Ubuntu 18.10 Set For Release Today With Some Nice Improvements
It's Cosmic Cuttlefish day! Assuming no last minute delays, Ubuntu 18.10 and its downstream flavors will be out today with their newest six-month non-LTS releases to be supported through July of 2019.
With Ubuntu 18.10 on the desktop the most user-facing change is the revised default theme for the GNOME Shell experience. The theme formerly known as "Communitheme" and now known as "Yaru" turned out fairly nice for Ubuntu 18.10 as the default appearance. While on the topic of GNOME Shell, Ubuntu 18.10 is defaulting to the X.Org Server based session like Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and they are not yet back to riding the Wayland session -- but it can be easily still toggled at log-in time for those wishing to help vet the GNOME Wayland stack.
Ubuntu 18.10's GNOME stack is based upon the latest GNOME 3.30 release and all the improvements it brings to the table.
Common to Ubuntu 18.10 and its various flavors is the Linux 4.18 kernel, which means better hardware support, various performance improvements, and other optimizations compared to Ubuntu 18.04's Linux 4.15. Ubuntu 18.10 also pulls in GCC8 over GCC7, Mesa 18.2 for having the latest stable open-source graphics drivers, X.Org Server 1.20.1 for a better SteamVR experience and other improvements, and a whole lot of other package updates like OpenSSL 1.1.1 and OpenJDK 11.
On the Ubuntu Server front they continued working on their new installer, Open vSwitch 2.10 is available, QEMU 2.12 and libvirt 4.6 power the open-source virtualization user-space bits, and various other updates.
Overall, Ubuntu 18.10 "Cosmic Cuttlefish" is quite a modest six-month upgrade for being the first past the Ubuntu 18.04 cycle. Exciting me the most, of course, is simply the package upgrades with riding Linux 4.18 + Mesa 18.2 for a much better Linux gaming experience and having moved on now to GCC8.
What didn't get achieved for the Ubuntu 18.10 cycle is the long-awaited data viewer to the Ubuntu software/hardware survey introduced in 18.04 LTS... As of writing there's still no public means of being able to view the statistics on these opt-in Ubuntu survey installations. Additionally, the plans for better Android phone integration with the Ubuntu 18.10 desktop by means of bundling GS Connect also didn't happen as planned for the Ubuntu 18.10 cycle.
More Ubuntu 18.10 benchmarks will be coming up shortly on Phoronix. Ubuntu 18.10 should be officially available for download later today and then onwards to the Ubuntu 19.04 cycle... Dapper Drake 2.0 or whatever it ends up being codenamed.