With Ubuntu 20.04 LTS done and dusted developer attention now turns towards Ubuntu 20.10 which is due for release on October 22, 2020.

Learn when Ubuntu 20.10 will be released and what new features it will likely include

Now, admittedly, it’s only May; development on the release (which is codenamed ‘Groovy Gorilla’ by the way) is still in the early stages. But we already know a few things including when it will be released, how long it’ll be supported for, and a few of the new features devs are hoping to include.

So keep reading to learn everything you need to know about Ubuntu 20.10 features, changes and improvements. And since this post is updated regularly throughout development feel free to bookmark it now to check on the progress over the next six months!

Ubuntu 20.10 ‘Groovy Gorilla’

Groovy Gorilla

The Ubuntu 20.10 codename is ‘Groovy Gorilla’. While this alliterative combo doesn’t give us as much to go on as previous codenames have it’s gloriously daft enough to result in some great artwork being created in support of the release.

On the topic of support, Ubuntu 20.10 is a short-term release (STR). This means it is supported for 9 months with on-going core bug fixes, security patches, and new app releases …and then nothing.

While this support window may sound short it is in keeping with Ubuntu’s tradition of releasing an LTS every two years, with STRs in-between.

Overall Ubuntu 20.10 will be the 23rd version of this particular Linux-based operating system.

Ubuntu 20.10 Release Date

The Ubuntu 20.10 release date is October 22, 2020.

This date, along with those for other development milestones scheduled to take place over the next six months, is listed on Launchpad, aka the home of Ubuntu development.

Other important milestones in the Groovy Gorilla development cycle include:

  • Testing week: July 3, 2020
  • UI Freeze: September 17, 2020
  • Ubuntu 20.10 Beta: October 1, 2020
  • Kernel Freeze: October 8, 2020
  • Release Candidate: October 15, 2020

Ubuntu 20.10 Features

What sort of new features will Ubuntu 20.10 offer? At the time you read this all of the following is either certain to ship, or very likely.

Like GNOME 3.38, which is due for release in September. This release will sit at the heart of Ubuntu 20.10 and will feature fresh batch of UI and UX tweaks and further performance enhancements.

Other notable improvements in GNOME 3.38 will involve refinements to the new lock screen (don’t get your hopes up for pin unlock, though) and removing the (rather extraneous) ‘Frequent Apps’ section from the Applications grid.

gnome lock screen mockup
Potential lock screen enhancements

GNOME devs also plan to improve spacing of app icons in the Applications grid to make better use of available space on larger, wider, and smaller screens.

Fully-featured fingerprint login is an effort already underway (some of which will find its way back into Ubuntu 20.04 LTS), so expect to see and hear more about that between now and October.

Ubuntu 20.10 is in development with Linux Kernel 5.6 at the time you read this but you should expect it to offer a newer Linux kernel. It’s hard to predict which, but if kernel releases stick to schedule it might just be able to squeeze in Linux 5.8.

The ‘blurry desktop background‘ issue is being tackled (again) for Groovy, as will work to revamp the Software Properties dialog to match up with the mockups produced by Canonical’s design team.

Also on the horizon is support for OEM kernels (i.e. devices sold with Ubuntu). This will include a way of updating OEM packages online and feature “a way to celebrate that you’re on a certified device”.

If you often run command line tasks that take a while you may be interested to hear that devs are mulling over whether to enable ‘process completion’ notifications by default. This is something many other Linux distros, including elementary OS, already provide.

Some things I hope get improved (but probably won’t)

There are a couple of small things I’d like Ubuntu to include/fix/remedy.

For instance, downstream distros based on Ubuntu like Pop!_OS offer a built-in recovery feature. This makes it easy to “factory reset” the system without the hassle of downloading .iso files, and all that jazz. In 2020 it’s bizarre that Ubuntu, aka the most widely used desktop Linux operating system, doesn’t offer something as basic as that.

Also, I can’t be the only person to find the “new” Snap version of Software Center an absolute dumpster fire when trying to find apps, right? Every app search I make sees relevant and unrelated Snap “apps” rank well above the thing I’m actually looking for. It’s frustrating! 😆

Finally, desktop icons.

Oh boy.

This GNOME extension is …bad. It lacks basic, essential features one might expect. I’d go as far as to say that if Ubuntu didn’t ship it …it’d be all the better for it. I mean: why tease me with the veneer of behaving how I expect if it actually can’t? It’s just a let down.

I also find it extremely jarring that desktop icons vanish from view the second the Applications or Activities screens is triggered. A simple fade in/out would feel more fluid. As is, it’s too blunt; I always think it’s a glitch or crash which, given the rest of its deficiencies, is what I’m expecting anyway.

Sidenote — I could probably hammer out an entire article’s worth of little gripes, but that’s enough to be going on with for now!

Download Ubuntu 20.10

Ahead of the official, formal, and final stable release you can download Ubuntu 20.10 daily builds. These builds shouldn’t be considered reliable or used as your only OS but do offer a way to check in on and help test our the upcoming release ahead of its arrival in October.

Download Ubuntu 20.10 Daily Build (64-bit .iso)

What is your own wish/want from Ubuntu 20.10? Let me know in the comments
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