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Ubuntu 21.04 is here!

"For developers and innovators, Ubuntu 21.04 delivers Wayland and Flutter for smoother graphics and clean, beautiful, design-led cross-platform development."

Heres living proof that screen sharing works now. macOS with Screen Sharing to Ubuntu 21.04. Zero Setup. Just enable Screen Sharing in settings.

Ubuntu 21.04 desktop over macOS Screen Sharing app (essentially VNC).

Ubuntu 21.04 is the latest version of the Ubuntu operating system for desktop PCs and laptops with nine months, until January 2022, of security and maintenance updates. It was released on 22nd April 2021.

TL:DR— If you need the latest released edition of Ubuntu, this is for you but read the release notes before jumping in!

Ubuntu is a Linux distribution based on Debian. The default desktop is GNOME, a free and open-source desktop environment for Unix-like operating systems. The defauilt window manager in 21.04 is Wayland, a modern simpler and more secure window manager than the X Window System (X11). 21.04 finally delivers upstream fixes for issues with desktop sharing due to Wayland support.

Canonical released Ubuntu 21.04 with native Microsoft Active Directory integration, Wayland graphics by default, and a Flutter application development SDK. Separately, Canonical and Microsoft announced performance optimization and joint support for Microsoft SQL Server on Ubuntu.

"Canonical’s desktop solutions are cost-effective, easy to manage at scale, and simple to integrate with enterprise systems. For our 100,000 police officers, Ubuntu is user-friendly, reliable, and delivers the requisite privacy and security without additional third-party solutions. Ubuntu is our operating system of choice"

Wayland: a smoother graphics experience

Ubuntu 21.04 uses Wayland by default, a significant leap forward in security. Firefox, OBS Studio and many applications built with Electron and Flutter take advantage of Wayland automatically, for smoother graphics and better fractional scaling.

Flutter

Flutter SDK snap build integration makes it easy to publish your multi-platform Flutter app for one-click install by millions of Linux desktop users.

"Canonical has been a fantastic contributor to Flutter, enabling Linux desktop support in Flutter and opening up the opportunity to bring high-quality Flutter apps to Linux. We look forward to our continued partnership in making Flutter the best choice for app developers, no matter which platform they target,"

New dark theme provides a refreshed user experience

21.04 includes a redesigned dark theme, Yaru, with accessibility improvements in navigation, and new file icons. Yaru is maintained by the community, backed by Canonical.

Upgrading

From 21.10 launch a terminal and $ sudo do-release-upgrade -d. Pay attention to the questions, reboot at the end, and welcome to Hirsute Hippo!

Is Wayland being used?

Wayland doesn't work perfectly with NVIDIA based graphics. Not an issue for me, but you can check if you are using Wayland easily enough

$  echo $XDG_SESSION_TYPE
wayland

Enable screen sharing on Wayland

Wayland has been available in Ubuntu for some time, however popular mechanisms for making screen sharing work did not support it. An upstream fix was made a while ago to the underlying tools, but took until now to be made available. It is frustrating that such a mainstream operating system requirement was absent. Looking over at macOS for example, which has had secure screen sharing for decades, it seems inconceivable that Ubuntu could have been released without it, blocking adoption of Wayland for many. Yet it was. Glad its fixed.

No Screen sharing before 21.04 in Wayland.
Quite a big upgrade to add one setting - Screen sharing in 21.10

Resources

Ubuntu 21.04 is available from Ubuntu downloads.