First look: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

New graphical bells and whistles, plus security improvements

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
Credit: Wikimedia Commons\CC License\Michail Jungierek
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, or Trusty Tahr, is here

The first long-term-support release of the popular Linux-based Ubuntu operating system since 2012’s Precise Pangolin (version 12.04) has arrived. Here’s a look at a few things that have changed in that time.

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
Credit: muktware.org
Better window menus, anti-aliasing

Local integration for menus means that those important drop-downs no longer get exiled to the top of the screen, appearing instead on the title bar. Also, their corners should look smoother, thanks to the use of GTK3, rather than the older Compiz plugin, to draw them.

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
Credit: OMGUbuntu
New lockscreen

It’s over on the LEFT now, in another new Unity twist.

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
Credit: YouTube.com
Live window re-sizing

Instead of snapping to the new border, windows re-size themselves as you drag. According to OMGUbuntu, this isn’t a new feature per se, but it is newly enabled by default.

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
Credit: Wikimedia Commons\CC License\Robert Dodier
Pollinate

New to Ubuntu 14.04 is Pollinate, an ingenious cloud-based pseudo-random number generator, which pulls entropy from a remote source. Creator Dustin Kirkland calls it “entropy-as-a-service.”

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
Credit: Wikimedia Commons\CC License\Attys
Secure filesystem capabilities enabled by default

Enabling modern, secure systems for handling selective privileges makes those privileges less easily abused by malicious actors. Think of it like legal online music services – it’s providing an easier way to get things done, with the additional benefit that it’s also safer.

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
High DPI optimization

Canonical says that Ubuntu 14.04 will feature improved support for displays with high pixel density – which could prove important as 4K screens begin to gain traction in the market.

Email Jon Gold at jgold@Nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.