Discovering the new “UBUNTU Desktop 23.10”

Published October 26, 2023

Let’s Discover the latest version of UBUNTU Desktop, version 23.10!


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The anticipation builds as we approach the final interim release before the highly anticipated LTS (Long Term Supported) version of Ubuntu.

For those new to the Ubuntu terminology, this is a significant milestone that brings a wave of excitement.

We’re making important changes to improve Ubuntu 24.04 LTS. Your involvement and feedback are highly valued.


These remarkable features encompass the entire Ubuntu Desktop stack, ranging from the captivating user interface to the efficient software management and even encompassing core security and architectural improvements.

While we have briefly mentioned these features in our press release and release notes, it’s truly worth delving deeper into each of them.


So, without further ado, let’s embark on an exploration of these extraordinary features that await us in the latest Ubuntu release.

New Release , New Desktop


Ubuntu, ever the purveyor of opulence, presents the latest iteration of the GNOME desktop environment, unveiling GNOME 45 in all its resplendent glory.

Freshly minted from its stable release a mere few weeks ago, this incarnation of GNOME boasts an array of new features that have been meticulously expounded upon in other realms.

Ubuntu users will love the new workspace indicator, sleek sidebars, and other enhancements that improve usability and performance in this amazing release.


Furthermore, this opulent offering includes the Tiling Assistant extension as a default inclusion, thereby expanding the horizons of configuration options for multi-window setups.

With the inclusion of quarter screen tiling, Ubuntu ensures that even the most demanding connoisseurs of luxury are catered to with utmost elegance.

Fast, friendly and fun, introducing the new App Center

Desktop environment

The standout new feature of Ubuntu Desktop 23.10 has to be the new App Center, which replaces Ubuntu Software for users going forward. Combined with the new installer, these two apps give us a much deeper level of ownership of the first time user experience on Ubuntu Desktop and a strong base to iterate on going forward.


Built in Flutter and leveraging the metadata available with snap packages, this first release provides a fast and intuitive new way to manage both deb and snap packages on your machine.

We also created a new ratings service, built in Rust. By combining user ratings with snap metadata we’re excited to be able to offer more dynamic ways to discover applications in future updates, including new categories like ‘most popular’ and ‘recently updated’.

Freeing firmware updates

We have introduced an innovative solution to enhance your experience with the firmware updater. In the past, Ubuntu Software would continuously run in the background, affecting the overall performance of your system, just to check for new firmware updates.

However, we have now separated the firmware management from the App Center, resulting in a significant reduction in resource usage.

Our new approach involves a lightweight background process that operates seamlessly, ensuring minimal impact on your system’s performance.

Additionally, we have developed a dedicated graphical user interface (GUI) specifically designed for managing hardware-related updates.

With this streamlined and efficient system, you can effortlessly stay up-to-date with the latest firmware releases without any compromise on your system’s performance.

Become tamper proof with TPM-backed full disk encryption

Ubuntu Desktop 23.10 introduces an experimental feature that enhances our existing Full Disk Encryption (FDE) functionality by supporting Trusted Platform Modules (TPMs) for key storage. Historically, Ubuntu relied exclusively on passphrases for user authentication in FDE, however in enterprise environments where fleets of machines may be shared or need to be booted remotely for administrative purposes, a password requirement to complete the boot process makes device management challenging.


TPM-backed FDE

is designed to explicitly counter a type of cyber-security threat known as the “evil maid” attack, a security breach where an attacker gains physical access to a target’s computer and instals malicious software or hardware to compromise the system’s security, typically to gain unauthorised access to the stored data or undermine encryption. This type of attack often seeks to exploit vulnerabilities present during the boot process or leverage weak or absent authentication measures to manipulate the system.


FDE that relies on passphrases can potentially be compromised if an attacker manages to install a keylogger or similar malware to capture the passphrase.

However, TPM-backed FDE doesn’t require users to enter a passphrase at every boot, as the decryption key is stored securely in the TPM and only released to authorised boot software.

If any part of the boot process, including firmware and boot loaders, is tampered with, the TPM will not release the keys needed to decrypt the disk. This setup adds an extra layer of security and integrity checks, ensuring that even if an attacker has physical access to the machine, the data remains secure unless the entire boot process is uncompromised and trusted.


Ubuntu Desktop 23.10’s FDE architecture is similar to Ubuntu Core, with Snapd agent managing FDE throughout.

In this release, TPM-backed FDE relies on a generic Ubuntu kernel snap, meaning that it doesn’t yet support devices that require additional drivers, such as NVIDIA.

We aim to deliver support for a broader range of hardware in Ubuntu 24.04 LTS.

Administrator experience

One of the advantages of Ubuntu is its ability to provide a secure and stable operating system for both home users and high-end research and development projects.

It is important to have the tools and controls for sysadmins to easily and securely administer Ubuntu Desktop at scale.

In Ubuntu Desktop 23.10, new tools have been introduced as part of Ubuntu Pro, which are available for free on up to five machines. These tools include a command called “pro enable landscape” that simplifies the process of enrolling devices to Canonical’s fleet management tool.

Additionally, there is an improvement in networking configuration with certificate auto-enrollment for those managing mixed Ubuntu and Windows systems, allowing for a more unified workflow.

Desktop Installer

After the initial transition to Subiquity, the Ubuntu Server installer that gracefully took over the Desktop in Ubuntu 23.04, the desktop installer has undergone a meticulous cycle of refinement. This process, carried out with utmost care and attention to detail, has resulted in a truly luxurious experience for users.


For those embarking on their Ubuntu journey, the most remarkable transformation lies in the default install path. Now, it is based on the esteemed ‘minimal’ installation option, which offers only the most essential applications to embark on a journey of digital opulence. This refined approach empowers users to configure their desktops to their heart’s desire, all through the exquisite new App Center.


In our pursuit of perfection, we engaged in spirited discussions with the vibrant Ubuntu community. As a result, we have thoughtfully preserved the option for a ‘full’ installation.

This opulent choice caters to users who find themselves in offline scenarios or may not yet be acquainted with the splendid open-source alternatives to their current productivity applications.


In this tech-driven world, the desktop installer has achieved unprecedented greatness, ensuring an exceptional user experience.

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