The Raspberry Pi, versatile Linux-based single-board computers, are about to become more powerful thanks to the upcoming Ubuntu 22.04 LTS release. Is that the popular operating system for desktops plans to bring tweaks to improve performance on these computers, according to Canonical.
Currently, the recommendation of Ubuntu developers is that the user opts for models with 4 GB or 8 GB of RAM to make sure that everything will work properly. Now, this barrier to entry must be removed in order for the system to run on more modest models, such as the 2GB Raspberry Pi 4.
This will be possible thanks to a change in the Linux kernel to zswap, a novelty that compresses blocks of memory instead of relying entirely on a swap file. In these cases, the contents of RAM are moved in and out of a swap area on the internal storage.
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Consequences of change in Raspberry Pi 4
With the novelty, the amount of I/O operations that can occur will be reduced, something fundamental for Raspberrys that use simple SD cards as the main unit. Memory compression also increases CPU usage, so Ubuntu will only take this new feature on more modern boards, after all the old ones wouldn’t have enough processing to handle the change.
Canonical should also increase how many objects can be compressed, starting from a allocator called z3fold, which will use a different compression algorithm than the original (lz4). This change combined with zswap should greatly optimize how Ubuntu Desktop works on small PCs.
Ubuntu 22.04 is due for release in April 2022, and these changes will be enabled by default on all Raspberry Pi 4 devices. Anyone who already has a device with configurations above the minimum requirements can download the 20.04 LTS system and try one of the most popular distros. from Linux.