releases, Lubuntu and Ubuntu Kylin are sporting only modest changes, bug fixes, UI refinement and theme updates.
Beta means bugs
Beta releases of Ubuntu should not be installed as the primary OS on any system given the likelihood of bugs, breakages and other potential headaches.
— OMG! UBUNTU! (@omgubuntu) February 22, 2015