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Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Ubuntu 22.04 to Bring the Desktop to Raspberry Pi 4 2GB Users

 Using Clever Compression Tricks, Ubuntu 22.04 will bring the desktop to Raspberry Pi 4 2GB users.

Ubuntu 22.04 to Bring the Desktop to Raspberry Pi 4 2GB Users

Those who don't want to wait until April may enable zswap and modify the parameters immediately, giving all models a performance boost.

|Sounds great, how do I enable Desktop On Raspberry Pi?

Canonical has announced that zswap, or swap-based memory compression, will be enabled by default for its Raspberry Pi Ubuntu builds, bringing the full desktop experience to the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B 2GB — and has also provided a guide for setting it up yourself if you can't wait for the next release.

Canonical's interest in the Raspberry Pi series of single-board computers was evident when it published Ubuntu 19.10 "Eoan Ermine" with official images for the Raspberry Pi 2, 3, and 4 after promising "complete official support" for the device. Following these server-centric images, Ubuntu 20.10 "Groovy Gorilla" was released, which included a desktop image with a complete graphical user interface as standard for the first time.

The catch: "On a Raspberry Pi 4 (with 4GB or 8GB RAM), you can do everything an ordinary desktop user would expect," Canonical's Rhys Davies said of the release, implying that the 1GB and 2GB devices would be less capable.

Canonical is now looking to add official support for the 2GB model by enabling zswap, a method of improving performance by creating high-priority swap devices that compress currently-unused memory contents to save space without the long delays and potentially excessive write operations that come with a swap file or partition on microSD.

 "Lowering the barrier to entry is one of our aims for the next Ubuntu 22.04 LTS release," says Canonical's Oliver Smith. "This means that Raspberry Pi 4 2GB devices will be targeted for a viable Desktop experience. These enhancements will be enabled by default for all Raspberry Pi 4 devices, including the 400, when Ubuntu 22.04 is released in April."

Those using previous releases, meantime, may use the Ubuntu blog's tutorial to activate zswap right now — and, if wanted, swap out the defaults for those in Ubuntu 22.04, which include the use of LZ4 compression to increase speed even further.

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