Not Gnome, but Unity, since 2022 an official Ubuntu flavour

Ubuntu 22.10, nicknamed “Kinetic Kudo” and released on time on October 20, 2022, looks like a pure rejuvenation cure compared to the long-term (LTS) version 22.04 released six months ago. For example, the new audio platform Pipewire is on board for the first time in Ubuntu, and the Gnome desktop is finally up to date again: Gnome 43 brings fresh apps that use GTK4, the latest version of the graphics toolkit, and uses the libadwaita library, which was a show stopper before.

Good for video conferencing and listening to music: Thanks to Pipewire, Bluetooth headphones and headsets are finally better supported on Linux systems. The Gnome settings app, which has been improved both visually and in terms of content, allows to tweak the profile and codec under “Bluetooth” and “Sound settings” – instead of the standard codec SBC, for example, you can select AptX (must of course be supported by hardware and headset). The new Gnome quick settings, which open with a click on the status bar and allow, among other things, to switch between light and dark design, also have a Bluetooth button, but it does not yet lead to the detailed settings, and works only for switching Bluetooth on or off. Incidentally, my entire Gnome desktop froze, when I switched off Bluetooth while connected to a headset. Not nice.

For those who don’t like Gnome, there are, as always, a number of alternative desktops (“flavors”) thanks to Kubuntu, Xubuntu and co. What is new, however, is that the former standard desktop Unity also celebrates its resurrection as an official Ubuntu flavor. Ubuntu was initially scolded for going it alone with Unity and received a lot of gloating after its discontinuation – but apparently there were enough Unity fans left that the desktop lived on thanks to the community.

Pretty fresh by Ubuntu standards is also the Linux kernel 5.19, which was released at the beginning of August 2022. Linux 6.0 was already released at the beginning of October, but too late to be included in this Ubuntu release. Still: there are good reasons to upgrade to Ubuntu 22.10, and as always in such cases: first do the full backup, then sudo do-release-upgrade. Those who shy away from the upgrade have equally good reasons to stay with Ubuntu 22.04, because it is supported for five years. Ubuntu 22.10 will last only nine months.