The wait is over. The brand new release of Ubuntu 21.10 ‘Impish Indri’ has hit the download mirrors. Let’s check out what’s new!
Ubuntu 21.10 is a regular short term release that will be supported for nine months. It doesn’t sound like a lot but remember you will be able to upgrade to Ubuntu 22.04 next April and that is supported for at least 5 years.
Ubuntu usually uses regular releases to introduce new developments that it hopes to stabilize by the time the next long term release (LTS) rolls around.
Canonical releases a build of Ubuntu every six months, one in April and one in October. Every two years, one of these builds is designated a Long Term Support (LTS) release. LTS releases are supported for five years and are considered enterprise-grade.
The other releases, as is the case with Ubuntu 21.10 ‘Impish Indri’, are for those who want to have the latest release of Ubuntu and the newest selection of applications, and for whom stability is of secondary importance. But to be fair, the regular builds are always pretty stable.
Now let’s dive right into what the new Ubuntu brings us.
Ubuntu 21.10 ‘Impish Indri’ Highlights
One of the most exciting parts is that this release is bringing in GNOME 40 to us available in Ubuntu. It introduces a horizontal workspaces and a revamped app launcher.
Therefore, if we launch the applications we notice that the applications screen is laid out quite differently. It’s because they are using GNOME 40. You have your workspaces at the top instead of on the right hand side of the screen.
A lot of users wanted Ubuntu to adapt GNOME 40, but it didn’t quite make it for the last release, which was Ubuntu 21.04 ‘Hirsute Hippo’, but for those users who wanted it in the last release it has finally came.
If you look on the left hand side, we still have the dock here. It just looks a little refreshed up but one thing you’ll notice is the Trash Bin is pinned to the dock now. In addition, running apps are now separated from your pinned apps by a divider.
The Files app hasn’t really changed any, but it can now sort items by creation date. The theme has remained the same.
But let’s talk a little bit now about Wayland, which is a default display server in Ubuntu 21.10 ‘Impish Indri’. Wayland has been offered for a little while now on Ubuntu distributions, but what is special about this one is now we’ll have advanced support for Nvidia users. This has been announced with the Linux kernel getting updated to 5.13.
One of the new things in Ubuntu 21.10 ‘Impish Indri’ is on the background, of course that is changed, but if you right click on it now you have “Desktop Icons settings” option. If you click on that you have different various settings available for your desktop icons. This is a little unique because by default GNOME doesn’t allows you to put things on the desktop.
It looks like the Ubuntu devs adopted that with GNOME 40 which is quite exciting because many users like to have icons on their desktop background.
Impish Indri ships with a selection of new wallpapers.
The purple-based design palette remains, and the default theme is still Yaru. There are some tweaks and changes, however. Ubuntu 21.10 ‘Impish Indri’ defaults to a light theme by default, but it isn’t global. It’s selectively applied to some desktop elements but not to everything. The calendar and the system menu, for example, use a dark theme.
Other Improvements in Ubuntu 21.10 ‘Impish Indri’
The LibreOffice was updated to version 7.2. Thus includes a new hud-style command search menu, faster startup times, and better Microsoft Office compatibility. Thunderbird 91 is present with a hugely improved email account creation wizard.
Impish Indri brings the latest 93 version of the Firefox web browser. It is important to note, that Ubuntu makes Firefox Snap the default version for new installations of Ubuntu 21.10. But if you don’t like Snaps, Mozilla will continue to provide distro-agnostic Linux binaries for download.
A ton of additional software is available in the Ubuntu Software app including widely used apps such as Spotify, Discord, and Visual Studio Code.
Among other things, new multi-touch gestures are included to make it easier to enter and exit the workspace switcher, but they are only available in the Wayland session by default. Impish Indri comes with the Linux kernel 5.13, which introduces support for new hardware and adds rudimentary Apple M1 support.
System requirements have not changed so if your device can run other versions of Ubuntu it can also run this one indeed. Ubuntu 21.10 is available from the downloads page today.
You can write this image to a USB stick, or boot the image in virtual machine software such as a VirtualBox.
Related: Ubuntu with VirtualBox, an Easy-to-Follow Installation Guide