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The Ubuntu 20.04 LTS codename has been revealed on Launchpad, home of Ubuntu development.

Following Ubuntu 19.10 ‘Eoan Ermine’, the next version of Ubuntu will, as expected, be based around the letter “F”.

But it’s not going to be Feral Ferret, Famous Fox or Finicky Falcon. No, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is codenamed the “Focal Fossa“.

And I think it’s a fabulously fitting title.

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS: Focal Fossa

Most of us have barely had time to explore the exuberant excesses of the Eoan Ermine release and yet, development never stops.

As convention dictates, each Ubuntu codename combines an adjective and an animal (real or otherwise), alliteratively.

And for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS that combination is “focal”, and “fossa” — but what do these words mean?

Well, the nearest available dictionary tells me that “Focal” is an adjective related ‘to the centre or most important part’.

That’s a pretty fitting term given that Ubuntu 20.04 is the next long-term support release of Ubuntu, backed by 5 years of updates on the desktop and 10 years in Extended Support Maintenance, i.e. it’s going to become the centrepiece of Canonical’s software portfolio.

But what’s a fossa? How does that fit in?

Zoologists and avid National Geographic watchers amongst will know (I didn’t) that a fossa is “a cat-like, carnivorous mammal” that lives in Madagascar.

As the largest mammalian carnivore in Madagascar (a huge place, so no mean feat) the fossa is canny choice for the new codename.

Because, like a fossa, Ubuntu is a dominant player; skilful and adept; aware and adaptive. Exactly the qualities the next LTS release needs.

What to expect in 20.04 LTS?

Long Term Support releases of Ubuntu are the most widely used, from home desktops to mission critical clouds. We’re talking millions and millions of users.

As such, stability, predictability and reliability are central to the LTS ethic.

This means you shouldn’t expect Ubuntu 20.04 LTS to introduce any major new features. There’ll be improvements, of course, but the focus is on creating a true foundation on which other people, companies and services can stand.

Eoan’s experimental ZFS support will likely be in a more tangible shape; GNOME 3.36 will likely make up the core desktop experience; and there’ll be new kernel, updated apps, and better hardware support.

Are you a fan of this codename, or would you have preferred something a touch more fervent? Let me (and other folks) know in the comments downstairs.

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