With 20.10 Groovy Gorilla, Canonical has added full desktop support for the Pi 4. Martin Wimpress, Canonical’s director of engineering for the Ubuntu Desktop, says this means the Pi is now a “first-class citizen.” Canonical guarantees the same level of integration, QA, and support from kernel to userspace that it does for an x86 PC.
This is great news for Pi owners.
Weird timing on this update as I bought a Pi 4 a few weeks ago and, while experimenting with the many Linux distros available for the device, I was disappointed to find the only option for Ubuntu was the Server version. After several days of experimentation, I returned to the Canonical website to find the desktop version of Ubuntu suddenly available to download.
After several minutes of wondering how in the world I’d missed it days earlier, I downloaded it, flashed it to my micro SD, and got the Pi up and running.
I’m getting solid performance out of the 4GB Pi running 20.10. GNOME chugs occasionally but it’s far from unusable and I’m confident it’ll get better with this new partnership between Pi Foundation and Canonical.