Canonical releases Ubuntu 19.10 with built-in Nvidia drivers

Canonical has released version 19.10 of Ubuntu. The new version of the Linux distro is based on Linux kernel 5.3, and has faster boot times using lz4 compression. Also, the proprietary Nvidia drivers are included in the installation file by default.

One of the biggest changes Ubuntu 19.10 brings is the addition of proprietary Nvidia drivers to the iso file. This makes it easier for users to use the closed Nvidia drivers. By default, many Linux versions use Nvidia’s open source Nouveau drivers, but these are significantly less optimized than the closed source Nvidia drivers. Users of Ubuntu and other Linux distros can already install the drivers from Nvidia themselves, but from now on this will be automatic. Some other Linux distributions, such as Manjaro, already offer users the option to install the proprietary drivers by default. Pop!_OS, which is based on Ubuntu, has a separate iso file for users with Nvidia hardware.

Dark mode (left), standard (center) and light mode (right)

The built-in Yaru theme gets full dark and light mode in Ubuntu 19.10. Currently, Yaru has some sort of mixed mode by default, where the application headers are black, while the rest of the elements are white. As of now, there is a full dark mode and a light mode with white application headers.

The desktop environment of Ubuntu is also being updated; Gnome is being updated to version 3.34, which promises, among other things, better performance. This update includes the options to easily use your own wallpapers. The update also introduces an option to use wallpapers on both the desktop and the lockscreen. The built-in blue light filter also gets an update; the feature now has its own tab in the settings, and it now appears to be usable without location services on, reports Linux website It’s FOSS. Gnome 3.34 has further improved Wi-Fi settings.

The blue light filter (left) and the new background setting

Ubuntu 19.10 adds experimental support for the zfs file system. Zfs is older than for example btrfs, which can already be used in Ubuntu, but according to many users is faster and more reliable, but its use is difficult due to all kinds of usage licenses. However, Canonical concludes that the implementation they use in Ubuntu is licensed. The implementation of zfs is made possible in part by the work of the ZFS on Linux project. The new version also gets support for lz4 compression, which should ensure faster boot times. Canonical has been experimenting with different compression algorithms over the past few months, and in their opinion lz4 came out on top in the test

With 19.10 Canonical changes the use of 32-bit software. The company was originally expected to discontinue support for 32-bit, but this development was scrapped after a fuss among users. Canonical will ensure that the distro has a working 32-bit userspace for users. For this, the company uses containers, which means that programs such as Steam and WINE continue to work on Ubuntu 19.10. The latter software allows users to install Windows programs on Linux distributions.

Canonical is also adding support for wpa3 security to Ubuntu 19.10 and connected USB drives can now be accessed directly from the dock. The new version should also ensure reduced CPU usage.

Ubuntu 19.10, which is codenamed Eoan Ermine, was previously disclosed by Canonical; for example, the functionality contained in the OS was already finalized on August 22. The beta version has been available for download since the end of September. The full version can be downloaded from the Ubuntu site from October 17.

In April, Canonical will release a new long-term support version of its operating system, Ubuntu 20.04 lts. This version will be codenamed Focal Fossa, and will be regularly updated for five years. An exact release date is not yet known, but given Canonical’s development pattern, this version is expected on April 24, 2020, It’s FOSS writes.