As of today, Canonical’s upcoming Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) release is powered by the Linux 5.10 LTS kernel series, which looks to be the kernel used in the final release due out in late April 2021.
It’s official! Ubuntu 21.04 is now powered by Linux kernel 5.10 LTS as the packages landed earlier today in the main archives of the upcoming release. Until today, Ubuntu 21.04 was using the Linux 5.8 kernel used in Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla) and more recently in Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS (Focal Fossa).
After several weeks of testing, it would appear that the Ubuntu Kernel Team decided to give a green light to the Linux kernel 5.10 LTS packages, which were kept in the proposed repositories for proper testing. This is good news for Ubuntu fans, as it looks like Linux kernel 5.10 LTS will be supported until December 2022.
I believe many of you have hoped for Ubuntu 21.04 to ship with a much newer kernel, such as the recently released Linux 5.11. But since the Feature Freeze stage is knocking at the door, due on February 25th, and the fact that there’s only a little over a month before the Kernel Freeze stage on April 8th, it looks like the Ubuntu devs decided to stick with a well-tested and long-term supported kernel.
In addition to upgrading the kernel to Linux 5.10 LTS, the Ubuntu devs also enabled the Wayland session by default on the Ubuntu Desktop flavor. This move was publicly announced by the development team last month, and the plan is to ship the final Ubuntu 21.04 release with Wayland as default session.
As you can see in the images below, Wayland is now the default session. The Xorg session is still available, but it’s now an option in the login screen, which you can select from the cogwheel icon in the right bottom corner when clicking on your username, before entering your password.
Besides Linux kernel 5.10 LTS and Wayland by default, the final release of Ubuntu 21.04 (Hiruste Hippo) will ship with the GNOME 3.38 desktop environment and Python 3.9 by default, as well as many up-to-date core components including GNU C Library 2.33, GCC 10.2.1, and LLVM 12.
The final release of Ubuntu 21.04 will be available on April 22nd, 2021, while the beta version should be ready for public testing on April Fools’ Day. Ubuntu 21.04 will be supported for only nine months, until February 2022.
Last updated 2 weeks ago