If you’re an Ubuntu consumer who prefers stability and lengthy OS cycles, you’ve most likely skipped the Ubuntu 19.04 and 19.10 interim releases. So in the event you’ve not too long ago upgraded to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, you’ve undoubtedly observed how a lot quicker and responsive your desktop is now — even when working it from a Live USB — in comparison with Ubuntu 18.04. That’s as a result of heaps of refined enhancements by Canonical and the GNOME desktop workforce all through the final 2 years provides as much as dramatic increase in usability and efficiency. And a few of these tweaks are downright science-y!
You might have sorely missed Unity when Canonical changed it with Gnome three.28 in Ubuntu 18.04. That’s as a result of even when Ubuntu 19.04 shipped, Canonical itself admitted that Gnome “feels slower than Unity and other desktops” — even on a high-end PC.
Beginning with Ubuntu 19.10 final 12 months, Canonical doubled down on making substantial Gnome three.34 desktop enhancements, paying particular consideration to responsiveness and total velocity. This continued with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and Gnome three.36.
Here’s an abbreviated rationalization of what’s occurred because you put in Ubuntu 18.04:
Ubuntu 19.10 And Gnome three.34: Killing The Latency
When Ubuntu 19.10 was launched, I wrote that upgrading to it felt like upgrading to a FreeSync or G-Sync show. Something dramatic and borderline magical had occurred, however what?
Canonical’s Daniel Van Vugt defined that they began searching for out “cold spots.” Think of a chilly spot as Gnome Shell sitting idle for even a couple of milliseconds when it needs to be updating the body being displayed onscreen.
To do that, the workforce performed real-time efficiency evaluation utilizing Google Profiler. Combined with Intel’s Mesa driver, they have been capable of pinpoint the place the CPU or GPU had “stalled,” leading to elevated visible latency. You may consult with it as “lag.” And these milliseconds add up.
This led to the zapping of quite a few bugs, together with one which triggered Xorg classes to be one body “laggier” than Wayland classes. Want to learn the technical stuff? Click right here. Or learn Daniel Van Vugt’s full weblog put up from final 12 months.
Ubuntu 20.04 And Gnome three.36: Fire Photons!
Let’s begin with the photon angle, and I’ll quote the sensible Van Vugt immediately:
“An animation is just when something moves through both time and space. But even animations that didn’t skip frames (were smooth in time) weren’t looking as smooth as they could be. Now we sync those positions to the strict interval your screen will emit the photons on, so there’s a slight improvement in visible smoothness. And since we’re now being very specific about when photons get emitted we can synchronise the screen contents more closely to the mouse pointer (which is actually separate to the screen contents). So when you drag windows around in Ubuntu 20.04 they will stick to the mouse pointer more closely.”
There are numerous different small however fascinating tweaks to Gnome three.36, together with decreasing the quantity of RAM consumed by show scaling, smoother window sliding animations, and quicker loading of the icon grid.
Like I at all times say: it’s the little issues. Collectively, these mix to make Ubuntu 20.04 (and naturally all different distros that use the latest Gnome desktop) really feel gloriously responsive.
If you’re leaping from Ubuntu 18.04 to Ubuntu 20.04, benefit from the improve. The distinction is like night time and day.
(By the best way, Van Vugt has additionally linked on to the zapped bugs so you possibly can observe the progress with your personal eyes.)