Ubuntu Linux 23.10 'Mantic Minotaur' is here with new features and Raspberry Pi 5 compatibility

Today is a special day for the Linux community as Ubuntu 23.10 (code-named "Mantic Minotaur") is finally released. Yes, folks, following a fairly short beta testing period, the Debian-based operating system can be downloaded now.

Notably, Ubuntu 23.10 is compatible with the latest Raspberry Pi 5 and SiFive HiFive Pro P550 from the get go. It is quite impressive to have support for the very new Raspberry Pi 5 on day one.

Ubuntu Desktop 23.10 is making big strides in enhancing user security by introducing preview support for hardware-backed full-disk encryption. This feature securely houses encryption keys within the Trusted Platform Module (TPM), which are then automatically retrieved by authenticated boot software.

Although the hardware support for this feature is currently limited, there's more on the horizon. The upcoming Ubuntu 24.04 LTS, slated for release next year, aims to broaden hardware support and will introduce additional encryption configuration and management options.

Ubuntu 23.10 is taking a significant step forward in narrowing down attack avenues associated with unprivileged user namespaces. Common applications, internet browsers being a prime example, rely on these namespaces to conjure secure sandboxes.

However, this mechanism poses a security conundrum as it exposes kernel interfaces, typically reserved for root-privileged processes -- they can open the door to significant security vulnerabilities. The Ubuntu 23.10 kernel aims to stop this issue by introducing a new mode which mandates that applications possess an AppArmor profile to utilize unprivileged user namespaces.

Mantic Minotaur also introduces a new App Center, making it a breeze to find and manage software. It supports different types of software packages, ensuring the software you find is safe and trustworthy. All applications from Canonical’s own Snap Store go through a tough security check to make sure they’re safe to use.

Managing network settings on Ubuntu has become less of a chore with a tool called Netplan. Also, a feature called ADsys now makes it easier to manage certificates on machines running Ubuntu and Windows. And for people who use Docker, Ubuntu 23.10 comes with the latest Docker version and some popular add-ons, making it easier to manage and cut down on clutter.

Ubuntu 23.10 'Mantic Minotaur' is a noteworthy release that lays the groundwork for the upcoming long-term version. With better security, easier app discovery, support for new hardware, and simplified management tools, it continues to make Ubuntu a solid, user-friendly, and safe choice for a variety of users and purposes.

The operating system can be downloaded here. Full release notes are here.

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