Ubuntu 21.10 will be released on October 14, 2021 and in this post we take a closer look at the new features and changes it is likely to come with.

Everything you need to know about Ubuntu 21.10 ‘Impish Indri’

Admittedly Ubuntu 21.10 development is still in a (somewhat) early state, but rumours are rife on what we can expect from the release that its developers have named the “Impish Indri”.

Below is a rundown of everything we know so far, including when Ubuntu 21.10 will be released, how long it’ll be supported for.

Plus, there’s a link to download Ubuntu 21.10 daily builds if you fancy taking the release for a test ahead of its stable release in the autumn.

Ubuntu 21.10 ‘Impish Indri’

screenshot of gnome 40 in the Ubuntu 21.10 daily build
How things are looking in the daily builds

As revealed earlier this year, the Ubuntu 21.10 codename is ‘Impish Indri’. This codename doesn’t give us an awful lot of subtext. The word “impish” means to “…do slightly naughty things for fun”, while an “indri” is a lemur native to Madagascar that spends the majority of its time up off the ground and in the trees.

A short-term support release, Ubuntu 21.10 will be supported for 9 months with major bug fixes, critical security patches, and major new app releases. Support ends July 2022, and the recommend ‘upgrade’ path will be to Ubuntu 22.04 LTS.

Fact fans will no doubt know that 21.10 is the 25th Ubuntu release since 2004 and the second version to be named after an animal beginning with the letter ‘I’. Can you recall the other Ubuntu release beginning with ‘I’? I’ll save you rummaging through your memory: it was Ubuntu 8.10 ‘Intrepid Ibex’ back in 2008.

Ubuntu 21.10: Release Date

You will be able to download Ubuntu 21.10 on October 14, 2021. This date is the one listed on Launchpad, the home of Ubuntu development.

Prior to then there are several development milestones to come as part of the Impish Indri development cycle:

  • Feature Freeze: Aug 19, 2021
  • UI Freeze: Sept 9, 2021
  • Ubuntu 21.10 Beta: Sept 23, 2021
  • Kernel Freeze: Sept 30, 2021
  • Release Candidate: Oct 7, 2021

Keep in mind that that these dates are not fixed and are subject to change.

Ubuntu 21.10: New Features

Okay, so you came here to learn more about the features Ubuntu 21.10 might offer – so we’re gonna take a look at what we know so far.

Do keep in mind that this post will be updated throughout development. While there may not be a lot of shiny new things™ listed right now, it doesn’t mean that further changes aren’t expected.

Canonical want to ship Ubuntu 21.10 with a new installer whose UI is built in Flutter. Work on Ubuntu’s new installer is progressing slowly and it remains far from ‘functional’. It’ll be interesting to see if development of the new installer can pick up in time for 21.10, otherwise the new installer is unlikely to debut officially before 22.10.

Ubuntu 21.10 currently uses GNOME 40 as the default desktop experience, though it is expected that Ubuntu 21.10 will ship with GNOME 41, which is due for release in September.

Ubuntu still uses the Ubuntu Dock on the left side of the screen. Canonical devs have made upstream contributions to GNOME Shell that make the Ubuntu Dock-based work well with horizontal workspaces and the new horizontal app launcher.

A look at the current shape of GNOME 40 in Ubuntu

The Ubuntu Dock in Ubuntu 21.10 has a persistent trash can icon (it was previously included as a desktop shortcut), and USB drives are appended to the dock rather than showing on the desktop. The dock also now shows a separator between your pinned app launchers and running apps.

Ubuntu’s community-based design team have chosen to set Yaru Light as the default theme in Impish, citing effort issues in maintaining the current ‘mixed’ versions. No words on whether the Shell UI will also flip-flop back to being light too (it was switched to a dark appearance in the previous release); for now the GNOME Shell theme is still dark.

Zstd compression will, several years later than planned, be enabled for the main archive. This will make Ubuntu 21.10 installs faster than 21.04 install — by how much? That we’ll have to wait to see!

Ubuntu users who use proprietary NVIDIA graphics drivers will, in Impish, be able to use Wayland. The Wayland by default experience in Ubuntu 21.04 is currently only enabled on systems where it is supported natively.

These and other changes in Ubuntu 21.10: –

  • GNOME 41 desktop by default
  • Linux 5.14 kernel (or newer)
  • Yaru light theme by default
  • New installer made with Flutter
  • Zstd compression for packages
  • Wayland enabled for NVIDIA driver users
  • Touchpad improvements
  • New wallpapers

We will keep this post updated and revised as more changes are revealed, new features develop, and firm plans are laid out.

Download Ubuntu 21.10 (Daily Build)

You can download Ubuntu 21.10 daily builds from the Ubuntu website linked below. The installer is provided as a 64-bit .iso image. You need to burn this image to a blank DVD, or write it to a USB drive (4GB or greater) using a tool like Etcher in order to install it on a laptop or desktop PC.

Download Ubuntu 21.10 Daily Build (64-bit .iso)

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