Ubuntu is one of the most popular and widely used Linux distributions in the world. It is a free and open-source operating system that offers a user-friendly and versatile desktop environment, a rich and diverse software ecosystem, and a strong and supportive community. Ubuntu releases a new version every six months, but every two years, it also releases a long-term support (LTS) version that provides five years of updates and security patches. The latest LTS release is Ubuntu 22.04.2 LTS, codenamed Jammy Jellyfish, which was released on February 24, 2023. In this article, we will explore what's new and improved in Ubuntu 22.04.2 LTS, and why it is a great choice for Linux users.

GNOME 42: A Sleek and Customizable Desktop

One of the most noticeable changes in Ubuntu 22.04.2 LTS is the upgrade to GNOME 42, the latest version of the default desktop environment for Ubuntu. GNOME 42 brings many new features and improvements that enhance the usability and aesthetics of the desktop. For example, you can now choose your own accent color from a palette of 12 options, which will apply to the icons, buttons, switches, and sliders. You can also set different wallpapers for dark and light themes, and switch between them automatically or manually. Additionally, you can choose between three power profiles: Performance, Balanced, and Power Saver, which will adjust the CPU frequency and other settings to optimize the battery life or the performance of your system. Another new feature is the screenshot tool, which allows you to easily capture and edit screenshots and screencasts, and share them with others. Moreover, GNOME 42 improves the workspace transitions, which are now horizontal instead of vertical, and adds touchpad gestures to navigate between them. It also improves the multi-monitor support, which allows you to configure different workspaces and layouts for each monitor. These and other enhancements make GNOME 42 a smooth and solid desktop experience.

Performance and Power Efficiency: A Fast and Responsive System

Ubuntu 22.04.2 LTS also delivers significant performance and power efficiency improvements, thanks to the work on the graphics drivers, the memory management, and the display server. One of the major improvements is the triple buffering, which reduces the latency and increases the frame rate of the desktop, especially on Intel and Raspberry Pi graphics drivers. This means that the desktop animations and transitions will be smoother and faster, and the overall responsiveness of the system will be higher. Another improvement is the zswap, which is enabled by default on Raspberry Pi devices, and compresses the memory pages before swapping them to disk. This reduces the disk I/O and improves the performance of the low-end Raspberry Pi 4 2GB model. Furthermore, Ubuntu 22.04.2 LTS introduces the runtime power management for NVIDIA GPUs, which allows the system to switch between the integrated and the discrete graphics cards depending on the workload. This saves battery power and reduces heat generation. Finally, Ubuntu 22.04.2 LTS makes Wayland the default display server for most systems, except for those with NVIDIA GPUs, which still use X11. Wayland is a modern and secure display server that offers better security, compatibility, and performance than X11.

RISC-V: A New Platform Support

Ubuntu 22.04.2 LTS also brings a new platform support for RISC-V, which is an open-source and extensible instruction set architecture that is designed for a wide range of devices, from embedded systems to supercomputers. Ubuntu 22.04.2 LTS provides fresh images for the LicheeRV and PolarFire Icicle Kit boards, which are two popular development boards that use RISC-V processors. These images include the Ubuntu Server and the Ubuntu Core editions, which offer a minimal and secure operating system for cloud and IoT applications. The RISC-V support is still experimental and under development, but it shows the potential and the ambition of Ubuntu to support emerging and innovative technologies.

Software and Toolchain: A Rich and Diverse Ecosystem

Ubuntu 22.04.2 LTS also updates the software packages and the core toolchain, which provide a rich and diverse ecosystem for developers and users. For instance, Ubuntu 22.04.2 LTS ships with the Linux kernel 5.15 LTS, which is the latest long-term support kernel that offers improved hardware support, security fixes, and performance enhancements. It also ships with the GNU Compiler Collection 11, which is the latest version of the popular compiler suite that supports various programming languages and architectures. Moreover, Ubuntu 22.04.2 LTS includes Python 3.10, which is the newest major release of the popular scripting language that introduces new features and optimizations. Additionally, Ubuntu 22.04.2 LTS features Snapcraft 6.0, which is the latest version of the tool that allows developers to create and distribute snaps, which are universal and secure software packages that run on any Linux system. Snapcraft 6.0 simplifies the snap creation process and adds new features such as the base extension, the build provider, and the snap packer.

Security and Stability: A Reliable and Robust System

Ubuntu 22.04.2 LTS also provides security and stability updates, which ensure a reliable and robust system for users and enterprises. For example, Ubuntu 22.04.2 LTS includes Extended Security Maintenance (ESM), which is a service that provides security updates for Ubuntu LTS releases after the standard five-year support period ends. ESM is available for free for up to three machines for personal use, or for a fee for more machines and for commercial use. ESM helps users and enterprises to keep their systems secure and compliant, without having to upgrade to a newer release. Furthermore, Ubuntu 22.04.2 LTS fixes many bugs and issues that were reported in the previous releases, with a focus on maintaining stability and compatibility with Ubuntu 22.04 LTS. These fixes address various aspects of the system, such as the installation, the boot, the network, the desktop, the software, and the hardware.

Conclusion: A Great Choice for Linux Users

Ubuntu 22.04.2 LTS is a great choice for Linux users who want a smooth and solid Linux experience. It offers a sleek and customizable desktop environment, a fast and responsive system, a new platform support, a rich and diverse software ecosystem, and a reliable and robust system. It also provides five years of updates and security patches, and an option to extend them with ESM. Ubuntu 22.04.2 LTS is available for download or upgrade from the official website. You can also try it out on a live USB or a virtual machine before installing it on your system. If you are looking for a user-friendly and versatile Linux operating system, you should give Ubuntu 22.04.2 LTS a try.