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Ubuntu 20.04 Released

Right on schedule, Canonical has released the latest version of the Ubuntu. Ubuntu 20.04 "Focal Fossa" includes plenty of new features that should excite any and all Linux and Ubuntu fans. This latest iteration is an Long Term Support (LTS) release, which means it will be supported until 2025.

Focal Fossa is built upon the Linux 5.4 kernel (which is also an LTS release).

One of the most anticipated features included with 20.04 is the WireGuard VPN service, which is built in at the kernel level and is significantly easier to set up than a traditional VPN. WireGuard is also more secure than other solutions, partially because it is implemented within the kernel and is limited to using only new and more secure cryptographic protocols.

Another big addition to Ubuntu 20.04 is Gnome 3.36, which includes a long overdue revamping of the login screen. Gnome 3.36 enjoys a boost in performance, a new Do Not Disturb button, fractional scaling, the ability to remove the dock, even more snap support in Gnome Software, more default theme variants (which can now be selected from within Settings, instead of having to install the Gnome Tweak tool), faster boot times, and improved ZFS support.

There have also been a few things removed. For instance, Canonical is no longer providing ISOs for 32-bit systems. The Amazon app has finally been ousted, and Python 2 is out of the picture.

To get your copy of the Ubuntu 20.04 Desktop or Server edition, head on over to the Ubuntu download page (https://releases.ubuntu.com/20.04/).

Git 2.26 Released

If you're a Linux admin, chances are you either program yourself or you work with programmers who help to make your job easier. With that in mind, Git is probably on the forefront of your work environment. To that end, you'll be happy to know the latest release of the open source version control system includes some exciting new features.

Standing on top of that feature list is that Git protocol version 2 has now become the default for Git. This is important because the original protocol wasn't nearly efficient enough for large projects. With version 1, the Git server would list all branches, tags, and other repository references before a client could send anything. If a repository was large, megabytes of information had to be sent, even if only a small piece of information was requested.

Protocol version 2 automatically starts with the client request and provides the means for a client to inform the server which reference it's interested in. So if a client requests a single branch, that's the only information the client will receive. Switching from Git protocol version 1 to version 2 means Git will be significantly more efficient when working with large projects.

Other exciting features include:

  • Improved fsmonitor-watchman hook, which will avoid race conditions found in the previous version
  • Lifting of the restriction on using threaded grep
  • Lower memory footprint results in better performance for the Git name-rev function
  • Command-line interface coloring now has brighter color variant options for the included seven colors
  • Numerous bug fixes

For more information, read the official announcement from Git (https://github.blog/2020-03-22-highlights-from-git-2-26/).

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