Ubuntu MATE 18.10 is a modest, yet strategic, upgrade over our 18.04 release. If you want bug fixes and improved hardware support then 18.10 is for you. For those who prefer staying on the LTS then everything in this 18.10 release is also important for the upcoming 18.04.2 release. Oh yeah, we’ve also made a bespoke Ubuntu MATE 18.10 image for the GPD Pocket and GPD Pocket 2. Read on to learn more…
What changed since the Ubuntu MATE 18.04 final release?
Curiously, the work during this Ubuntu MATE 18.10 release has really been focused on what will become Ubuntu MATE 18.04.2. Let me explain.
The upstream MATE Desktop team have been working on many bug fixes for MATE Desktop 1.20.3, that has resulted in a lot of maintenance updates in the upstream releases of MATE Desktop. The Debian packaging team for MATE Desktop, of which I am member, has been updating all the MATE packages to track these upstream bug fixes and new releases. Just about all MATE Desktop packages and associated components, such as AppMenu and MATE Dock Applet have been updated. Now that all these fixes exist in the 18.10 release, we will start the process of SRU’ing (backporting) them to 18.04 so that they will feature in the Ubuntu MATE 18.04.2 release due in February 2019. The fixes should start landing in Ubuntu MATE 18.04 very soon, well before the February deadline.
Ubuntu MATE 18.04.2 will include a hardware enablement stack (HWE) based on what is shipped in Ubuntu 18.10 Ubuntu users are increasingly adopting the current generation of AMD RX Vega GPUs, both discrete and integrated solutions such as the Intel Core i7-8809G Radeon RX Vega M found in the Hades Canyon NUC and some laptops. I have been lobbying people within the Ubuntu project to upgrade to newer versions of the Linux kernel, firmware, Mesa and Vulkan that offer the best possible “out of box” support for AMD GPUs. Consequently, Ubuntu 18.10 (of any flavour) is great for owners of AMD graphics solutions and these improvements will soon be available in Ubuntu 18.04.2 too.
Alongside the generic image for 64-bit Intel PCs we’re also releasing a bespoke image for the GPD Pocket and GPD Pocket 2 that includes the hardware specific tweaks to get these devices working “out of the box” without any faffing about. See our GPD Pocket page for more details.