New Features in Ubuntu

There is no longer a traditional CD-sized image, DVD or alternate image, but rather a single 800MB Ubuntu image that can be used from USB or DVD. Users who previously installed using LVM or full-disk encryption via the alternate CD will find that these installation targets are supported by the consolidated image in 12.10.

With the Ubuntu 12.10, ARM desktop images are now standard Ubuntu live images as known from other architectures. To install these images you should have a USB disk as target device.

Desktop Interface

  • Update Manager has been streamlined and renamed Software Updater. It also now checks for updates when launched. Additionally, the release upgrader portion of Update Manager has become its own package - ubuntu-release-upgrader.
  • A new Xorg stack has been introduced which includes xserver 1.13 candidate versions, mesa 9.0, and updated X libs and drivers. The new xserver provides improved multiseat support, better smooth scrolling, and a large variety of bug fixes. There is a new version of the ATI driver, and the proprietary -nvidia driver now supports the RANDR standard for monitor configuration.

  • Unity and Compiz now works on hardware supporting only GLES instructions, releasing unity to a wide range of armel machines.
  • Unity was updated to version 6.8 including support for:
    • Addition of 'More Suggestions' category which delivers commercial content to the Dash via the 'Unity Shopping Lens'
    • Numerous fixes and refinements to the dash
    • Option to prevent any network connection from the dash in the privacy gnome control center panel.
    • Support addition of webapps in the launcher by default (including Amazon & Ubuntu One Music stores)

    • An updated indicator-messages including a new libmessaging-menu api (deprecating the old libindicate library)

    • All launcher icons (except the BFB and Trash) should now be movable
    • Added the ability to unlock removable-storage icons from the launcher to de-clutter it
    • When in spread mode (Super+W) it's possible to close windows by clicking the close button revealed when hovering over them
    • Gwibber lens now features preview support in the dash
    • Webapps can now trigger package downloads where required by compliant websites visited by the user
    • Additional icons have been added to the filesystem lens to enable dragging and dropping filesystems (such as USB sticks) into the launcher
    • Previews in the video lens now show details for remote Amazon videos
    • Unity and unity-panel have been ported to atk-bridge for accessibility
  • Accessibility is turned on by default.
  • Ubuntu Medium font has been included.
  • The extra "launchpad integration" menu items which used to be added to the help menus have been dropped as they were not useful to most users and creating confusion.
  • The login greeter was updated:
    • Support for logging into remote desktops via RDP has been added, making it easier to use Ubuntu as a thin client
    • Network status is now displayed in the top panel
    • General visual refresh, with more space for long names and a better looking session chooser

Desktop Applications

  • LibreOffice has been updated to 3.6.2. It no longer needs a separate plugin to provide built-in menubar & HUD support.

  • GNOME has been updated to the new 3.6 version for most of its components. Read the GNOME 3.6 Release Notes to learn what's new and improved. A few highlights include:

    • Empathy: the contact list in GNOME's messaging and chat application received a cleaner design with groups disabled by default and the contacts you talk to the most often ranked at the top of the list.
    • Disks: improvements have been added including extra power management functions and the return of the benchmark feature.
  • Firefox and Thunderbird got updated to the current "16" version.

  • Jockey has been deprecated in favor of a "Drivers" component in software-properties.
  • The default partition mount point is now /media/username/ instead of /media/

Software Center

The new Software Center version improvements include:

  • Faster loading and installing
  • 3D Secure Support
  • Banners can now open URLs
  • Recommendation Feedback
  • Integration with the Unity Search Plugin Previews

Ubuntu One

New features and improvements include:

  • The Ubuntu One Music Store and Music Streaming Web App is accessible from the Launcher and provides integration with the sound menu and notifications in Ubuntu
  • The Ubuntu One Control Panel now includes a Shared links tab which provides a list and way to search all shared links


An introduction to the WebApps feature can be found in this YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUTNxi6b-hw&hd=1

It enables Ubuntu users to run online applications like Facebook, Twitter, Last.FM, Ebay and GMail direct from the desktop. Making web applications behave like their desktop counterparts improves the user experience dramatically; it’s faster and it reduces the proliferation of browser tabs and windows that can quickly make a desktop unmanageable.

The apps can even take advantage of Ubuntu’s new HUD system, making it even easier to navigate. So Web properties leap to the forefront of modern UI design, making for amazingly productive, fast and fluid applications on the desktop.

Common Infrastructure

Secure Boot

Ubuntu 12.10 is the first Ubuntu release to support UEFI Secure Boot, a standard for controlling what software can be run on a computer. Supporting Secure Boot, a part of the Windows 8 certification requirements for client systems, ensures that Ubuntu will continue to provide an "it just works" experience on new hardware.

Due to time pressures, only some flavors released with 12.10 will install and boot on Secure Boot hardware:

  • Ubuntu desktop
  • Ubuntu server
  • Edubuntu

We expect to enable all other flavors in 13.04.

Migration-support deprecated

The tool responsible for migrating user accounts from other operating systems to Ubuntu (migration-assistant) has been removed from the installer.

Linux kernel 3.5.5

The Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal release includes the 3.5.0-17.28 Ubuntu Linux kernel which was based on the v3.5.5 upstream Linux kernel. This is an update from the 3.2.0-23.36 Ubuntu Linux kernel which shipped in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Precise Pangolin and was based on the v3.2 upstream Linux kernel. Other notable changes with the Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal kernel include:

  • Transitioning of the i386 generic-pae flavor to become the generic flavor offering
  • Collapsing of the virtual flavor back into the generic flavor
  • Homogenizing the entire linux-meta package
  • Arrival of a new highbank arm server kernel flavor
  • Changing of the default scheduler from cfq to deadline
  • Packaging updates for signed kernels

Python 3.2

The Ubuntu desktop has begun migrating from Python 2 to Python 3. Most Python applications included in the desktop and their dependent libraries have been ported to Python 3. In most cases, Python 3 versions of libraries are available alongside their Python 2 counterparts. Ported applications will only run with Python 3. Work will continue in Ubuntu 13.04.

If you have your own programs based on Python 2, fear not! Python 2 will continue to be available (as the python package) for the foreseeable future. However, to best support future versions of Ubuntu you should consider porting your code to Python 3. Python/3 has some advice and resources on this.

GNU Toolchain

Ubuntu 12.10 is distributed with an updated default toolchain that includes: GCC 4.7.2 (was GCC 4.6 in 12.04 LTS), a binutils snapshot from the 2.23 branch (was 2.22 in 12.04 LTS), eglibc 2.15, and gdb 7.5.

Further information can be found upstream (GCC-4.7, gdb).

Java Toolchain

Ubuntu 12.10 ships OpenJDK7 as the default Java implementation. This brings improved performance, new features and better compatibility with other Java 7 implementations.

Use of the OpenJDK6 is now deprecated and the openjdk-6-* packages in universe for Ubuntu 12.10 will not be provided in future releases of Ubuntu.



Preparing your computer for Ubuntu is now much simpler, with a wider range of disk setup options. Each of these are detailed at length to provide you with a clear understanding of the actions that will take place with your selection.

You can now reinstall or upgrade an existing copy of Ubuntu with the Desktop CD installer, provided that your computer is connected to the Internet.


Ubuntu 12.10 images can be downloaded from a location near you:

In addition they can also be found at the following locations:

System Requirements

The minimum memory requirement for Ubuntu 12.10 is 768 MB of memory and 5 GB of disk space for Ubuntu Desktop. Note that some of your system's memory may be unavailable due to being used by the graphics card. If your computer has only the minimum amount of memory, the installation process will take longer than normal; however, it will complete successfully, and the system will perform adequately once installed.


Upgrading from Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

To upgrade from Ubuntu 12.04 LTS on a desktop system

  • Open Software Sources.
  • Switch to the Updates tab and set Notify me of a new Ubuntu version to For any new version.

  • Run Update Manager
  • It should display the following message: "New distribution release '12.10' is available".
  • Click Upgrade and follow the on-screen instructions.

Upgrading from Other Releases

Users of other Ubuntu releases need to upgrade first to 12.04 LTS, and then to 12.10.

For further information on upgrading to 12.04 LTS, please see the upgrade instructions.

Known Issues


  • A bug may cause a failure in memtest test #7. See this memtest86+ bug

  • Booting the Ubuntu installer in UEFI mode from a USB disk on certain Samsung laptops (530U3C, NP700Z5C) may trigger a firmware bug that renders the machine unbootable. Users are advised to use caution when installing on Samsung laptops and ensure that they are configured for legacy BIOS mode, not UEFI mode. (1040557)

  • The consolidation of desktop installation media into a single image means that some installation options that were previously available on the alternate CD have no direct replacement on the desktop image.
    • Users who were installing using the alternate CD to install with LVM or full-disk encryption can now use the desktop image for this.
    • To install LTSP, please install using the Ubuntu Server 12.10 image, then add ltsp after installation. You can also continue to install with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS media and upgrade to 12.10 from there.
    • There are several options for installing using software RAID. You can:
  • The desktop image installer cannot unlock existing encrypted (LUKS) volumes. If you need to make use of existing encrypted volumes during partitioning, then use the "Try Ubuntu without installing" boot option to start a live session, open the encrypted volumes (for example, by clicking on their icons in the Unity launcher), enter your password when prompted to unlock them, close them again, and run ubiquity to start the installer. (1066480)

  • ARM OMAP4 machines will sometimes boot to a black screen during installation. It's likely that the system has booted fine, but you will need to switch to another tty then back to tty7 (Ctrl+Alt+F1 and then Alt+F7) to get graphics. (1065902)

  • On ARM Panda boards with no external storage attached, the installer interface will be confusing and installation is likely to fail. We strongly recommend attaching an external hard disk when installing on Panda boards. (1053030)

  • On a mac with an external display can not run in framebuffer mode error occurs on the 2nd reboot onwards. (1066883)


  • Haswell processor graphics is not fully supported. (1066975)

  • On some systems, when opening lid, there is a kerneloops with a suspend/resume failure message seen. (1054732)

  • On certain ASUS machines with AMD graphic chips, a WMI event and ACPI interrupt are sent at the same time when hitting the hotkey to change display mode, resulting in the display mode being changed twice in succession. Users can work around this using the Displays panel in System Settings for changing display modes. (1052278)

  • On ASUS N53SN laptops, the kernel does not boot without noefi on commandline. (1053897)


  • In order to improve compatibility with other local nameserver packages, NetworkManager now assigns IP address to the local nameserver process that it controls instead of If the system's /etc/resolv.conf is absent or is a static file instead of the symbolic link to ../run/resolvconf/resolv.conf installed by default then this static file will have to be updated by the administrator in order to continue using the NetworkManager-controlled nameserver.


  • Windows vms which previously worked with 'vga' video now need 'cirrus' video.


  • Python 2.7.3 includes a fix for a security vulnerability affecting Python's dict and set implementations. Carefully crafted, untrusted input could lead to extremely long computation times and denials of service. Although disabled by default, vulnerable applications such as CGI scripts can explicitly enable "hash randomization" to prevent this exploit. Due to implementation details of this fix, virtualenvs created with older 2.7.x releases may not work with 2.7.3. Specifically, the os module may not appear to have a urandom function. This problem can be solved by recreating the broken virtualenvs with the newer Python 2.7.3 version. See http://bugs.python.org/issue13703 for full details. (954595)

VMware Player

  • Installing either version 4 or 5 of VMware Player on Ubuntu 12.10 will trigger a crash report regarding lsb_release, because the lsb_release command uses Python 3 but the VMware installation environment overrides the Python settings to point to a bundled version of Python 2. (938869) It is unknown what impact this has on VMware Player at runtime.

Video Drivers

  • Several video drivers are not functioning with some legacy chip-sets.
    • xserver-xorg-video-trident with some Trident Cyberblade chip-sets. Black screen and lock-up. Bugs

    • xserver-xorg-video-intel with i810 chip-sets. Segfault. 1060492

    • xserver-xorg-video-sis with 315 series (SiS 315/E/PRO, 550, [M]650, 651, 740, [M]661[FMG]X,[M]741[GX]) chip-sets. Black screen or loops around login screen. 1034812

    • xserver-xorg-video-ati with ATI Rage Pro chip-sets. Black screen.
  • Workarounds
    • Test with a Live CD to see if your hardware is effected.

    • Trident Cyberblade - As the vesa driver doesn't work with this chip-set the only solution is to remain with 12.04.
    • Intel i810 - A new install can only be accomplished from the Alternate ISO. On reboot go to Recovery Mode and delete the video driver. apt-get remove xserver-xorg-video-intel This will also remove xserver-xorg-video-all but this is only a meta package and isn't needed. On reboot create suitable xorg.conf or use RandR to get correct resolution if necessary.

    • SiS 315 Series - As Intel i810 except apt-get remove xserver-xorg-video-sis

    • ATI Rage Pro - As Intel i810 except apt-get remove xserver-xorg-video-ati

Desktop Interface

Please install available updates to ensure that the issues below will be fixed on your system.

  • The file manager process, nautilus, is crashing sometimes. (1053862) Even if you have not opened a Files window, it manages the desktop background. If nautilus crashes, restart it, with the 'Home Folder' button on the Launcher, or 'Files' in the Dash. Even when you close that window, nautilus will be managing the desktop again. Without it, you'll see some of these symptoms (952321) :

    • No icons on the desktop.
    • No menu when right-clicking the desktop.
    • When no application windows are showing (i.e. when the desktop, rather than any window, has the focus), important Unity keys like Super and Alt will not work.
    • The file manager's quicklist will not show the usual bookmarks.
  • On some NVidia cards, when using the proprietary driver, moving windows and other large screen updates causes some tearing. (600178)

  • The system service to manage device color profiles is crashing on some systems. (1026520)

Desktop Applications

  • The mail client Evolution may delete folders and their contents as they are renamed or moved around in IMAP (and IMAP+) accounts. It is recommended to copy folders and contents before attempting to move or rename them. (957341)

  • Libreoffice might get no menu when opening directly a document from the file manager (Nautilus) or the Unity dash (1064962)

Ubuntu One

  • Users upgrading from 12.04 LTS may lose the Ubuntu One icon in the Launcher. The workaround is to open the Dash, search for "Ubuntu One", open the Ubuntu One Control Panel and lock the icon in the Launcher.


  • Chromium continues to prompt the user to install an app even after it has been installed. (1059456)

  • After the user quits a Web app the icon is removed from the Launcher (1061056)


  • 18 months.

QuantalQuetzal/ReleaseNotes/UbuntuDesktop (last edited 2012-10-31 06:05:23 by jbicha)