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Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

Introduction

Ubuntu operating system is the most famous open-source desktop in the world. The 20.04 LTS version of Ubuntu is a cost-effective, enterprise-grade, and secure operating system for home users and organizations.

The codename of this Ubuntu release is "Focal Fossa". The term "Focal" defines "most important part" or "center point". Besides, the term "Fossa" can be described as a cat-like native predator to the Madagascar island.

This version is an LTS (long-term support) release. It pursues on from the 18.04 LTS version of Ubuntu which was released in 2018 and still supported till 2023.

All LTS versions are supported for five years on the server and desktop. Hence, this version is also supported till 2025.

The users of the enterprises and businesses could get ESM (Extended Maintenance Release) support for ten years. Now, it includes many security updates for every 30,000 packages inside the repository of Ubuntu. However, the ESM status isn't free and it is tailored to the users of Ubuntu advantage.

Some Key Points are mentioned below:

Ubuntu OS has reached the peak of independent rankings of organization Linux security.

The Focal Fossa version is a coherent, free, and customizable operating system that is easy to install.

The 20.04 version of Ubuntu applies several measures of Kernel Self Protection and it includes stack-clash protection and ensures control flow integrity for systemic enterprise security.

Also, this version provides Secure Boot for protecting from low-level rootkits and attacks, often employed via Advanced persistent Threat groups, and restricts "blast radius" or attack proliferation with key disclosed application's snap confinement on the server and desktop-like local Kubernetes package MicroK8s.

The 20.04 LTS version of Ubuntu addresses FIDO (Fast ID Online) for mitigating the attacks of social engineering for passwordless authentication and universal multi-factor.

Canonical works with environment partners for anchoring security for the OS in the maximum possible way in the latest hardware capabilities.

This version includes WireGuard and it would be backported to the 18.04 LTS version of Ubuntu for supporting widespread organization adoption.

AI and machine learning tools from a variety of vendors exist for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS with 6000 apps inside the Visual Studio Code, JetBrains portfolio, Spotify, Plex, Skype, and Slack.

On Windows, this version of Ubuntu permits us to make use of Ubuntu Terminal and execute command-line utilities of Ubuntu including apt, git, ssh, bash, and many others.

Stability is one of the most important features in this version. The team of Canonical is not going to make any radical modifications here.

This version does not bring many earth-shattering modifications through the last release. Although, the move to new releases of Gnome desktop environment and Linux Kernel (combined with many developments to the interface) are initial updates.

Prerequisites

  1. Recommended system requirements:
    • USB port or DVD drive
    • 25 GB disk space for storage (minimum when installing a minimal version)
    • 4 GB memory
    • 2 GHz dual-core processor
  2. 4 GB USB drive (at least)

Release Date of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

The 20.04 LTS version of Ubuntu was published on Thursday 23 April 2020. The date of release was first disclosed on Launchpad (Ubuntu development's home) and echoed over the Ubuntu wiki later.

Other essential milestones for occurring during the development cycle of the Focal Fossa include:

9 January 2020: Testing week

19 March 2020: UI Freeze

2 April 2020: Ubuntu 20.04 Beta

9 April 2020: Kernel Freeze

16 April 2020: Release Candidate

New Features of Ubuntu 20.04

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

Linux Kernel 5.4

The 20.04 version of Ubuntu features the modern LTS Kernel 5.4 version. It means that we get native support for ExFAT, every other improvement in performance, and new support for hardware that comes along with it. It includes support for a huge variety of processors. Also, it contains improvements for various security features, USB-C, power-saving, and boot speed.

Faster boot, faster install

The newer compression algorithms are supported by Ubuntu 20.04 release. So, it will take minimum time for installing the 20.04 version of Ubuntu. Also, this version boots faster than the 18.04 version of Ubuntu.

New versions of famous programming languages

This version of Ubuntu includes some famous programming languages such as Golang 1.13, Perl 5.30, Rustc 1.41, Glibc 2.31, PHP 7.4, OpenJDK 11, Python 3.8, etc.

The aubergine touch and more variants of the default theme

Canonical experiments with Ubuntu theme again. In the 19.10 version of Ubuntu, the Yaru theme (default) addresses a darl release. Besides, the 20.04 LTS version of Ubuntu takes it three variants of the Yaru theme (default): Standard, Dark, and Light.

We do not even have to install the GNOME Tweaks for switching between the default variants of themes. This feature is already embedded inside the Settings application.

Also, this Ubuntu version has a bit different look with a focus on aubergine as the second color of accent (rather than the regular green and blue).

Fractional Scaling

Finally, Ubuntu brings a feature, i.e., Fractional scaling. If we always detected that the icons at 100% are looking tiny and large at 200%, then we can utilize the fractional scaling.

We can fix the scaling to 200, 175, 150, and 125 when enabled.

Disable every desktop notification using 'Do Not Disturb'

Sometimes, we are distracted by several notifications on the desktop. So, we can utilize an option, i.e., 'do not disturb' to disable the desktop notifications.

Looking Sharp

We can not miss the Yaru theme through boot splash towards the desktop. For several vendors of the operating system, having a different look for the OS is essential in developing their brand. Canonical hosted a design sprint along with the members of the Ubuntu design thems and desktop and Yaru community team.

First, Yaru has announced the 18.10 version of Ubuntu, so if we are upgrading from the 18.04 LTS version of Ubuntu, it will be the initial time we are going to check this new, unmistakable, and bold look.

Yaru includes a sound theme and three different variations. Also, the design sprint recognized a few UI improvements we required for completing the development with the desktop.

Now, the settings panel 'Appearance' can switch between 'Dark', 'Light', 'Standard' colors of the window, and the Yaru Alert Sound (default) could be restored.

Also, the Yaru theme extends towards the boot splash and installer slide show. The team of Yaru animated the spinner through the theme of the desktop into the theme of the boot.

  • If we select for enabling complete disk encryption, the input boxes of the passphrase within the theme of the boot match the theme of the desktop perfectly.
  • Now, Ubuntu defaults to seeing the medium integrity in use if booting into any live session. It could be skipped by pressing Ctrl+C.
  • We have enabled it due to failed installs because installation media's corrupt downloads are the most general error situations that many users encounter.
  • All releases of Ubuntu have got a newer animal mascot for a few years now.
  • Typically, the design team of Canonical furnishes the Ubuntu theme along with a crafted creature. This version is not different.
  • Although, this release came with a term the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS mascot (Felicity).
  • Felicity provides many new things inside the default wallpaper because it is customary on new versions of Ubuntu desktop.
  • Although, our creative and enthusiastic users enjoy pulling the stock experience.
  • The Canonical team has curated a group of nice protographs for featuring as extra wallpapers in inclusion to the mascot wallpapers. All were selected from the photo-sharing and royalty-free site.

Hardy Heron Return

In the past years, we have used an account, i.e., Ubuntu Twitter for organizing the 'World Cup of Wallpapers' to enjoy fifteen years of Ubuntu publication, and along with them, the desktop backdrops. An expert's team picked a few of the most controversial, popular, and iconic wallpapers for the default desktop.

Then, we pitted them to each other, along with the followers of Twitter determining the outcome of all rounds. The wallpaper, i.e., Hardy Heron came on the top position as a surprise to nobody. Hence in celebration, the Ubuntu team sneaked 4000 releases of the wallpaper into an install as well for sake of the old times.

GNOME 3.36

Ubuntu has shipped the GNOME shell since the 17.10 version as a default desktop platform. The Desktop team of Ubuntu has worked with many upstream developers of GNOME and a wider community for delivering a robust desktop experience of GNOME for our users.

The 3.36 version of GNOME features both user-visible modifications which add many features and develop user workflow and upon the hood modifications which integrate stability and performance around the board.

The new toggle, i.e., 'do not disturb' would be an addition for those who are checking for focusing on their work. The new lock screens and login are beautiful and simple, incorporating a clear UI over the top position of a blurred release of the desktop background of the users.

Now, an option, i.e., suspend is a quick press away inside the status menu. Many users can take benefit who like a managed application grid of better folder management of the application in this new version.

There are other rounds of performance development along with lower CPU usage and smoother animations for overview and window animations, window movement (which has lower now lower latency as well), mouse movement, and JavaScript execution.

Big Apps

The desktop of Ubuntu integrates with Microsoft Exchange or Google G Suite and supports many open standards as well that permit users to ignore vendor lock-in. This Ubuntu version is shipping an advantage, i.e., Firefox 75 as a web browser (default), which continues to provide new features of privacy-focused.

Thunderbird is a famous email application that is facilitating fast access to the desktop to our email. No need to worry about which service of the email we are using such as IMAP, POP, Hotmail, Gmail, or Microsoft Exchange, email will work. We will find the Thunderbird 68.7.0 aspect in this version of Ubuntu.

A productivity app is LibreOffice 6.4 which is a powerful and free office suite that makes us for doing more smarter, easier, and quicker. The feature-rich tools and clean interface of LibreOffice 6.4 help unleash our creativity and increase our productivity.

Support for Tier-1 OEM

Ubuntu is extensively used across the education, public sectors, government, and enterprise. Canonical has been committed to closely working with Lenovo, HP, and Dell for meeting the demand for hardware (pre-loaded) form these days.

Here are a few work examples we do for the partners of OEM that include value to every Linux user on a desktop.

Now, it is possible to get an experience of the certified device by installing the basic Ubuntu release if beginning with the 20.04 LTS version of Ubuntu.

  • When installed over certified hardware, then enablement (device-specific) would be automatically configured and installed just as it will be inside the factory images (pre-loaded).
  • We mentioned a newer boot splash that keeps the logo of the vendor at the time of boot earlier, a modification we have made in Ubuntu was prompted by the partners of OEM.
  • Ubuntu is shipping Sound Open Firmware, PulseAudio 14.0, and BlueZ 5.53 with a few patches for supporting SoundWire and DMIC which would be used in upcoming devices from the partners of OEM.
  • Now, several devices are coming with a feature, i.e., fingerprint readers. It has become a usual way for unlocking the session of a user. Ubuntu has integrated the UI and the backend together with a project, i.e., libfprint, making it feasible for the vendors of the hardware to easily supporting newer biometric devices.
  • The X11 fractional scaling feature has existed since the 19.04 version of Ubuntu. However, it is not disclosed to users by a UI.
  • In the 20.04 LTS version of Ubuntu, the development team of Ubuntu has included a toggle so that the users of Ubuntu can enable the fractional scaling feature easily within the display settings.
  • Particularly, it is helpful on HiDPI laptops (class-leading) available from the partners of OEM.

Accelerated Gaming and Compute

Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence are new data engineering classes, and adoption inside the organization is exploding. Thus, Ubuntu is providing the Artificial Intelligence ambitions for organizations from many developer workstations to edge, clouds, and racks as well.

Ubuntu desktop speeds up data science on workstations and laptops by giving the modern libraries, drivers, and tools. Data scientists could integrate the models of Artificial intelligence on high-end workstations of Ubuntu by applying Kuberflow before any training on the bare-metal hardware racks or public clouds along with hardware acceleration. Ubuntu operating system is a standard for organization machine learning.

If we use our GPU for recreation and entertainment, here are some aspects that we will appreciate. However, 32-bit Intel (i386) is no longer a version architecture, Ubuntu keeps a set of the libraries of 32-bit Intel for satisfying the requirements of Lutris, Wine, Steam, and also a big back catalogue of standard applications and games.

  • In Ubuntu, the Steam package has been updated as well for the 20.04 LTS release of Ubuntu and now it supports a wide range of VR devices and controllers.
  • The GameMode performance tool of feral interactive is by default install. GameMode can be described as a daemon that permits games for requesting a collection of optimization is used temporarily to the game process or host OS.
  • GameMode currently gives optimization of custom scripts, GPU overclocking (NVIDIA), GPU performance mode (AMD and NVIDIA), screensaver inhibiting, kernel scheduler, process niceness, I/O priority, and CPU governor.
  • Now, hybrid graphics can launch applications with the help of discrete GPU from inside the GNOME Shell by a menu item, i.e., 'Launch on Discrete GPU'.
  • It works both for NVIDIA and AMD GPUs.
  • For video creators and live streamers, we will find FFmpeg supports VA-API and nvenc.
  • These are aspects detected in GPUs that implement filtering, encoding, or decoding for offloading these compute-intensive operations using the CPU.
  • Many applications that can apply nvenc like Shortcut and OBS Studio can take benefit of these hardware encoding aspects as well.

Zsys and ZFS

in the 19.10 version of Ubuntu, we included experimental support to install a desktop on the ZFS formatted filesystem. The 20.04 LTS version of Ubuntu ships with a new ZFS which provides improved performance, pool trim, device removal, native, and hardware-enabled encryption. We have built under this aspect with the inclusion of zsys while still experimental.

Zsys is an integration tool among Ubuntu and ZFS. Zsys would take the automatic snapshot if users update the system or install the software. It is enabling the users for rolling back. These types of snapshots are represented inside a menu, i.e., GRUB boot. Also, it lays a foundation for extra features of backup in the future.

Best Release of Open-Source

Ubuntu operating system is developed upon the best release of open-source and the desktop of Ubuntu puts it all on the fingertips of the users and developers everywhere.

The developer community of GNOME makes this Ubuntu release a desktop shell, open-source, friendly environment, and high-quality to collaborate.

Coming from the 18.04 LTS Release of Ubuntu

We know our several users are probably sticky with the LTS versions. Those users who are upgrading from the 18.04 LTS version of Ubuntu to the 20.04 LTS version of Ubuntu will notice a bigger modification because the new Lont-term Support includes a roll-up of every aspect that landed from the 18.10, 19.04, and 19.10 version of Ubuntu interim releases. Following are a few key points for looking out for:

  • The Disks of GNOME support an open-source VeraCrypt disk encryption at the time of disk formatting.
  • Window preview and desktop zoom are relatively more performant.
  • A tool, i.e., bug reporting can now automatically transfer crash reports if applications offend for reducing user interruption.
  • The Settings sounce panel of GNOME was improved for making it easier to handle speaker and microphone devices.
  • Trackers were included for improving the file search of the desktop.
  • Many improvements in the Usability were enabled to both dock window preview and Alt+Tab to enable application swapping more perceptive.
  • 'Safe Graphics Mode' was included for enabling debugging if unexpected errors appear.
  • The performance of the desktop has also been improved using minimum usage of the CPU, output latency on almost all graphics cards, and lower input latency within scrolling.
  • Consistently, users should have smoother and higher rates of the frames now.
  • DLNA sharing makes users for sharing videos to many smart TVs or some more supported devices.
  • Now, the NVIDIA graphics drivers are on an install media. Hence, the users could easily install these drivers directly using the installer.
  • Also, the start-up period for NVIDIA driver's users has been improved.






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