Arriving with the final stable release of Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet are downloads for a colorful array of official community flavors.
And this year there’s an extra spin in motion.
Ubuntu MATE (pronounced Maah-tay) was formally welcomed into the official Ubuntu flavors club earlier this year.
Ubuntu MATE ships with a fork of the older GNOME 2 desktop called MATE and is well suited to both lower-end hardware.
Enough with the intro, want to find out what’s new in each release? Course you do.
Kubuntu 15.04 ships with the shiny new Plasma 5.2 desktop environment by default, a change that helps give the release a renewed identity.
But this next-gen KDE desktop is more than just fancy visuals. Refactoring under-the-hood have made it more agile, adaptable and performance, something the recent release of Plasma 5.3 Beta shows.
The release also ships with KDE Applications 14.12.2 and includes new versions of staple apps like Konsole and Gwenview based on KDE Frameworks 5.
Ubuntu GNOME 15.04
Two new apps are installed as a result: Maps and Weather.
A new GNOME Classic session is available to select from the login screen, while the newly-bundled Numix theme helps add some visual bling.
Lubuntu 15.04 marks another highly minor bug fix release for the lightweight LXDE-based distro. While welcome one does feel it sees releases more out of obligation than necessity.
On offer are updated versions of core system components, apps and artwork.
Ubuntu MATE 15.04
The first official release of Ubuntu MATE arrives based on the MATE desktop environment version 1.8.2 and adds support for PowerPC systems, the RaspberryPi 2, ‘Client Side Decorations’ and the Compiz window manager.
Drop-down terminal application Tilda comes pre-installed as of this release, as do VLC (replacing Totem) and versatile webcam app Guvcview (replacing Cheese).
Ubuntu MATE 15.04 also throws in the LightDM GTK Greeter Settings tool and utilities for ‘switching’ desktop layouts and tweaking folders colors.
Xubuntu 15.04 is based on the latest XFCE 4.12 release, which brings a stack of optimisations, bug fixes and minor new features, such as a new panel plugin to display battery and device charge levels.
The color scheme in the Terminal app has been tweaked, the look of Qt applications improved and a tool for configuring the log-in screen added.
Updated versions of the spin’s default application set feature, and there are plenty of Xubuntu specific bug fixes and stability improvements to be had, too.
Ubuntu Kylin 15.04
The Chinese-orientated Ubuntu Kylin 15.04 uses the Unity desktop by default, but not with the same configuration as regular Ubuntu.
Kylin users will find LIM (locally-integrated menu) turned on by default, and be able to “click to minimize” apps on the Unity launcher from the off.
The Kylin team say these two tweaks should make it easier for Windows users to adapt to Unity — important in a country like China where some 74% of users are said to run pirated software.