After the customary six months of incubation, Ubuntu 13.10—codenamed Saucy Salamander—has hatched. The new version of the popular Linux distribution brings updated applications and several new features, including augmented search capabilities in the Unity desktop shell.
Although Saucy Salamander offers some useful improvements, it’s a relatively thin update. XMir, the most noteworthy item on the 13.10 roadmap, was ultimately deferred for inclusion in a future release. Canonical’s efforts during the Saucy development cycle were largely focused on the company’s new display server and upcoming Unity overhaul, but neither is yet ready for the desktop.
Due to the unusual nature of this Ubuntu update, this review is going to diverge a bit from the usual formula. The first half will include a hands-on look at the new Unity features. The second half will take a close look at the Ubuntu roadmap and some of the major changes that we can expect to see over the course of the next several releases.