Canonical released today the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) operating system as their 8th LTS (Long-Term Support) release and 32nd Ubuntu release overall.
Six months in development, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is dubbed as “Focal Fossa” and comes with a 10-year support promise from Canonical, until year 2030. It’s the most advanced Ubuntu Linux release yet, on both desktop and server, brining many of the latest GNU/Linux technologies and latest software.
One of the biggest new features of the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS release is the latest and greatest GNOME 3.36 desktop environment, which introduces numerous new features and enhancements you can check out in my detailed report here.
Ubuntu 20.04 LTS also comes with a new graphical boot splash that also integrates with the system BIOS logo. This means the next time you’ll boot your Ubuntu PC after upgrading to Focal Fossa a new logo should be displayed during boot.
On top of that, the default Yaru theme saw a much-needed refresh during this cycle and it now looks cooler than ever before. There’s even an easier way to switch between Light and Dark themes, from Settings > Appearance.
But not all the new features of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS are visible. Another big change in the Focal Fossa release is the inclusion of the Linux 5.4 LTS kernel series. Not only this kernel will be supported upstream for the next two years, but it also brings dozens of changes compared to previous kernels.
For example, there’s built-in support for the next-generation WireGuard VPN solution, support for Intel Comet Lake CPUs, AMD Navi 12 and 14 GPUs, AMD Arcturus and Renoir APUs, support for the exFAT file system, support for all Raspberry Pi devices, and better support for Nvidia GPUs as the Nvidia proprietary drivers are now included in the ISO image.
Significant power-saving improvements are present as well, and the kernel and initramfs are now using the LZ4 compression algorithm by default for even faster boot times. GameMode from Feral Interactive is included as well in this release for a boost when gaming.
Also improved is the network support, which now features the ability to add Wi-Fi flags for bssid, band, and channel settings, support for GSM modems, the ability to set IPv6 address generation, and basic support for configuring SR-IOV network devices.
Ubuntu 20.04 LTS also features a Snap Store app as default graphical package management tool for finding, installing, updating and removing packages from the system. Snap Store has replaced the Ubuntu Software app used in previous releases.
As far as the installer goes, it suffered a few changes too. The most visible being improved ZFS support, which now offers native encryption with hardware acceleration enabled, device removal, pool TRIM, sequential scrub and resilver, and a new dialog in the partitioning screen.
Security-wise, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS includes Secure Boot support to safeguard against low level attacks, Fast ID Online (FIDO) support to social engineering attacks and provide universal multi-factor and passwordless authentication, as well as Kernel Self Protection measures for stack-clash protection and to ensure control flow integrity.
Under the hood, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS features an up-to-date toolchain consisting of some of the latest GNU/Linux technologies like GNU C Library 2.31, GCC 9.3, Python 3.8.2, Mesa 20.0, PHP 7.4, BlueZ 5.53, PulseAudio 14.0, Perl 5.30, OpenJDK 11, Golang 1.13, and rustc 1.41.
On the server side of things, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS ships with Apache with built-in TLS 1.3 support, Bind 9.16, Chrony 3.5, dpdk 19.11.1 LTS, HAProxy 2.0, isc-kea 1.6, libvirt 6.0, OpenSSH 8.2, Open vSwitch 2.13, PostgreSQL 12, QEMU 4.2, Ruby 2.7, Ruby on Rails 5.2.3, and Samba 4.11.
To download Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) right now from the official website, click the button below. If you want to upgrade from Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) or a previous release check out this tutorial. If you want to know what’s new in other official Ubuntu flavors, read all about them here.
Last updated 12 months ago