Ubuntu 20.04 LTS dedicated servers. What's new?

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is released April 23, 2020, succeeding Ubuntu 19.10 as the latest stable release of this hugely popular Linux-based operating system — but what's new come with a new version of Ubuntu?

The latest LTS comes with a new version of the Linux kernel – 5.4 – which brings a lot of exciting new features, faster boot times, enhanced performance and security. One of the biggest advantages of Ubuntu Server 20.04 LTS is the stability that it brings. This comes from up to ten years of security provided under the UA-I subscription. Being an LTS release, Ubuntu Server 20.04 comes with five years of support by default. However, the ESM service extends security updates for an additional five years. This results in a super stable platform for both infrastructure and applications deployment that is optimised for enterprise needs.

Ubuntu Server Live Installer – automatic updates

Ubuntu Server Live Installer will now provide an option to automatically update itself every time it boots. This will provide users with immediate access to new features, bug fixes and security patches available in the installer without the need to wait for the official point releases and using newer versions of the installer. After booting on a computer with access to the Internet, the installer will check and notify users if there is a newer version available. Users will have an option to either update the installer or skip the update. If they choose to update, the installer will update itself and the installation session will be resumed once the update is finished.

SSH two-factor authentication

Historically, SSH used to use single-factor authentication and the actual authentication mechanism was based on passwords or keys. This can pose a security risk in case of the leakage of secrets or if the system was compromised.  Starting with Ubuntu Server 20.04 LTS, SSH will support hardware-based two-factor authentication which minimises the impact of secrets leakage and improves the security level provided by SSH. On systems with two-factor authentication enabled, users will have to use either a physical device or authenticator app when establishing an SSH session. This will prove that the session is being established from the computer on which the keys were generated.

WireGuard VPN

WireGuard® is an innovative VPN technology with modern cryptography defaults and streamlined usability. By running as a module in the kernel space, it provides performance advantages and a high level of security. WireGuard is included in 20.04 LTS and will be backported to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS to support widespread enterprise adoption.

More resilient bootloader

Previous versions of the Ubuntu installer allowed writing the bootloader to a single disk only. This was resulting in the bootloader being a single point of failure in systems with multiple disks attached. The latest version of the Ubuntu installer allows writing the bootloader to multiple disks, ensuring the resiliency of Ubuntu Server at the bootloader level.

Other notable changes in Ubuntu Server 20.04 LTS

In addition to the features described above, Ubuntu Server 20.04 LTS includes many other improvements. Here is a summary of the most notable changes:

  • Support for all major architectures: x64-64, ARM v7, ARM64, POWER 8, POWER 9, IBM x390x (LinuxONE) and introduces initial support for RISC-V.
  • Updates to various applications: QEMU (v4.2), libvirt (v6.0), PHP (v7.4), Ruby (v2.7), GCC (v9.3), Python (v3.8), MySQL (v8.0) and NGINX (v1.17).
  • Support for the latest version of the IMDS (instance metadata service) – IMDSv2 – on AWS.
  • Improved support for IPv6 on Microsoft Azure.
  • AppArmor 3 for an even more secure system.
  • New Ubuntu Server Guide.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

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