Ubuntu 17.10, code named Artful Aardvark; I guess you already know that Artful means full of art or skill. And Aardvark is a medium-sized, burrowing, nocturnal mammal native to Africa. Colloquially, it is called African Ant Eater.
Nowadays Ubuntu become the world’s most popular desktop Linux operating system, and with its latest short-term support release, it’s clear Canonical want to keep a firm grip on the title.
As release with Artful Aardvark (Ubuntu 17.10) in October 19, 2017 Canonical continues Ubuntu’s proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technology into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution. Ubuntu 17.10 Artful Aardvark marks an all-new chapter in Ubuntu’s already rich history. As always, the team has been hard at work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs.
This is the first version of Ubuntu to use GNOME Shell as the default desktop. ‘The HUD, global menu, and other Unity features are no longer included’. By choosing to drop Unity most of Ubuntu’s home-grown usability efforts also fall by the wayside.
In Unity’s place comes a bespoke version of GNOME Shell that is ‘customized’ to resemble something that’s superficially close to the Unity desktop layout. The Ubuntu 17.10 desktop uses a two-panel layout: a full-height vertical dock sits on the left-hand side of the screen, while a ‘top bar’ is stripped across the top.
The top bar plays host a new type of app menu, a calendar applet/message tray, app indicators, and a unified status menu for managing network, volume, Bluetooth and user sessions.
The new Ubuntu Dock is both a task manager and an application launcher. It shows icons for open and running software windows as well as ‘pinned’ launchers for user’s favorite apps.
The dock is also global; it displays icons/applications from all workspaces regardless of which one user is actually viewing.
Both the Ubuntu Dock and the top bar are semi-transparent, which adds nice visual presence. When a window touches either element the “dynamic transparency” feature kicks in to render both dock and top bar darker, making panel label contents more legible in the foreground.
The main “desktop” area remains a usable space on which user can place icons, folders and files.
Though there’s no longer a true global app menu, but the majority of apps place a small menu in the top bar bearing the name of the app in focus. These app menus contain a solitary ‘quit’ button at the least, or a full complement of options at most.
Workspaces are a common feature found on most modern desktop operating systems including Windows 10, so it’s a good thing that Ubuntu hasn’t ditched them. User can easily move windows between workspaces by clicking on a window and moving it on over the workspace.
In Ubuntu 17.10 Applications are listed alphabetically, ordered into scrollable pages. User can launch an application by clicking on it, selecting it with keyboard arrow keys and pressing enter, or by touching it.
After years of ‘footnote’ releases that brought only minor tweaks, the ‘Artful Aardvark’ brings all-out with change, ready to usher in the new era. Under the hood, there have been updates to many core packages, including a new 4.13-based kernel, glibc 2.26, gcc 7.2, and much more in Ubuntu Desktop. Let’s have a brief list view on some of those updates.
Note: Install gnome-session and choose GNOME from the cog on the login screen if user would like to try a more upstream version of GNOME. If any user’ d like to also install more core apps, he’d install the vanilla-gnome-desktop met package.
Not only the Ubuntu 17.10 Desktop but also, there are significant changes into the Ubuntu 17.10 Server version too. For the Ubuntu Server 17.10, the OS Version for the printing server has been increased to announce Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2 ID mapping checks added to the testparm(1) tool. There are some ID mapping backends too, which are not allowed to be used for the default backend. Winbind will no longer start if an invalid backend is configured as the default backend. The others are as follows,
Qemu has been updated to the 2.10 release. Since the last version was 2.8.
Among many other changes there is one that might need follow on activity by the user/admin: Image locking is added and enabled by default. This generally makes execution much safer, but can break some old use cases that now explicitly have to opt-in to ignore/share the locks by tools and subcommands using the –force-share option or the share-rw dqev property.
Libvirt has been updated to version 3.6.
LXD was updated to version 2.18. Some of the top new features of LXD 2.18 are:
Ubuntu 17.10 includes the latest release of DPDK that has stable updates: 17.05.2. This made it possible to integrate Open vSwitch 2.8.
Open vSwitch has been updated to 2.8. Though user need to specify dpdk devices via dpdk-devargs.
The DNS server BIND9 was updated to include the new Key Signing Key (KSK) that was published on July 11, 2017. Starting on October 11, 2017, that key will sign the root zone key, which in turn is used to sign the actual root zones.
The cloud-init version was updated to 17.1. Notable new features for cloud-init are as follows,
The Curtin version is updated to ‘0.1.0~bzr519-0ubuntu1’. New features are:
Samba is updated to version 4.6.7. Important changes in the 4.6.x series are:
There are many other changes too. We recommend that all users read the release notes, which document caveats, workarounds for known issues, as well as more in-depth Release Notes.
Users of Ubuntu 17.04 will be offered an automatic upgrade to 17.10. As always, upgrades to the latest version of Ubuntu are entirely free of charge.
Remember, here at eRacks, we offer pre-installed Ubuntu 17.10 Artful Aardvark with our new systems either directly from the OS dropdown, or by custom quote.
Asif Raihan October 25th, 2017