Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Saturday, August 5, 2017 at 16:16

Ubuntu 17.10 "Artful Aardvark" is currently in pre-release stage (development version) and planned to be released on October 2017. This release would bring huge changes to mention some: changing user interface from Unity to GNOME, login screen from LightDM to GDM, many functional changes, and a still-unknown new future. I write this article as part one to give you overview about how Artful desktop looks. I wish the best and better future for Ubuntu by heading to this direction.

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Details for This Article

I use the 17.10 image I downloaded from daily-current server with these properties:
  • Release version: 17.10
  • Codename: Artful Aardvark
  • Image download date: 04 August 2017 
  • Daily image version: 03 August 2017
  • Image size: 1687879680 bytes (1.6GiB)
  • SHA1SUM: f844085ef1bbdee0b3b05a851a78f99064608c4e
  • Computer used: ASUS X44C laptop 64bit Celeron 1.8GHz 2GB

Where to Download?

The development version, which is alpha or beta version, is always available at at these days before October 2017 when 17.10 is supposed to be released. You better download ISO image using zsync to save your time and bandwidth.

Desktop Appearance

Unity is gone. GNOME is now the official user interface (or, desktop environment) of Ubuntu. You can see the characteristics:

- a top panel
- time indicator on center of panel
- no left Launcher (vertical panel) at first glance
- top-left control buttons, still the same as 17.04 and older
- orange-purple stylistic wallpaper, still continuing the old one
- thicker title bar on Nautilus File Manager, following GNOME style

Login Screen

Ubuntu 17.10 uses GDM right now as the login screen (or, display manager). This is because 17.10 uses GNOME and GDM is a part of it. You won't see the usual left-side login box (ala Unity) anymore.

Note: this screenshot of GDM is taken using recordmydesktop and converted using ffmpeg. 

Desktop Menu

No more Unity Dash, the whole-screen menu with Ubuntu button on top-left corner. Instead, now, you push mouse cursor to top-left corner of screen > press 3x3 dots button on bottom to open the desktop menu. This is how the desktop menu on Ubuntu 17.10 works.

Multiple Workspace

Is you're familiar with Super+S on Unity, which is showing 4 workspaces overview, now it's gone. It's replaced with workspace overview ala GNOME with Super key to show them; and using vertical mini maps on right-edge to move any window (by drag & drop) to another workspace.

System Tray

The tray has been changed as well. It's now ala GNOME, a single popup containing all options (volume, brightness, network, battery, and user session).

System Settings

The appearance of 'control panel' is still the same. You won't have any difficulty in this transition. The only difference you could notice is the title bar, it's thicker now following GNOME style.

To be continued...