Ubuntu 9.04 ‘Jaunty Jackalope'
It's back to basics with Jaunty's drape: out are the mascots and back are the gradients and swooshy light effects. But after the imagination and originality of the previous two designs, this was nothing short of a big let down.
Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala
Karmic swapped out the smooth earthy gradients for the super cozy tones of, well, orange. This wallpaper perhaps more than any other gave off a warm and inviting first impression to Ubuntu.
Ubuntu 10.04 ‘Lucid Lynx'
As the introduction of a new color scheme and visual identity signaled a fresh start for the look of the Ubuntu desktop. The lens flares, blurry artifacts, and purple gradients used in Lucid's default wallpaper were dreamy and in keeping with the ‘Lucid' moniker. Sadly many found this unobtrusive style to have been at the cost of personality.
Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat, 11.04 ‘Natty Narwhal', 11.10 ‘Oneiric Ocelot', 12.04 ‘Precise Pangolin'
The original plan for the Maverick background was something a bit more ambitious than what resulted. Sadly time ran out and they were forced to come up with this alternative. The good news was the result was a competent drape, laced with ethereal strobing to lend an otherworldly quality.
Deciding to err along with a consistent, iterative approach to wallpaper changes from here until Ubuntu 12.10 the design boasts only a handful of very minor, barely noticeable changes from 10.10.
Ubuntu 12.10 ‘Quantal Quetzal', 13.04 ‘Raring Ringtail', 13.10 ‘Saucy Salamander'
And so we arrive at this cycle release. After five years of almost indistinguishable drapes comes a similarly themed but visibly different wallpaper for Quantal. Some suggested that it resembled a macro shot of a nostril…
Some are convinced that the only change between the Raring Ringtail wallpaper and the releases' previous, Quantal, wallpaper was a vertical flip of 180 degrees…
The Saucy Salamander default wallpaper to be added to the collection is this. It's sporting far more purple than the previous iteration, but the ‘smudge' remains, albeit in a more dissipated form.