On the surface, based on the second beta just released, Ubuntu 13.10 is shaping up to be a solid, if slightly dull, Linux distro.
There have been no major visual changes to the desktop and only a couple of expanded features for the Unity Dash, which means 13.10 – due 17 October – won’t look all that different from the last release of Ubuntu when it arrives.
Ubuntu 13.10 is, however, something of an iceberg – the bulk of what’s new is hidden away under the surface. Ubuntu 13.10 marks the arrival of Mir, Canonical’s new graphics stack designed to replace the ageing X Server.
Mir is Ubuntu’s replacement for the X Window System and is designed to help one escape the confines of the desktop. Mir will allow Canonical to run Ubuntu on mobile and tablet devices, as well as the desktop, sharing a common code base among the various form factors.