Ubuntu has always been one of the leading OS in the world. It’s also the most popular Linux for its user-friendly functions and ultra-power. Very recently, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS has been released. This is the first LTS update after Ubuntu 17.10. There are lots of things changed in the new release with lots of improvements.
Those who are already on Ubuntu 17.10 won’t notice any big changes. There are lots of things already changed in v17.10 and v18.04 LTS is just a polished one.
New features of Ubuntu 18.04
If you’re using v16.04 LTS or older, you’ll have the biggest shock with the latest one. Instead of Unity, the default desktop environment is now GNOME.
It’s because of some of the Unity’s strange decisions. For example, the windows management buttons like minimize, close etc. are on the top-right corner of Unity and for new users, that’s pretty awkward. I myself had the problem and was forced to switch to different Ubuntu flavor. The new version doesn’t have the HUD as well.
For keeping the view convenient, there’s still the dock pinned at the left side of the screen. However, feel free to move it to bottom or right side of the screen. GNOME is quite powerful with lots of customizability. Moreover, GNOME is friendlier for new users. Unity users will have a bit difficulty switching to the new desktop environment.
Xorg is still there
In Ubuntu 17.10, the developers included Wayland as the default display server. If you’re not familiar with Wayland, it’s an improved version of the desktop server that targets to replace Xorg one day. Most of the community also likes the Wayland way. However, devs had to set back to Xorg for several reasons.
The main issue was the compatibility problem. For example, you will have an issue running NVIDIA proprietary drivers on Wayland as NVIDIA doesn’t support it yet. Canonical’s Will Cooke also shed some light on the issue. Screen sharing tools like Hangouts and Skype work better with Xorg. Moreover, remote desktop tools like VNC and RDP also work better with Xorg.
Although Wayland is still under development for the betterment, Ubuntu is currently sticking with the Xorg for the next few years. Don’t worry; you can still enjoy Wayland on your desktop. Just choose the “Ubuntu on Wayland” option during login.
Thankfully, it has ARRIVED! Ubuntu has now the full set of color emoji. Before the update, you could use the emoji, but it would appear black-and-white in many apps. The emoji support was inconsistent with Ubuntu.
Now, using Google’s Noto Color Emoji font, it’s actually a lot more fun. For inserting emoji in apps, all you have to do is press “CTRL + .” or “CTRL + ;” to open the emoji panel. There’s also an option for you to remove the emoji package if you don’t like it.
Collecting more system information
Ubuntu, from this latest version, will be collecting more information about your PC. After you’ve installed the latest version, you’ll have the option to share your information (not personal) with Canonical.
If you didn’t know, OS companies need such information for providing better support and improving their products. This information includes your computer’s CPU model, manufacturer, your desktop environment, your time zone etc. Canonical will also make the information available to the public so that people can see how many Ubuntu users there are and view stats about their hardware & software.
Live kernel patching
This is a major thing to consider in this new Ubuntu update. Ubuntu 18.04 LTS has a system called “Canonical Livepatch”. Using this feature, you can install kernel updates without restarting your system.
Although it isn’t a big deal with average users, it’s a huge problem with servers. If servers had to reboot for applying a kernel patch, it would hamper the performance and availability of the data stored. With this new feature, there will be no more downtime for servers.
For enabling the option, you have to log in with Ubuntu One account. Then, you are allowed to enable Livepatch for up to 3 PCs with the same account. For further usage, you have to subscribe to the service. Canonical intends to sell this service to businesses.
Minimal installation options
Last but not least, Ubuntu now has a “Minimal” installation option. This option will install a trimmed version of Ubuntu.
Generally, major Linux distros come up with pre-installed software like LibreOffice, Firefox, media players etc. If you choose “Minimal” option, you won’t have these installed on your system. If you choose this option, you can still install the excluded software in your system after the installation process is complete.
The bottom line
Ubuntu 18.04 LTS comes up with lots of changes and things to consider. You won’t have the option of a 32-bit OS now, it’s 64-bit. It’s most likely that you’ve changed your CPU within the past decade. This means that now, your computer is able to handle 64-bit.
Good luck with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS! If you find any problem, you can easily reset your Ubuntu to the default settings. Learn how to reset Ubuntu.