Ubuntu 18.10: Everything you need to know

We round-up the latest news about Ubuntu 18.10, including the release date, planned features, upgrade process, and more.

You can consider this article your definitive guide to everything you need to know about the upcoming release of Ubuntu 18.10 ‘Cosmic Cuttlefish’.

And as this post is kept up to date with the latest developments, features, and plans you can bookmark it now and check back again at a later date.

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Ready to dive in?

The Ubuntu 18.10 Codename

The official Ubuntu 18.10 codename was revealed in May as the …”Cosmic Cuttlefish”.

Cosmic” is an adjective that relates to the universe. It’s also informally used to describe something particularly great, large or “out of this world”, e.g., “a release of cosmic proportions”.

A “Cuttlefish” is a marine animal with eight arms, two long tentacles and ‘w’ shaped eyes. According to Wikipedia, Cuttlefish have one of the largest brain-to-body size ratios of all invertebrates.

Does this mean the upcoming release will be super smart and out of this world? Maybe!

Ubuntu 18.10 Release Date

Every 6 months Canonical release a new version of their Linux-based Ubuntu operating system: one in April, and one in October.

Unlike regular Ubuntu updates (which are issued weekly) these are significant (free) upgrades which bring major new features, design changes, software updates and more to the desktop.

The Ubuntu 18.10 release date is October 18, 2018, though this is subject to change

The Ubuntu 18.10 release date is October 18, 2018.

On this date you (and everyone else) will be able to download Ubuntu 18.10 from the official Ubuntu website as a 64-bit ISO image, as well as from selected mirrors and an official torrent.

It will also be possible to upgrade to Ubuntu 18.10 from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS — though you’ll need to manually change your update settings to do this.

Before then there’s the opportunity to help test the release out. Ubuntu 18.10 daily builds are available to download now, and a beta version of Ubuntu 18.10 will be available to try in September, 2018.

New Features in Ubuntu 18.10

What new features and improvements can you expect to find in the Cosmic Cuttlefish this autumn? Based on current plans, a fair bit!

Although we’re still early in development a few things are known already: the update will feature more improvements to the GNOME Shell desktop, include updated software, and make changes to snapd framework.

1. A New Theme

ubuntu 18.04 with communitheme

The Cosmic Cuttlefish will use the community-created Communitheme — recently renamed Yaru as the default desktop theme.

I think this is a good move. It gives the OS a cleaner, modern and flatter look from boot up to shut down. The Communitheme was created during the 18.04 development cycle but Ubuntu developers chose not to use it, citing rough edges (since ironed out).

The redesign affects every part of the desktop, from login screen to desktop, and comprises a GTK3 theme, GNOME Shell theme, and ‘Suru’ icon pack.

2. Android Integration

An overview of GSconnect features

Out-of-the-box Android integration with Ubuntu is looking like a strong possibility for inclusion in Cosmic, too.

We covered the planned change in more detail recently, but all you really need to know is that this feature will let you pair your phone and desktop together to benefit from some neat integrations.

This will include things like file sharing between desktop and mobile, getting Android notifications on the desktop, and even being able to your phone’s touchscreen as a mouse!

3. GNOME 3.30 Desktop

mockup of new gnome lock screen design

The next major update to the GNOME desktop environment is due out later this year. The GNOME 3.30 uplift is likely to feature a stack of improvements related to performance, as well as the usual buff and polish to both the GNOME Shell desktop and core apps like Nautilus.

There’s also a faint possibility of new GNOME login screens.

Although it hasn’t been confirmed it is likely that Ubuntu 18.10 will ship with GNOME 3.30 release by default. Though it remains to be seen what, if anything, happens now that Nautilus has removed ‘desktop’ support.

4. Improved Snap Apps

flatpak vs snap theming

Snap apps ship as part of the default desktop – so it’s about time they look and feel at home there, too.

Snappy developers want to “significantly improve” Snap app start times, a bugbear that is sorely in need of some fine-tuning. Opening a Snap app should be as quick as a regular app. Any delay is too long a delay.

Appearance is another area in need of work (see image above) so I’m pleased to be able to say that work is underway to support Snap app themes.

5. Other Changes:

Some other miscellaneous changes on the to-do list for this cycle include:

  • Thunderbolt 3 settings in Control Centre
  • Use the Linux Kernel 5.0
  • Improved sound settings
  • PulseAudio 12.2
  • ‘Low bandwidth’ mode
  • Multi-monitor support in GDM
  • Fingerprint unlocking
  • Improved video player performance
  • New app installs will add icon to dock

Keep in mind that this list is by no means definitive. You can expect further changes and developments to be added as the development kicks into gear.

Download Ubuntu 18.10 Daily Builds for Testing

If you’re keen to help test or muck in with development ahead of the Ubuntu 18.10 release date you can download the a daily build from the link below.

Download the Ubuntu 18.10 Daily Build

Do please keep in mind that a) we are only in the early stages of development and b) daily Images are not intended to be your main OS. You might not see many changes, but you may see plenty of bugs and missing features.

Btw, do let us know if you hear of something!

We will keep this article updated as and when new features land or major developments are announced. If you hear, spot or learn of something before we do please do let us know via our tip form or on Twitter.

What do you want to see in Ubuntu 18.10? Let us know in the comments!
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