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The final release of Ubuntu distribution version 12.10 is expected on 18 October 2012, with support through April 2014.

The Ubuntu Development Summit for 12.10 started on 7 May and ended 11 May, 2012, where more of the features for 12.10 were decided upon.

So, here is what's new in Ubuntu 12.10.

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Ubuntu 12.10 New Name

"Quantal Quetzal" is the name of Ubuntu 12.10 release announced in a blog posting by Shuttleworth.

The Quetzal is a family of birds found in western Mexico with mostly iridescent green plumage.

Ubuntu 12.10 Might Feature Linux Kernel 3.5

The newest operating system from Canonical, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin), is shipping with Linux kernel 3.2, but the upcoming Ubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal) could arrive with Linux kernel 3.5. 

Canonical has surprised people with the decision to provide a default PAE kernel with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin), but the company has never been too bold in regard to new Linux kernel versions.

According to Ubuntu developers, they might even integrate Linux kernel 3.6, if it will be stable and trustworthy at that time.

However, current Linux kernel version 3.4 was released, and it’s now been incorporated into Ubuntu 12.10 alpha release. Linux 3.4, among other features, contains driver support for several new graphics cards as well as a new security module and key updates to the Btrfs file system.

Ubuntu 12.10 Will Have GNOME 3.6

GNOME 3.6 is expected to be what’s ultimately included in the final version of Ubuntu 12.10, with Unity on top of it, of course.  

GNOME Contacts will be installed by default, Totem will be updated to the latest version, and Clutter will be on the ISO image. Because of Unity, GNOME Shell will not be present, of course.

Unity 2D Could Be Removed from Ubuntu 12.10

It looks like Canonical decided to abandon the Unity 2D project and make a single, stronger and smarter Unity interface for the Ubuntu operating system.

Canonical plans to remove the 2D variant (the Qt non-accelerated version) of the Unity interface, leaving only the 3D one. The reason behind this decision is probably the too much work involved in the main Unity version, and maintaining a "clone" requires even more man power.

A Single 800MB Image

Ubuntu 12.10 will have the CD and DVD desktop images consolidated into a single 800MB image usable on either USB or DVD.

Ubuntu 12.10 Will Have Its Own Control Panel

Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal will have its own control center. Canonical decided to fork the GNOME Control Center application and develop Ubuntu Control Center one for the next Ubuntu release.

Due date for Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal is scheduled for October 18th.

Ubuntu 12.10 Will Have OpenJDK 7

The Ubuntu development team announced that they plan to move to OpenJDK 7 as the default Java Runtime Environment. 

OpenJDK 6 will be replaced by OpenJDK 7, and it will be moved to the Universe repository, to be used in case some apps don't work with the new version.

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Ubuntu 12.10 May Get Wayland As A Tech Preview

In a Ubuntu Developer Summit session, Canonical discussed plans to implement Wayland Tech Preview in Quantal.

This gives the following benefits:

  • smooth transitions from the splash screen to the greeter to the session and back again
  • VT switching is not used anymore which has been shown to be problematic
  • one consistent monitor layout is used for all stages of the boot
  • the greeter can be used as the lock screen
  • the greeter can be shown while the session loads

The technology used will probably be Wayland, and in some ways this change is to implement the Wayland Tech Preview that was proposed for Precise.

More specifically, a Wayland demo-compositor plus a LightDM greeter wayland backend can be used to start user's X sessions in Ubuntu 12.10.

Canonical also plans to approach Nvidia and AMD asking them to integrate this into their binary drivers. Note that not all video drivers will support this, and we will continue to support the current system for those that do not support it (primarily the nvidia driver).

Ubuntu 12.10 Won't Have Btrfs Filesystem

Canonical plans to stay with the EXT4 filesystem for the upcoming Ubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal) distribution, as they announced at the Ubuntu Developer Summit for Ubuntu 12.10. 

However, the Btrfs filesystem will still be available as an alternative in the installation wizard of the Ubuntu Linux distribution.

A New Look for Update Manager

So far, there is not much detail, but according the Canonical, Ubuntu Linux 12.10 will feature "a slightly new look" for its Update Manager.

Firefox and Thunderbird

In the last alpha release Ubuntu 12.10 contains the newly released Firefox and Thunderbird, both of them in version 13; and we can expect their presence in the final Ubuntu 12.10 relase.

No More Migration Assistant

The migration assistant helps migrate documents and settings from other operating system to Ubuntu. But there are many reported bugs assiciated with it so that's the reason why the installer in Ubuntu 12.10 will no longer offer the migration assistant.

Python 3.0

Ubuntu desktop image will contain only Python 3, excluding Python 2. However Python 2 will still be available for download.


If you want to check it out, it's available for download on the Ubuntu site (

The software is a very early pre-release, of course, and definitely not intended for production purposes. Still, it offers a compelling early peek at what’s to come in the next version of Canonical’s popular free and open source Linux distribution.

And finally Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal is officially released, so read here what's really new in Ubuntu 12.10

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