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Ubuntu 15.10 Wily Werewolf final beta (beta 2 for the flavors) was released last night, bringing updated applications (including most GNOME 3.16.x apps), GNOME's overlay scrollbars by default for GTK3 applications and of course, numerous bug fixes.

Changes in Ubuntu 15.10 Wily Werewolf final beta

There are very few visual changes in this release, at least as far as Unity is concerned. While even Ubuntu 14.04, which is a LTS, got some major Unity changes, such as LIM, a new lockscreen, minimize on click and much more, there's not much to say about Unity in Ubuntu 15.10 Wily Werewolf final beta.

There are of course quite a few bug fixes, the replacement of Unity's overlay scrollbars with the new GNOME overlay scrollbars for GTK3 applications, along with few minor changes that are worth mentioning but that's about it.

Unity's overlay scrollbars were announced back in March 2011 and were used by default starting with Ubuntu 11.04, being designed to maximize screen real estate.

GNOME's overlay scrollbars share this goal and thus, Unity's overlay scrollbars became redundant and were replaced, "to minimize the maintenance effort", said Will Cooke, Ubuntu Desktop Manager.

The new GNOME overlay scrollbars are only displayed when they are needed: there's no scrollbar by default but a small scrollbar is displayed when the pointer is moved and a larger scrollbar is displayed when the user wants to interact with it:

GNOME's overlay scrollbars are only used for GTK3 applications. Unity's overlay scrollbars continue to be used in Ubuntu 15.10 Wily Werewolf final beta for GTK2 applications (and Dash continues to use this scrollbar style).

A side effect of not using Unity's GTK3 overlay scrollbars any more is a fix for an old bug that was causing some parts of GTK3 applications (mostly CSD apps) to be transparent.

And speaking of client-side decorations, applications using this look better in Ubuntu 15.10 Wily Werewolf (they now have a shadow, etc.), but there's still an annoying visual bug: the upper window corners are not rounded and instead, there are a few black pixels:

Other Unity changes include:
  • new dconf setting to control the delay to show the menu when pressing the Alt key;
  • dragging an app from Dash to the Desktop should now work properly;
  • added option to enable and disable Unity low graphics mode on the fly in CCSM or via gsettings;
  • fixed issues with "Always on Top" windows and Dash / HUD.

A complete Unity changelog can be found HERE.

Applications / packages

Ubuntu 15.10 Wily Werewolf final beta has transitioned to GCC 5 and it ships with GNOME 3.16 for the most part - this includes GTK+ as well as applications like Totem (3.16.4), GNOME System Monitor (3.16.0), Disks (3.16.2), Image Viewer (3.16.3), Evince (3.16.1), Terminal (3.16.2) and so on, while a few important apps are still at behind and this includes Nautilus (3.14.2) and Gedit (3.10.4).

From the GNOME 3.16 apps, the most notable UI changes are for GNOME's Image Viewer (Eye of GNOME), which now uses client-side decorations but under Unity, it was patched to use a traditional titlebar. 

Unfortunately, it looks like someone forgot to also patch the app to use a traditional menu and because Eye of Gnome's GMenu doesn't show up, you can't access the app's preferences. Furthermore, there are some theming issues with the next/previous and rotate buttons as you can see in the screenshot below:

Nautilus also received some significant changes in GNOME 3.16, but like I said, Ubuntu 15.10 Wily Werewolf continues to use Nautilus 3.14.

Other default applications shipped with Ubuntu 15.10 Wily Werewolf final beta include: Firefox 41.0, Thunderbird 38.2.0, LibreOffice 5.0.1, Rhythmbox 3.2.1, Transmission 2.84, Deja Dup 34, Shotwell 0.22.0, Brasero 3.12.1 and Empathy 3.12.10, on top of Unity 7.3.2 (+dailybuild) and GTK+ 3.16.7.

I should mention that Brasero 3.12.1 and Empathy 3.12.10 are the latest version for both of these apps.

Under the hood, Wily final beta ships with Mesa 11.0.0, Xorg server 1.17.2 and the Ubuntu Linux Kernel 4.2.0-11, based on the upstream 4.2.1 Linux Kernel.

Download Ubuntu 15.10 Wily Werewolf final beta

Before downloading it, remember that Ubuntu 15.10 Wily Werewolf is in beta, so you may encounter issues!

Ubuntu 15.10 Wily Werewolf beta 2 flavors downloads/release notes: