If you’ve been eagerly waiting to download Ubuntu 23.04 beta, now is the time to do it. The beta build is available for download, giving enthusiasts the chance to try it out before the stable release of Ubuntu 23.04, which is scheduled for April 20th. The beta build’s purpose is to enable testers to report any bugs, breakages and show-stopping quirks to the developers.

As Ubuntu 23.04 is a short-term release, lasting only nine months, there are not many revolutionary changes in this version, which is nicknamed the “Lunar Lobster.” Nevertheless, it has several new features that are sure to excite users.

Ubuntu 23.04 Lunar Lobster Beta featured image

Ubuntu 23.04 Beta in Brief

Ubuntu 23.04 boasts a brand new installer built using Flutter technology. The new installer has almost all the same features as the legacy installer, but it is built on a more agile codebase, thanks to Canonical’s Subiquity server tech, and has a modern look. However, please note that the pause icon in the slideshow controls the slideshow and not the installation.

The Ubuntu Dock has been updated to show a badge count for any unread notifications, making it easier to keep track of notifications. If an app can send native notifications, it can show unread badges when that app is open in the dock.

Most of the user-facing improvements in Lunar Lobster come from the GNOME 44 release. It offers many new features, including the ability to manage Bluetooth devices from the Bluetooth toggle in the Quick Settings Menu. Quick Settings toggles can now show subtitles that give you more information at a glance, such as the Wi-Fi network you’re connected to or which power mode is active. The Nautilus file manager has also received some significant buffs. The return of expandable folders in list view and the medium icon size in grid view are among the changes that will make browsing directories more accessible.

Ubuntu 23.04 Beta also includes some notable updates to the Accessibility settings, with new options, and the kernel version is now listed in the Settings > About panel. Additionally, the Mouse & Touchpad settings have improved with demo animations, and the Quick Settings toggles and sub-menus are now keyboard-navigable. Managing Wireguard VPN connections and sharing Wi-Fi network passwords using QR codes are now more accessible.

Software updates include:

  • Mozilla Firefox 111 (snap)
  • Thunderbird 102.9
  • LibreOffice 7.5.2
  • Shotwell 0.30.17
  • Remmina 1.4.29
  • Transmission 3.0

The following software is also included in Ubuntu 23.04 Beta:

  • Linux kernel 6.2
  • Mesa 23.0
  • BlueZ 5.66
  • NetworkManager 1.42
  • Pipewire 0.3.65
  • Poppler 22.12

In addition to the main Ubuntu release, beta builds of official Ubuntu flavours are also available for testing. These include Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Xubuntu, Ubuntu Budgie, Ubuntu Studio, and Ubuntu Cinnamon.

To download Ubuntu 23.04 Beta, head to the Ubuntu release server. If you’re a bug-fearing person, it’s best to wait for the stable release. However, if you’re excited to try out the new features, go ahead and download it. Remember that you can upgrade any Ubuntu beta to the final release by installing all updates released between now and then. By release day, your system will be the same as those who perform a fresh install.

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