Ubuntu Had A Stellar 2020 From Ubuntu 20.04 LTS To Continued WSL, Cloud Popularity
Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 29 December 2020 at 09:25 AM EST. 8 Comments
UBUNTU --
Ubuntu had a rather successful 2020 with the well received Ubuntu 20.04 LTS debut to continuing to make upstream improvements to GNOME, their adoption in the cloud and Windows Subsystem for Linux remaining strong, and all around Ubuntu being on steady footing across all areas of focus.

It will be interesting to see where Ubuntu pushes forward into 2021 ahead and what new innovations they may pursue ahead of the Ubuntu 22.04 LTS cycle. In particular, whether they re-enable Wayland by default on the GNOME desktop (perhaps with Ubuntu 21.10 once NVIDIA releases their improved driver support?), what new OpenZFS innovations they pursue and whether they begin encouraging more users to switch to it from EXT4, what new GNOME optimizations will come, and whether any discussions restart over a long talked about overhaul to their desktop installer. It will also be interesting to see whether there is any new plans for Canonical's much anticipated IPO.

As for the most popular 2020 articles on Phoronix around Ubuntu, they include:

A New Desktop Theme Is Coming For Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
With Ubuntu 20.04 to see installation on many desktops (and servers) given its Long-Term Support status, Canonical and the Yaru community team have begun working on a successor to the Yaru theme for this Linux distribution release due out in April.

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Adds WireGuard Support
While WireGuard was merged into Linux 5.6, the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS release is currently tracking Linux 5.4 and for the April release is likely to be shipping with Linux 5.5 as the 5.6 release will be cutting it too close. But Ubuntu 20.04's kernel has now back-ported WireGuard.

I've Been Running The AMD Ryzen 7 4700U + Ubuntu 20.04 As My Main System
For about one and a half months now I have been using the AMD Ryzen 7 4700U as my main laptop paired with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. It's been working out very well for not even being the top-of-the-line AMD Renoir SKU. Here is some additional commentary for those thinking about one of the new AMD laptops with Linux use.

Unity 8 Desktop On Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Could Take A Year Before Being Usable
While Canonical no longer develops their Unity 8 stack for Ubuntu, the UBports crew continues advancing Ubuntu Touch mobile as a community project and as part of that they do work on Unity 8 for their devices and desktop support. But if you're hoping to see Unity 8 running nicely on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, that could be a while.

Ubuntu 20.10 Adding Active Directory Support To The Installer
The "Ubiquity" installer used by the Ubuntu desktop is set to feature Active Directory (AD) integration with the upcoming Ubuntu 20.10 release.

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Moves Ahead With Python 2 Removal - But Sticks Around For Derivatives
With Python 2 having been end-of-life since the start of the year and Ubuntu 20.04 being a long-term support release, Ubuntu developers are working hard to ensure Python 2 isn't shipped as part of this next Ubuntu LTS release.

Unity 8 Desktop Renamed To Lomiri
The Unity 8 desktop environment that continues to be developed by the UBports open-source community for use on UBports' Ubuntu Touch and ultimately back on the Linux desktop as well have renamed the project.

Trying Out Ubuntu 20.04 With ZFS + Zsys Automated APT Snapshots
As part of the ZFS improvements for Ubuntu 20.04 with Canonical's Zsys initiative is the ability to automatically take snapshots on APT operations for being able to do a system rollback/revert if necessary following package management changes. I've begun trying out the ZFS/Zsys changes for Ubuntu 20.04 and so far is working well.

Canonical Gets Into Cloud Gaming & More With Anbox Cloud For Cloud-Based Android Apps/Gaming
Canonical this morning has announced Anbox Cloud for containerized workloads using Google's Android as the guest operating system.

Ubuntu 20.04 Atop ZFS+Zsys Will Take Snapshots On APT Operations
Ubuntu 20.04 is coming out next month and will be the first LTS release with Ubuntu desktop ZFS support available for the root file-system after it was made easy-to-deploy the Ubuntu desktop on ZFS last cycle. One of the areas being expanded upon with the ZFS support has been Ubuntu's Zsys daemon for offering extra functionality for ZFS-based setups.

Canonical's Multipass 1.1 Brings Proxy Support, Fixes
Multipass is the software developed by Ubuntu-maker Canonical that is advertised as "a mini-cloud on your workstation" that provides an Ubuntu command-line in "just a click" with native hypervisor support.

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Beta Released
For those with extra time on their hands due to being at home and social distancing, Canonical released the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS beta today for testing.

Ubuntu Begins Offering A Rolling Release Kernel For The Amazon Cloud
Canonical is transitioning Ubuntu's support in the Amazon AWS environment to have a rolling-release model for its kernel albeit other packages will remain under their traditional stable release update handling. At least though it's good they will be more punctually offering new kernel versions in the cloud

Dell XPS Ice Lake Taking A Wallop On Ubuntu 20.04
With our early benchmarking of Ubuntu 20.04 in its current nearing the end of development state, we've been seeing Ubuntu 20.04 boosting Intel Xeon Scalable performance, running well with AMD EPYC Rome, and good AMD Ryzen performance, among other tests. Strangely though the one platform where I've found Ubuntu 20.04 hard regressing so far is with the Dell XPS 7390 Ice Lake.

Canonical Contributing Upstream Improvements To Plymouth Ahead Of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
One of the immediate differences Ubuntu 20.04 desktop/laptop users will notice when booting in UEFI mode is the boot splash screen improvements thanks to leveraging Red Hat's work on providing a flicker-free boot experience and pulling in the UEFI BGRT system/motherboard logo during the boot process to provide a more transitive experience. Canonical in turn is working on pushing some of their improvements back into upstream Plymouth.

Mir 1.7 Released With Improvements For Running X11 Software
Mir 1.7 was released today as the newest feature release for this Ubuntu-focused display stack that for the past two years now has focused on serving viable Wayland support.

With Python 2 EOL'ed, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Moves Along With Its Python 2 Removal
With Python 2 having reached end-of-life at the start of 2020, Ubuntu and Debian developers continue their work on removing Python 2 at least from the base OS. Work continues on transitioning packages to Python 3 or otherwise ultimately dropping unmaintained packages.

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Likely To Ship With Linux 5.4 As Opposed To 5.5
While the Linux 5.5 is out as stable today and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS isn't shipping until late April, it looks like they are settling on the use of the Linux 5.4 series, rather than the newer 5.5 and Linux 5.6 would be cutting too close to release anyhow for making this long-term support release.

Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS Released With The Newest Hardware Enablement Stack
After a one week delay, Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS is available today as the newest long-term support point release.

Watch Out: Microsoft Windows WSL1 Currently Borked With Ubuntu 20.04
A public service announcement was issued with Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) currently will have issues in running Ubuntu 20.04 LTS so users should either wait for Microsoft to release a fix, upgrade to WSL2, or stick to using the older Ubuntu 18.04 LTS instead.
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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 or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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