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article imageUbuntu 17.10 delivers new desktop and cloud enhancements

By James Walker     Oct 20, 2017 in Technology
Canonical has launched Ubuntu 17.10, a significant milestone for the Linux OS. On the desktop, Ubuntu now comes with GNOME preinstalled by default, replacing Canonical's own Unity experience. There's also changes aimed at developers working in the cloud.
Switching desktops
Ubuntu 17.10 is one of the most consequential Ubuntu Desktop releases in some time. When Canonical unexpectedly abandoned Unity earlier this year, the company commenced a quick sprint to get GNOME ready to be the default desktop for all new installations.
Linux desktop operating systems are unique because they let you change the fundamental interface using third-party software packages. In the same way you can change the launcher on your Android phone, different "desktops" like Unity and GNOME can coexist on a single Linux installation.
The standard GNOME Linux desktop environment  which will be customised by Canonical for use in Ubunt...
The standard GNOME Linux desktop environment, which will be customised by Canonical for use in Ubuntu / canonical
Canonical's decision to drop Unity was borne out of the desktop's relative unpopularity with the Linux community and the company's desire to concentrate on its successful cloud and IoT ventures. GNOME is one of the most popular Linux desktops and comes with a feature-rich experience that's more modern than Unity 7. Canonical has developed its own theme and set of preinstalled plugins that replicate some of the Unity experience on GNOME.
These include basic theming tweaks, like the use of orange Ubuntu accents and the Ubuntu font, through to more controversial changes. The most significant alteration is the inclusion of Dash to Dock, a popular GNOME extension that adds a dock to the side of the display. This is absent from GNOME's basic installation but a staple component of Unity. The decision to add a dock by default will help users adjust to the GNOME experience.
Operating on the edge
Besides the desktop itself, Ubuntu 17.10 also has a more modern display server for better graphical performance. Canonical's added native public captive Wi-Fi support, integrated wireless printing capabilities and enabled simpler switching between built-in and Bluetooth audio devices.
In the cloud, 17.10 includes new container options and improved support for AI, edge computing and Internet of Things workloads. Ubuntu's one of the most popular server operating systems and is widely used across cloud services, machine learning platforms and connected devices.
Canonical s Ubuntu Linux-based operating system
Canonical's Ubuntu Linux-based operating system
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"Ubuntu 17.10 is a milestone in our mission to enable developers across the cloud and the Internet of Things," said Mark Shuttleworth, CEO and Founder of Canonical. "With the latest capabilities in Linux, it provides a preview of the next major LTS and a new generation of operations for AI, container-based applications and edge computing."
With Ubuntu 17.10 now publicly released, Canonical will focus on the development of the next long-term support (LTS) version, 18.04. Due for release in six months' time, this will consolidate the work on GNOME and give developers and platform maintainers a modern Linux environment with five years of support.
17.10's release has effectively unblocked Ubuntu Desktop development and simultaneously allowed Canonical to allocate more resources to the cloud. The result should be a more rapid development pace for both platforms as new versions are constructed.
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