Ubuntu 23.10, code-named “Mantic Minotaur” release, is gearing up as the final short-term release of 2023. With a support duration of nine months, this release aims to enhance Ubuntu’s core infrastructure while embracing new packages and cutting-edge technology.
Let’s find out the best new features of Ubuntu 23.10.
Table of Contents
Ubuntu 23.10 Desktop: Best New Features
Linux Kernel 6.5
The foundation of any Linux distribution, the Kernel, gets a significant upgrade in Ubuntu 23.10 with the introduction of Kernel 6.5. This latest iteration brings a plethora of improvements, from enhanced hardware support to improved system performance. Key highlights of Linux Kernel 6.5 include WiFi 7 support, MIDI 2.0 compatibility and more such features, which you can read in detail in our Kernel 6.5 guide.
GNOME 45: A Fresh Desktop Experience
Ubuntu 23.10 brings an exciting update with GNOME 45 for those who relish the GNOME desktop environment. Brace yourself for many changes that promise to redefine your desktop experience.
Among these changes, the introduction of the KMS thread stands out. This innovative addition enhances Mutter’s performance by offloading cursor movement handling to a dedicated thread, allowing the primary thread to focus on other essential tasks. Expect smoother, more responsive desktop interactions.
YUV colour support in Wayland is another game-changer. This colour space, optimized for video and image processing, offers increased efficiency compared to RGB, especially during dynamic, high-motion scenarios. With YUV support in Wayland, applications can now offload YUV to RGBA conversions to the compositor, resulting in a more streamlined and efficient visual experience.
Moreover, users will delight in the updated Adwaita styles in Settings and GNOME Files, featuring split headerbars between the left and right panes, and the introduction of global search in Nautilus. This new search function lets you scour your entire filesystem with ease.
Don’t forget to check out the fresh workspace icons at the left hot corner, adding a touch of visual flair to your desktop environment.
You can learn more about the features of GNOME 45 here: Best New Features of GNOME 45
Tiling Assistant, a popular GNOME extension, is now introduced in Ubuntu 23.10. This improved window tiling with GNOME brings flexibility when arranging and resizing windows, making multitasking a breeze. Customize your workspace to suit your workflow thanks to this enhanced tiling functionality.
Full disk encryption
Ubuntu 23.10 introduces TPM-backed Full Disk Encryption (FDE) as an experimental feature for those seeking enhanced security. Building on Ubuntu Core’s experience, this feature eliminates the need for manual passphrase entry at boot. Instead, the TPM securely manages the decryption key, bolstering protection against physical attacks. While the traditional passphrase-based FDE remains an option, adventurous users can explore this new layer of security, albeit with caution, as it’s still in the experimental stage.
New App Center
One of the most exciting additions in Ubuntu 23.10 is the new App Center. This Flutter-based app store brags a sleek layout, improved search functionality, enhanced app views, and the ability to switch between Snap and Debian packages. While it won’t replace the classic Software Center, it represents a significant evolution of Ubuntu’s software stores.
But most of the apps you see in the new App Center are the Snap apps from the Snapcraft store. So, there won’t be any Flatpak apps, obviously. It looks like more snap will be faced by the new Ubuntu users (especially the first-time users).
At the core, Python 3.11.5 is now available out-of-the-box in Ubuntu 23.10. You don’t need to install Python 3.11 anymore separately. It’s worth mentioning that the Python 3.12 release is due soon and probably won’t be available for this release.
Other toolchain updates are as follows.
- PHP 8.2
- GCC 13.2
- GlibC 2.38
- Ruby 3.2
- golang 1.2
Most of the official Ubuntu flavours remained with their point releases compared to the prior Ubuntu 23.04 release. Hence, you get the more-or-less same desktops with improved bug fixes and stability.
Edubuntu and Ubuntu Cinnamon remix, which were introduced last time, get their latest desktop versions. In addition, popular desktops get the following versions:
- Kubuntu with KDE Plasma 5.27.5
- Xubuntu with Xfce 4.18
- Ubuntu MATE 23.10 with MATE desktop 1.26.2
- Lubuntu 23.10 with LXQt 1.2
- Ubuntu Budgie with Budgie desktop version 10.8 (this is a significant update)
As per the latest report, you can try the BETA build images for this version. Remember not to use these for production systems or for any serious work. Things may break.
|Ubuntu Flavour||Link to .iso image(s)|
|Ubuntu 23.10 Desktop|
|Ubuntu MATE 23.10||https://cdimage.ubuntu.com/ubuntu-mate/releases/mantic/beta/|
|Ubuntu Kylin 23.10||https://cdimage.ubuntu.com/ubuntukylin/releases/mantic/beta/|
|Ubuntu Budgie 23.10||https://cdimage.ubuntu.com/ubuntu-budgie/releases/mantic/beta/|
|Ubuntu Studio 23.10||not available|
|Ubuntu Unity 23.10||https://cdimage.ubuntu.com/ubuntu-unity/releases/mantic/beta/|
|Ubuntu Cinnamon 23.10||https://cdimage.ubuntu.com/ubuntucinnamon/releases/mantic/beta/|
With Ubuntu 23.10, Canonical continues to push the latest security and tech offerings for users and enterprises. Although, the majority of the updates are for the “Ubuntu ecosystem” and felt more or more “closed”. However, being the most popular distro, Ubuntu 23.10 will be a compelling release, creating the foundation for the next LTS release.