Canonical has announced the latest version of its popular Linux distro, Ubuntu 23.04. This new version boasts a new installer, expanded login management and a new Steam snap package.
New with this release is a refreshed user interface for the installer. Based on Flutter and Dart, it looks bright and fresh. Sure we don't spend all of our time installing Linux distros, but when we do, we appreciate a user interface that enables any level of user to quickly start using Linux. The installer has all the basics, user creation, third-party peripherals support and media formats. But it also has options for enterprise management. An updated slideshow plays as your install progresses.
The user interface is powered by Gnome 44 and straight away our eye is drawn to the Quick Settings menu in the top right. As the name suggests, here we can tweak the everyday settings such as volume, brightness, Wi-Fi and power. If we need to delve deeper, clicking the cog icon will launch the full-blown Settings menu.
The default web browser, Firefox is installed via Snap, and in previous releases it has been criticized for being slow to start. With Ubuntu 23.04 Firefox is now thankfully starting much quicker than in previous releases.
Linux gaming is still just a small percentage compared to Windows, even with Steam Deck proving that it can be done. Ubuntu 23.04 comes with an early access beta for a Steam app, available as a Snap package. The Steam package comes with key dependencies to run old and new games. How it will stack up against Valve's Steam OS and Proton remains to be seen.
For enterprise focused users, Ubuntu 23.04 ships with native user authentication with Azure Active Directory. This means that users on Microsoft 365 Enterprise plans can authenticate Ubuntu desktops using the same credentials as they would use on Microsoft 365 or Azure.
Linux is heavily used by developers and Ubuntu 23.04 caters to them with updates and improvements for Python, Java, Go, C, C++, Rust and .Net. This means that developers using Ubuntu can create cross-platform applications and tools. Ubuntu 23.04 also ships with the latest versions of Docker and Containerd.
Ubuntu 23.04, codenamed "Lunar Lobster" is the latest interim release from Canonical. Being an interim release means that it has nine months of support. If stability is what you crave, then an LTS (Long Term Support) release such as Ubuntu 22.04 is a better option.
Ubuntu 23.04 is available to download for x86 and Arm based machines (such as the Raspberry Pi 4)
The changes made to Files during the last iteration are horrible, too. Though, to be fair, that's probably Gnome more than Ubuntu, but still!