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Thursday, October 17, 2019

What’s New in Ubuntu 19.10 “Eoan Ermine,” Available Now

Ubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine's default desktop wallpaper background.

Ubuntu 19.10 “Eoan Ermine” boasts an upgraded Linux kernel along with faster boot times, updated themes, and experimental ZFS file system support. Whether or not you upgrade, Ermine shows what to expect from Ubuntu’s next LTS release, due April 2020.

Should You Upgrade?

Ubuntu 19.10 is available for download today. Upgrading isn’t mandatory—in fact, most people stick with the long-term service (LTS) releases and upgrade just once every two years when the next one comes out. The last LTS release was Ubuntu 18.04 LTS “Bionic Beaver.”

For some people, if the latest release isn’t a Long Term Support (LTS) release, the question “should I upgrade?” is a no-brainer.  Canonical estimates that 95 percent of Ubuntu installations are running LTS versions. Ubuntu 19.10 isn’t an LTS release; it is an interim release. The next LTS is due out in April 2020, when Ubuntu 20.04 is going to be delivered.

If 95 percent stick with LTS releases, those who do upgrade to interim releases are very much in the minority. But there’s always going to be users who want the newest shiny things. They’re going to upgrade. Period. The fact that there’s a new version is reason enough.

So we’ve got the LTS-only users in the “definitely won’t upgrade” camp, and the give-me-the-new-version-now users in the “definitely will upgrade” camp. If neither of those is you, you must be in the “I might upgrade if there’s something compelling about this new release” camp. Here’s our quick run-down so you can make up your mind.

Updated Software

Of course, there is a lot of updated software. Here’s a summary of what’s been refreshed. The version numbers are given for each package. The version numbers in parentheses are the versions that were shipped with 18.04.

  • GNOME 3.34.1 (3.32.1)
  • Kernel 5.3.0.-13 (5.0.0-8)
  • Thunderbird 68.1.1 (60.6.1)
  • LibreOffice 6.3.2.2 (6.2.2.2)
  • Firefox 69.0.1 (66.0.3)
  • Ubuntu Software 33.0.6-2 (33.0.6)
  • Files 3.34.0 (3.32.0)
  • GCC 9.2.1 (8.3.0)
  • glibc 2.30 (2.29)
  • OpenSSL 1.1.1.c (1.1.1b)

GNOME

As soon as you boot up a computer with 19.10 on it, you’ll see some of the cosmetic changes. The user selection highlight bar is now a light shade of purple, instead of the orange color of previous versions.

user selection screen with purple highlight bar

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