Focal Fossa: Ubuntu 20.04 is released with Wireguard and the standard snap store


Linux distributor Canonical has released the current version Ubuntu 20.04 aka Focal Fossa. This is a version with long-term care. That means: desktop, server and core versions receive 5 years of support as standard. Canonical customers can also extend this to 10 years. As innovations, Ubuntu 20.04 mainly brings a variety of important security technologies as well as many important toolchain updates.

This is ensured by the Linux kernel 5.4, which serves as the basis for the current version. For the first time, this contains the patches for the so-called kernel lockdown. This can prevent users with root rights or attackers who obtain them from being able to change the kernel during operation.

Google’s developer Matthew Garrett, who was most recently responsible for this technology, only had a few days ago an overview of the kernel lockdown published on his blog. There Garrett also describes that further developments in technology are necessary.

Wireguard on board

As a backport to its Linux kernel, Ubuntu 20.04 also delivers the new and modern VPN technology Wireguard for the first time. The Ubuntu team also ported this to the previous LTS version 18.04. This should serve to spread quickly.

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The availability of Wireguard is even so important to the Ubuntu makers that they let Wireguard inventor Jason Donenfeld have a say in the Ubuntu announcement. This is pleased that users are getting VPN technology that is immediately ready for use.

Canonical also highlights support for AMD Secure Encrypted Virtualization for enterprise use. A login via U2F / FIDO and thus passwordless authentication is now also supported as standard.

Without Python 2

One of the most important changes to the basic system is the complete abandonment of the outdated Python 2, whose development has officially ended. The 2 branch of Python is no longer available in the standard installation, Ubuntu 20.04 relies on the current Python 3.8. Users who still rely on the outdated Python can install this from the Universe repository, but of course do not get official support.

Canonical has further expanded the support for the ZFS file system introduced with the previous version 19.10 for the current version 20.04. This now comes with native encryption or support for Pool Trim.

Ubuntu 20.04 also includes some new features for desktop users. Canonical is once again using its own solution here.

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