Ubuntu 21.10 Released With GNOME 40 Desktop, Many Underlying Improvements

Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 14 October 2021 at 10:53 AM EDT. 56 Comments
Ubuntu 21.10 "Impish Indri" is now officially available as the latest six-month update to Ubuntu Linux and also serving as the last release prior to the next long-term support cycle, Ubuntu 22.04 LTS.

Ubuntu 21.10 brings a wide variety of improvements, most notably on the desktop side switching to GNOME Shell 40 and offering many improvements there including some theme refinements. There are also many underlying improvements to enjoy with Ubuntu 21.10, like what gets us excited about kernel and compiler upgrades along with other notable package version bumps.

Some of the Ubuntu 21.10 highlights include:

- GNOME Shell 40 provides the default desktop experience on Ubuntu 21.10. Sadly, not GNOME 41, but at least now on to GNOME 40 after that was postponed from the original Ubuntu 21.04 plans. GNOME 40 with Ubuntu 21.10 means more Wayland improvements and an assortment of other desktop improvements.

- Ubuntu 21.10 is making use of a Snap'ed version of Mozilla Firefox as the default web browser to replace the existing APT-based Firefox package...

- Support for using the latest NVIDIA proprietary driver with the Wayland session.

- Zstd compression is finally enabled for compressing the Debian packages in the archive.

- PHP 8.0 is now available in the archive.

- Linux 5.13 is powering Ubuntu 21.10 for newer hardware support and all of the other kernel-level improvements we talk about so frequently on Phoronix. Sadly not Linux 5.14, but at least a step ahead from 5.11 found on Ubuntu 21.04.

- GCC 11 is the default system compiler, providing AMD Zen 3 targeting support and a variety of other improvements over GCC 10.

- Mesa 21.2 is used for providing the current stable OpenGL and Vulkan drivers on Ubuntu with various performance improvements over what was found in Ubuntu 21.04.

Ubuntu 21.10 can be downloaded at Ubuntu.com.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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