Ubuntu 20.10 Groovy Gorilla update brings Ubuntu Desktop to the Raspberry Pi

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Canonical has announced the release of Ubuntu 20.10, aka ‘Groovy Gorilla’. The big news in this release is a newly optimized stack that brings Ubuntu Desktop and Server to the Raspberry Pi range. Since the launch of the Raspberry Pi 4 in 2019, the diminutive computer line has been increasingly sympathetic to being used as a desktop alternative, and the arrival of a tailored version of the biggest Linux GUI (Android excluded, of course) is a significant step on that road.

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 honored to support that initiative by optimizing Ubuntu on the Raspberry Pi, whether  for personal use, educational purposes, or as a foundation for their next business venture.

Ubuntu 20.10 can also run on RP 2 and 3 variants but only with 4GB RAM and above – if you go lower than that, you’ll probably get a smooth installation but a glitchy experience. You’ll also see improved support for 2-in-1 devices with on-screen keyboard modes, and more devices of all form-factors now support fingerprint readers under Linux.

From the classic Raspberry Pi board to the industrial-grade Compute Module, this first step to an Ubuntu LTS on Raspberry Pi with long term support and security updates matches our commitment to widening access to the very best computing and open-source capabilities,” said Eben Upton, CEO of Raspberry Pi Trading.

For more advanced users, edge on-demand computing gets a big boost with a ‘micro cloud’ stack, combining MAAS, LXD, MicroK8s, and Ceph, offering lightweight, low profile cloud instances for a variety of use cases from AI to smart city management.

Ubuntu 20.10 is available now, free of charge for most users, with images for desktop, server, cloud and IoT, as well as a dedicated Raspberry Pi build, available to download from the Ubuntu website.

Ubuntu 20.10 New Features

Updated Packages on Ubuntu 20.10

Linux kernel

Ubuntu 20.10 includes the 5.8 Linux kernel. This includes numerous updates and added support since the 5.4 Linux kernel released in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. Some notable examples include:

  • Airtime Queue limits for better WiFi connection quality
  • Btrfs RAID1 with 3 and 4 copies and more checksum alternatives
  • USB 4 (Thunderbolt 3 protocol) support added
  • X86 Enable 5-level paging support by default
  • Intel Gen11 (Ice Lake) and Gen12 (Tiger Lake) graphics support
  • Initial support for AMD Family 19h (Zen 3)
  • Thermal pressure tracking for systems for better task placement wrt CPU core
  • XFS online repair
  • OverlayFS pairing with VirtIO-FS
  • General Notification Queue for key/keyring notification, mount changes, etc.
  • Active State Power Management (ASPM) for improved power savings of PCIe-to-PCI devices
  • Initial support for POWER10

Toolchain Upgrades

Ubuntu 20.10 comes with refreshed state-of-the-art toolchain including new upstream releases of glibc 2.32, OpenJDK 11, rustc 1.41, GCC 10, LLVM 11, Python 3.8.6, ruby 2.7.0, php 7.4.9, perl 5.30, golang 1.13.

Security Improvements

nftables is now the default backend for the firewall.

Ubuntu Desktop

Ubuntu 20.10 is the first Ubuntu release to feature desktop images for the Raspberry Pi 4 324.

GNOME

Ubuntu 20.10 includes the latest version of GNOME, version 3.38, with an enhanced Activities Overview, User Experience improvements, better performance, and more.

Updated Applications

  • Firefox version 81
  • LibreOffice version 7.0.2
  • Thunderbird version 78.3.2

Updated Subsystems

  • BlueZ 5.55
  • NetworkManager 1.26.2

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