Ubuntu – Quick Look at Ubuntu 23.10

Hello World, 

As you can see, we are trying to get back on track and publish some posts and update this blog.  We are still quite busy but since a new version of Ubuntu is coming quite soon, we thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to start blogging again.   Ubuntu 23.10 Beta version has been released a few days ago and we are started to look into this release….full of surprise.   Even do Ubuntu 23.10 is a Short Term Release (STR) supported for only 9 Months, we think it’s still important to review it. Indeed, the STR will serve as it will serve as base of the newly LTS version to be released in 2024 !   

This release is a peak preview of the next major release of Ubuntu i.e. Ubuntu 24.04 

So, let’s quickly check this release… 


Again, there are a lot of information, review and posts about Ubuntu 23.10 and what’s new.. We do not want to repeat the same information and we will not go into details in this post.  We will look at some of the points that we think are interesting in this release….  

Ubuntu Installer

The new Ubuntu installer (flutter based) is really nice and it seems that some improvements have been made.  The Installer is now clean, responsive and it’s working as expected even on Hyper-v virtual machines.   The Ubuntu Installer is easy to use, needs only a few information and your installation will start automatically.    Compared to other Linux distributions, the new Ubuntu installer is really a refreshing experience in terms of look’n feel and straight forward.  

By default, the installation theme will be the light one. 

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However, before even start the installation, you can also change theme and go for the Dark Theme. 

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To be really fair,  this simplified but well designed Installer give a really personal touch to Ubuntu.  Compared to other distributions and installers, Ubuntu installer is probably providing one of the best user experience.

Ubuntu Desktop 

As you know, there are multiple Ubuntu Flavors (Kubuntu, xubuntu….) We usually focus on the “standard” Ubuntu release shipping with the Gnome Desktop.  Since Canoncial decided to use Gnome Desktop in the Ubuntu “default” version, all the new things are coming mainly from new releases of Gnome Desktop interface.  Ubuntu 23.10 will ship with Gnome 45 which definitely brings some new features, and a lot of the Gnome apps will be updated as well.  New Nautilus features have been made available and ready to use.  The Tiling experience will ship as well…

Gnome 45 looks nicer than previous versions.  This might be only an impression but the interface seems more responsive, more refined and more elegant.  Some subtle changes (like less memory consumption) make this release really pleasant.  Gnome might be around for a long time now, the desktop interface seems still modern and usable.  

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People tends to say that Ubuntu is not sexy anymore and does not bring any new exciting features.. We think that Ubuntu/Canonical is providing a solid Desktop experience.  Ubuntu 23.10 is probably not a revolution but an evolution of the previous releases.  

If Ubuntu 24.04 looks like this, we would be happy to continue using Ubuntu as main alternative to other Operating systems….  

New Software Center & Snap applications

Ubuntu 23.10 will ship with a brand new Software Center.  This software center version was apparently developed by the community and Canonical has decided to integrate this new software center in Ubuntu and make it the new Default Software Center.    The software center provides a refresh look and works quite well.   The  New Software Center is also based on the Flutter Technology and integrate quite well with the Desktop Interface.  

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Now, on the other side, during initial release of Ubuntu Daily images, this software center was listing only Snap applications.  Snap application is the Canonical proprietary package format that is available on Ubuntu platform.  No Deb packages were available in this new Software Center.  With the Beta release of Ubuntu 23.10,  Debian packages are back indeed.   We have tested the new software center and it seems that most of the software research made will always offer you the Snap version first. 

We understand the pro & cons of software packaging solution such as Snap, AppImage, Flatpak.  Nowadays, it’s clear that Canonical will push more and more its own software packaging solution. This seems inevitable.  We are not in favor or against the snap technology.  In some cases, it can be really useful and useable.  In other situation, it might not be the best choice.  

Choice is up to you.  You like Snap, so you can use Snap technology and keep using Ubuntu.  You hate Snap.. You can decide to remove snap completely and use any other packaging format or you can move to another Distribution like Debian or Linux Mint that do not enforce Snap utilization….

The “Applications” Controversy

At the beginning of the Development cycle of Ubuntu 23.10, the desktop team came up with the idea that the next release will ship with no applications installed by default.  In order words, when installing Ubuntu 23.10, you will get only the Operating system installed + the Desktop interfaces but no application like LibreOffice, Shotwell, Music Player….This has create a huge debate on the web.  

However, recently, with the release of the Ubuntu 23.10 Beta version, it seems that the approach has changed.  Canonical has made a step back in the statement.  To come up with a compromise, the new Installer will offer you the option to perform a basic installation or an extended installation.  The extended installation will install back all your favorite applications within your favorites operating system. 

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We are happy that Canonical/Dev team changed their mind.  We want to have applications available and useable just after finishing our Ubuntu installation 

New Polkit Version 

This is something that less known or visible.  It seems that Ubuntu 23.10 release will ship with a modern version of Polkit.  Polkit (or PolicyKit) is a component that will control what a user or a process can do on the Ubuntu system.   

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Previous version of Ubuntu were shipping with outdated version of pkaction (version 105).   Ubuntu 23.10 and upcoming releases will be using recent version of pkaction and Polkit component.  You usually do not need to work or modify settings of Polkit.   However, if you are a long time reader of this blog, you know that we have developed a small script that automate the installation of xRDP software package.   When installing this package, there is a need to tweak the Polkit settings.   Since a newer version of Polkit has been implemented, the way the xrdp script handle the polkit exceptions needs to be reviewed and adapted.  The new Polkit version will use different syntax and file extensions….. 


xRDP Version in Ubuntu 23.10  

xRDP package software that has been made available in Ubuntu repository for Ubuntu 23.10 is the version 0.9.21-1.   The version is quite recent but this is not the latest one (that has been released a few weeks ago).  As you probably know by now, we have developed a small script that automate the installation of xRDP package.  We will need to update the script in order to include support for Ubuntu 23.10 and automate the installation.  We are not expecting any major changes in the way the xRDP software is working against Ubuntu 23.10.  

More to come in a future post…. 

Final Notes

Voila ! This is it for this post… 

Ubuntu 23.10 is not a revolution but more an evolution of the existing Ubuntu releases.  We have been quite disappointed with Version 23.04 since the installer was not working as expected and that it was not possible to get Ubuntu 23.04 running correctly on Hyper-v infrastructure.   Ubuntu 23.10 on the contrary seems promising.  The new Gnome 45 seems to be more fluid and it’s a real pleasure to work with this version.   The new flutter installer Wizard is really nice and does the job quite well.  The new Software center provide a refreshing experience even do most of the applications proposed/offered seems to be Snap format applications.  Yes, you have some debian packages available as well but they seems harder to find….  

Ubuntu 23.10 is probably shaping the next Long term release of Ubuntu (i.e. 24.04). All in all, Canonical has done a good job here. Ubuntu 23.10 bring a refreshing experience while stability and familiar way of working have been kept as well 

Till next time 

See ya


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