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Ubuntu 17.10 Artful Aardvark released (ubuntu.com)
328 points by MidnightRaver on Oct 19, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 202 comments



32-bit installer images are no longer provided for Ubuntu Desktop.

The Ubuntu Desktop now uses GNOME instead of Unity.

On supported systems, Wayland is now the default display server. The older display server is still available: just choose Ubuntu on Xorg from the cog on the log in screen.

GDM has replaced LightDM as the default display manager.

The login screen now uses virtual terminal 1 instead of virtual terminal 7.

Window control buttons are back on the right for the first time since 2010.

Python 2 is no longer installed by default. Python 3 has been updated to 3.6.

The Ubuntu GNOME flavor has been discontinued. If you are using Ubuntu GNOME, you will be upgraded to Ubuntu. Choose the Ubuntu session from the cog on the login screen if you would like the default Ubuntu experience.

Additionally, there are quite a few "Known issues" for Desktop that made me dare not to upgrade. I will stay with 16.04 and wait for 18.04 then.


In other words, they've made a lot of big changes right before an LTS version so that they can get wider usage with those who don't mind being on the bleeding edge. Sounds like they're doing it right :)

I'm putting a lot of hope into 18.04. Been using Ubuntu for over a decade now and my happiness with it has been steadily decreasing. Mostly at this point due to very laggy graphics performance (whether using OSS or closed drivers) on a system that should be very fast.

If 18.04 isn't awesome I'm moving on to something else. So I'm glad to see they're breaking some eggs with 17.10!


If 18.04 isn't awesome, I'd suggest you give 18.04.1 a try. Even LTS releases have a fair number of issues just after release, in my experience, which the first point release fixes.


Yes, agreed. In general I guess my point is, I'm not willing to spend several more years of my life while they continually rearrange things that don't matter. I just want a stable, well-supported distro that gets out of my way.

The time cost of switching has still been high enough that I haven't looked elsewhere, but that barrier is approaching...


Although they've been slipping a bit lately, I'd still recommend Debian. There's a reason so many other distro's base themselves off of it.


Like me. :)

I stay with LTS. A do-release-upgrade for LTS-only will only upgrade at 18.04.1 anyways.


If you want to try Wayland already today, the last 3 or 4 Fedora-releases have had this as an option already. On the latest Fedora-releases enabled by default.

And yes, it's nice and smooth.


It breaks VLC though.


I'm pretty sure VLC works fine. Sure you don't mean VNC?


VLC was broken on Fedora 25 (I had the problem 2-3 months ago I think) because of Wayland, but maybe it has been fixed since then.


I use Ubuntu for programming and it is great.

Still use Windows for HTPC though because I gave up on trying to get Ubuntu to sync video playback correctly after banging my head against the wall for a while.


It is my understanding that difficult tasks should be attempted before banging one's head against the wall.


Directions unlear; head stuck in a computer


Redditization of HN, ladies and gentlemen. Jokes/Puns will ruin this place.


> Python 2 is no longer installed by default. Python 3 has been updated to 3.6.

And so it begins. I think/hope that the next RHEL will do the same thing, at which point the final nail will be in Py2's coffin.


I love, love, love python. I am probably irrational in my affection for the language. But it's python3 that I know and will work in python2 if needed but I think python2 needs to die a quick death.


No kind of death at this point would be considered quick for python2


I've been looking forward to Python 4 for a long time now.


Has there been anything posted about it? I'd be interested to read up on it.


It’s just going to be one after 3.9. Nothing special.

https://developers.redhat.com/blog/2014/09/17/why-python-4-0...


Why specifically 3.9?


If they're going to do that, they may as well just drop the dot.


I have heard no one even mention what it might be like. I'm just thinking that I liked the change from Python 2 to Python 3, so I'm hoping for more things to enjoy. :-)


I have been using python2 for veey long time and a lot of software that I've written is made with it and is providing consistingly value to me. I have no idea why these people want to kill the technology that has brought so much value and joy to my life.

If you like python3, great for you. But why do you want to kill python2 if other people are happy with it?


Tough question but a good portion likely has to do with the divisiveness of the ecosystem. A bit selfish of the 3’ers but the utilitarian viewpoint is that if everyone comes to the same ecosystem then everyone can benefit.

I offer no opinion whatsoever on which is better, only that it’s probably better for everyone if dev efforts are not split between two versions of the same language.


It's end-of-life (pretty much anyway). Time to port your software if it's used by anyone more than yourself or open source it. It needs to die like dos and 16bit compatibility in windows needs to die.


> you like python3, great for you. But why do you want to kill python2 if other people are happy with it?

You can make the same argument for any software suite which moves over time. Why should Firefox 10 die, just because Firefox 57 is out in a month or so?

Well.. Duh. The new code has to live somewhere, and we don't want to spend eternity backporting fixes to the old codebase.

Please do note: You can still use Python 2 if you like. But if you rely on really old and antiquated technology, you can't expected modern OSes to ship it by default. Now it becomes your liability to instruct your users in how to obtain your antiquated dependencies for your software to work.

Maybe that is a good enough solution, or maybe some day you will find that it's more beneficial to move along with the rest of the ecosystem.

Nobody writes new code in Python 2 any more. It's the programming language equivalent of Windows XP at this point.


Fabric is still not supporting py3, it's important tool for a lot of admins.


There's a maintained Fabric fork [0] for Python 3, it is basically a drop-in and available via pip.

[0] https://github.com/mathiasertl/fabric/


In addition, fabric 2 is making progress.


To be clear, you can still install Python 2 the usual way. The only thing that's changing is that it's not installed by default (and by extension, that none of the base system depends on it).


Yeah, that's one of the only things I still use Python2 for.

But it seems that they have a v2 in the works that's supposed to support Python3: https://github.com/fabric/fabric/tree/v2

And there's also a fork: https://pypi.python.org/pypi/Fabric3


Plenty of things don't have python 3 support, but you can still use python2 without it being /usr/bin/python.


There is no /usr/bin/python in the default Ubuntu install. There's a /usr/bin/python3, and if you `apt install python` you can get /usr/bin/python. But all of the system's code that uses Python has been converted to Python 3.


I doubt very much Ubuntu has made python3 /usr/bin/python, since the official recommendation of the Python project is to not do that.

Still true of course that it doesn't have to be installed by default even if some applications still need it.


> I doubt very much Ubuntu has made python3 /usr/bin/python, since the official recommendation of the Python project is to not do that.

Tell that to Arch. :(


I know. If I remember right, Arch did it before the Python project published any official guidance/Arch triggered one being released.


Fabric is reacting to what the most conservative group or Linux users (sysadmins for RHEL) are asking for. That's why RHEL moving to Python 3 would be the last push needed.


> Fabric is reacting to what the most conservative group or Linux users (sysadmins for RHEL) are asking for.

I'm not familiar with the details, but does this mean that they're resisting patches to support 3.x? Given the existence of a fork it seems likely. It's not-at-all difficult to write a single Python package that works on both 2.7 and 3.x. Especially if you are willing to use `six`.

I'll admit that it's a little harder to stay compatible with earlier-than-2.7, though.


Ah, now I remember.

I think the actual argument against Py3-compatibility is exactly that: Fabric needs to support 2.6 because it is the default in RHEL/SLES versions which are still quite popular in enterprise environments and maintaining compatibility with both Py 2.6 and Py 3 is quite difficult, as you said.


So we'll get it in 2024?


There is overlap between RHEL release support periods, from what I see it's about 3-4 years on average. So 2021? :)


I can't wait for people to stop expecting that putting #!/usr/bin/env python at the top of their scripts will lead to python2 being used.


Currently on most distorts you’ll get an error. You’ll need to use python3 explicitally for now.


Considering RHEL 7 doesn’t even have Python 3 available in the core packages, I bet RHEL 8 will at least have Python 2 available as a package, just not installed by default.

I would be surprised if they didn’t give any overlap between 2 and 3 in RHEL 8.


Wayland finally. The tortuous Mir and Unity crusade is over, I'm willing to bear with whatever is broken in this release if it means Ubuntu working with actual industry standards, specially in the graphics area.

It's not the first time they've done this, they adopted SystemD instead of their own Upstart as soon as it was deemed the standard.


Really nice to see how much they're reducing fragmentation with this release!


> The Ubuntu GNOME flavor has been discontinued. If you are using Ubuntu GNOME, you will be upgraded to Ubuntu. Choose the Ubuntu session from the cog on the login screen if you would like the default Ubuntu experience.

Installing "gnome-session" should provide the default GNOME desktop (the default GNOME is a heavily modified one). I have not upgraded yet, so have not tried, but read on OMGUbuntu.


There are 32bit desktop ISO images for Lubuntu.


So " ubuntu-17.10-server-i386.iso" is 64-bit?


No, also it’s not “Ubuntu Desktop”.


> ifupdown has been deprecated in favor of netplan and is no longer present on new installs [...]

> Given that ifupdown is no longer installed by default, its commands will not be present: ifup and ifdown are thus unavailable, replaced by ip link set $device up and ip link set $device down.

Sad to see this go; I always use ifup, ifdown and ifconfig. Yes, they're old and clunky tools but in a way they are the staple of a proper Linux installation to me.

Not to mention that it's quite a handful to write out "ip link set $device up".


Yeah. This will no doubt affect me too.

On a related note, I've been meaning to read this article from 2011 for a good while now: https://dougvitale.wordpress.com/2011/12/21/deprecated-linux...

I guess it's getting about time to get it done now :)


> ifup and ifdown are thus unavailable, replaced by ip link set $device up and ip link set $device down.

That's weird, they do two very different things. ifup and ifdown apply / unapply the configuration in /etc/network/interfaces, like setting IP addresses, setting routes, running other commands you might have like configuring card-specific hardware things or sending notifications to other processes, etc. ip link set dev $dev up/down only enables or disables the card. They also require the card to exist already, in the case of bridges or bonds or VLANs or similar things.

Does netplan cause all of these things to be done automatically when the card is upped or downed?

> ifconfig ... staple of a proper Linux installation to me.

To be honest, I have a lot of muscle memory for ifconfig because it's what I grew up with, but also Linux's ifconfig has gotten very different from the BSD ifconfig (or ifconfigs? I know FreeBSD's and macOS's support different things), so it's not like it was a standard tool across UNIXes, just a standard name. I'm honestly happier with the Linux tool having its own name.

Also, ip supports things that ifconfig straight-up doesn't, like having multiple IP addresses on an interface (without configuring alias interfaces), creating various types of virtual devices, creating VLANs without using an even more awful tool, getting card stats (ip -s -s link) in a vendor-neutral way, etc.

I do really really hate the ip command's syntax though.


A tool is a tool, but holy hell do I hate ip's and iw's syntax, and the difficulty of automatically parsing their output compared to net-tools.


This is just such a shambles.

Great idea number 1: let's put all the functionality into one command line tool, and we'call it ip for ... "internet protocol"? Why is this ip tool managing my ethernet network card?

Great idea number 2: for this powerful swiss army knife, only a special syntax will do where we repeat the name of an argument before the argument value. To make sure no one can use it's functionality with less than 5 invocations, we'll have a hierarchical help menu that literally outputs BNF.


This tool is hardly new, I think it was introduced back in the nineties. http://linux-ip.net/gl/ip-cref/ says April 14, 1999.


I think it's not a good thing to mention age as if that matters much.

Would you argue that gpg is old and therefore good software?

I would argue instead that iproute2 was not picked up quickly because it's clunky and hard to reason about. openBSD managed to improve ifconfig enough that a change was not needed. I applaud that to be honest.


Sadly too much of IT is run on childish bravado these days.

End result is that anything older than the person talking is stale and clunky code best replaced by something written in the latest bling language that "everyone" raves about...


When it comes to standard unix tools, a part of me still feels 1999 is rather new. :)


and it was a pain in the arse then, and it's no better now.


> we'call it ip for ... "internet protocol"? Why is this ip tool managing my ethernet network card?

For CLI tools I use every day, their etymology is far less important to me than their brevity. "ip" suits the bill quite nicely.

Yeah, the name-before-argument thing can be annoying though, but again, at least they're all short.


Effectively the ip syntax reminds me of configuring cisco hardware, and not in a good way.


It's not like we're losing the previous tools completely. This is just switched defaults and net-tools and ifupdown are just one "apt install" away.


It stands for iproute not "internet protocol". :p


How did the "ip" get into "iproute"?


You could consider making an alias for both maybe? I know it's not the same, but at least then you can have your own shorthand for it.

I've done this and similar for commands I'm all too familiar with from time to time if I find myself typing the wrong one (sometimes I mix up Windows and Linux shell commands, PowerShell has helped with this at least by supporting plenty of Linux commands).


I wonder why netplan instead of straight-up systemd-networkd?

To avoid the usual "systemd takes away all my toys" shitstorm? Does systemd-networkd fundamentally lack anything which netplan doesn't?


"Server users now have their network devices managed via systemd-networkd on new installs. This only applies to new installations."


networkd is really designed more for server users, on a laptop that connects through wlan you want NetworkManager instead. Netplan is designed to be a single frontend to whichever of the two you are using.


fyi: you can shorten ""ip link set $device up"" to "ip l s $device up" (same for all ip commands, e.g. "ip address" can be shortened to "ip addr" or simply "ip a")


Yeah but please don't.... or at least don't create documentation or guides with the abbreviations.


To be honest, I didn't even know "addr" was short for address. When I was first taught iproute2 in 2007, I was told that the command was "ip addr" (and I'm fairly sure the very first iproute2 command I ever typed was "ip addr show").


`apt install ifupdown net-tools` and you have those tools again.


Pay attention to the 2nd dot point under known issues. This release uses Wayland, and that has profound implications for screenshot, streaming and remote desktop-ing.

The Wayland protocol apparently made some bold decisions to enforce security through isolation, and apart from the compositor it is all but impossible for anything to sneak a peak at what other programs are doing visually. It'll be interesting to see if that causes users a problem.


With Fedora jumping over nearly a year ago to Wayland as default in F25, and now Ubuntu in a non-LTS release, hopefully we'll see a tipping point where software (especially third-party/proprietary software) simply must work well on Wayland in order to have a user base.

Once we've got an Ubuntu LTS and a RHEL/CentOS release out there with Wayland by default, X11 ought to rapidly become a thing of the past. There's Xwayland, but with any luck that'll become something you basically never use, just like happened with Xquartz.


I have bought a new desktop this spring. The first thing I did was configuring wake on lan (in France, we have 7 days to cancel a purchase). The second one was to configure ssh and gnome to be able to administer it remotely (line DisallowTCP=false in /etc/gdm3/custom.conf).

I use Linux at work since 1999 and I have used a local display less than 1% of the time.

An application that does not work remotely does not exist for me.


Gnome Remote Desktop [0] is coming, it reached Fedora stable on September 30th, but exposes an API that allows Wayland and Gnome to work together over a remote connection.

For all other uses, you always have xwayland [1], until they adopt the new guy.

[0] https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1483499

[1] https://wayland.freedesktop.org/xserver.html


1% of users with very particular requirements should not hold back the experience of the other 99%.


Where do you get these numbers ? At work, I do not know where the servers are physically located (some VMware ESX in a closet). Most of my colleagues are in the same situation. Even for windows, many people use terminal services for teleworking. At my previous job in Belgium, it was similar (with a different X server).

I have provided support to Nederlands and Portugal using X11VNC.

Outside work, my wife and my mother are using linux. They call me when they have an issue. Hopefully, I can help them remotely 99% of the time.

IMHO, local desktop is the exception in entreprises.


I'm not arguing against VNC (which is very much possible with Wayland today). I'm arguing against the legacy cruft that is the X11 network protocol.


Something as fundamental as remote desktop should not be sacrificed for the convenience of a tiny minority of developers.


It appears we have finally found a volunteer for X11 maintenance.


The lack of a reliable UI is one of the main reasons holding me back from using Ubuntu as my main OS. I wouldn’t mind giving up a native Remote Desktop if it means everything else works better.


I use my Linux desktop through VNC roughly 50% of the time I'm using it (though, honestly, most of the time I work locally on my laptop).

It's convenient to have access to the desktop session I left running the night before remotely if I want to. I mostly use it to sync files/code I forgot to upload when I quit the last time, or to start a download on Steam or something like that.

I'm sure Wayland will eventually support similar usage, but I understand you reluctance to adopt it until it does.


Yeah, but VNC is light years behind X11-over-network in so many ways. You have to have a full desktop instead of a single application. It's not integrated with your selection buffers or your session manager or your desktop. It's really a blunt object in comparison to X.


Which VNC server program do you use? Is it free (as in beer) and does it have a GUI for enabling/disabling and managing the configuration? Several months ago I was looking for one like that but didn’t find anything that was maintained in the recent times. Coming from OS X, where turning on VNC/screen sharing is a simple process in System Preferences, I found it surprising that it was difficult to do that on (Ubuntu) Linux (enabling file sharing with Samba also took a bit of fiddling around).


rdesktop is pretty easy to drop-in and use, with a nice GUI. They focus on Windows remote desktop compatibility instead of VNC, which can make it easier for some.


I'm lost, why is it relevant that "in France, we have 7 days to cancel a purchase"?


I think he was trying to explain why he immediately configured wake on lan, ssh and so on: had he encountered problems in the configuration, he could have returned the item to the store.


Yup, I also wondered if he was craving ethernet to find the refund website?


Not to mention HiDPI problems and serious issues with the proprietary nvidia driver. The situation is improving all the time though and hopefully this should mark the beginning of some good times for Wayland. More choice is always a good thing.

Of course, the option is right there on the login screen to start an X session instead, if Wayland doesn't work for you.


I recommend everybody intending to run Linux to avoid nvidia GPUs. The experience with amd and intel GPUs is vastly superior.


I use nothing but Nvidia on Linux. Their performance and stability is greatly superior to AMD on high-end 3D applications such as Maya. I'll admit, I have not revisited AMD cards in a while, so perhaps I'm out of touch with the current generation. I also do not consider the open source nouveau driver to be acceptable. I've had too many problems with it in 3D apps.


But their proprietary driver is lagging behind a lot of the ecosystem. E.g. until recently their driver did not work with Wayland/mutter because NVIDIA was pushing their own device memory allocator (via the EGLStreams API). It seems that it now finally works, but is very slow.

In contrast, AMD is actively contributing to the open source amdgpu driver.


>until recently their driver did not work with Wayland/mutter because NVIDIA was pushing their own device memory allocator (via the EGLStreams API). It seems that it now finally works, but is very slow.

Can you give a source for this? I'd be very much interested in trying out Plasma on Wayland on NVIDIA, but I can't find any information about NVIDIA implementing GBM.


Yes, I wish Nvidia was a bit more generous with the open source community, but for some situations, they are the best choice, if not the only choice.


Your experience is not incompatible with the parent commenter's. On Linux, generally speaking, Intel > NVidia > AMD.


Unfortunately there's a lot of software that only runs on nvidia GPUs (anything that depends on CUDA, including tensorflow), so some of us really don't have a choice at the moment.


That's surprising since I've had a hell of a time getting GPU acceleration working on AMD cards while the nVidia cards hum right along with the nVidia driver. For some reason my AMD laptop apparently has blacklisted WebGL support which is a real bummer.


No issues with Gnome 3.26 HiDPI on Wayland using nvidia driver. I was running alpha version of 17.10 on my Dell XPS with minimal issues


Which generation XPS is that?


XPS 9560


I'm writing this on 17.10, a 1080Ti and a 4k monitor. Other than the lack of video acceleration in any browser (which is not specific to this setup), it's fine.


That's interesting, I was hoping for some improvements in HiDPI support with the shift to Wayland.


On a Debain sid install I was somehow recently bumped from Gnome3 on X11 toi Gnome3 on wayland. Chromium and Qt apps got broken scaling; I solved it by forcing the session to be Gnome3 on X11.

This is just anecdote of course! I would have liked to dig more into it and figure things out, but honestly I just had too much to do and chose whatever was working for me.


Have you tried again after upgrading to gnome-shell 3.26 (it's only been in Debian unstable for one week)?


Tried right now; QtCreator and chromium are still broken. Curiously, the former is super tiny and the latter huge!


I've been using Gnome on Wayland as my primary desktop on Arch and Fedora for several months if not a year. It's a marked improvement over Gnome/Xorg, and most of the issues have now been resolved.

You might need to find new ways to accomplish a few tasks, though. But I can attest it works.

Edit: fix desktop/compositor confusion


Did it crash yet? That has been the blocker for me so far, since on wayland GNOME Shell crashes will bring down the whole session.


gnome-shell in 3.26 can be reloaded, so in case it crashes it shouldn't take down the session anymore, I think.


Do you have a source? The bug report about it is still open AFAIK.


Well, myself. I am using the wayland session and just restarted the shell with <Alt-f2>r.

EDIT: Well, I just checked and it turns out I am not running the wayland session! I will have to investigate why...


> It's a marked improvement over Gnome/Xorg […]

How so?


Just after the upgrade I can say that everything looks crisper. This might be because I just recompiled Emacs for this week (I follow master), or because default fonts changed, or because Gnome 3.24 -> 3.26, or because Wayland, or some of all of these; but there is a noticeable change. And Gnome is way more snappier. I'm really pleased after first reboot.


No tearing is a big one.


Small but important nitpick: Wayland is not a desktop, it's a set of protocols for GUI compositing. "Plasma on Wayland" or "Gnome on Wayland" or Sway or Weston is.


Fedora's transition to Wayland was smooth. We work with screen readers here and things just kept working.


screen readers read metadata provided by the UI toolkit, not pixels from the display (which is the issue for screen shots, screen sharing, streaming)


Thank you


Oh! thanks for the comment about screenshot. I was thinking on upgrading to 17.10 (still on 14.04) and one of my most handy app is Shutter. Looks like it doesn't work on wayland - https://bugs.launchpad.net/shutter/+bug/1502263


You can still use X11 on 17.10, just select it on the login screen :)


I've been using Wayland (with nouveau) in the Artful beta for over a month, and screenshots haven't been an issue... I didn't notice anything was supposed to be wrong, there.


It depends on the app whether screenshots work. Some apps use the GNOME screenshot API and are fine; other apps assume X.


>. It'll be interesting to see if that causes users a problem.

The only issue I had was Synaptic was crashing. Other than that I have fewer crashes and hangs on wayland compared to X


Hang on did they drop Mir?


You've had both yes and no answers.

The answer is no.

Mir 0.28 landed just in time for 17.10, as a sibling linked. This version includes basic Wayland support.

A read over Mir/Spec [0] shows that though they don't want Wayland to be at the core of Mir, they want to be able to talk and integrate with it at a higher level.

It should be noted that Mir is only installed by default on Ubuntu Touch, and probably won't be integrated into the desktop by default until Unity8 is ready.

[0] https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Mir/Spec?action=show&redirect=MirSpe...


"It should be noted that Mir is only installed by default on Ubuntu Touch, and probably won't be integrated into the desktop by default until Unity8 is ready."

Huh? As far as I can tell Unity8 is never going to be ready. The exact words from Mark Shuttleworth were "we will end our investment in Unity8, the phone and convergence shell".

Clearly there are still people working on Mir, it's had ~200 commits in the past month. But I'm confused as to who's left using it.

Ubuntu Touch still exists but seems badly starved of development resources. I haven't followed it too closely other than occasionally flashing onto my old Nexus 4 to check things out but it seems like there's barely been any progress in the past few years, and Canonical dropping their support surely isn't going to help matters. I would love to be wrong about this but the project seems to be barley limping along. Ubuntu Phone is also still based on 15.04 and in the process of transitioning to 16.04 so it seems like it'll take ages for these Mir improvements to land.


Unity8 is practically dead right now. The funding withdrawal ensured it.

But, some of Mir's utility carried over into Canonical's IOT stuff.

No one I've spoken seems to know why Mir still has an active team after the big changes.

There's some speculation of MATE adopting when Mir hits 1.0, but it really is speculative.

I don't know why, but Mir marches on. I doubt we'll see it on desktop anytime soon.


Unity8 is as dead as Ubuntu Phone (if you don't count community forks). Gnome is the future of Ubuntu, there will be no Mir, there will be no Unity8.


As I said, Mir has a fresh release in this release, and continued development. If it's dead in the water... You might want to go tell the team.


Mir is still used for some of Canonical's IoT products. Since Canonical has paying customers, it's worthwhile to continue maintaining it.


https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/?field.tag=unity8-desktop&...

They look like they have only had half a dozen bugs lodged in the last six months. Doesn't seem too vibrant for an actively-developed desktop.


https://bugs.launchpad.net/mir/+bugs?orderby=-date_last_upda...

Mir on the other hand, looks quite active.



No


Yes.


Wow, they've abandoned Unity, LightDM, and Mir (for desktop at least) in favor of Gnome, GDM, and Wayland. They must have poured unspeakable man-years of engineering into those projects, and have now abandoned them in favor of what everyone else was doing all along.

Does anyone know to what extent these were pure engineering decisions vs. a scaling back of ambitions (and budget?) for the Ubuntu project as a whole?


Canonical mostly did those projects to assist/enable Ubuntu Phone, in ways the wider Gnome/Opendesktop/Wayland community had little interest in supporting.

With Ubuntu Phone officially dead, Canonical literally had nothing to gain by working outside the community, and had no good arguments for why they should keep on doing their own thing in these aspects.

It must have been a tough decision to make, but I'm sure it was the right one. It was widely applauded from the rest of the Linux-community.


Not unspeakable at all. We're talking about a (few) hundred man-years, tops (probably less than that, depending on how strict you are). Ubuntu devs have mentioned in the past that Mir could have been finished with an extra $1M (which is ~ 10 man-years), but Canonical/Mark S. didn't want to invest that money into it.

So the whole Linux-on-the-desktop is extremely underfunded compared to any moderately serious enterprise project.


Apparently Mir is still being developed for IoT devices, so it's not abandoned in the same way Unity is.


A few notes:

  - this is the first release supporting Surface devices out of the box (due the recent `linux-firmware` package)
  - people using PPA may have some troubles, since without tweaking, PPAs with obsolete keys are rejected
  - ack grep is not included (yet?), due to build issues with perl


The surface support sounds interesting. Has anyone here tried that?


I'm a longtime Surface user; you don't really need 17.04 though - all you need on older Ubuntu version is to install a more recent mainline kernel, and install the artful version of the `linux-firmware` package (in such conditions, the installation process will require an external keyboard and the pre-downloaded package).

Arguably, a Surface device can work well as double device:

  - windows as tablet
  - linux for work, with minimalist hardware usage (no hw button, no pen, the SP4/SB have no camera support)
The Linux Surface community is mostly made of script kiddies, so it's very unreliable (there are a variety of reasons for this judgment).

My personal favourite options for this mixed use are:

  - Surface Pro 3: better compatibility, and cheaper
  - Surface Book i5: fantastic tablet
SB laptops above the i5 are expensive, and it's a waste of money for a laptop that is not completely supported (if I have to spend 2000$ on something, I expect sleep to work).


Just use ag (the-silver-searcher) or ripgrep in lieu of ack.


+1 for rg, it's amazing


Has anyone made a good and detailed comparison of all these grep replacements? People keep saying how great they are, but I can never trust them to what I expect the way I trust grep.


From the creator of ripgrep, so might be biased comparison, but anecdotally ripgrep feels faster to me too http://blog.burntsushi.net/ripgrep/#methodology


I work with a huge monorepo and ag/rg are noticeably faster. Might just be the out-of-the-box .ignore support but that's another point in favor.

Our complicated ignore rules make ag miss a directory though (known issue with ag) so rg it is.


Obviously this is significant because this is the first release with Gnome 3 instead of Unity. I actually liked Unity a lot but also like Gnome 3, what are people's thoughts?


I've been running the Artful beta as my daily OS but was having some weird scaling issues with certain apps on my 4K displays. Chrome particularly looked "fuzzy". Decided to give Linux Mint Cinnamon a week back and so far couldn't be happier with it. I know Cinnamon is available on Ubuntu too, I'm surprised it's not more popular as a DE as it's very polished.


I agree with Cinnamon being polished and deserving much more attention than it currently gets - but what stops me from using it is the impossibility of arranging the virtual desktops (workspaces) vertically Gnome style and the refusal of the Cinnamon devs to implement that - I for one cannot get myself to horizontal workspaces, especially after using Gnome. Some extensions did provide this in Cinnamon but the functionality appears half-baked and the extensions break after each Cinnamon release.


I switched to Cinnamon on Ubuntu after struggling with Unity for six months. Works perfectly, and personally, i much prefer it to Unity.


No proper hidpi support. Gnome3 doesn't support fractional scaling, so if you need smtg like 125% scaling, then you're out of luck. (Example: 4k 32" displays need this.)


Ouch. This can be a dealbreaker for me.


FWIW, KDE 5 has supported fractional scaling since ... as far back as I can remember.


It can be enabled but is buggy, in my experience.


I was not a fan of early Unity, but now that it's been updated significantly over the years it has grown on me.

Welp, seeya later.


Same here, 2017 unity is fast, stable and beautiful.

I hope this move results in the same improvements coming to gnome. but I'm not upgrading for now.


People should know that Ubuntu-mate with mutiny layout is an alternative for some. Unlike 17.10, it keeps the global menus and HUD, but not the launcher (uses synapse instead).


I'd say that Ubuntu MATE (16.04) with the redmond layout and advanced menu enabled is the best alternative to Windows 7 I've yet seen in a Linux distro.


Gnome 3 seems quite fine, at least how it is in Fedora 27. It's rather pretty by default, and with Wayland, it handles things like multi-monitor DPI better than anything else I've seen. And not only in Linux side, but also versus Windows and Mac OS.

I've been a rabid tiling WM user several years before. I'm liking the other benefits enough that I'm willing to let that go. Gnome developers are working on some sort of tiling support, so we might be able to enjoy that as well in the future.


I've taken a real liking to Fedora. It actually made me switch from my custom Arch linux with i3 to almost default setup Fedora with Gnome. Worked flawlessly on my old Dell XPS 13 developers edition and my new one.

Sadly after the switch to Wayland my pen tablet doesn't get picked up by most applications I use daily including Chrome, Firefox, VSCode, Kritta, Blender, etc. It's a real shame as Gnome/Wayland handles switching the tablet between monitors and multimonitor setups really well! Running Gnome on Xorg also isn't an option, it tends to crash a lot now...

I do get 2 cursors though which is interesting.


> Running Gnome on Xorg also isn't an option, it tends to crash a lot now...

Strange, for me it's the other way around. I'm using Fedora 26 with GNOME on Xorg and no crashes so far.


It's been crashing for me since the switch to wayland as a default. I don't mind really, this stuff needs to get adopted. I tend to use my keyboard way more than my tablet these days.


Fedora really is excellent, just a shame I couldn't get it to play ball with my XPS 15 (9560). The situation doesn't seem to have improved in 27, sadly. Anything Ubuntu-based seems to work fine, though.


I've been using GNOME Shell in preparation for this, and with almost the same customisations as the Ubuntu devs have done by default, it almost feels like the same experience. Perhaps even a bit smoother, given that most of the apps were actually made with this experience in mind.


Release notes:

  https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ArtfulAardvark/ReleaseNotes



This would be a much more useful link for this post rather than the link to the download page.


Unrelated but how does one forward apps over SSH with Wayland?


I'm going to guess over X11 with Xwayland. Or does anyone else have any better solution?


That only shows you X11 windows. Xwayland has no idea about the content of native Wayland windows (i.e. at least all applications that use Qt5 or GTK3). The most likely solution IMO is a VNC server.


gnome-remote-desktop for Gnome on Fedora, it uses Wayland's API and VNC, so it works fairly well.


ssh -X still works thanks to Xwayland.


Hmm I really liked ifconfig I hate seeing it gone.


What do we use instead?


`ip addr`


The time, labor and money spent for unity in the end went to waste.


Such is the nature of trying new stuff. Fairly often it fails and the effort is at least partially wasted.


It wasn't waste. It was investing time to explore the space of alternatives.


It almost certainly influenced Gnome, so it might not all be wasted.



But what is the reason they still don't have proper window list / dock? Do many people use third party solutions like dock to Taskbar etc that clearly mimic Ubuntu.


ego


First Ubuntu to work out of the box on the 2013 (trashcan) Mac Pro I use at work. I'm seriously impressed!


I read that Canonical didn't like having to fiddle with lightdm to make it work and play well with GNOME shell, and thus Ubuntu 17.10 comes with gdm3. My upgrade went south, so I installed Kubuntu. It's using sddm, which I understand is the successor to kdm. Now I find that Gnome under X just hangs. Does GNOME shell require either gdm or something hacked as Canonical did lightdm to work?


Make sure that gir1.2-gdm-1.0 is installed. I think the dependency was accidentally dropped.


That did the trick; thank you!


There will be an update for that soon. (Ubuntu non-security updates are normally in -proposed for at least 7 days first.)

https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/gnome-shell/3.26.1-0ubu...


Really sad that they were bullied into getting rid of unity. No global menu in gnome is a joke. Feels like going back in time.


Can you expand on how they were bullied? It looks like it just wasn't as well-received as Canonical hoped and no longer fit their goals anyway.


They weren't bullied...they were wasting money. It still used compiz, which the maintainer even said was...my own words...junky. Then they decide to go mir and convergence even when the community said not to.

I like what ubuntu has done for linux use, but they seem really good at blowing money. Upstart, Mir, Unity, etc...


I like Unity too, and found GNOME wanting after I used Unity for a while. The keyboard shortcuts to search/launch, to search menu options in the foreground app, etc., are useful.


Congratulations on the release.

It's too bad that gnupg 2.2 didn't make the cut, at least it will be in the upcoming LTS release.


Too much noise to signal on this thread. Too many people promoting both Fedora and Wayland with cookie cutter statements about 'improvement' with no supporting points. Readers can see it for themselves. This reduces the value of HN.


Thought they were gonna go with Aaronic Aardvark and then just stop updating because there are no words starting with "Bb".


Just you wait for Ubuntu 18.04 BBS BBL, which is fantastic for running dial-up services that are frequently offline.


I wonder if Canonical will also release 17.10 as a Windows Store WSL app or stick to LTS releases and wait until 18.04 for an update.


I think they'll probably stick to LTS. There's no 17.04 for WSL AFAIK, so I doubt there'd be a 17.10.


Has anyone tried installing a window manager or another DE? I’m curious if GDM and Wayland might cause issues for X11 WMs.


No fractional scaling => no deal, better luck next time. I can't use this on my X1 _or_ on my 4K desktop display: everything is too large at 2x and too small at 1x. Unity supported this near perfectly.




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