Canonical released Ubuntu 23.04, aka Lunar Lobster, on April 20 to enhance the Ubuntu desktop for work and play with a new installer, Active Directory login, and gaming performance.

This latest release is important for enterprise users and consumers alike for several key reasons. For enterprises, it enhances large-scale deployment and customization, and for consumers, it provides a desktop option missing from Ubuntu’s collection – Cinnamon.

The new installation engine, Subiquity, supports the same autoinstall configuration workflows for both desktop and server. Ubuntu Desktop version 23.04 is the first and only Linux distribution to enable Basic User Authentication with Microsoft’s Azure Active Directory (Azure AD).

Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical’s CEO, said, “This milestone release of Ubuntu demonstrates our progress in raising the bar for the enterprise developer desktop, our best-in-class Linux integration with Active Directory Domain Services and now Azure Active Directory.” Thank you.” “Our extended investment in Ubuntu Gaming means your downtime is just as satisfying.”

Major enhancements under the hood

The development goal of this release was to make the Linux desktop accessible to all. According to Canonical, the Ubuntu 23.04 installer sports a refreshed user interface with a modern yet familiar first-time user experience and new enterprise management capabilities.

Lunar Lobster has a better workflow for cross-platform development. It offers the latest toolchains and runtimes for Python, Java, Go, C, C++, Rust and .NET, ensuring the most up-to-date experience for innovators and enthusiasts.

QEMU allows developers to emulate their applications on multiple architectures. This latest release includes new hardware support for a range of armhf, arm64, Risc-V, and s390x devices to ensure that the local development environment matches the target deployment architecture.

meets all needs

Business and personal users gain more control for apps and snap installation. For example, Desktop Snaps has a new refresh wake capability.

Updates while running Snaps are downloaded in the background and applied automatically when the app is closed. Users and administrators can now pause the automatic update of specific Snaps for as long as they want.

Ubuntu 23.04 includes GNOME 44 with more usability improvements. These include a focus on Bluetooth device management and new quick setting options for dark mode. The new installer is built using Flutter (a cross-platform UI framework), and leverages Subbiquity, Canonical’s CLI installer for Ubuntu Server, and Curtin.

Gamers also stand to win big in terms of their gaming experience. Steam Snap has now been promoted to the stable channel in this release.

Steam Snap bundles key dependencies to run both new and old titles without the need to enable and manage additional PPAs, including 32-bit libraries and state-of-the-art Mesa drivers.

upgrade highlights

Ubuntu’s new installer is built using Flutter, a cross-platform user interface framework. It leverages Subbiquity, Canonical’s Command Line Interface (CLI) installer for Ubuntu Server and Curtin.

The default desktop is GNOME 44, the latest stable release. It also comes with a host of new features and design updates. For example, the latest login and lock screens use a larger user avatar and wider password entry box.

GNOME designers improved the look and functionality of the quick settings menu. Split buttons make it easy to see which features have sub-menus, and you can also open sub-menus using the keyboard.

New subtitles relay contextual information. These include seeing at a glance which Wi-Fi network is connected and which power mode is active.

A new version of the Nautilus Files app restores the ability to expand folders in list view for faster navigation. The Ubuntu Dock now displays a count badge for all unread notifications generated by an application in the Dock.

New Desktop Flavor Recipe

After several years of behind-the-scenes efforts, Ubuntu 23.04 now includes an additional desktop option. The inclusion of a newly updated Cinnamon environment could attract more users to the front ranks of Ubuntu.

Until now, enthusiastic Cinnamon desktop users had no choice but to rely on other options for their desktop fixes, even when they used cousins ​​of the Ubuntu family such as the Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix distro.

Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix is ​​a community-driven remix of Ubuntu Base combined with Ubuntu’s Linux Mint flagship Cinnamon desktop.

ubuntu cinnamon remix

ubuntu cinnamon remix

Remix began in 2019 when then-11-year-old developer Joshua Pisach announced his dream of developing a stand-alone Cinnamon desktop version based on Ubuntu.

Cinnamon takes a more traditional approach compared to earlier Linux desktops like GNOME 2 and MATE, similar to Windows 7. Ubuntu Cinnamon comes with Cinnamon 5.6.7 and the rest of the desktop suite.

still separate entities

Both Canonical and Peisach recently announced the addition of the Cinnamon desktop to Ubuntu 23.04. In an April 23 blog, Peisach announced the release of version 23.04 “Lunar Lobster” of the Ubuntu Cinnamon distro.

That announcement confirmed that his remix distro wasn’t going away. Instead, it will continue to maintain a separate desktop option using Ubuntu Base Advances. There are two options for users favoring the Cinnamon desktop on top of the Ubuntu underpinnings.

In his blog, Pisach said that his goal was to make Ubuntu Cinnamon the best it could be in an eight-release series in 2023. They promised that the user experience would remain the same or better. New developments in Ubuntu Software, such as the new Flutter-based installer, will contribute to some of the innovations in upcoming releases.

Download and Install Ubuntu 23.04 Lunar Lobster

A modern user interface and advanced configuration options in Ubuntu 23.04 reflect its mission to make Linux accessible to all. View the installation process:

Ubuntu 23.04 Lunar Lobster brings notable updates and improvements to the Linux experience. With its new features, it’s an interesting release to explore for both experienced and new users.

Download Ubuntu 23.04

Canonical is emphasizing the security and usability suitability of Internet of Things (IoT) and edge devices management with its June 15 release of Ubuntu Core 22, a fully containerized Ubuntu 22.04 LTS variant optimized for IoT and edge devices Is.

In line with Canonical’s technology offering, this release brings Ubuntu’s operating system and services to the full range of embedded and IoT devices. The new release includes a fully extensible kernel to ensure timely responses. Canonical partners with silicon and hardware manufacturers to enable advanced real-time features on Ubuntu certified hardware.

“At Canonical, we aim to provide secure, reliable open-source access everywhere – from the development environment to the cloud, to the edge and across devices,” said Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical CEO. “With this release and Ubuntu’s real-time kernel, we are ready to extend the benefits of Ubuntu Core throughout the embedded world.”

One important thing about Ubuntu Core is that it is effectively Ubuntu. It is fully containerized. All applications, kernels and operating systems are strictly limited snaps.

This means it is ultra-reliable and perfect for unattended devices. It has removed all unnecessary libraries and drivers, said David Beamonte Arbushes, product manager for IoT and embedded products at Canonical.

“It uses the same kernel and libraries as Ubuntu and its flavors, and it’s something that developers love, because they can share the same development experience for every Ubuntu version,” he told LinuxInsider.

He said it has some out-of-the-box security features such as secure boot and full disk encryption to prevent firmware replacement, as well as firmware and data manipulation.

certified hardware key

Ubuntu’s certified hardware program is a key distinguishing factor in the industry’s response to Core OS. It defines a range of trusted IoT and edge devices to work with Ubuntu.

The program typically includes a commitment to continuous testing of certified hardware in Canonical’s laboratories with every security update throughout the device’s lifecycle.

Advantech, which provides embedded, industrial, IoT and automation solutions, strengthened its participation in the Ubuntu Certified Hardware program, said Eric Cao, director of Advantech Wise-Edge+.

“Canonical ensures that certified hardware undergoes an extensive testing process and provides a stable, secure and optimized Ubuntu core to reduce market and development costs for our customers,” he said.

Another usage example, Brad Kehler, COO of KMC Controls, is the security benefits that Core OS brings to the company’s range of IoT devices, which are purpose-built for mission-critical industrial environments.

“Safety is of paramount importance to our customers. We chose Ubuntu Core for its built-in advanced security features and robust over-the-air update framework. Ubuntu Core comes with a 10-year security update commitment that allows us to keep devices safe in the field for their longer life. With a proven application enablement framework, our development team can focus on building applications that solve business problems,” he said.

solving major challenges

IoT manufacturers face complex challenges to deploy devices on time and within budget. As the device fleet expands, so too does ensuring security and remote management are taxing. Ubuntu Core 22 helps manufacturers meet these challenges with an ultra-secure, resilient and low-touch OS, backed by a growing ecosystem of silicon and original design maker partners.

The first major challenge is to enable the OS for their hardware, be it custom or generic, the well-known Arbus. It’s hard work, and many organizations lack the skills to perform kernel porting tasks.

“Sometimes they have in-house expertise, but development can take a lot longer. This can affect both time and budget,” he explained.

IoT devices should be mostly unattended. They are usually deployed in places with limited or difficult access, he offered. It is therefore essential that they be extremely reliable. It is costly to send a technician to the field to recover a bricked or unstarted device, so reliability, low touch, and remote manageability are key factors in reducing OpEx.

He added that this also adds to the challenge of managing the software of the devices. A mission-critical and bullet-proof update mechanism is critical.

“Manufacturers have to decide early in their development whether they are going to use their own infrastructure or third parties to manage the software for the devices,” Arbus said.

Beyond Standard Ubuntu

The containerized feature of Core 22 extends beyond the containerized features in non-core Ubuntu OSes. In Ubuntu Desktop or Server, the kernel and operating system are .deb packages. Applications can run as .deb or snap.

“In Ubuntu Core, all applications are strictly limited snap,” Arbusue continued. “This means that there is no way to access them from applications other than using some well-defined and secure interfaces.”

Not only applications are snaps. So are the kernel and operating system. He said that it is really useful to manage the whole system software.

“Although classic Ubuntu OSes can use Snaps, it is not mandatory to use them strictly limited, so applications can have access to the full system, and the system can have access to applications.”

Strict imprisonment is mandatory in Ubuntu Core. Additionally, both the kernel and the operating system are strictly limited snaps. In addition, the classic Ubuntu versions are not optimized for size and do not include some of the features of Ubuntu Core, such as secure boot, full disk encryption, and recovery mode.

Other Essential Core 22 Features:

  • Real-time compute support via a real-time beta kernel provides high performance, ultra-low latency and workload predictability for time-sensitive industrial, telco, automotive and robotics use cases.
  • There is a dedicated IoT App Store in the dedicated App Store for each device running Ubuntu Core. It provides complete control over apps and can create, publish and distribute software on a single platform. The IoT App Store provides enterprises with a sophisticated software management solution, enabling a range of new on-premises features.
  • Transactional control for mission-critical over-the-air (OTA) updates of kernel, OS, and applications. These updates will always complete successfully or automatically revert to the previous working version so that a device cannot be “britched” by an incomplete update. Snap also provides delta updates to reduce network traffic, and digital signatures to ensure software integrity and provenance.

More information about Ubuntu Core 22 can be found at ubuntu.com/core.

Download images for some of the most popular platforms or browse all supported images here.