The latest version of Ubuntu Linux is out today, and it’s a long term support release, which means that it’ll receive 5 years of official support from Canonical.
Ubuntu 20.04 LTS will be supported through April, 2025. As such, there’s more of a focus on stability and performance than flashy new features — especially if you’re comparing the OS to the most recent version that came out just six months ago.
But this is the first LTS release since Ubuntu 18.04 came out, folks who are upgrading from that version will probably notice some bigger changes.
Under the hood, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS featured the Linux 5.4 kernel with better support for new hardware including improved support for USB 3.2 and USB Type-C ports, support for the latest chips from Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm. There’s also support for RISC-V processors, and you can run Ubuntu 20.04 on most recent Raspberry Pi computers.
Canonical has also added built-in support for the Wireguard VPN and the company says the updated Linux kernel also brings power saving and boot speed improvements.
Other changes in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS include:
- The default desktop environment is now GNOME 3.36, which brings a new lock screen, UI changes, performance enhancements, and support for X11 fractional scaling.
- The Yaru theme has been updated with support for light and dark theme modes.
- The Ubuntu Software store is now a snap app — Canonical says the Snap Store will replace ubuntu-software as the default app store/package manager. You can still install .deb files manually, but searching the store will only show snap packages.
- The Amazon website launcher is no longer included by default.
- There’s no 32-bit version of Ubuntu anymore, but some 32-bit libraries are still included in order to support Steam, Wine, and other apps and games that require them.
Some core applications have also been updated, so Ubuntu 20.04 ships with Firefox 75, LibreOffice 6.4, Thunderbird 68.7.0, and a bunch of other updated packages.
If the GNOME desktop environment isn’t your thing, you can always replace it — or download one of the official flavors of Ubuntu with an alternate desktop environment: