Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Sunday, October 1, 2017 at 22:38

Artful Beta 2 (aka the Final Beta) released recently at 29 September 2017. This is the last Beta before the real final stable later at 19 October. We can download the Beta 2 now and see how will the stable be. The important news of this Part 7 are there is no 32bit version, the desktop is really moved to GNOME, memory consumption is still huge, new wallpapers and user experience. We hope the final stable will be ultimately better and wonderful. Enjoy!

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Read this Artful series Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6.

Some Details

  • Desktop environment: GNOME 3.26
  • Display server: XWayland (default) and Xorg 
  • Display manager: GDM
  • Kernel: 4.13
  • Architecture: 64bit only
  • Package manager: apt 1.5, dpkg 1.18.24, ubuntu-software 3.26
  • Release schedule: officially here
  • Release notes: will be here
  • Download page: will be here
  • Release announcement: Beta 2 here
Schedule table of Artful

1. Memory Usage

After permanently installed on my ASUS X44C Celeron 1.8Ghz 2GB, at idle time on first login, Artful Beta 2 uses around 1.1GB of RAM. This is not too far compared to Alpha that uses around 1.3GB. I'm afraid this will make Artful not suitable anymore for 2GB computer users.

Permanently installed:

Live session:

The biggest processes are gnome-shell (there are two, one by gdm and one by $my_user) around 100MB and 60MB respectively [watch out, both can grow wildly to touch 300MB!]; then gnome-software as around 50MB, then Xwayland (there are two, too) around 20MB and 20MB respectively.

You can also notice there are 39 processes named "gsd-" running on the background each uses around 2MB up to 8MB of RAM. You can find them manually by command line  ps aux | grep -i gsd- | wc -l .

And to complete this list of "memory eaters", you can see processes named "evolution-" using totally around 28MB of RAM.

You can count them and convert between MiB to MB using GNOME Calculator like this:

The two services of packagekitd and snapd are alive by default. If your internet bandwidth is very limited, beware of them eating your bandwidth.

2. No 32bit Anymore

This is the sad news for you 32bit users. Ubuntu Desktop 17.10 no longer provides 32bit ISO anymore, so you cannot download Artful Desktop for 32bit. However, you still can download the 32bit for server and the source code (so you can build 32bit version yourself). See the official news by Canonical's Dmitri Ledkov.

No 'i386' anymore for desktop

3. Wallpaper

The default wallpaper of Artful is Aardvark (Orycteropus afer), an animal from Sahara Desert, Africa, that eats ants.

4. Desktop Overview 

The most notable changes are the overall desktop view plus the position of control buttons, which is now at top-right again (after many years at top-left on Unity).

The search is now integrated to your OS. When you're searching for 'm' letter, you find applications with 'm' on their names, and not only that, you also find Settings, Files, Audio & Video, anything related to your 'm' letter.

Fortunately, Ubuntu Developers (especially Didier Roche) made vertical panel on GNOME so it mimics the Launcher of Unity. Now, it is Ubuntu Dock. You don't need to destroy your habit of operating Unity at all! Every running program shows its icon there and the new thing is: you can see the tooltip preview of the windows now.

When you press once Super button, you see all windows overview like this. You can drag and drop any window to workspace switcher at right side. It's similar to pressing Super+W on Unity.

5. Applications

Artful at Beta 2 brings these default applications:

  • LibreOffice is upgraded to 5.4
  • GNOME Shell and Nautilus File Manager at latest 3.26
  • Firefox is upgraded to 55
  • Rhythmbox and Totem as multimedia player
  • Calendar and Calculator, as their name said
  • Remmina 1.1.2, so you can remote another Ubuntu Desktop & Windows computers via RDP
  • Gedit as text editor
  • Thunderbird as mail client (similar to MS Outlook) and RSS reader
  • File Roller as archiving tool (similar to WinZip)
  • Disk Utility as disk management tool (to format disk drive/partitions, write ISO image to USB drive) 
  • Baobab as dist usage analyzer (to examine what folder eats most disk space the most)
A news for you, GNOME Tweaks is not installed on Beta 2 so you should install it manually by  $ sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool .

6. Download Beta 2

The download page for Artful Desktop is available already at releases server and here's the direct links. The sad news is Ubuntu Desktop does not provide 32bit version anymore. Yes, however, any GNU/Linux distro eventually will does the same because 32bit machine is too old, similar to floppy disk now.

And if you want to keep up to the development version instead, go to official Quality Assurance page:

Important links