The first beta of Ubuntu 18.04 is here. The finished article, due next month, will be a long-term support release and, for those who stick with LTS, the first time many see the new GNOME-based Ubuntu.
This beta, however, does not include the main GNOME-based release. Instead this is more a community release with most of the Ubuntu flavours participating. This particular test build is slightly more noteworthy than usual since, thanks to the havoc wreaked by Spectre and Meltdown, which limited the use of many distros’ build systems, it is really the first milestone for most of the flavours. It also came a couple of days late, which is unusual for an Ubuntu beta.
In my testing, many of these releases feel much more like daily builds than a beta. Which is to say things are somewhat rougher around the edges than what you’d usually find in an Ubuntu beta. It’s still a good time to check out the various flavours, but my advice would be to stick with running these in a virtual machine.
The Ubuntu flavours family continues to turn out very impressive releases and in most cases would be well-respected, full-fledged distros if they were their own thing. As it stands they’re often overshadowed by the main release of Ubuntu, but if you’re looking for a change – without distro hopping – any of these will give you a nice, stable desktop with all the underlying Ubuntu tools you already know.
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht