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Ubuntu 20.10 Brings Full Desktop and Micro Clouds to Raspberry Pi 4

Sergio De Simone

Ubuntu Desktop 20.10 is now fully supported on the Raspberry Pi 4, which can be transformed into a complete Ubuntu workstation, says Ubuntu. Ubuntu 20.10 also introduces Micro Clouds for on-demand compute at the edge.

Ubuntu 20.10 is the first Ubuntu image built as a full desktop image, rather than being a server image like previous releases. According to Tom’s Hardware, Ubuntu 20.10 is easy to install and use on the Raspberry Pi and represents a solid foundation for future releases, although it is unlikely it will replace Raspberry Pi OS soon.

With the advent of Raspberry Pi 4, we really have to start considering the Raspberry Pi Foundation as a PC vendor now and that’s another reason why we wanted to fully enable this device and bring our best operating system to it.

Released in 2019, the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B is equipped with a quad-core CPU, which offers two to three times its predecessor’s performance, and supports up to 8 GB of memory. This makes it capable of playing 4K video at 60 frames per second and browse the web or run complex apps with no major issue, although thermal throttling can easily kick in.

Most interestingly, Ubuntu 20.10 introduces Micro Clouds, a distributed and scalable infrastructure to enable on-demand compute at the edge.

In Ubuntu 20.10, Canonical introduces its micro cloud stack that combines MAAS, LXD, MicroK8s and Ceph on Ubuntu, to deliver resilient pocket clouds hardened for mission-critical workloads in 5G RANs, industry 4.0 factories, V2X infrastructures, smart cities and health care facilities.

Interested users can experiment with deploying a Kubernetes cluster using MicroK8s on a Raspberry Pi, or use LXD to run containers or virtual machines and manage them.

In a live stream, Ubuntu also shared their plans regarding for Ubuntu 21.04. The next release should improve support for GPIO and extend kernel support for specific Raspberry hardware. In particular, a new driver for camera and graphics support.

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Source: https://www.infoq.com/news/2020/10/ubuntu-20-10-raspberry-desktop/

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