Ubuntu is finally getting around to adding TRIM support, a pretty basic feature of most modern OSes. It's an essential command for maintaining the performance and health of solid state drives, since they operate in a fundamentally different way than your standard spinning-platter. This function allows an operating system to tell the drive which chunks of data are no longer necessary and are ready to be erased or over-written. That may sound a little obtuse, but essentially it means the disk needs to perform less writes, resulting in faster performance, longer life and less performance degradation over time. Windows added support way back in 2009, while OS X followed in 2011. Even Android jumped on the bandwagon back in July of this year, but Linux has lagged behind. Experimental support was added to the Linux kernel in 2008, but the feature is turned off by default due to performance concerns. And the option to enable it requires at least a moderate level of command line ninjutsu.
Canonical has put a lot of work into getting TRIM support up to snuff, and finally feels it's ready for prime time. With the next version of Ubuntu, 14.04, it will be enabled by default, finally allowing its dedicated user base to fully realize the benefits of speedy, silent, power-sipping solid state storage. While the move is certainly later than many would have hoped, it comes at an opportune time as the company plans to make a serious mobile push. And, as we all know, solid state reigns supreme in the tablet and smartphone world.