3 min read

“Ubuntu is now the world’s reference platform for AI engineering and analytics.”
-Mark Shuttleworth, CEO of Canonical.

Yesterday (on 18th October), Canonical announced the release of Ubuntu 18.10 termed as ‘Cosmic Cuttlefish’. This new release is focussed on multi-cloud deployments, AI software development, a new community desktop theme, and richer snap desktop integration.

According to Mark, the new release will help accelerate developer productivity and help enterprises operate at a better speed whilst being scalable across multiple clouds and diverse edge appliances.

Fun Fact : Ubuntu codenames are in incremental alphabetical order. Following the Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver, we now have the Cosmic Cuttlefish. These codenames are comprised of an adjective and an animal, both starting with the same letter.

5 major features of Ubuntu 18.10

#1 New compression algorithms for faster installation and boot

Ubuntu 18.10 uses compression algorithms like LZ4 and ztsd, which support around 10% faster boot as compared to those used in its previous version. The algorithms also facilitate the installation process which takes around 5 minutes in offline mode.

#2 Optimised for multi-cloud computing

This new version is designed especially keeping in mind cloud based deployments. The Ubuntu Server 18.10 images are available on all major public clouds. For private clouds, the release supports OpenStack Rocky for AI and NFV hardware acceleration. It comes with Ceph Mimic to reduce storage overhead. Including the Kubernetes version 1.12, this new version brings increased security and scalability by automating the provisioning of clusters with transport layer encryption. It is more responsive to dynamic workloads through faster scaling


#3 Improved gaming performance

The new kernel has been updated to the 4.18 based Linux kernel. In addition to this, the updates in Mesa and X.org significantly improve game performance. Graphics support expands to AMD VegaM in the latest Intel Kabylake-G CPUs, Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, B+ and Qualcomm Snapdragon 845. Ubuntu 18.10 introduces the GNOME 3.30 desktop which has recently been released thus contributing to an overall gaming performance boost.

#4 Startup time boost and XDG Portals support for Snap applications

Canonical is bringing some useful improvements to its Snap packages. Snap applications will  start in lesser time. With XDG portal support, Snap can be installed in a few clicks from the Snapcraft Store website. Major public cloud and server applications like Google Cloud SDK, AWS CLI, and Azure CLI are now available in the new version. The new release allows accessing files on the host system through native desktop controls.

#5 New default theme and icons

Ubuntu 18.10 uses the Yaru community theme replacing their long-serving Ambiance and Radiance themes. It gives the desktop a fresh new look and feel.

Other miscellaneous changes include:

  • DLNA support connects Ubuntu with DLNA supported Smart TVs, tablets and other devices
  • Fingerprint scanner is now supported
  • Ubuntu Software removes dependencies while uninstalling software
  • The default toolchain has moved to gcc 8.2 with glibc 2.28
  • Ubuntu 18.10 is also updated to openssl 1.1.1 and gnutls 3.6.4 with TLS1.3 support

All these upgrades are causing waves in the Linux community. That being said, users are requested to check the release notes for issues that were encountered in this new version. You can head over to the official release page to download the new version of this OS.

Alternatively, learn more about these new features at itsfloss.com.

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