​Ubuntu Linux 18.10 arrives

Like living dangerously? Keep running Windows. Like to take a little risk? Give the new version of Ubuntu Linux 18.10 a try.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

Seriously, if you like living dangerously on the desktop, keep running WIndows. Recently, an analyst found a simple way to bust open any Windows systems with RID Hijacking. But, if you want to take a bit of a chance for a fun desktop, try Canonical's latest Ubuntu Linux 18.10, aka Cosmic Cuttlefish.

Now, the safe thing to do with your production Linux desktop is to keep them on the long-term support (LTS) Ubuntu 18.04. But, if you want to live a little, you should give this new model a test drive. Just keep in mind with a supported life-span of only nine months, you'll be running something else by this time next year.

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Under the hood, the Cosmic Cuttlefish boasts the 4.18 Linux Kernel. This updates comes with better support for for AMD and Nvidia GPU, USB Type-C and Thunderbolt, a way for unprivileged users to mount Filesystem in Userspace (FUSE) can be mounted by, and CPUfreq performance improvements.

On top of this, you'll find the freshest version of GNOME 3.30. You can, of course, use other desktops, but GNOME, since Ubuntu 17.10, is Ubuntu's default desktop.

You'll be glad to know that GNOME is faster than it has been for a while. That's because some nasty memory leaks have been patched. Canonical has also added some performance tweaks that didn't make it into the GNOME 3.30 upstream. Ubuntu 18.10 also comes with a new desktop theme, the Yaru Community theme installed by default, for your visual enjoyment.

Me? My favorite desktop continues to be Cinnamon.

Thinking of difference desktops, with this release, Ubuntu is saying goodbye to some of its 32-bit versions. Moving forward, there will be no 32-bit version of Ubuntu Mate, Kubuntu, or Ubuntu Budgie.

If you're still running a 32-bit version of Ubuntu, you won't be able to update to 18.10. Canonical's logic is that since it is considering "dropping support for that architecture ... users of it should not be stranded on a release with a shorter support window than the release they are already running."

No matter what version of Ubuntu 18.10 you run, it will boot about a second or so faster. That's because it's now using LZ4 compression instead of the older gzip compression for your system's initial ramdisk (initramfs). Now, that may sound esoteric as all get out, but it does speed your startup by a second and that's nothing to sneeze at.

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For developers, Ubuntu comes with an update set of programming tools. These include libc 2.28, OpenJDK 11, updated GCC 8.2, Python 3.6.7 as default, Python 3.7.1 as supported, Ruby 2.5.1, PHP 7.2.10, Perl 5.26.2, and Golang 1.10.4. There are improved cross-compilers front, which with the POWER toolchain enabled, will enable developers to cross-compile for ARM targets.

So, all-in-all, this looks like a release that will be especially cool for developers. I'm looking forward to it. You can start downloading the final version on October 18th. Enjoy!

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