Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Aims To Enhance The Certified OEM Experience From Its Installer

Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 7 February 2020 at 01:30 AM EST. 9 Comments
Booting the generic Ubuntu 20.04 LTS install media on a "Certified OEM" Ubuntu device could yield a different experience compared to running Ubuntu on a system not certified by Canonical.

The Ubuntu developers are working on checking for known certified devices at GRUB boot-loader time using an SMBIOS module. By checking the device identifier strings against their known certified devices could lead to booting an OEM Certified experience. That experience could include using a newer Linux kernel compared to what is otherwise shipped by Ubuntu. For newer Ubuntu certified systems that were added post-released, this could still be checked at install-time with APT updates.

While Ubuntu 20.04 is aiming for Linux 5.4 by default, the OEM Certified experience could include booting to (and installing) a newer kernel based on either Linux 5.5 or 5.6. Additionally, this newer kernel option won't be presented to users on non-certified systems.

When running the Ubuntu installer on a detected "OEM Certified" system the plan is to also enable their respective Ubuntu OEM package archives where additional packages are sometimes offered.

More details on these Ubuntu Certified OEM plans via this mailing list post. Basically, it's bundling additional improvements to benefit users running on Ubuntu OEM Certified hardware that may resort to re-installing Ubuntu at a later date and with these changes would dramatically improve their experience while sticking to the generic install media. This will most notably benefit the likes of the Dell XPS Sputnik systems and other certified hardware.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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