Ubuntu 19.10 "Eoan Ermine" has an improved Linux kernel along with faster boot times, updated themes & support for experimental ZFS file system. Whether you upgrade or not, Ermine shows what you can expect from the next LTS release from Ubuntu, which will be in April 2020.
Do you need to upgrade?
For some people, the question is "should I upgrade?" For some people, if the latest release is not a Long Term Support (LTS) release. Canonical estimates that 95 percent of Ubuntu installations use LTS versions. Ubuntu 19.10 is not an LTS release; it is an interim release. The next LTS should be released in April 2020, when Ubuntu 20.04 is delivered.
If 95 percent hold on to LTS releases, those who upgrade to interim releases are very in the minority. But there will always be users who want the latest shiny things. They are going to upgrade. Period of time. The fact that there is a new version is reason enough.
So we only have LTS users in the camp "will absolutely not upgrade" and the "give me the new version-now users" in the camp "will definitely upgrade". If you are neither, you should be in the "I camp maybe if there is something attractive about this new release" camp. Here is our fast run-down so that you can make a decision.
Of course there is a lot of updated software. Here is a summary of what has been updated. The version numbers are given for each package. The version numbers in brackets are the versions that were sent with 18.04.
- GNOME 3.34.1 (3.32.1)
- Kernel 5.3.0.-13 (5.0.0-8)  Thunderbird 68.1.1 (60.6.1)
- LibreOffice 22.214.171.124 (126.96.36.199)
- Firefox 69.0.1 (66.0.3)
- Ubuntu Software 33.0.6-2 (33.0.6)  Files 3.34.0 (3.32.0)
- GCC 9.2.1 (8.3.0)
- glibc 2.30 (2.29)
- OpenSSL 1.1.1. c (1.1.1b)
As soon as you start a computer with 19.10 on it, you will see some of the cosmetic changes. The highlight bar of the user selection is now a light shade of purple, instead of the orange color of earlier versions.
The & # 39; Cancel & # 39; and & # 39; Log in & # 39; Buttons on the password entry screen have also been updated. The "Cancel" button is a kind of pink-magenta and the "Register" button is green.
The "Options" gear remains gray, with the two known options in it. You can start Ubuntu with the Xorg or Wayland display server.
The Yaru theme has been updated and there are many new icons. It is not a massive deviation from the visuals of 19.04, but users coming from earlier versions of Ubuntu see quite a change from the standard theme of Ubuntu Ambiance.
There is a series of new backgrounds as expected, but the background settings have also been improved. When you select a background, you will be prompted to change the background of the desktop, the background of the lock screen, or both at the same time.
Previously, you had to specify whether you set the desktop background or the lock screen wallpaper before choosing the wallpaper. If you wanted the same background on both backgrounds, you had to go through the selection process twice.
You can choose one of your own images as background. Click on the "Add image" button and you can use a file selector to select an image.
After you have added an image to the background selection, it is always available even if you delete the image from your computer. GNOME saves a copy in the folder with wallpapers.
The Night light settings have been moved to their own tab in the "Devices" section of the Settings dialog
The functionality remains the same. You can manually turn the night light on and off and choose a "heat" for the hue applied to your monitor when the night light is on. You can also set a schedule to turn the night light on and off automatically.
If you install the GNOME Tweaks application, you can select a dark version of the Yaru theme. This seems to work very well. Some application windows and screen elements are out of control, but it should satisfy fans of the dark side.
In the application overview, you can drag and drop application icons onto other icons. This groups the icons in the same way as with your iPhone or Android phone.
For example, dragging and dropping the LibreOffice icons on the same icon creates an Office group. However, we could not see a way to rename that group.
There is a new ToDo application. This allows you to create lists of tasks that you can tick while you perform them. You can also set due dates for tasks that have deadlines.
Simple Scan has been updated and renamed. It is now called Document Scanner.
It contains bug fixes, better translations and a new appearance.
LZ4 Compression for faster start-ups  The
initramfs file system loads when Ubuntu starts. The task of this temporary root filesystem is to initialize things far enough so that your real root filesystem – and the rest of the operating system – can boot. The file system
initramfs is compressed.
The faster the decompression can take place, the faster the start-up time. A number of performance tests have been performed to see which compression / decompression algorithm performed the best.
LZ4 compression has become the winner and will become the method used in Ubuntu in the near future.
NVIDIA with closed source Driver & # 39; s in the ISO image
Hold your hats. NVIDIA and Linux have become a bit nicer. Dealing with NVIDIA graphics cards can be a bit tricky in the past, especially if you were stuck installing Ubuntu without an internet connection.
The NVIDIA drivers & # 39; s are now included in the installation images so that they can be installed directly from the live CD. Nouveau's graphic drivers & # 39; s are still the standard, but this will make the end user experience a lot smoother for a large number of Ubuntu users and – more importantly – newcomers.
An end to Flickers for Intel and UEFI users
A specific group of users used to see a few flickers or the screen "flashes" when starting up in Ubuntu. If your computer uses Intel graphics and you started it while UEFI is on, you probably experienced this.
As long as your Intel graphics are fairly modern, new code added to Ubuntu 19.10 should resolve that for you.  Experimental support for the ZFS file system
The ZFS file system is an advanced file system created by Sun Microsystems. It is exceptionally fault-tolerant and combines features that pool, clone, and copy file system and RAID-like functionality, native.
ZFS originally stood for "Zettabyte File System", but it can currently store 256 Zebibytes.
Warning : You must treat this as alpha software. The Ubuntu implementation is not even in beta yet. It is included in 19.10 for tests to be carried out by the curious, fearless and fearless. You may not place on production computers under any circumstances. We recommend that you do not even place it on home computers without a robust backup system. This is really something for "it's reserve, I don't care" just hardware and virtual machines.
The ability to use the ZFS file system appears when you are on the partition options screen. Note that Canonical has the word & # 39; EXPERIMENTAL & # 39; in capital letters and the word & # 39; Warning & # 39; in red. And they're not kidding.
This option appears only on the desktop installation. It is not even in the server installation yet.
That is your only chance to use it.
If you select the "Something else" option and choose to create your own partitions, you will not be given the option to choose ZFS in the file system menu.
The version of
mkfs delivered in 19.10 also does not offer ZFS as an option. ZFS became available in Ubuntu & # 39; s repositories back in Ubuntu 16.04, but it has never been integrated into the installation program before.
RELATED: Which Linux file system should you use?  What Didn & # 39; t the Cut?
The TLP power management tool was originally scheduled to be included, but it failed. TLP offers a wide range of settings for the subsystems of your computer. You can tweak them to maximize the battery life on laptops and to minimize power consumption on desktops.
You can install TLP with this command:
sudo apt install tlp
GSConnect also failed. With GSConnect you can integrate your Android phone with your GNOME desktop. This allows you to transfer files, control your phone from your desktop, view phone notifications on your desktop and much more.
RELATED: How to wirelessly transfer Android files to a Linux desktop
To upgrade or not?
You may find some of the above attractive enough to justify performing an upgrade. Or you cannot wait to be free of a shortcoming or bug in the version of Ubuntu that you are currently using.
Whether you upgrade or not, it's interesting to see Ubuntu 19.10 as a stepping stone to the next LTS version, 20.04, and to see the direction in which Canonical is moving.
Despite the scary warnings this time for the ZFS file system, it would be great to eventually see it as a viable standard file system in future iterations of Ubuntu, and in the broader Linux sphere.