Ubuntu 13.10 is named Saucy Salamander. It was released on schedule on 17 October 2013.
Consideration was given to changing the default browser from Mozilla Firefox to Chromium, but problems with timely updates to Ubuntu's Chromium package caused developers to retain Firefox for this release.
Ubuntu 13.10 was intended to be the first Ubuntu release to replace the aging X Window System (X11) with the Mir display server, with X11 programs to have operated through the XMir compatibility layer. However, after the development of XMir ran into "outstanding technical difficulties" for multiple monitors, Canonical decided to postpone the default use of Mir in Ubuntu. Mir will still be released as the default display server for Ubuntu Touch 13.10.
Ryan Paul of Ars Technica wrote that although 13.10 brings useful enhancements, it is "a relatively thin update". He also said "the new Dash concept is intriguing, but its usefulness is a bit limited"; and even though he thinks that universal Web search is potentially useful, he's somewhat uncomfortable with how Canonical joins it with local system searches.
In a review of Ubuntu 13.10 Joey Sneddon of OMG Ubuntu criticized the new Smart Scopes feature, saying, "it's less of a help and more of a hindrance. With so many web services offering results for a search term – however innocuous it might be – the Dash ends up resembling a wall painted in unintelligible, irrelevant mess." Sneddon noted that internet search engines turn in more useful and better organized results and recommended selectively disabling individual scopes to reduce the noise factor.
Jim Lynch of Linux Desktop Reviews described the release as "boring" and noted, "alas, Ubuntu 13.10 follows in the footsteps of Ubuntu 13.04. The big new desktop feature is Smart Scopes ... Beyond that there's not a whole lot that is interesting or exciting to talk about. It turns out that Saucy Salamander is one truly dull amphibian. Canonical really should rename this release to 'Snoozing Salamander' instead." Lynch described the Smart Scopes, "this is a very useful function, and it can save you a lot of time when looking for information. I understand that some people will regard this as a privacy violation, no problem. There's an easy way to disable Smart Scopes."
Maria Korolov writing for Network World in December 2013 said of the release, "there is a benefit to be had in being able to search for files you own on both local drives and in cloud services such as Google Drive and Flickr. That's the idea behind Unity Smart Scopes ... The result is a cluttered mess. The first thing many users will probably do after installing Ubuntu 13.10 is to get rid of most of these results ... mixing generic Web results in with your own files is just confusing."
In its year-end Readers Choice Awards, Linux Journal readers voted Ubuntu as Best Linux Distribution and Best Desktop Distribution for 2013.
Support for Ubuntu 13.10 ended on 17 July 2014.