Ubuntu 24.04 Desktop

10 New & Improved Features in Ubuntu 24.04

A Brief History

Ubuntu is an open-source Linux distribution that has gained immense popularity over the years. Its journey began with the release of Ubuntu 4.10 (Warty Warthog) on October 20, 20041. This inaugural version, built upon Debian, marked the inception of a new era. Canonical Ltd., the driving force behind Ubuntu, committed to releasing new versions every six months, with 18 months of support for each release1.

Fast forward to Ubuntu 24.04 Noble Numbat—a significant milestone in the Ubuntu saga. Here are the key highlights:

1. Rethinking Provisioning

  • Simplifying Ubuntu installations remains a priority. The desktop installer now uses the same Subiquity backend as Ubuntu Server, ensuring consistent codebase and feature parity.
  • A brand-new front end built in Flutter enhances accessibility options and delivers an improved user experience.
  • ZFS guided install is back as a filesystem option, with support for ZFS encryption. Hardware-backed full disk encryption (experimental) is also introduced.

2. Modern Installer

  • Autoinstall support is now available in the graphical installer, streamlining the installation process.
  • The installation process gets a fresh coat of paint. The new installer boasts a clean and uncluttered design, with ample white space and subtle emblems on each screen.
  • Notably, the Accessibility screen now takes a prominent position right after choosing your language, emphasizing its importance.

3. Support for Apple’s Preferred HEIF/HEIC Files

  • Thumbnail previews included.

4. GNOME Snapshot Replaces Cheese

  • The camera app is now replaced by GNOME Snapshot.

5. Virtual Memory Mapping Changes

  • These enhance performance for modern games running through Proton

6. Better Graphics Performance

  • Mesa 22.2 ensures smoother experiences for design and multimedia tasks.

7. Efficient Power Management for Laptop Batteries

  • Improved battery life.

8. GNOME 46

  • Ubuntu 24.04 ships with GNOME 46, the latest iteration of the popular desktop environment. GNOME 46 brings refinements, performance improvements, and a sleeker user experience.
  • Includes performance updates, memory usage improvements, global search in the file manager, UI refinements, and an improved notifications system.
  • Introduction of remote login support using RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol). This feature allows you to connect to other machines seamlessly.
  • If you have a display that supports variable refresh rates, GNOME 46 now takes advantage of it. This results in smoother animations and reduced screen tearing.

9. Linux Kernel 6.8

  • The new kernel brings a slew of improvements, including extended support for Secure Boot and disk encryption.
  • It also supports the bcachefs filesystem and reduces kernel task scheduling delays.

10. Transition to the App Center

  • Ubuntu 24.04 bids farewell to the Software Center and embraces the App Center as the primary software management tool.
  • The App Center streamlines app discovery, installation, and updates.

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