Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, Ubuntu MATE and Xubuntu are among the spins taking advantage of this development stop-gap.
The regular version of Ubuntu sits this round out and will issue its first, and only, beta snapshot next month.
Scroll on down to get a digest of what’s new in Ubuntu 15.10 Beta 1 flavours and to grab yourself an .iso image to trial out.
What’s New in Ubuntu 15.10 Beta 1?
The array of changes put forward by the Ubuntu family differs dramatically between releases.
Kubuntu 15.10 Beta 1 features the biggest set of changes. It offers the shiny new Plasma 5.4 desktop as default (see our earlier post for more on what that brings) and offers the latest KDE Applications 15.08 suite.
Ubuntu GNOME 15.10 Beta 1 offers much of the latest GNOME 3.16 stack – enjoy it while it’s current, as 3.18 is on the way!. You get GNOME-Shell 3.16, a stack of GNOME 3.16 applications, a new GNOME getting started guide and GNOME Photos installed by default (Shotwell remains available).
Lubuntu 15.10 Beta 1 sees only minimal bug fixes applied. Once again, all development effort is focused on getting the new LxQt desktop ship-shape in time for its tentative use as Lubuntu default in October 2016.
Xubuntu 15.10 Beta 1 swaps hardy office stalwart Abiword with LibreOffice Writer, something some have long considered overdue. It also ships updates for a sizeable set of the default Xubuntu app stack, including new versions of gMusicBrowser, LightDM-GTK-Greeter and the nimble Thunar file manager.
Finally, Ubuntu MATE 15.10 Beta 1 bumps the MATE desktop to version 1.10 (“mostly”), offers a refreshed MATE welcome tool, a new version of the helpful MATE Tweak Tool and integrates Deja Dup backup into the Caja file manager.
Beta = bugs
Beta releases of Ubuntu are not suitable for use as your default OS as the likelihood of bugs, breakages and other potential headaches remains high.
Ubuntu 15.10 final will be available to download on October 22, 2015.