With Ubuntu 19.10 released attention turns to the next major update: Ubuntu 20.04 LTS which is due to be released on April 23, 2020.
Although development work continues we do know when Ubuntu 20.04 is due for release, how long it’ll be supported for, and details on what the update is likely to include.
So read on to learn more details on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS features, changes and improvements. We keep this post updated as development takes place, so bookmark it now!
Ubuntu 20.04 ‘Focal Fossa’
Let’s start at the top: the Ubuntu 20.04 codename is ‘Focal Fossa’.
This is a fitting moniker in many respects. The word ‘Focal’ means ‘centre point’ or ‘most important part’, while Fossa (as fans of the film Madagascar will know) is a cat-like predator native to the island of Madagascar.
Ergo Ubuntu 20.04 is signposted as being both an important update, but also a successful top-tier one too.
Ubuntu 20.04 is the a long-term support (LTS) release of Ubuntu. It follows on from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS launched back in 2018 (and supported until 2023)
Every LTS release is supported for 5 years on the desktop and server and this one is no exception.
More interestingly for businesses and enterprise scenarios is news that this release will be supported for 10 years as an ‘extended maintenance release’ (ESM). ESM status is not free and is tailored towards customers of Ubuntu Advantage.
Ubuntu 20.04 Release Date
The Ubuntu 20.04 release date is April 23, 2020.
This date is listed on Launchpad (where Ubuntu development takes place) and echoed in the release schedule for Ubuntu 20.04 on the Ubuntu wiki.
Other important milestones throughout the Focal Fossa development cycle include (strikethrough means they’ve passed):
Testing week: January 9, 2020 UI Freeze: March 19, 2020
- Ubuntu 20.04 Beta: April 2, 2020
- Kernel Freeze: April 9, 2020
- Release Candidate: April 16, 2020
One important milestone (not yet pencilled in) will be the first Ubuntu 20.04 point release. Why is a point release important? Because it is the point at which users of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS are offered the chance to upgrade (though it is possible to upgrade to 20.04 before then).
Ubuntu 20.04 Features
Tradition dictates that Ubuntu LTS releases stay conservative when it comes to changes and new features, but 20.04 is looking like it will buck that trend slightly.
While there are no super dramatic changes planned — LTS releases only includes features that Ubuntu developers can commit to supporting for five years — there are some notable enhancements and upgrades.
The one you’ll notice right off the bat is the new theme.
Well, a new version of the Yaru theme. This one uses purple as the main accent colour (rather than orange and green as before). Similarly, the colour of folder icons has also been radically altered, as the screenshot above shows.
You can also turn on dark mode in Ubuntu 20.04 from the
Settings > Appearance section. It looks like this:
Keeping with the visual changes there is a brand new default wallpaper which, as you’d expect, boasts a ‘Fossa’ mascot image:
Ubuntu removed the Amazon web launcher from all Ubuntu install images earlier this year, including Focal Fossa. This means there is no Amazon app pre-installed in Ubuntu any more. This is a small change that many users will appreciate greatly.
Talking of applications, the Ubuntu Software store is now a Snap-based version. Don’t let this panic you needlessly: it’s still the same underlying tool based on GNOME Software, but packaged in the Snap format.
Tired of slow calculator loading times? Devs have heard you. Snap versions of the GNOME Calculator, Characters and Logs apps are replaced with the
All of the great new GNOME 3.36 features appear here too, including a stunning new lock and login screen; major performance improvements; and a fine-tuned Status Menu with visible Suspend option.
These, along with other planned changes in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, can be summarised as follows:
- GNOME 3.36, including new lock-screen
- Linux Kernel 5.4
- OEM vendor logo on boot splash
- Improved ZFS install support
- New wallpaper
- Smaller .iso image
- Lightning extension added to Thunderbird
- Multi-monitor support in GDM
- Feral Game mode available in the archive
- Better GNOME Shell performance
This list will grow as development on the Focal Fossa continues.
Download Ubuntu 20.04
You can download Ubuntu 20.04 daily builds directly from the Ubuntu CD image server at the link below:
Choose the ‘current’ daily live builds (i.e. avoid pending ones). Just keep in mind that these images are created by a build system on a daily basis. While they have passed a series of qualitative checks, they shouldn’t be considered stable.
The final stable release of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS goes live on April 23, 2020. A beta release will be available for testing on April 2, 2020.