Canonical released its most recent version of Ubuntu, Ubuntu 20.04, code-named focal fossa, on 21 April 2020. It’s a long term supported version of the operating system and will be supported until April 2025.
Let’s go through some of the important features which are included in Ubuntu 20.04.
Kernel Upgraded to 5.4
Ubuntu 20.04 is based on the LTS version of Linux kernel 5.4. You includes the support for many new hardwares. It has native support for the exFAT file-system and comes with improved performance. Boot time has also been reduced in Ubuntu 20.04
GNOME Upgraded to 3.36
GNOME is upgraded to 3.36 providing all the latest GNOME features to Ubuntu users. It provides a smoother desktop user experience with lower resource usages.
Along with the GNOME upgrade, Ubuntu also updated its default Yaru theme. The design has been changed for the boot screen, login screen, system menu, etc. Icons are also redesigned. New UI has the option to choose three different color schemes, light, standard, and dark. It also introduced fractional scaling.
Softwares included in Ubuntu by default has also been upgraded. Some of the upgraded softwares are LibreOffice 6.4, Pulseaudio 14.0, Mesa 20.0 OpenGL stack, BlueZ 5.53, Firefox 75.0, Thunderbird 68.7.0, etc.
Upstream application has also been upgraded such as PHP upgraded to 7.4, Ruby upgraded to 2.7, BIND upgraded to 9.16, Apache built with TLSv1.3 with client cert auth, PostgreSQL upgraded to 12
No Python2 Support
Ubuntu 20.04 has Python 3.7 as the default Python and Python 2 completely removed. This will push developers to use Python 3 as Python 2 has already been deprecated on January 1, 2020. Of course, you can still install Python 2 manually and use it. But it’s recommended that you upgrade your code to Python 3.
Improved ZFS Support
In Ubuntu 20.04, the performance of ZFS has been significantly enhanced with added support for encryption. You get the option to install the root file-system on ZFS. However, It is still labeled as “Experimental”. This makes Ubuntu 20.04 the only mainstream operating system to provide ZFS support.
Snap Before Apt
Ubuntu is pushing the use of snaps instead of apt for installing an application. Installing an application from Ubuntu Softwares will install the snap version of the application. For a non-existing application, the install command using snap is also placed before apt in suggestions.
SSH Two-factor Authentication
Initially, SSH had only single-factor authentication with either password or public-key authentication. Ubuntu 20.04 adds support for hardware-based authentication along with existing authentication mechanisms.
Native WireGuard VPN Support
Wireguard is a VPN solution that runs as a kernel module. Wireguard was only available form Kernel 5.5, however, the Ubuntu team has back-ported it for Ubuntu 20.04. Wireguard comes with modern cryptographic features and since it runs in Kernel space, it provides a high level of security and performance.
Server Live Installer
Ubuntu 20.04 has made the live installer as default installer across all versions. The live installer gives the ability to install updates during the operating system install itself. You also get the ability to automate the whole installation process from end to end.