The new default wallpaper that will ship in the upcoming Ubuntu 22.04 LTS release has been revealed.

An updated background image is rolling out to users of the the daily builds as a software update, but you don’t need to be running it to take a look — you can see it in this post.

Per tradition, each new release of Ubuntu comes with a custom designed desktop background that features the codename mascot, in this case that’s a Jellyfish, in the middle.

And that’s exactly what’s on offer:

You could call it a ‘Jeometric’ Jellyfish

Two variants of the jubilantly juxtaposed jellyfish are included: the full-colour version (which you can see above, which serves as the default wallpaper) and an optional greyscale version.

Now, I care about wallpapers a bit—understatement—more than the average person does. For this reason what I’m about to type may sound a little over-attentive. But, I can’t help noticing that there is something different about the Jammy Jellyfish wallpaper: the entire right-hand side.

Ubuntu uses a purple/orange gradient as the wallpaper’s base, and has done for as long as I can remember. But until now that base has been overlaid with a flat two-dimensional geometrical “wash”. Lots of bisecting lines, lot of opacity, lots of angles:

But Jammy’s wallpaper? Well it only seems to follow this traditional brief on the left hand side of the image (albeit a bit more angular then usual). The right hand side of the Jammy wallpaper is stylistically different to what we usually get: it’s 3D, more structural, more tangible.

I think this a conscious introduction on the part of Ubuntu’s design team. It’s a way of marking a segue/transition between the (now) old Ubuntu style, and a new one, burgeoning.

By now you’ll have seen the new Ubuntu logo. Ubuntu is updating its visual style. It might be that “origami” and “2D geometric” patterns are no longer in vogue at Canonical HQ.

Ubuntu 22.04 Wallpaper Contest Winners

Wallpaper-related changes don’t end there. Three more backgrounds have also been added to the Jammy Jellyfish, each one drafted in from the recent Ubuntu wallpaper contest. The images are quite ‘dark’ overall and include another illustration of a jellyfish, and some colourful lit optical fibres.

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