In this post I run through the key changes shipping in the latest version of Ubuntu’s lightest flavour, Xubuntu.

Xubuntu 23.10 released on October 12, 2023, with an array of performance buffs, stability boosts, memory management tweaks, and a refreshed pack of preinstalled software. User interface scaling is also greatly improved in this release – something I appreciate personally.

As with the main edition, Xubuntu 23.10 is an interim release supported for 9 months (until July 2024) with select app updates, security patches, and bug fixes. It will be possible to upgrade to Xubuntu 24.04 LTS, supported for 5 years, in April 2024.

Also like the main edition, Xubuntu 23.10 is powered by Linux kernel 6.5. Kernel uplifts always improve hardware support (for newer hardware at least, occasionally support for old hardware is jettisoned), and deliver better overall system performance, stability, and security.

For a closer look at what’s new in Xubuntu 23.10, scroll on!

Xubuntu 23.10: Key Changes

Xubuntu 23.10 offers an elegant experience

Xubuntu 23.10 ships with Xfce 4.18. This is same series which shipped in Xubuntu 23.04, albeit with scores of incremental bumps incorporating bug fixes present here. These buffs span the whole Xfce4 desktop, core system components, and most panel applets provided.

Xubuntu comes with a wide range of software preinstalled, including Thunderbird e-mail client, Mozilla Firefox web browser (snap), LibreOffice office suite, Rhythmbox music player, Xfburn disc writer, The GIMP image editor; the swift Thunar file manager — plus more.

Xubuntu’s 2.9GB download is stuffed with apps

The Ristretto image view now boasts printing support; the Mousepad text editor adds a “match whole word” toggle in the search toolbar, improves file change tracking, and will restore multi-window sessions at startup; while the Screenshooter tool supports AVIF & JPEG XL formats.

More software can be installed using the Synaptic package manager or GNOME Software, both of which come included by default.

PipeWire improvements mean Xubuntu 23.10 boasts better support for Bluetooth headphones, while those using Apple Magic Trackpad 2 and other modern touchpads will find they “just work” in this release (due to the removal of the unsupported xserver-xorg-input-synaptics package).

Changing theme is easier in this release

Minor icon updates and subtle tweaks to the default Greybird GTK theme improve the visual impression Xuuntu 23.10 makes on users. Additionally, there’s a toggle to make the Xfwm theme automatically change when switching GTK theme.

Also, look out for full colour emoji in GTK3/4 apps ?, Thunderbird ?, and Mozilla Firefox ?. You can also quickly enter color emoji in the GTK apps by right-clicking in a text field and selecting “insert emoji”.

Want more detail? Xubuntu project lead Sean Davis delves deeper in to what’s new in Xubuntu 23.10 over on his blog.

Download Xubuntu 23.10

The official Xubuntu website has links to download Xubuntu 23.10 in a regular edition (2.9GB, full experience) or as a minimal ISO (1.6GB, core utilities only). There are direct downloads though the project would prefer you to use the torrent files provided.

System requirements for Xubuntu 23.10 are the same as for Xubuntu 22.04 LTS, requiring a modern-ish 64-bit processor, 1GB RAM, and 10GB of free disk space. The distro runs best with a dual-core processor, 2 GB of memory, and 20 GB of free disk space — or better.


Xfce 4.18