Alongside the release of the regular Ubuntu 22.10 desktop is a flurry of refreshed flavour releases to fawn over.
In this post I give a short overview of the key new features and changes in a few of the most popular Ubuntu flavours, along with the downloads links you’ll need should you want to try them out first-hand, for yourself.
Unless otherwise noted, all flavours inherit Ubuntu’s foundational packages, so you get the same Linux kernel 5.19, graphics drivers, and tooling as the regular version (so I won’t call those changes out specifically).
Waffle digested, let’s dive in!
Kubuntu 22.10 is based around the KDE Plasma 5.25 release. While this isn’t the very latest release it’s a pretty substantial update on its own. I especially like the new touchpad gestures and the colour matching customisation capabilities (side note: Plasma 5.25 is available via backports to Kubuntu 22.04 users).
Having the best available software is the main ask of a modern distro and on that score Kubuntu 22.10 duly obliges. A refreshed set of core KDE apps offered, KDE Gear 22.08, and new versions of Firefox, VLC, Thunderbird, LibreOffice, and similar.
Go to the Kubuntu downloads page if you’re keen to take Kubuntu Kinetic a spin.
Xubuntu 22.10 is built around the Xfce 4.17, which is the development series for the Xfce 4.18 release due later this year. While this doesn’t include many user-facing new features it does deliver a grab-bag of tweaks that greatly improve the Xfce desktop experience.
On the application’s front Thunar, the file manager, now remember zoom levels set on a per-directory basis, and offers built-in, recursive file search. Mousepad, the included text editor, now has a search history; and Catfish (an epic file search tool) gains an “Open with” context menu to make it easier to open files its finds.
Other improvements include the Xfce PulseAudio Plugin indicating when an app is recording audio, and provides notifications when microphone volume levels are adjusted; the ability to copy a full process command line to the clipboard in the Task Manager; and a new binary time mode for the Xfce panel.
Download Xubuntu 22.10 from the Xubuntu website.
Ubuntu MATE 22.10:
Ubuntu MATE 22.10 is a quieter-than-usual release, which long-time fans of this particularly spin might be surprised to hear! Ubuntu MATE lead Martin Wimpress describes the Kinetic offering as “a modest update by recent standards […] focused on ‘quality of life improvements'” — and hey: sometimes less is more!
MATE aficionados will find a much improved HUD feature, along with a brand new HUD settings apps offering a swathe of settings to control this (imo still innovative) feature; there’s another set of (really rather impressive) AI generated wallpapers to enjoy; and a new User Manager tool added to, well, manage users!
An early cherry-pick from the upcoming MATE Desktop 1.28 release: applet icons can now be center aligned, in addition to left and right alignment options. This is a small addition in the grand scheme but caters to choice and familiarity (Windows 11, macOS, and ChromeOS all use center-aligned task bars) – an intrinsic MATE quality.
Download Ubuntu MATE 22.10 via the official website.
Ubuntu Budgie 22.10
Of the flagship “desktop environment” flavours, Ubuntu Budgie 22.10 appears to have the biggest change-log! In fact, there’s so much in the release notes that I won’t be able to mention it all in a couple of paragraphs. Suffice to say: there are a lot of smaller improvements in things like applets and settings.
The headline appeal is going to be the inclusion of a bleeding-edge snapshot of Budgie. This, Ubuntu Budgie devs say, includes “a whole suite of extra capabilities pending the v10.7 release due in the next few months” — so that’s exciting. There’s also an updated budgie-menu with a revised ‘traditional’ layout.
A minor revolution has taken plan in regards to the software Ubuntu Budgie ships with. Several apps dropped, others added, and a few included in lieu of alternatives. Lollypop and gPodder assume the music and podcast duties Rhythmbox previously catered for; guvcview replaces Cheese; and Atril, MATE Calc, and MATE System Monitor supplant their upstream GNOME equivalents.
Visit the Ubuntu Budgie downloads page to get a copy of Ubuntu Budgie 22.10.
Plenty more to play with!
The distros mentioned above aren’t the only flavours with new releases, but I haven’t had time to download and dive in to explore the others.
Ubuntu Studio 22.10 ships with a new ‘feature uninstaller’ that looks handy, while its software updates include the recent Audacity 3.2 release (and it’s no longer a Snap); Lubuntu 22.10 touts the latest LXQt desktop release, and add some cute community-created art; and a brand new official flavour, Ubuntu Unity 22.10 joins the club. This, as you may guess from its name, uses the Unity desktop environment by default.
No release this time for Ubuntu Kylin.
If you’re a fan of a particular flavour, don’t be shy: share you thoughts on the latest release (and namecheck any specific improvements you dig) down below, in the comment hole!