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Ubuntu 24.04 LTS lands with 12 years of support, Active Directory, other additions

“Improved syscall performance, nested KVM support on ppc64el, and access to the newly landed bcachefs filesystem" < Do you speak the lingo?

Adverts coming to the Windows 11 Start menu? Maybe it really IS the year of the Linux desktop finally. Canonical would no doubt hope so – although the focus of its latest long-term support release is clearly on the experienced enterprise server customer rather than the PC dilettante.

This week it released Ubuntu 24.04 LTS, with Ubuntu Desktop now using the same Subiquity installer technology as Ubuntu Server – creating what Canonical described as “a consistent codebase across both platforms to deliver feature parity and easier maintainability.”

Canonical was hardly trying to win over those new to Linux with its launch blog however, which was targeted squarely at the sandal-wearing sysadmins keen on “improved syscall performance, nested KVM support on ppc64el, and access to the newly landed bcachefs filesystem” among other delights like “frame pointers by default on all 64-bit architectures.”

Canonical continues to focus on enterprise customers and now offers up to 12 years of security maintenance and support for 24.04 LTS (10 years with the option for a further two with its legacy support add-on). 

Indeed it was security considerations that delayed the roll-out of this latest release of the popular operating system, after the xz backdoor forced Canonical to “remove and rebuild all binary packages that had been built for Noble Numbat after the CVE-2024-3094 420 code was committed to xz-utils (February 26th), on newly provisioned build environments.

"This provides us with confidence that no binary in our builds could have been affected by this emerging threat,” it earlier said.

More AD improvements

Ubuntu 23.04 shipped with the ability to connect natively to Microsoft’s Azure Active Directory for centralised user authentication and identity management – a desktop Linux distribution industry first.

“For those managing mixed Windows and Ubuntu environments, the Active Directory Group Policy client available via Ubuntu Pro [also] now supports enterprise proxy configuration, privilege management and remote script execution,” the Ubuntu publisher added on April 25. 

Ubuntu earlier introduced additional support for Group Policy Objects (GPOs) allowing further compliance configuration. This has now been “expanded to cover the majority device and user policies requested by Active Directory administrators” Canonical said, including:

  • Privilege management and removal of local admins
  • Remote scripts execution
  • Managing apparmor profiles
  • Configuring network shares
  • Configuring proxy settings
  • Certificate autoenrollment

“Going forward, our attention is now turning to support third party cloud-based identity providers following a proof of concept implementation of Azure Active Directory enrollment in Ubuntu 23.04” it added. “We are currently in the process of expanding on the functionality delivered in that release as part of a new implementation and look forward to talking more about that in the near future.”

Much more detail here./