Ubuntu 15.10, aptly code-named Wily Werewolf, will officially debut this week from Canonical, bringing with it a surprising number of new features. Here's what to expect in the newest version of the popular Linux-based open source operating system.

The twice yearly release dates of new editions of Ubuntu are not as exciting as they were a decade ago, in the early days of the OS. Back then, major feature and usability enhancements were the norm. Now, Ubuntu has matured to the point that new releases are often not particularly momentous.

Ubuntu 15.10, however, introduces a fairly significant amount of new functionality—though that's largely thanks to updated packages and apps that ship with the OS, rather than changes to Ubuntu itself. Here are key new features to look for:

  • Linux kernel 4.2, which adds better AMD graphics support, among other enhancements.
  • A newer version of the Unity desktop interface. Canonical says Unity has benefited from "a number of usability improvements to the dash" and having "many bugs fixed."
  • LibreOffice 5.0, which brings lots of updates: better compatibility with Microsoft Office, support for Adobe Swatch Exchange files, support for cropping images in Writer and Calc and plenty more.

Canonical developers instituted a "feature freeze" for Ubuntu 15.10 on Friday. That means all development on this release going forward will focus on fixing bugs and adding stability.

The release of the official production-quality version of Wily Werewolf (which, by the way, is the first *.10 Ubuntu release to be Halloween-season appropriate—kudos to Canonical for that) will debut Oct. 22.