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Canonical Officially Launches Ubuntu 20.10

Ubuntu was, is, and will probably remain the leading Linux distribution out there, at least as far as the number of users is considered.

And the one to thank is Canonical’s commitment to keeping Ubuntu up-to-date with the latest technologies, features, and apps out there, so the frequent OS updates that the company releases brings its platform in line with the rest of the market.

Ubuntu 20.10 is the newest release that went live this week, and this time, there are massive improvements coming to users.

The most important of them is the release of optimized Raspberry Pi images for desktop and servers, which according to the company, should come in handy to “learners, inventors, educators, and entrepreneurs.” While support for the Raspberry Pi has been around for a while, this is the first release that adds the pocket-size computers to the list of devices certified with Ubuntu.

“In this release, we celebrate the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s commitment to put open computing in the hands of people all over the world,” said Mark Shuttleworth, CEO at Canonical. “We are honoured to support that initiative by optimising Ubuntu on the Raspberry Pi, whether for personal use, educational purposes or as a foundation for their next business venture.”

All latest Raspberry Pi models are now certified with Ubuntu, as long as they come with 4GB or 8GB RAM.

“The Raspberry Pi 2, 3, and 4 join a very long list of x86 and ARM devices certified with Ubuntu, the operating system (OS) best known for its public cloud and desktop offerings. Dell, HP and Lenovo all certify PCs with Ubuntu Desktop, which is also the most widely used OS on the AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google, IBM and Oracle clouds,” Canonical confirmed in a press release.

So what exactly is new in Ubuntu 20.10 besides support for Raspberry Pi desktop and server images?

The most important addition is GNOME 3.38, which obviously introduces a series of improvements of its own, including new options for organizing apps in the grid. There are also more subtle refinements here and there, such as a restart option that’s now available in the status menu next to the logout and power off controls. Beginning with this GNOME update, users can also share private Wi-Fi hotspots suing a locally generated QR code.

How this works is pretty straightforward. Users just need to generate a QR code for their private Wi-Fi hotspot, with the code containing all the necessary information to connect to the network, including the password. Other devices would just have to scan the QR code to automatically connect to the Wi-Fi.

The desktop version of Ubuntu 20.10 introduces support for Ubuntu Certified services, and Canonical says that biometric identification support is being added, while 2-in-1 devices with virtual keyboards are fully supported. Lenovo Yoga and Dell XPS 2-in-1 are two of the models that are now fully supported by Ubuntu and where you can use the touchscreen natively.

And last but not least, two other important additions are LXD 4.6 and MicroK8s 1.19 for resilient micro clouds, small clusters of servers, and again, these are both great news for Raspberry Pi users.

“On a Raspberry Pi, users can start with MicroK8s, to orchestrate highly available workloads at the edge or with LXD to build a home lab appliance using LXD’s clustering and virtual machine management capabilities. The Ubuntu 20.10 release introduces users a way to experiment, test, or develop with full cloud capabilities through the Raspberry Pi. With Ubuntu 20.10 on a Raspberry Pi, anything is possible, from robotics to AI/ML,” Canonical says.

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