The latest version of Ubuntu is here, and Ubuntu 21.10 “Impish Indri” brings a number of updates to the core of the popular Linux distribution including a newer kernel, an updated desktop environment, and many other improvements.
While Ubuntu 21.10 will only be officially supported for 9 months, it paves the way Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, which is arriving in April. As a long term support release, Ubuntu 22.04 will be supported at least until 2032.
So what’s new in Ubuntu 21.10? Among other things:
- The Linux 5.13 kernel brings support for additional hardware including Intel Alder Lake S and AMD Aldebaran processors, as well as initial support for Apple Silicon.
- Ubuntu now ships with GNOME 40 as its default desktop environment, with an updated user interface featuring a horizontal layout for workspaces and vertical layouts for the app grid and overview views.
- PulseAudio 15 brings support for Bluetooth LDAC and AptX codecs.
Ubuntu 21.10 also brings updated versions of some key applications including Firefox, LibreOffice and Thunderbird. And, for better or worse, Firefox is now a snap by default rather than a deb package, but the upshot is that it’s maintained by both Mozilla and Canonical, and folks who’d prefer to use a deb package for the web browser can continue to do so for at least as long as Ubuntu 21.10 is supported.
There are also a number of performance and security improvements, toolchain updates, and features and upgrades specific to Ubuntu Server. You can find more details in the Ubuntu 21.10 release notes.