Wondering what the Ubuntu 19.10 release will look like? I’ve put together a screenshot tour to illustrate the changes and new features it brings.

Part spoiler, part pre-install prep; if sampling the Eoan Ermine through the medium of compressed .jpeg sounds like your thing, you’ve landed in the right place!

Remember: you can upgrade to Ubuntu 19.10 from 19.04 directly, but not if you’re on 18.04 LTS. If you’re on the LTS you’ll need to wait and upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS in April of next year.

Ubuntu 19.10 Screenshot Tour

The Ubuntu 19.10 installer is largely the same as before, albeit with a pair of truly notable additions.

First up, the main ‘install’ page now includes an option to ‘erase disk and use ZFS’, a unique open source file system developed (originally) for Solaris. While technically interesting, this feature is not recommended for most users as the ZFS file system install is considered experimental.

Another important, yet not immediately obvious change, relates to the “install non-free software” checkbox. Ticking this will now install the latest proprietary NVIDIA graphics drivers for hardware where applicable — a big deal for Ubuntu gamers.

Ubuntu welcome, the first run set-up wizard, doesn’t feature any new options this release, but the portal remains a handy intro to the system for new users as well as letting you opt in to usage reporting

The Ubuntu 19.10 desktop layout is the same as in the past three releases, with a panel stripped across the top of the screen and the Ubuntu dock on the left — but there is a new default wallpaper to admire:

The Ubuntu Dock now shows icons for removable USB drives and remote mounts:

The Ubuntu GNOME Shell theme is inverted to use light interface elements in the notification shade, Status Menu, and session dialogs. In Ubuntu 19.04 and earlier these UI elements were dark:

Sticking with themes, Ubuntu 19.10 also includes an optional light Yaru GTK theme and an optional dark Yaru GTK theme. This aren’t directly accessible so you’ll need to use the GNOME Tweaks tool to enable them:

Yaru Light (left) and Yaru Dark (right)

The Applications grid lets you create app folders by drag and drop and name them how you like. It’s a long-requested feature that works relatively intuitively and is a definite highlight of this release:

Several applications boast new Yaru icons in 19.10, including app icons for Remmina, Transmission, LibreOffice, and Sodoku:

The latest versions of core apps like Mozilla Firefox, Thunderbird and the free office suite LibreOffice come preinstalled, as you’d expect:

Other apps available “out-of-the-box” include Rhythmbox, the Totem video player, and a desktop Calendar app with improved event creation:

Switching desktop and lock screen background is made easier thanks to the redesigned wallpaper picker. As well as making it easier to scroll through a list of available wallpapers the panel also lets you set images as both desktop and lock screen wallpaper in one go:

Settings for the built-in “Night Light” blue light filter now sit in a dedicated tab in the Settings > Display panel:

The order search results in the Applications Overview can be adjusted in Ubuntu 19.10. Just had to Settings > Search and rearrange the source providers to put the ones you access most nearer to the top:

Ubuntu Software, the GNOME Software-based app store, continues to hold back on version 3.30. This decision is a curious one as GNOME Software 3.34 is the latest release and features a number of important improvements:

The Ubuntu login and lock screen features a marginally brighter look than previous releases thanks to a light purple background and some funky recoloured buttons:

Finally, when powering off, you’ll notice that “action” dialogs (like the password prompt when installing software) also use a light theme:

Feature release day content screenshot tour Ubuntu 19.10