Canonical launches Ubuntu 20.04 LTS ‘Focal Fossa'

The Ubuntu 20.04 desktop

Canonical has announced the availability of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS ‘Focal Fossa’. According to the firm, this update has a particular emphasis on security and performance. The new update uses the GNOME 3.36 desktop environment which includes a new lock screen, and there’s also an option to switch to dark mode in the Appearance tab in the settings.

In its statement, the firm said the WireGuard VPN client is installed by default and will be backported to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. Commenting on the software’s inclusion in the popular Linux distribution, Jason A. Donenfeld, creator of WireGuard, said:

“Including WireGuard by default in all recent versions of Ubuntu means that users will finally have a great out-of-the-box secure tunnel on Ubuntu.”

Accompanying the new dark theme and lock screen is a refreshed Yaru theme which includes a great looking icon set. As with all Ubuntu updates, Focal Fossa comes with its own unique wallpaper and a collection of alternative backgrounds to choose from. If you hated the Amazon button which graced the sidebar after installation on previous releases, you’ll be relieved to know that the new version doesn’t ship with it.

Another subtle but big change is that the Ubuntu Software tool has been replaced with the Snap Store. The icon and name of the store remain the same so it’s an easy change to miss. This change will allow users to more easily manage snap apps without having to dip into the command line. Canonical said that there are now 6,000 snap apps including Slack, Plex, Spotify, the entire JetBrains portfolio, and Visual Studio Code.

Returning to security features, this update includes Secure Boot to protect against low-level attacks and rootkits and introduces Fast ID Online (FIDO) support for universal multi-factor and passwordless authentication.

Ubuntu 20.04 is a Long Term Support release, therefore, it will continue to be updated by Canonical until 2025, by which time, two new Long Term Support releases will have been made available. Head on over to the Ubuntu website now to download the new update or find upgrade instructions.

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