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What’s New in Ubuntu 24.04 LTS for Microsoft/Azure Users


on 29 April 2024

Canonical recently announced the release of Ubuntu 24.04 LTS, codenamed “Noble Numbat”. This update underscores Ubuntu’s ongoing commitment to enhancing performance and security, focusing on optimizing developer productivity. The latest version features an optimized Linux kernel 6.8 and significant system management upgrades as detailed in the release notes. In this blog post, we highlight the key features and improvements that Ubuntu 24.04 LTS brings to the table, specifically tailored for users of Microsoft/Azure.

Unified marketplace offering

Ubuntu 24.04 LTS introduces a consolidated Azure Marketplace experience. Easily find the official Ubuntu images created by Canonical and endorsed by Microsoft for Azure, all under a single offering: ubuntu-24_04-lts. This simplification aids your search and selection process, helping you choose the right image for your needs and ensuring optimal compatibility and performance. You can explore the Ubuntu 24.04 images on the Azure Marketplace.

Optimized for Azure

Ubuntu 24.04 LTS is finely tuned to enhance performance on Azure infrastructure, ensuring that the Ubuntu images are fully compatible and support the latest cloud features as they are released. This optimization boosts system efficiency, speed, and reliability. Integration with Azure Guest Patching and the Update Management Center facilitates streamlined and continuous system updates, thereby reinforcing the overall security and stability of Ubuntu deployments.

Enhanced developer toolchains

.NET 8 is available from launch day on Ubuntu 24.04 LTS, directly accessible through the official Ubuntu feeds. This collaboration between Canonical and Microsoft facilitates seamless integration of the latest .NET enhancements for developers. The release also features optimized container images for .NET 8, improving efficiency in both development and deployment workflows. These updates streamline package management and enhance application performance, providing a robust environment tailored for .NET developers using Ubuntu. (Read more in this Microsoft’s blog post).

The commitment to developer productivity also extends to other popular programming languages, including TCK-certified Java versions and the latest Rust toolchains, enhancing support and smoothing the development experience.

Confidential Computing

Ubuntu continues to lead in confidential computing with support for Confidential VMs, including capabilities for confidential AI. This is facilitated by utilizing advanced hardware security extensions such as AMD’s 4th Gen EPYC processors with SEV-SNP and NVIDIA H100 Tensor Core GPUs. These features help safeguard data at runtime from system vulnerabilities and unauthorized access, making them particularly suitable for AI training and data inference involving sensitive information.

Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)

Ubuntu 24.04 LTS brings notable enhancements to its WSL integration, aligning more closely with cloud-init, the industry standard for cross-platform cloud instance initialization. This integration allows users to automatically and reproducibly configure their WSL instances upon the first boot, streamlining the setup process significantly. This version also sees a reduction in image size by 200MB, making downloads and installations faster. Furthermore, systemd is now enabled by default in all instances, whether launched directly via the wsl.exe command or from an imported root file system, ensuring a consistent experience across different usage scenarios.

Wrapping up

As we explore the capabilities of Ubuntu 24.04 LTS, Microsoft/Azure users will experience an integration that is tailored to current technological needs and equipped for upcoming developments. This version is supported for up to 12 years, providing a stable and reliable foundation that enterprises and developers can rely on for long-term projects and innovation.

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