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Ubuntu 22.04 release raises the bar for open source computing

Ubuntu 22.04 release
(Image credit: Canonical)

Ubuntu 22.04, the latest version of the open source Linux operating system has been made available.

Its developer, Canonical, thinks the release will ‘raise the bar for open source from cloud to edge, IOT and workstations’.

As always, the operating system previously dubbed Jammy Jellyfish, is relatively easy to install, can be tinkered with to suit different needs, is hardware-friendly and also free to use.

The new edition aims to ‘deliver enterprise-grade security, long-term maintenance and support on all major architectures, hardware and clouds’.

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Improved data protection

A key feature is Confidential Computing, which improves data protection and privacy in cloud scenarios. Ubuntu continues to be the only Linux distribution that supports Azure Confidential VMs.

“Microsoft Azure’s Confidential VMs deliver confidentiality not only between different cloud customers but also between customers and the cloud itself. 

With hardware-level encrypted guest isolation, combined with measured boot and TPM-backed full-disk encryption implemented in Ubuntu and Azure Managed HSM, customer code and data are encrypted in use, in transit, and at rest using encryption keys that are protected and can be controlled by the customer,” said Vikas Bhatia, Head of Product for Azure Confidential Computing.

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New desktop environment

However, one of the biggest and most obvious changes to anyone upgrading from the 22.04 LTS (Long Term Support) version is the GNOME 42 desktop. This has been improved to allow much easier integration with Ubuntu apps, with tweaked layouts and beefed up menus helping to smooth the overall user experience. 

There are many different options for customising the workspace too, with users able to quickly and easily change the Appearance settings to personalise their preferred environment.

Elsewhere, Libadwaita is a new addition and a replacement for the GTK3-based libhandy library. The move has helped with the efforts to improve the overall user experience, and also lets users get more from the GTK apps they have installed on the operating system.

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Better performance

Users should detect improved performance coming from the new incarnation of Ubunto too, with support for triple frame buffering offering more edginess to proceedings.

In addition, there’s beefed up rendering in the GNOME web browser and improved hardware support, thanks to Kernel 5.15. Indeed, tweaks and fine-tuning across the OS will mean existing users should experience the smoothest upgrade to date.

“Our mission is to be a secure, reliable and consistent open source platform - everywhere”, said Mark Shuttleworth, CEO of Canonical. “Ubuntu 22.04 LTS unlocks innovation for industries with demanding infrastructure security requirements, such as telecommunications and industrial automation, underpinning their digital transformation.“

Despite the fact that Ubuntu is enjoyed by a tiny fraction of the computing community compared to the likes of Windows, Android or MacOS this latest version could pull in lots of new converts. 

It already appears to be getting the thumb's-up from those who have been exploring the Beta version. Ubuntu 22.04 is available for download now.

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Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember, having started out in the wacky world of print magazines before discovering the power of the internet. Since he's been all-digital he has run the Innovation channel during a few years at Microsoft as well as turning out regular news, reviews, features and other content for the likes of TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Tom's Guide, Fit&Well, Gizmodo, Shortlist, Automotive Interiors World, Automotive Testing Technology International, Future of Transportation and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International. In the rare moments he's not working he's usually out and about on one of numerous e-bikes in his collection.