Last week Ubuntu 20.04 LTS: Focal Fossa was released and for those new to Ubuntu, this is a 'Long Term Support" release which is published every two years in April. These are typically the most widely used versions of Ubuntu as they are enterprise-grade. Version numbers are YY.MM so Focal Fossa was released in 2020 April.
Every six months, you will see Ubuntu publish an interim release in October, which is supported for nine months. They are production-ready but don't come with long term support. These versions usually have new capabilities and are a testing ground before they enter the LTS version.
This is an excellent way for your developers to experience the latest kernel, libraries and compilers. One this to keep in mind is that interim releases receive full security maintenance during their lifespan.
Maintenance updates will be provided for five years until April 2025 for Ubuntu Desktop, Ubuntu Server, Ubuntu Cloud, and Ubuntu Core.
Notable updates in Ubuntu 20.04
Linux Kernel - Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is based on the long-term supported Linux release series 5.4.
- Support for new hardware including Intel Comet Lake CPUs and initial Tiger Lake platforms, AMD Navi 12 and 14 GPUs, Arcturus and Renoir APUs along with Navi 12 + Arcturus power features.
- Support has been added for the exFAT filesystem, virtio-fs for sharing filesystems with virtualized guests and fs-verity for detecting file modifications.
- Built-in support for the WireGuard VPN.
- Support for AMD Rome CPUs, Radeon RX Vega M and Navi GPUs, Intel Cannon Lake platforms.
- Support for raspberry pi (Pi 2B, Pi 3B, Pi 3A+, Pi 3B+, CM3, CM3+, Pi 4B)
Significant power-saving improvements.
- Numerous USB 3.2 and Type-C improvements
Network configuration - Basic support for configuring SR-IOV network devices. Starting with netplan.io 0.99, users can declare Virtual Functions for every SR-IOV Physical Function, configure those as any other networking device and set hardware VLAN VF filtering on them.
Storage/File Systems - ZFS 0.8.3, Continuing with what started in the Eoan release, Ubuntu Focal ships zfs 0.8.3.
Python3 by default - In 20.04 LTS, the python included in the base system is Python 3.8. Python 2.7 is not included by default in any new installs.
The Snap Store (snap-store) replaces ubuntu-software as the default tool for finding and installing packages and snaps.
Installer - The live server installer is now the preferred media to install Ubuntu Server on all architectures.
QEMU was updated to 4.2 release;
- free page hinting through virtio-balloon to avoid migrating unused pages which can speed up migrations
- PPC: NVIDIA V100 GPU/NVLink2 passthrough for spapr using VFIO PCI
- Many speed improvements for LUKS backend
- pmem/nvdimm support
libvirt was updated to version 6.0. See the upstream change log for details since version 5.6 that was in Ubuntu 19.04 or further back since verison 4.0 that was in Ubuntu 18.04.
Cloud-init was updated to version 20.1-10.
OpenStack Ussuri - Ubuntu 20.04 LTS includes the latest OpenStack release, Ussuri, as a preview with final release coming in the 20.04.1 LTS
There are a lot of good updates on this release and you should consider updating your servers. Here are some the steps to upgrade on a server system:
- Install update-manager-core if it is not already installed.
- Make sure the Prompt line in /etc/update-manager/release-upgrades is set to 'normal' if you are using 19.10, or 'lts' if you are using 18.04 LTS.
- Launch the upgrade tool with the command sudo do-release-upgrade on 19.10; use sudo do-release-upgrade -d if you are using 18.04 LTS.
- Follow the on-screen instructions.
Have you downloaded Ubuntu 20.04? What do you think of the latest version? Let me know on Twitter and thanks for reading.
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