Like sands through the hour glass, so are the releases of Ubuntu. The folks at Canonical push out a new version of the popular GNU/Linux distribution every six months, and the next one is scheduled to ship April 18th, 2019.
While Ubuntu 19.04 is a relatively minor release, it should include a number of bug fixes and performance enhancements. It’s also the first version of Ubuntu to use the recently-released Linux 5.0 kernel and the default Yaru theme has been updated with better-looking icons for third-party applications.
The main branch of Ubuntu uses the GNOME desktop environment and GNOME 3.32 is included in the latest version of the operating system. But there are also new images that feature alternate desktop environments including Kubuntu (KDE), Lubuntu (LXQt), Xubuntu (Xfce), Ubuntu MATE (MATE), Ubuntu Budgie (Budgie) and UbuntuKylin (for Chinese-language users).
There’s also a new build of Ubuntu Studio, which is a version of the operating system that comes pre-loaded with tools for audio, video, and image creation and editing. The team behind this project hit a bit of a rough patch earlier this month, but the issues seem to have been worked out and Ubuntu Studio will continue to be an official “flavor” of the operating system for the foreseeable future.
One thing to keep in mind about the Ubuntu 19.04 release is that since it’s not an LTS (Long Term Support) release, it’ll only officially be supported for 26 weeks. If you care more about ongoing support than the latest features, you may be better off sticking with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS for a little longer. That version of the operating system will be officially supported through early 2023.
Meanwhile, here’s the release schedule for the next few stable versions of Ubuntu:
- Ubuntu 19.04 stable – April 18, 2019 (26 weeks support)
- Ubuntu 19.10 – October, 2019 (26 weeks support)
- Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – April, 2020 (5 years support)