On paper, at the least, it seems as though Ubuntu 14.10 doesn’t has much new features to offer the users, unless you use the server edition where it gets a bit more interesting over there.
However, this review will mainly focus on the desktop side of things, trying to figure whether Ubuntu has decided to sacrifice innovativeness for the sake of stability or did it?
Well, first things first as they say, let’s begin with a little glimpse at what’s new in this release by summing it up in the following list:
What Does Ubuntu 14.10 has to Offer?
New Features in Ubuntu 14.10
- Updated Packages – Firefox, Chromium, LibreOffice and Xorg are amongst the most essential packages that got newer with this release.
- Linux kernel 3.16 – Ubuntu 14.10 uses a newer kernel at its core.
- AppArmor (security enhancing tool) – added various policy updates and bug fixes.
- Oxide (a tool to view web content outside browsers) – updated to use the latest Chromium Content API.
- Unity – many bugs fixed and features improved support for High-DPI displays.
- Widget toolkits – Gtk updated to version 3.12. Qt updated to version 5.3.
It’s a modest list of changes to say the least, as you may notice yourselves, yet it concerns all the essential parts a distro is consisted of.
Innovativeness for Stability or Did It?
In my experience it seems that Ubuntu has made 2 steps forward, but at least 1 step backwards and the reason I say this is,
for instance, Ubiquity installer (Ubuntu’s default installer) had always managed to recognize my location and preset the keyboard accordingly.
Nonetheless, in this release my installation experience was different than other times before; the installation process felt a bit faster overall though auto configuring of my keyboard didn’t work out-of-the box as I expected.
Despite so, I wouldn’t call it a deal breaker nor even a minor nuisance as far as I’m concerned (as a Gentoo user, I’m used to configuring things myself), yet I do feel it’s worth mentioning as part of this review.
Furthermore, the lack of new features feels a bit like a step backwards too, although on the other hand we might get better stability on that expense.
Moving on, booting into an installed Ubuntu 14.10 brings with it all the perks of having everything set for you in advance.
Personally it always ignites in me a sense of exploration to see what did the experts at Canonical had done this time.
To my surprise, I was excited to see that Canonical have included Ubuntu web browser by default with this release, and was curious to try it out.
Other than that all the rest seems pretty much the same with the exception of speed and responsiveness in favor of this release. Probably the result of newer packages.
Based on the above impressions, it is hard for me to answer the ‘innovativeness for the sake of stability’ question, hence I leave it at that and let you decide for yourself.
Does it Worth Upgrading To?
It does seems as if most of the development efforts had gone into the server edition of Ubuntu 14.10, either that or Canonical (and perhaps the entire Linux ecosystem) are currently seeing a large decline in code contribution.
All in all I would say it’s definitely worth upgrading to 14.10 since, when you think about it, nothing has really changed. Thus you won’t be experiencing the backlash resulting of a new feature or new way of doing things that you never even wanted.
On a more positive side of looking at this, you may think of it like so: by upgrading to Ubuntu 14.10 you gain newer packages and kernel, improved security (AppArmor) and a bug fixed Unity. So why shouldn’t you upgrade?
Of course you may have your own specific reasons, but the only general drawback I see for upgrading is that 14.10 is supported until: 2015-07, while 14.04 until: 2019-04.
As always, Ubuntu is available for download via its official website (link below), note my remark about the installer above. and feel free to leave your comments below. Cheers! :)