Ubuntu 19.10—the 31st release of the consumer-focused Linux distribution—was released on Thursday, powered by GNOME 3.34 and version 5.3 of the Linux kernel, which includes support for AMD Navi GPUs, as well as Intel Gemini Lake CPUs and VIA/Zhaoxin x86 CPUs.

Other Linux distributions typically shy away from providing copyrighted code embedded into the ISO image due to legal or philosophical reasons, though Canonical is shipping NVIDIA GPU drivers out-of-the-box to ease configuration and improve performance for users of NVIDIA GPUs for gaming as well as artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) applications.

SEE: How to choose between Windows, macOS, and Linux (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

The marquee feature of Ubuntu 19.10 for desktop users is likely the inclusion of ZFS, a combined file system and logical volume manager that provides file system snapshots, rollbacks, copy-on-write cloning, continuous integrity checking, and automatic repair of damaged data, among other features. Crucially, the inclusion of ZFS support allows users to revert to known-good states in the event of an inadvertently deleted or overwritten file, or an update not working as expected.

Canonical highlighted the addition of strict confinement for microk8s in Ubuntu 19.10, providing complete isolation of processes. Canonical is positioning the feature addition as a benefit for the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, stating that the popular single-board computer is powerful enough to be used for edge computing with microK8s.

Kernel 5.3 also birings compute shader support for the Broadcom V3D driver used in the Raspberry Pi 4, as well as a CPUFreq driver.

Ubuntu 19.10 is available as a free download from Canonical. As a standard release of Ubuntu, 19.10 is supported for nine months. Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) is scheduled for April 23, 2020, and as a long-term support release, will be supported for five years.

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Image: Jack Wallen