Ubuntu 23.04, codenamed Lunar Lobster, was officially released on April 20, 2023. This latest version of Ubuntu comes with new features and updates that promise to enhance user experience and provide more security and performance improvements. In this article, we will go through the main features and changes in Ubuntu 23.04.
What’s New in Ubuntu 23.04 “Lunar Lobster”
New Installer & GNOME 44
One of the most notable changes in Ubuntu 23.04 is the new installer. It is faster and easier to use. The default Ubuntu Desktop installer is now a Flutter app backed by subiquity and packaged as a snap. Ubuntu Desktop also includes updated GNOME version 44, Firefox, LibreOffice, and Thunderbird versions.
Ubuntu 23.04 also includes updated subsystems such as BlueZ, cups-filters, NetworkManager, Pipewire, Poppler, and xdg-desktop-portal.
Linux Kernel 6.2
Ubuntu 23.04 uses Linux kernel 6.2, which comes with many new features. The updated kernel supports building and running out-of-tree Rust modules with generic and low-latency kernels.
It also offers performance boosts for older Intel Skylake CPUs with Call Depth Tracking, Intel Arc graphics DG2/Alchemist support, and a new Intel TDX guest driver. Furthermore, it supports Sony DualShock 4 gamepads, updated zstd compression code, and various performance and security improvements.
Ubuntu 23.04 also includes systemd v252.5, which is the updated init system. This new version brings various features and improvements, and you can check the upstream changelog for more details. The toolchain upgrades in Ubuntu 23.04 include updates to OpenJDK, .Net, Golang, Rust, and Python, all the latest versions available at release.
What’s new for devs?
The debuginfod service has been improved during this cycle to serve better and index source code for many packages. This means that users will not need to manually download a package’s source code, fiddle with GDB’s dir, or set substitute-path commands.
The service is now able to index and service debugging artifacts from private PPAs, and the rate at which the service indexes new ddebs and source code has been improved.
Regarding security, Ubuntu 23.04 brings many improvements, including an updated ca-certificates package to version 2.60 of the Mozilla certificate authority bundle. The base system also includes Netplan v0.106, which implements a slight behavior change when matching a (physical) interface using the match.macaddress stanza.
Active Directory Integration
One of the most popular Ubuntu Desktop enterprise features, Active Directory (AD) Integration, has been expanded in Ubuntu 23.04. The new release now supports enterprise proxy, app confinement, and network shares, making it even more functional. These features will be backported to Ubuntu 22.04 LTS and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS later this year.
Wrapping it up
Ubuntu 23.04 (Lunar Lobster) comes with significant improvements in the form of updated packages, new features, improved security, and enhanced functionality. Ubuntu 23.04 will be supported for nine months until January 2024; for long-term support, it is recommended to use Ubuntu 22.04 LTS instead.