Ubuntu has been one oft he most popular GNU/Linux distributions for well over a decade… but the operating system has changed quite a bit over the years.
The latest release, Ubuntu 19.10, came out this week… almost exactly 15 years after the first version of Ubuntu was released on October 20th, 2004.
In a blog post, Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth notes that some of the biggest changes since the early days include Ubuntu’s move from a desktop-first operating system to one that now powers servers, IoT devices, and AI applications. But there are still a number of new features in Ubuntu 19.10 aimed at home users.
For example, the operating system adds support for the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, the most powerful of the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s tiny computers that sell for as little as $35.
Ubuntu 19.10 also ships with support for WPA3 Wi-Fi security,the Linux 5.3 kernel with support for more hardware, and updated versions of key apps including Firefox, LibreOffice, and Thunderbird, and the operating system also now has native support for the ZFS file system on the root partition.
While the main branch of Ubuntu 19.10 features the GNOME 3.34 desktop environment, there are also several “official flavors” of the operating system with alternate desktop environments including:
- Kubuntu (KDE)
- Lubuntu (LXQT)
- Ubuntu Budgie (Budgie)
- Ubuntu Kylin (UKUI)
- Ubuntu MATE (MATE)
- Ubuntu Studio (Xfce, but with a bunch of content creation tools)
- Xubuntu (Xfce)
For the most part, these flavors have all the new features included in Ubuntu 19.10, but there are also a number of updates specific to each. For example, Ubuntu Studio includes OBS Studio by default for out-of-the-box support for live streaming, plus almost 100 new audio plugins. And Ubuntu MATE features a lot of bug fixes and patches, plus some changes to default apps.
One other thing worth noting about Ubuntu 19.10 is that this is the update where Canonical had originally planned to drop support for 32-bit apps… but later backtracked after user outcry.
Not all 32-bit applications are supported, but Canonical worked with its community to come up with a list of 32-bit apps that the company would continue to support at least through the release of Ubuntu 20.04 (which is due in April, 2020).
Actually Ubuntu Studio also got a low-latency kernel which is worth mentioning.
I have been playing with Ubuntu since the you had to order it on CD (5 sets at a time), running permanent on Ubuntu since 2012 and never looked back. It never let me down, Ubuntu is amazing
Wow, Raspberry PI support? I gotta try that.
People have issues with Ubuntu, both in terms of its functions and how they operate, and that’s fair. I made the switch from Windows to Linux, thanks to my distaste for Windows 8, about seven years ago. At first, Ubuntu-based distros didn’t work on my hardware, but I gravitated toward Linux Mint over the next couple of years and I have found that Ubuntu-based distros work the best for me. Just last week, I had a sudden SSD failure while also trying to refresh another laptop that has had driver issues on Linux for a while. Since I was growing less satisfied with Mint Cinnamon and wanted a later kernel, I decided to go more directly to Ubuntu, specifically Ubuntu Mate and Xubuntu on the respective machines. And it was also a way to familiarize myself with different desktop environnments that are still familiar enough. So Ubuntu has definitely been something I’ve benefited from considerably in recent years and I’m grateful for that. Xubuntu with a 5.0 kernel seems to have solved at least some of the performance issues on that second laptop. It’s much better than it was, so far.
I do use Linux daily but choose not to use Ubuntu. Other distributions fit me better. I am still very grateful that Ubuntu exists. They have help tremendously in moving desktop Linux forward.
Glad to see Ubuntu is still chugging along. I have use it as my primary desktop for over 10 years.
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