Ubuntu 22.10 is out, with an extra remix in the family: Unity

Linux wunderkind's project now an official flavor as 'Kinetic Kudu' brings nine months of updates

Ubuntu 22.10 is out, and the biggest change is a new official remix: Ubuntu Unity is now an official flavor.

Unity was once Ubuntu's in-house desktop, but was abandoned for a stock GNOME Shell interface in 2017. As we noted here in The Reg, it was revived by 12-year-old Linux wunderkind Rudra Saraswat, and since then the Ubuntu Unity team applied to become an official edition. After the vote went through, and from version 22.10, it's official once more.

The "Kinetic Kudu" release is based on kernel 5.19, released at the end of July, and the official mainstream flavor uses GNOME – specifically, the latest GNOME 43.

The various underlying subcomponents of 22.10 mostly also apply to the various remixes as well: systemd 251.4, Netplan 0.105, Firefox 104, Thunderbird 102, LibreOffice 7.4, CUPS 2.4, BlueZ 5.65, NetworkManager 1.40, Mesa 22, Pipewire 0.3.57, Poppler 22.08, PulseAudio 16, and xdg-desktop-portal 1.15.

Bear in mind that 22.10 is an interim release. The rule is easy to remember, but apparently quite a few people don't get it. Ubuntu puts out a release twice a year. LTS releases are the earlier ones in even-numbered years.

"Kinetic" being a short-term release has several consequences. Notably, current users of 22.04 won't get an upgrade offered to them. It's not eligible for the "Ubuntu Pro" support package. And most importantly, it will only get nine months of updates, which means that 22.10 will go out of support halfway through the life cycle of Ubuntu 23.04. That means that to continue getting updates, you will have to upgrade to 23.04. So, upgrading to 22.10 means that you are committing yourself in the future to upgrading to 23.04 and in turn 23.10 as well. The next long term release is 24.04, coming out in 2024.

We looked at the beta of GNOME 43 recently. It's not massively different from the previous release, GNOME 42, as used in the current long-term support edition of Ubuntu, 22.04. The main changes are that a few more GNOME components now use Gtk 4, meaning that they blend in with the now effectively mandatory "Adwaita" look and feel. There are worse things: it's one of the most polished Linux desktops around.

As usual, there are various other desktops available if you want: Kubuntu 22.10, with KDE Plasma 5.25; Lubuntu, with LXQt 1.1.0; Xubuntu 22.10, with Xfce 4.17; Ubuntu Budgie 22.10, with Budgie 10.6.4; Ubuntu MATE 22.10, with MATE 1.26.1 plus a few features backported from MATE 1.27; and Ubuntu Kylin. There's also Ubuntu Studio 22.10, for media creators, which now uses KDE Plasma and still has the JACK audio server.

And the new sibling, Ubuntu Unity, with version 7.6 of the Unity desktop. For those who liked Unity's rather macOS-like desktop, with a global menu bar and a dock, it's a welcome return. Like the previous standalone release, Ubuntu Unity comes with Flatpak support preinstalled as well as Snap, and has the usual Ubuntu Snap-packaged version of Firefox. If you want your browser to integrate with Unity's menu bar, we suggest installing Firefox fork Waterfox, which does this impeccably. ®

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