Disco Dingo fever: Ubuntu 19.04 has an infrastructure bent, snappier GNOME and another stupid name
New Linux kernel, new build
Pull on those flares and perch atop your most precipitous platforms – Canonical has emitted Ubuntu 19.04, aka "Disco Dingo", with its sights set firmly on infrastructure.
Although, as this is not a Long Term Support (LTS) version, enterprises are likely to hold off a while – the Dingo is only getting support until January 2020. If you need LTS, then Ubuntu recommends sticking with 18.04 LTS instead.
However, if you cannot wait to get your hands on the new shiny, there are all manner of toys in the box with which to play.
According to Canonical, Ubuntu 19.04 is "focused on open infrastructure deployments, the developer desktop, IoT, and cloud to edge software distribution", and to that end the latest OpenStack release, Stein, has made an appearance, replete with passthrough functionality to let devs get their mitts on GPU silicon as well as FPGA chips.
18.04 LTS users can also move to Stein via the Ubuntu Cloud Archive but, as Canonical understates, upgrading an OpenStack deployment "is a non-trivial process".
Kubernetes 1.14 is also included, and Snap fans can pick up the likes of Microsoft's Visual Studio Code or the AWS Greengrass Snap, which extends AWS to edge devices running Ubuntu. In practise, this means connected devices can run Lambda functions and talk to other devices even when not actually connected to the internet.
Release 5.0 of the Linux kernel sits at the heart of things, replete with support for AMD's Radeon RX Vega M graphics processor, the diminutive Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and B+, and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845. USB 3.2 and Type-C also got improvements in version 5.0.
There's no place like GNOME
While there is little earth-shattering in the desktop side of things, there are some improvements to keep the faithful happy. The GNOME desktop shell has been bumped to version 3.32, with things feeling a bit snappier, and a sound configuration window makes choosing input and output devices more straightforward.
And, yes, there is Disco Dingo wallpaper, and the gang have continued to fiddle with the Yaru theme (and added a new icon theme).
For server fans, QEMU has been updated to 3.1, libvirt is bumped to version 5.0 and a Samba upgrade sees python3 support. With the exception of tdb, in Ubuntu 19.04 samba and its dependencies are all python3 now.
Upgrading from Ubuntu 18.10 should be a simple case of using the update manager, although you'll need to be online to do so. Canonical states that there are no offline upgrade options available.
And if you are still rolling on i386 architecture, then the Disco Dingo is not for you. As with 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish), those users will not be allowed to upgrade while the team ponders dropping support for the chips.
Kind old Canonical would prefer not to leave users stranded on something with a decidedly shorter shelf-life than the LTS. ®