Ubuntu is an open-source GNU/Linux distribution based on Debian developed by Canonical Ltd. The first release was Ubuntu 4.10 (Warty Warthog) in October 2004. Ubuntu is an excellent distro and a good Windows and macOS alternative.
Ubuntu is a highly customizable, feature-rich operating system with solid performance. And it is free. The latest Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa) (LTS) Long-term Support version comes with various improvements and newer versions of the Linux kernel and GNOME desktop environment.
If you are looking for a Windows or macOS alternative then Ubuntu will be a great start. It’s free and offers 5 years of support for every LTS version. It’s easy to learn and a good fit for those who are looking for a change of pace.
What’s New In Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa
Like every Ubuntu release, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS comes with a selection of the latest and greatest software developed by the free software community. This LTS version has gone through various changes and improvements under the hood.
- Ubuntu 20.04 LTS comes with long-term supported Linux Kernel 5.4.
- It has refreshed the state-of-the-art toolchain including new upstream releases of
- Glibc 2.31
- OpenJDK 11
- Rustc 1.41
- GCC 9.3
- Python 3.8.2
- Ruby 2.7.0
- PHP 7.4
- Perl 5.30
- Golang 1.13.
- GNOME 3.36
- New lock screen design.
- New system menu design.
- New app folder design.
- Smoother performance, lower CPU usage
- 10-bit deep color support.
- X11 fractional scaling.
- Mesa 20.0 OpenGL stack
- BlueZ 5.53
- PulseAudio 14.0 (prerelease)
- Firefox 75.0
- Thunderbird 68.7.0
- LibreOffice 6.4
- Support for GSM modems via the NetworkManager
- Adding WiFi flags for bssid/band/channel settings.
- ZFS 0.8.3
- Python3 by default
- Snap Store
Ubuntu is a well-optimized Linux distro. Ubuntu can be run on any decent hardware. It is more obvious that better hardware will give a better user experience. But the recommended system requirements for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS are not a big demand. It requires
- 2 GHz dual-core processor or better
- 4 GB system memory
- 25 GB of free hard drive storage
- Internet access is helpful
- Either a DVD drive or a USB port for the installer media
Download Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
Click the link below to download the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.
GNOME Desktop Environment
GNOME is the default desktop environment on Ubuntu. Ubuntu has been using GNOME since version 17.10. Ubuntu uses GNOME Shell as well as maintaining the Ubuntu look. The vanilla GNOME is slightly different from the Ubuntu GNOME. Ubuntu has a taskbar on the left side of the screen maintaining the traditional Unity desktop look.
Unity was Ubuntu’s default desktop environment developed by Canonical. Unity was used until version 17.04. All of a sudden Canonical decided to cut off the development of Unity and switched to GNOME. The non-LTS version of Ubuntu 17.10 has the GNOME DE as the default DE and the 18.04 LTS has it since then.
This Ubuntu 20.04 LTS shipped with the new GNOME 3.36 with various feature improvements. It has been implemented with a new lock screen design, a new system menu design, and a new app folder design. The performance is a lot smoother than GNOME 3.28 and CPU usage is also lower than before. GNOME 3.36 supports 10-bit deep color and X11 fractional scaling which is a great advantage for high-end monitors.
Look and Feel
Ubuntu is a versatile desktop operating system. The user interface is very intuitive, clean, and beautiful. Though there are some options not available out-of-the-box, we will do those later on. Ubuntu 20.04 LTS comes with various visual improvements, themes, icons, and dark modes. Better animations, transitions, and optimization.
Ubuntu 20.04 appearance has changed a lot since Ubuntu 18.04. The Ambiance theme of Ubuntu 18.04 was not that eye-catching but this time Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Yaru theme looks great. Yaru has three different appearances.
In the settings, go for appearance where you can see Light, Standard, and Dark modes. Light will make everything white, Standard mode has a nice dark topbar and white background app, and the Dark mode makes everything dark. I like the Standard mode but the Dark mode is also beautiful and elegant. Light mode isn’t that great at least for me.
Ubuntu 20.04 has far better animations than 18.04. When we saw the last LTS release 18.04, the animations were a bit sluggish. Transitions are now improved and the overall experience is great.
The UI Elements are significantly improved over the last LTS version 18.04. The window border looks much more modern now, the fonts are improved, and the rest of the UI elements or controls look stunning.
If you are upgrading from 18.04 then you will immediately notice the differences. The Ubuntu team has brought up a lot of changes in 20.04. Ubuntu’s new look follows the material design concept which I think is a good step forward.
New Ubuntu 20.04 has come up with a nice-looking icon pack. The icons look much better and more modern compared to 18.04. The colors are vivid and the overall design is great. Though the default icon pack does not contain a vast number of icons, there is always room for third-party themes & icons to play around with.
The lock screen is redesigned in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. It feels modern and more polished. In Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, the lock screen was a bit annoying. You needed to swipe up the clock to enter your password. The password area was also not that great as it sometimes missed to get focus on the text box.
But this time, the Ubuntu team made it more fluent. Now you don’t need to swipe up, just press any key or click the mouse button, enter your password, and press enters to log back in.
Other Small Changes
When I was using Ubuntu 20.04 LTS for the first time, I noticed many small changes here and there. The settings app is changed a bit. The upper Panel area is completely changed. Last time it was transparent but now it’s black. The notification center now has a Do Not Disturb button so that you can get rid of annoying notifications. The settings and shutdown menu have also been redesigned. The file manager app is also changed. This time it looks much better and more modern.
If you use the HiDPI monitor, you can now finally adjust the scaling with Fractional scaling. In the settings, you can choose between 125, 150, 175, and 200% scaling vs 100 and 200 before. However, this fractional scaling seems to be a little raw as it didn’t work for me in VirtualBox and also didn’t work with multiple monitor setup. Anyway, I consider it a great improvement and hopefully, the scaling functionality will be getting better over time with updates.
You will also notice right away that Ubuntu 20.04 installs faster and boots faster than 18.04.
This is the boot time of my Ubuntu 18.04.
And here is the boot time of Ubuntu 20.04.
The difference is small but it is in favor of Ubuntu 20.04. Ubuntu 20.04 also brings a flicker-free boot experience which is also very pleasing visually.
You will also notice that there is no Amazon icon in the dock anymore. Many users do not like that Amazon button and even hate Ubuntu for that. I hope they will appreciate this move to Ubuntu.
So, Ubuntu 20.04 has many visual changes that are extremely appealing.
Ubuntu Software Center
Ubuntu Software Center is the default utility tool that helps install, purchase, and remove software in Ubuntu. Ubuntu SC uses Snap packages as well as Ubuntu’s software repositories. But the main priority here is the Snap packages.
Snap Packages are different from normal app packages. Snap apps hold a container of all the dependencies where the normal apps use the shared dependencies. Snaps have advantages as well as disadvantages.
For example, Snap packages contain all the dependencies individually that prevent other apps from being untouched or not getting broken. But it comes with a bigger file size. As these packages do not use any shared library, everything is used within the app container. So, every Snap package downloads the same library for every single one of them.
Ubuntu’s default web browser is Firefox. Firefox is a great web browser and pretty much every Linux distros have it as its default web browser. There are some exceptions like Elementary OS which uses Epiphany web browser as their default.
Firefox is a modern and feature-rich web browser and I like it. But recently I felt that it has some optimization issues and is a bit resource hungry. The performance is more or less the same. Ubuntu 20.04 is packed with Firefox 75 which was released just before the release of Ubuntu 20.04.
Thunderbird Mail is the default mail client for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. It is designed by Mozilla and a global community working together. It is a standard mail client but the overall look is a bit outdated. It is easy to set up emails and configure them using POP3 or IMAP.
LibreOffice is the most popular open-source office program in the Linux community. Ubuntu always comes with LibreOffice as their default office program. It is completely open-source and developed by The Document Foundation on 25 January 2011.
LibreOffice is highly compatible with Open Document Formats as well as Microsoft Office Document Formats. By default, Ubuntu does not support Microsoft fonts. So, you need to install Microsoft fonts before working with any document that uses Microsoft fonts.
You can follow the instructions to install Microsoft Fonts on Linux.
A Transmission is a utility tool that helps you to download files from torrents. It’s a simple open-source torrent client application. All the basic functionalities are available. You can add torrents, pause, or delete them. You can also queue your downloads and manage them according to your needs.
Ubuntu also has its basic applications to do certain tasks like viewing photos, playing videos, and music. By default, Ubuntu uses Rhythmbox to play music, Totem Video Player to play videos, Image Viewer, and Shotwell to view and manage photos. It has a built-in Archive Manager for compressed files, Remmina is a Remote Desktop Client, and many more.
If we compare Ubuntu 20.04 with 18.04, we will see major performance improvements. You can feel the smoothness right at the beginning from the USB live stick. The installation process and booting are a lot faster than before. Thanks to the new Linux Kernel 5.4 and GNOME 3.36.
When we saw Canonical decided to ditch Unity and go with GNOME 3.28 in Ubuntu 18.04, at that time GNOME was laggier than Unity even on a high-end PC.
This forced Canonical to give substantial attention to the development of GNOME 3.34 at the beginning of Ubuntu 19.10, improving responsiveness and overall speed. This continued with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and GNOME 3.36.
If we look at the image below, we will see there is a big difference between 20.04 and 18.04. Ubuntu 20.04 LTS consumes less RAM than 18.04 and also uses less CPU and GPU resources. This is a huge improvement gained in Ubuntu 20.04.
Can I Game On Ubuntu
Ubuntu is a popular Linux distro with a vast community on the web. Canonical decided to release only the 64-bit version of Ubuntu. This news had shaken the community hard. As most legacy applications and games require 32-bit libraries to function properly.
WINE is a big project that requires 32-bit libraries to run windows apps and games. The WINE developers were working on WINE64 but many 64-bit applications use 32-bit installers or some 32-bit components. That’s why 32-bit libraries are needed even though WINE64 can handle the 32-bit architecture.
Steam on the other hand also uses 32-bit libraries to run games on Linux. After announcing its dropping support for 32-bit, Valve also stated that they will also drop support for Ubuntu 19.10 or later.
But the good news is, after discussing with the communities, Steam dev, WINE, and other developers, Ubuntu developers agreed to continue support for 32-bit libraries. Though they only support the most important libraries and not the entire 32-bit, it is still better than not having them at all.
So, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS does support 32-bit libraries that help Linux gamers to continue gaming on Ubuntu. Steam, WINE, and Lutris provide support for a wide range of games. Gaming on Linux has never been so easy before.
Steam developers are constantly working on their Proton compatibility layer to bring support for Microsoft Windows games to run on Linux-based operating systems.
Lutris is a FOSS game manager for Linux-based operating systems It is developed and maintained by Mathieu Comandon and the community, listed under the GNU General Public License. Lutris has a one-click installation available for hundreds of games on its website, and also integrates with the Steam website.
In Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, Nvidia drivers are packed with the ISO that helps Nvidia graphics cards up and running out of the box. This reduces the hassle to install drivers for Nvidia graphics cards.
Pros And Cons
Ubuntu 20.04 LTS has improved a lot over 18.04. It is more polished than before. But some improvements need to be done. Here is a small list of some pros and cons that I think Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa has.
|A rock solid linux distro for free.||No 32-bit ISO available.|
|Better animations and transitions.||Basic functions like minimize to dock aren't activated by default. And has no direct option to activate it.|
|Better theme with dark mode support and lock screen.||Limited theming option out of the box.|
|LTS support for 5 years.||Has issues with HiDPI monitors.|
|Frequent updates.||Sometimes it gets harder to troubleshoot an issue.|
|Wide range of software availability.||Bleeding-edge software is missing.|
|Install & boot faster than before.||And some other small bugs.|
|Less resource hungry compared to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Bionic Beaver|
|32-bit architecture support|
|Built-in Nvidia driver support|
|Great community support and online documentation.|
Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa is a great edition in the Ubuntu community. Focal Fossa is more stable and fluent than before. The OS optimization is great and hardware utilization is better than Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.
The new look, theme, and icons are more polished and beautiful. Though there is no direct customization option available out of the box, with some tricks and tweaks, you can customize the desktop as you want.
Ubuntu is a rock-solid Linux distro and with its so many improvements, I can recommend it with confidence. Try it, I believe you won’t regret it. It is a long-term support release that will be supported for five years.
Thank you for coming here. If you have any thoughts regarding Ubuntu 20.04 then don’t forget to comment below. We will be happy to hear from you.