Ubuntu 21.10 Beta is one of the final steps before the next release of this very popular Linux distribution. It's time to get testing and reporting issues to ensure it's a good one.
One of the big highlight changes is the upgrade to GNOME 40, with all the design changes there like the new Activities Overview, workspaces are arranged horizontally and the overview and app grid are accessed vertically. With a little Ubuntu flavour of course thanks to Canonical continuing to include a dock on the left side of the screen.
They've also enabled Wayland support with NVIDIA drivers, PulseAudio upgrades with support for bluetooth LDAC and AptX bluetooth and HFP profiles, upgrades to lots of the main applications like Firefox 92, LibreOffice 7.2.1 and Thunderbird 91.1.1. Click to enlarge the below pictures:
An interesting change and one that will likely cause a stir is that Firefox has moved to a Snap package, instead of the usual deb packaging. This is a joint effort between Mozilla and Canonical, while the deb package is still available so users of it will still get updated. You will only be affected if you've done an install of Ubuntu 21.10 or later. Explaining why in a post a few notes were pointed out:
- Cross-platform support: The snap will run on all distributions that run snapd - now and in the future
- Authenticity: You’re getting Firefox, unadulterated, straight from the source
- Effortless updates: Get security updates from Mozilla, fast
- Less time on maintenance, more time for features: Community developers can focus on innovation, instead of being mired in support
Currently it's using Mesa 21.2.1 and Kernel 5.13.
If you do decide to install it, worry not about how to get the final release. All you will need to do is keep updating the system to get the latest.
You can download here. See their currently unfinished release notes. The full release is scheduled for October 14. Since this is not a Long-Term Support release it will have support end in July 2022. The next LTS release will be Ubuntu 22.04 scheduled to release April 21, 2022.