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Canonical announced the release of a major update to the Ubuntu Linux operating system, with improvements that enhance security, support cloud-native app development, and boost artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) innovation.

The Ubuntu operating system is one of the popular iterations of the Linux operating system. It is used widely in enterprises and commonly leveraged to run virtual machines, servers, and cloud computing services, as well as robots and personal devices. Many of the new Ubuntu 21.10 Impish Indri release features acknowledge its popularity with developers and aims to make their work easier.

For developers

Impish Indri supports the PHP 8 programming language and has GNU Compiler Collection 11 including front ends for the C, C++ Objective-C, Fortran, Ada, Go, and D languages, as well as their libraries. Canonical says that with added static analysis support, developers’ security awareness in low-level programming will improve.

Gnome 40 is also in the release. Gnome is a free and open-source desktop environment. The latest iteration adds dynamic workspaces and touchpad gestures to improve productivity for busy developers. The release also has Firefox browser Snap, created by Mozilla, to ensure users have the latest supported version of the browser on multiple versions of Ubuntu.

Other changes

Windows Subsystem for Linux, the compatibility layer that allows users to run Linux programs natively on Windows, now supports graphical applications out-of-the-box to allow Windows developers to run Ubuntu desktop apps without needing to modify them.

Another enhancement focused on ease of installation. The goal is to make Ubuntu a truly cloud-native platform capable of running in any device, cloud, or environment.

To achieve this, developers generally prefer to install software from containerized images that host the app components and can run anywhere. The image for Impish Indri is available on both the Amazon ECR Public Registry and Docker Hub.