The official Ubuntu 15.04 flavors are available for download. Let's take a quick look at what's new in the latest 15.04 release of Xubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, Ubuntu Kylin, Kubuntu and Lubuntu.
For Ubuntu MATE 15.04, a new MATE-based Ubuntu flavor, there's a separate article HERE. You may also want to see what's new in Ubuntu (with Unity) 15.04.
Xubuntu is an Ubuntu flavor which uses Xfce, a fast, light desktop environment.
The latest Xubuntu 15.04 ships with Xfce 4.12, the first stable Xfce release in almost three years. Since previous Xubuntu versions were already using various Xfce 4.12 development builds, some of the new features and improvements in Xfce 4.12 were present in Xubuntu for a while.
For what's new in Xfce 4.12, see THIS article.
Changes in Xubuntu 15.04 include:
- Xfce Window manager now supports window previews and comes with corner-tiling and better support for client-side decoration apps;
- LightDM GTK+ Greeter Settings, a tool which allows changing various login screen settings, is now installed by default;
- Xfce Power Manager now handles light-locker’s settings in its “Security” tab;
- the panel now has an intelligent hiding mode;
- the display dialog comes with improved support for multiple monitors;
- the appearance dialog shows previews for theme styles and icons;
- improved Qt apps appearance (the GTK theme is used now) however, Qt apps continue ignore the currently set icon theme;
- Xfce apps:
- Mousepad text editor was rewritten, getting support for GTK3 along with a settings dialog;
- new/updated Xubuntu light and dark color schemes in Mousepad and Terminal;
- The Xfce Task Manager has received a new user interface with GTK3 support along with a process filter;
- improved keyboard navigation for Thunar.
Below you'll find screenshots with some of these changes:
Ubuntu GNOME 15.04
Ubuntu GNOME tries to bring a pure GNOME experience in the Ubuntu "family". It uses GNOME Shell by default and this release ships with GNOME 3.14 for the most part - this includes GTK 3.14.12, GNOME Shell 3.14.4, GNOME Control Center / Settings Daemon 3.14.2, GDM 3.14.1 as well as version 3.14.x for most GNOME apps, both those available by default and those available for installation from the repositories.
As far as I'm aware, the only app that wasn't updated to version 3.14 (it's still at version 3.10.x) is Gedit.
GNOME 3.14 brings quite a few changes, including:
- multi-touch gestures for both the system and applications (for touchscreen devices only);
- improved support for Wi-Fi hotspots;
- network-based sharing (WebDAV, DLNA and VNC will now remember which network you want them to be active on);
- enhanced geolocation framwork with the use of Mozilla's Location Service for 3G and network-based positioning;
- new animations for the Activities Overview;
- new interactive inspector which allows live examination of running GTK+ applications (can be activated via Ctrl+Shift+I);
- Evince was updated with a new design with header bars, support for removing annotations, recent documents overview and more;
- Weather has a new layout and it makes use of GNOME's geolocation framework to automatically show the weather for your current location (the Location Services feature is turned off by default - enable it via System Settings > Privacy);
- Maps was updated with a route planning feature which allows you to plan journeys by foot, bicycle or car.
For a more in depth look at the changes introduced with GNOME 3.14, see THIS article.
Also, with Ubuntu GNOME 15.04, Maps and Weather are installed by default and so is Numix, a popular GTK theme (though it's not used by default).
Another change in Ubuntu GNOME 15.04 is the addition of an experimental Wayland session. This is not installed by default and to try it out, you'll have to install "gnome-session-wayland" and then select "GNOME on Wayland" from the login screen. It's important to mention that this session only works with open source GPU drivers.
Here are a few Ubuntu GNOME 15.04 screenshots:
Ubuntu Kylin 15.04
Ubuntu Kylin is an Ubuntu variant for Chinese users which uses Unity. The project provides apps commonly used by Chinese users as well as customized existing components, like a custom Online Music Search Dash plugin and better Chinese localisation.
With this release, Ubuntu Kylin has switched to LIM (locally integrated menus) by default, a feature that was also present in Ubuntu 15.04 but was reverted a few days before the release. This feature is used in conjunction with a new Unity feature which allows disabling the menu autohide.
Another feature that's enabled by default with this release is "click to minimize" for the Unity Launcher, a feature that's also available for Ubuntu (w/ Unity) users, but it's not enabled by default.
According to the release notes, these changes should make it easier for Windows users to adapt to the Unity user interface.
Other changes in Ubuntu Kylin 15.04 include fixes for the Kylin-specific applications: Ubuntu Kylin Software Center, Youker Assistant, Chinese Calendar and Unity China Music Scope as well as a refreshed default theme.
Below you'll find a few Ubuntu Kylin 15.04 screenshots:
(I installed it in English, that's why parts of the desktop are in English and not in Chinese)
Kubuntu is an Ubuntu flavor which uses the KDE Plasma Desktop as the desktop environment. Even though it's now sponsored by Blue Systems and not by Canonical, Kubuntu is still an official Ubuntu derivative.
For the previous Kubuntu version, 14.10, the distro provided two ISOs: a stable Plasma 4 ISO and a testing Plasma 5 ISO. For Kubuntu 15.04, the developers have decided to complete the transition and only provide one ISO which uses Plasma 5 by default (along with KDE Applications 14.12.2).
Plasma 5 is built using Qt 5 and Frameworks 5 and it provides improved HiDPI support, an updated, modern and cleaner user interface with a new theme, rendered on top of OpenGL, offloading many intensive rendering tasks.
Compared to Plasma 5.0 (tech preview) used in the Plasma5 Kubuntu 14.10 ISO, Plasma 5.2 used in this release includes the following improvements:
- new / re-added components for Plasma 5: Icons-only Task Manager, Notes widget, System Load Viewer, BlueDevil (a set of tools to manage Bluetooth devices), KSSHAskPass (a GUI for entering SSH passwords), Muon, KScreen (Multi-monitor system settings module), KDecoration and GTK Application Style;
- added option to undo Plasma desktop layout changes;
- smarter results and audio player controls in KRunner;
- improved themes;
- Baloo should consume 2-3x less CPU on startup;
- KDE Frameworks 5-based versions of Kate, KWrite, Konsole, Gwenview, KAlgebra, Kanagram, KHangman, Kig, Parley, KApptemplate and Okteta;
- the default Plasma 5 login screen manager is SDDM and this is what Kubuntu 15.04 uses by default;
- numerous bug fixes;
Changelogs: Plasma 5.2 | Plasma 5.1 | KDE Applications 14.12
Here are a few Kubuntu 15.04 screenshots:
Lubuntu is a lightweight Ubuntu flavor which uses the LXDE desktop environment, useful for old computers.
The latest Lubuntu 15.04 only includes general bug fixes and updated artwork, as the developers prepare for the switch to LXQt.
Ubuntu Studio & Ubuntu MATE 15.04
The latest Ubuntu Studio shares most of its changes with Xubuntu 15.04, so check out the changes above, for Xubuntu. Download / release notes for Ubuntu Studio 15.04.
For Ubuntu MATE 15.04, I've posted a separate article: Ubuntu MATE 15.04 Available For Download.
All the Ubuntu 15.04 (Vivid Vervet) flavors include the Ubuntu Linux Kernel 3.19.0 based on the upstream 3.19.3 Linux Kernel, Mesa 10.5.2, Xorg server 1.17.1, PulseAudio 6.0 and systemd 219 (and they use systemd as the default init system, replacing upstart - except on Touch). Also, like all non-LTS releases, the Ubuntu 15.04 flavors are supported for 9 months!