About the hairy hippo. This we know from Ubuntu 21.04

About the hairy hippo

Once released Ubuntu 20.10 Groovy Gorilla, the developers get down to work on the next version. Although it is too early to know what its final characteristics will be (especially with Mark Shuttleworth involved) we can draw some reasonable conclusions about what we may find ourselves with.

About the hairy hippo and its characteristics


It is known that the name of each distribution follows an alphabetical order and that it includes an adjective and an animal. It was the turn of the ax and yesterday it transpired that the chosen adjective was shaggy   (furry).

For fans of statistics let us mention that it is the third distribution that uses the letter H, the first was Hoary Hedgehog in 2005 and the second was Hardy Heron in 2008 and had extended support.

The animal that will accompany the furry adjective is nothing less than the hippopotamus; In other words, the chosen name is Hirsute Hippo.

The hippopotamus is a large semi-aquatic African mammal with thick skin, large jaws, and impressive fangs.

Their name means river horse in Greek and they can run very fast on land up to 30 km / h, and in water up to 8 km / h. Being herbivores, they eat up to 36 kilos of grass per day and an adult male can weigh up to 4,5 tons.

Before they accuse me of putting this data to comply with the minimum number of words that Linux Addicts asks me (We know each other!) I remind you that the animal and the adjective chosen to name each version of Ubuntu tries to represent the characteristics sought for the new version.

I imagine that what the people in charge of Ubuntu are going to look for is that la new version is faster in all environments. But, if you want to make the joke that it is going to be a heavy distro that consumes a lot of resources, you have the comment form below.

Release schedule.

Developing Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo It will begin next Thursday, October 29 and days later the first images will be available that will not vary too much from 20.10

The April 1 (Yes, the day of the Anglo-Saxons fools) the first beta can be downloaded, while lThe final version, if all goes well, will be available on the 22nd of the same month.

Package update

Unless Shuttleworth happens to go back to Unity or switch to KDE (Hopefully God reads Linux Junkies) the main version desktop will be GNOME 3.40 which will be released in March next year. Probably, the Linux kernel version is numbered 5.11. The Python version included could be 3.39.

Faster Snap Packs

If we all agree on something, it is that programs that use the Snap packet format are very slow to start. Hopefully this can change.

Developers are testing the use of a new compression algorithm for Snap that offers a two to threefold improvement in app startup times.

By default, Snap is packaged as a read-only compressed squashfs filesystem using the XZ algorithm. This results in a high level of compression but requires more processing power to decompress and expand the file system for use. Hence the slowness it takes for the application to start up. This is also much more noticeable only on the first launch, before the application data is stored in memory. The following releases this is not so noticeable anymore.

To improve startup times, it was decided to use a different algorithm - LZO - that offers less compression, but requires less processing power to complete the action. It also has a higher level of compatibility with the different scenarios of use of the Snap packages.

The first tests were done with the Chromium browser and gave the following results:

  • The snap compressed with the XZ algorithm weighs 150 MB, while the one using the LZO compression has a size of 250
  • The Snap using the LZO compression algorithm offers 40-74% improvements in cold start over the one using the XZ compression.
  • On Kubuntu 18.04, the LZO-formatted package takes about the same time to boot as the one installed from traditional repositories.
  • In Fedora 32 the LZO-formatted Snap package was faster than the Repository RPM package.

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