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Ubuntu 20.04 LTS… on Big Iron!

Today we saw the release of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS!

Alongside the fanfare of a new server and desktop release for AMD64, and my own beloved Xubuntu, this new version walks in the path of 16.04 and 18.04 to be the third LTS to support the s390x mainframe architecture for IBM Z.

If you have been following my adventures over the past year, you’ll know that I’m just shy of my one year anniversary at IBM, where I’ve been working on the IBM Z team to spread the word among open source communities about the mainframe. The epic hardware on these machines was definitely one of the hooks for me, but the big one was the amount of open source tooling that was being developed for them. The ability to run Linux on them sealed the deal. I wrote last week about some new hardware, and mentioned then that Ubuntu 20.04 supports the new Secure Execution technology for virtual machines.

So, what else is new for Ubuntu 20.04? At the top of my list would be improved support for the new IBM z15 hardware, released back in September. A number of changes made it into the 19.10 release, but 20.04 builds further upon this, especially around support for the compression and encryption features of the z15. Additionally, Subiquity is now the default installer for Ubuntu Server for s390x, which you can read more about here: A first glimpse at subiquity, the new server installer, now also on s390x.

This is just a taste of what is in store for users of Ubuntu on the mainframe. The list of major changes, along with the Launchpad bug/feature report numbers that tracked development throughout this cycle can be found over on the Ubuntu on the Big Iron blog in a post by Frank Heimes: A new Ubuntu LTS is available: Focal Fossa aka 20.04.

Finally, that fossa stuffed toy is mighty cute, right? You can have one too! With a donation to the World Wildlife Fund to “Adopt a Fossa.” Just keep it away from your lemur toys.