The wait is finally over! Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla) is now available and you can download it right now if you want to upgrade to this new release or just take it for a test drive to discover the new features.
Dubbed Groovy Gorilla, Ubuntu 20.10 has been in development for the past six months, continuing the six-month release cycle of Ubuntu. It supersedes the previous release, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa), though being a long-term support series many will prefer not to upgrade since they’ll receive free updates for at least 4 and a half more years.
What’s new in Ubuntu 20.10? Well, being a short-lived release supported for only nine months, Ubuntu 20.10 comes with a handful of new features, including the latest and greatest GNOME 3.38 desktop environment which I previewed last month if you’re curious to see the differences from GNOME 3.36 used in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.
Probably the coolest new feature of Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla) is the fact that it’s the first Ubuntu release to feature desktop images for the Raspberry Pi 4 single-board computer. However, the Raspberry Pi 4 desktop images are built only for the AArch64 (ARM64) architecture and models with at least 4GB of RAM.
Canonical says that the new Raspberry Pi desktop images may work on Raspberry Pi 4 models with less than 4GB of RAM, as well as Raspberry Pi 3 or 2 models, but they are not officially supported.
In addition, Ubuntu 20.10 offers both desktop and server images for the newly released Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 board. Like with the new Raspberry Pi 4 desktop images, Canonical supports only models with 4GB of RAM or higher for the desktop image.
“In this release, we celebrate the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s commitment to put open computing in the hands of people all over the world,” said Mark Shuttleworth, CEO of Canonical. “We are honored to support that initiative by optimizing Ubuntu on the Raspberry Pi, whether for personal use, educational purposes or as a foundation for their next business venture.”
Furthermore, Ubuntu 20.10 enables USB and network boot for all supported Raspberry Pi models using the same procedure as the official Raspberry Pi OS, while the U-Boot boot loader remains an option in this release as it’s considered deprecated. If you upgrade from Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, the U-Boot boot loader will not be removed.
Software-wise, Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla) is powered by the Linux 5.8 kernel for better hardware support and comes with up-to-date core components and applications. Among these, there’s the Mozilla Firefox 81 web browser, LibreOffice 7.0.2 office suite, and Mozilla Thunderbird 78.3.2 email client.
This is also the first release of Ubuntu to use nftables, a subsystem of the Linux kernel that provides filtering and classification of network packets, datagrams, and frames, as default backend for the firewall rather than iptables, and support for Active Directory (AD) logins, a feature implemented in the Ubuntu installer.
Ubuntu 20.10 also brings support for Ubuntu Certified devices as more workstations powered by Ubuntu now receive out of the box biometric identification support and 2-in-1 devices like Dell XPS 2-in-1 and Lenovo Yoga with on screen keyboards are now fully supported.
Under the hood, Ubuntu 20.10 uses some of the latest GNU/Linux technologies, such as GNU C Library (glibc) 2.32, GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) 10, LLVM 11, Python 3.8.6, BlueZ 5.55, Golang 1.13, OpenJDK 11, PHP 7.4.9, Perl 5.30, Ruby 2.7.0, rustc 1.41, Samba 4.12, QEMU 5.0, and libvirt 6.6.
On the server side of things, Ubuntu 20.10 introduces Samba and QEMU support for the liburing library, a new mechanism for asynchronous I/O in the Linux kernel, as well as the telegraf package for stronger and more reliable monitoring. LXD 4.6 and MicroK8s 1.19 are included as well for resilient micro clouds, a new class of infrastructure for on-demand compute at the edge.
You can download Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla) right now from the official website using the direct download links below. While you’re downloading it, you can check out what’s new in the official Ubuntu flavors.
Last updated 7 months ago