MUST READ: Ubuntu 13.10 Review: A great Linux desktop gets betterTopic: Ubuntu Compare Follow via: RSSEmail Alert98Comments17 Votes19inSharemore +Ubuntu 13.10 Review: A great Linux desktop gets betterSummary: Ubuntu 13.10 may not be the most exciting desktop Linux, but it is very solid and contains many useful new features.By Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols for Linux and Open Source | October 10, 2013 — 17:47 GMT 10:47 PDTMany hardcore desktop fans still havent forgiven Ubuntu for switching to its Unity interface. Others dislike how Canonical, Ubuntus parent company, has gone its own way with such technical issues as working on the Mir display stack instead of the more mainstream Wayland. And, some people dislike how Ubuntu is combining "local" searches with Web searches. So what!Ubuntu 13.10 launches next week. Heres an early review.Heres all that really matters. Back in April 2011, Ubuntus founder, Mark Shuttleworth said that the purpose of Ubuntus new path was "to bring the joys and freedoms and innovation and performance and security that have always been part of the Linux platform, to a consumer audience." Hes done it.Sure, Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander, which has just gone into its final release candidate stage, isnt a desktop Linux that a Linux techie who still compiles his or her kernels from source code can love. But, its not meant to be that kind of desktop.See SlideshowUbuntu 13.10: A desktop tourRead moreIts meant to be a Linux desktop that anyone, say my now 81-year old mother-in-law can use. From that standpoint Ubuntu has been a success and this one week from final release version is even more of a win for people who just want to use a computer without tears.To see how it was doing this time, Ive been running the Ubuntu beta and the release candidate on two test systems. The first test box was my 2007 Dell Inspiron 530S, which is powered by a 2.2-GHz Intel Pentium E2200 dual-core processor. This PC has 4GBs of RAM, a 500GB SATA Serial ATA drive, and an Integrated Intel 3100 GMA Graphics Media Accelerator chip set. The second was a 2008-vintage Gateway DX4710. This PC is powered by a 2.5-GHz Intel Core 2 Quad processor, 6GBs of RAM, a 1TB SATA drive, and an Intel GMA 3100 for graphics.Installation was a cinch on all these systems. While I didnt try to install Ubuntu on a system locked down with Windows 8 Secure Boot, there are good instructions on how to put Ubuntu on Windows 8 PCs and other systems that use Unified Extensible Firmware Interface UEFI.One nice new feature about the installation is that during it, youre asked to either login or open a free Ubuntu One cloud service account. Ubuntu One is a Dropbox-like storage service which comes with 5GBs of no-cost storage. The commercial version, at $39.95, gives you 20GBs of storage and music streaming. While this service works hand-in-glove with Ubuntu you can also its storage from Windows, Mac OS, Android and iOS.The first thing I noticed once I had it installed was that on both of these older systems, Ubuntu 13.10 ran like a top. If you have an older PC of your own and youre concerned about its fast approaching XP expiration date, keep in mind that Ubuntu, and other easy-to-use Linux distributions such as Mint run just fine on hardware that Windows 7 and above might find too slow.Looking under the hood, heres what I found. First, the Saucy Salamander is running the Linux 3.11 kernel.