The release announcement of Ubuntu 17.10 mentions the major updates and changes including the biggest of all, the switch from Unity back to Gnome 3, Gnome Shell for the desktop.
Ubuntu 17.10, Artful Aardvark, has officially released now. The release notes for all versions give a more complete list of packages updated, and a list of known issues.
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32-bit installer images are no longer provided for Ubuntu Desktop it will be possible to upgrade existing 32-bit installations in the normal way. But there is still a 32-bit installer for most of the Ubuntu flavors, including Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu and Ubuntu MATE. So, you can still install a Ubuntu 17.10 new 32-bit system with one of those, and if you get really desperate there is still a 32-bit Ubuntu Server version, so you could build your own desktop on that.
To upgrade an existing Ubuntu system, you must first make sure that all of the latest updates installed. To do that, just run the Software Updater. If there are updates which need to install it will inform you, and ask for permission to install them. There were about 1,500 packages with a total of about 1GB to download.
The release note includes:
Furthermore, 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.
Apps provided by GNOME updated to 3.26. For more details about GNOME 3.26, see their Release Notes.
Driverless printing support is now available for IPP Everywhere, Apple AirPrint, Wi-Fi Direct, and Mopria devices. Follow the instructions from 17.04.
Printer configuration now done in the Settings app, Choose Devices and then Printers. The tool uses the same algorithms for identifying printers and choosing drivers as the formerly used system-config-printer, and makes full use of driverless printing to support as many printers as possible. Note that some options, like printer sharing, are missing. However, to reach them, click the Additional Printer Settings button at the end of the list of available print queues and you get good old system-config-printer.
The default on screen keyboard is GNOME’s Caribou instead of Onboard.
The Amazon app now loads in the default web browser. Calendar now supports recurring events. LibreOffice has been updated to 5.4.
Python 2 is no longer installed by default. Python 3 has been updated to 3.6.
The Rhythmbox music player now uses the alternate user interface created by Ubuntu Budgie developer David Mohamed.
Moreover, the Settings app redesigned. Simple Scan has a new workflow and design and is now part of core GNOME. System Log replaced by Logs, an app to view logs from the system d journal.
Finally, the Ubuntu GNOME flavor discontinued. If you are using Ubuntu GNOME, you are upgraded to Ubuntu. Choose the Ubuntu session from the cog on the login screen if you would like the default Ubuntu experience.
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Meanwhile, install gnome-session and choose GNOME from the cog on the login screen if you would like to try a more upstream version of GNOME. If you’d like to also install more core apps, install the vanilla-gnome-desktop Meta package.