Ubuntu 17.10 desktop screenshot

Smash the glass, sound the klaxon, and supply comfort blankets to those still mourning Unity — the Ubuntu 17.10 daily builds now use GNOME Shell by default.

Last week we reported that the Ubuntu 17.10 desktop seed had been amended to extricate Unity and supplant it with GNOME Shell.

Things are vanilla for now, but the Ubuntu desktop team plan to add a handful of flavour soon.

Well, that seed has, pardon the pun, borne fruit.

As of today the Ubuntu 17.10 daily builds ship GNOME Shell as the default desktop, and no longer include the myriad of Unity-specific packages/forks either.

But that doesn’t mean there’s much to see — at least not yet.

Flavour Will Come Later

The surfeit of conflicting control centres, online accounts panels, and other Ubuntu forks of GNOME components is no more. Even file manager Nautilus, which Ubuntu regularly had running several versions behind the latest, finally gets to show itself off its latest changes in this snapshot.

LightDM is still handling display manager duties in the live build I tested — though GDM will be Ubuntu’s default login manager — but it only has two sessions to offer: GNOME and GNOME Wayland.

I can’t tell you yet if GNOME Wayland session is the default session (though it’s most certainly there as part of the default image) as my virtual machine refused to login to anything other than the X-based GNOME session (this is pre-alpha, bugs are expected, don’t fret).

Ubuntu 1710 Daily Builds LightDM Session
The Unity session is no more

But beyond the big obvious change of having an entirely different desktop environment sat staring back at you, there’s little else to get excited about.

For now.

Those of you who like to take the dailies for a spin now will find things are fairly vanilla — but the Ubuntu desktop team plan to add a handful of flavour soon. We can expect a fair ol’ pinch of the the stuff when results of the recent Ubuntu GNOME desktop user survey are made public.

Other minor change you’ll notice include the updated Ambiance theme (which you can help test on the 17.04 desktop) and the ‘new’ Amazon web app that opens a new tab in Firefox.

the "new" amazon web app in ubuntu 17.10

LibreOffice, Rhythmbox, Thunderbird, and the rest of the Ubuntu app selection remain here, though I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a few prescient tweaks to what’s installed later down the line.

But for now, whether you miss Unity or are glad to see it gone, feel free to help test, and party on apocalypse.

Thanks Nikolai

Download daily builds ubuntu 17.10