By Scott Hamilton
This week marked the release of the latest edition of the most popular free computing platform. Ubuntu released the latest long-term release version of their popular, free desktop software 20.04 LTS code named Focal Fossa. As usual, it is named after an unusual animal. The fossa is a catlike carnivorous mammal from Madagascar. This time Ubuntu design teams took the animal theme to the next level and introduced Felicity, the Focal Fossa as the first named mascot of a Ubuntu Distro. The system default wallpaper features Felicity as the background image of the desktop.
The Ubuntu team touted this as their best release ever. They wanted to build the next best thing, just like most users of their operating system. Builders of self-driving cars, artificial intelligence, public cloud services and container orchestration are all users of Ubuntu. All these innovations have driven Ubuntu desktops into mainstream usage in the enterprise. In fact, Linux as a whole has become so popular that the latest Microsoft operating systems support Linux based file systems natively.
One of the most beautiful things about open source operating systems is the freedom that comes along with them. Ubuntu for example has several remixes, or varieties, of its desktop to give the end user flexibility in the look and feel of the operating system. Among the most popular are Cinnamon, Deep in and Lumma, which are named for the desktop Manger software that makes up the user interface. Each of the three remixes has a different look, feel and custom features.
In this article I will focus on the main release and new features it brings to the table. The first is the new look of the Yaru desktop. The bold new look offers three distinct variations in its default themes: “Light,” “Standard” and “Dark.” I personally have always preferred the “Dark” themes where you see light colored text on a dark background. Probably the best change that I see in Yaru is the fact that they are finally carrying the theme settings over to the installer and boot screens so you can have your favorite look during the installation and boot process. Even if you decide to use full disk encryption to protect your data, the decryption login screen follows your desktop theme settings. You can have that consistent look and feel from the time you turn on your computer.
The installer has eliminated the biggest problem encountered by users during the installation. It defaults to performing a media check during the live desktop session that can be used to perform the installation. One of the things I have always liked about Ubuntu, as well as other Linux distributions, is the availability of live boot images. This allows you to use the operating system to surf the internet, read e-mail and even create documents, provided you save them to an external device while the operating system installs in the background. This means you can use your computer while it is installing instead of just watching it sit on the desk and scroll past advertisements about your great new operating system.
Until next week stay safe and learn something new. Why not Ubuntu?