Nowadays, people are getting more strict about their online privacy and data, and this leads to switching their Operating System to Linux as it is known as most secured and privacy-centric Operating System from its core.
But still, you will find the majority of people using Windows, and the reason behind using Windows is that it does not require a learning curve as it is taught in schools and comes pre-installed on almost every computer.
Linux has always been regarded as complex to use, but it is not true at all. There are various distributions of Linux, such as Linux Mint, Ubuntu, Fedora, and many others which are even easier to use than Windows, and anyone can start using them with no prior knowledge of Linux.
So, if you are looking for straightforward Linux distribution which is easy to use, and maintain but still powerful enough to handle whatever you through at it, Ubuntu is a great choice. In today’s review of Ubuntu, we are going to describe key features and what makes it so special.
Table of Contents
Ubuntu 22.04 LTS
After 2 years, we are finally getting the new version of Ubuntu LTS, which packs various features which are going to change the way you use Ubuntu. Let’s discuss what it has to offer:
GNOME 42: This is the first time that we are about to get the latest version of GNOME 42, which is a huge jump from GNOME 3.36 which was used in the previous LTS release of Ubuntu. GNOME 42 will enhance your current workflow and will use GTK 4 to get you future-proof.
GNOME 42 will also get us a refined settings panel and a new screenshot tool so that you don’t have to use third-party screenshot tools anymore.
Grub 2.06: Ubuntu 22.04 is going to be shipped with Grub 2.06.
Accent Colours: If you are bored with Ubuntu’s orange color accent everywhere, now you have the option to change it. You can select your preferred accent color from the color pallet and customize your system according to your taste.
Dark Theme: You might be wondering what’s new in dark mode? Ubuntu allows you to choose the system-wide dark mode from your settings. Previously you were required to use GNOME tweaks for applying dark mode.
New Firmware Updater App: Ubuntu 22.04 is going to get the new version of the Firmware app which lets you update your firmware with GUI. It is based on flutter and dark-based frontend tool for fwupd which is a command-line tool for updating firmware.
New Installer: The new flutter-based installer which was supposed to be shipped with Ubuntu 21.10 is now making its debut with Ubuntu 22.04. The new installer integrates well with the default styling of Ubuntu and gets the modern look and feel while the installation process.
Firefox As Snap: Ubuntu 22.04 is going to be shipped with the snap version of Firefox. It is a joint effort of Firefox and Canonical to maintain your system easily. It will also bring enhanced security and provide faster security updates.
The LTS (Long Term Support) version of Ubuntu is known for providing security patches for 5 years and is intended for stability. This is the reason why LTS releases ship with an older version of the software and if you want stability + recent software, Ubuntu 21.10 is for you.
Compared to LTS, the regular release provides security patches for 9 months and releases a new version. This way you can have the more recent version of the software. In the recent release of Ubuntu 21.10, you will find the following new features.
GNOME 40: This is the first time, any Ubuntu release is going to be shipped with GNOME 40 which is different from GNOME 3 and known to provide a better visual experience and workflow.
Multi-Touch Gestures: Ubuntu 21.10 will now allow you to use multi-touch gestures. It enables users to switch from apps and workspaces without any keybindings.
Firefox As Snap: This is the first time, we are going to get Firefox as a snap pack in any Ubuntu. It will make maintaining the system easy for Firefox and user. From now on, Firefox can release new patches more frequently.
Yaru Light Theme: As Ubuntu 21.10 is the first version to ship with GTK 4, you will get Yaru Light theme as the default choice which gives a minimal and more attractive look.
Linux Kernel 5.13: Ubuntu 21.10 uses Linux kernel 5.13 which will add better device support and additional features related to security such as Kernel Electric-Fence (KFENCE) which is a run-time memory error detector.
This kernel also adds support for Amazon Luna game controllers and other additional peripheral support so that users can seamlessly integrate third-party controllers such as the Apple magic mouse.
Wayland Support with Nvidia Closed-Source Drivers: As Ubuntu uses Wayland as default, it caused many problems with proprietary drives of Nvidia and required users to switch back to Xorg for better compatibility.
From Ubuntu 21.10, this issue has been solved and users can benefit from their Nvidia cards by using proprietary drivers and Wayland at the same time.
Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
Ubuntu 20.04 is an LTS release and will be supported till April 2025. It has some great improvements compared to its previous release. Let’s discuss what Ubuntu 20.04 has to offer.
GNOME 3.36: It’s not just about shipping GNOME 3.36 with Ubuntu but they have worked closely with the developers of GNOME and managed to bring a new look screen, log-in prompt, and other visual changes which will improve the user experience for sure.
DND (Do Not Disturb): Ubuntu 20.04 comes with a toggle that lets you disable all the notifications by which you can focus on your primary task and unnecessary notification does not bother you.
Fractional Scaling: Finally, Ubuntu 20.04 has the feature to enable fractional scaling. From now on, you have different options to choose your fractional scaling such as 100%, 125%, 150% up to 200%.
Removal of Ubuntu Dock: Many users hated the Ubuntu dock but there was no way to disable it and only gave you the option to change its location. From the release of Ubuntu 20.04, the new app “Extensions” is introduced by which you can easily disable the Ubuntu dock.
Linux Kernel 5.4: New improved version of Linux kernel 5.4 has been introduced with the release of Ubuntu 20.4 which is focused on performance and security. It also enables users to use ExFAT support.
Improved ZFS system: Ubuntu is the first Linux distro to use ZFS in its mainstream distros. ZFS is a combination of file systems and a logical volume manager which is suitable for advanced users.
Python 3 as Default: Ubuntu has discontinued Python2 as it reached end-of-life in 2020 so now users are required to use Python 3.
Pros and Cons of Ubuntu
Each Linux distribution has its pros and cons and it is intended for a different audience. So let’s address some pros and cons of Ubuntu.
Open-source: Being a Linux distribution, this is the major advantage over other proprietary Operating Systems such as Windows and macOS which do not let users view and edit the source code.
In Ubuntu, you can get source code and modify it to suit yourself. You can also contribute to the project if you have enough skills.
Easy to Use: Ubuntu has always been one of the top choices when someone asks for the best Linux distribution for new users. It makes things simple by involving GUI apps to perform each operation without using any command (for the most part).
Long Term Support (LTS): If you want your system to receive security patches for 5 years without any cost, Ubuntu LTS is a great choice and you can even extend the 5 years of period by consulting canonical.
Low System Requirements: Unlike Windows Operating System, you don’t require a highly configured machine and you can easily run fully-fledged Ubuntu 2 GB RAM.
Commercialization: Canonical is the parent company of Ubuntu and with each iteration, they are making it hard for the open-source community to contribute to the Ubuntu project. They are slowly shifting towards private work culture as other companies do.
Privacy Issues: Previously, Canonical was shipping Ubuntu with the Amazon app which was redirecting users from the browser and was affiliating links directly to Canonical. Later the issue was fixed but makes Ubuntu less trustworthy for privacy.
Compatibility Issues: Many users have compatibility issues with their graphics card, and sound card, and even some complaints are printers are not connecting. This might be a deal-breaker for many users who does not have enough time to solve each problem.
Frequently asked questions related to Ubuntu
Is Ubuntu really good?
Yes, Ubuntu can be used by newbies and also has great community support. You can also run Ubuntu on low-end hardware with support of 5 years. This makes Ubuntu one of the best Linux distributions.
Is Mint better than Ubuntu?
Yes, it uses fewer resources than Ubuntu and provides a better experience for new and experienced users. Mint does not force you to use Snap and they have disabled snap support due to the bundling of unnecessary dependencies.
Which is better manjaro or Ubuntu?
Ubuntu is better if you are a beginner as it does not break occasionally as Manjaro does. But if you are an experienced Linux user and want to use Arch Linux without going through the complex installation, Manjaro is a great choice.
Ubuntu is great Linux distribution and in this review of Ubuntu, we have mentioned key features, pros, and cons so that you can decide whether it suits your workflow or deal-breaker for you.