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I for one am genuinely excited by the latest release of Ubuntu. Canonical is no stranger to controversial decisions, but it feels recent moves – switching back to Gnome, abandoning convergence devices – have enabled it to focus on the core job of making Ubuntu as good as possible.

Despite its comical Bionic Beaver codename, Ubuntu 18.04 will stand as the foundational basis for a plethora of Linux distros with support reaching out for five years. An untold number of servers will rely on its stability and support, while this release delivers the smallest footprint yet from its minimal install.

On Linux Format’s own Bionic Bidwell will guide you through a smooth upgrade from older versions, a smooth install from scratch and a smooth guide around the all-important new features. In the background the kernel moves to 4.15 (so including the essential Spectre and Meltdown patches), the new Gnome desktop is now the default new look, Wayland is an experimental option and there’s a host of updated programs. The rest of 2018 will see all the Ubuntu- based distro updated in turn: we’re expecting Linux Mint 19 to be the next big update and as you’d expect, we’ll be covering that in-depth when it happens.

Of course, there’s a vast world of open source outside of the Ubuntu world and we’re covering as much of it as we possibly can in the rest of the issue. If you’re thinking of building a new PC, we test the new budget AMD Ryzen 3 2200G with its integrated graphics capable of 1080p gaming at a bargain price. Don’t miss our look at how you can try quantum computing now, from the comfort of your own home. We explore open source content management systems, create multiple Wordpress sites, explore container technology, run classic Atari St systems, sort out your tasks and loads more, so enjoy!

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