Canonical has announced the availability of Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo beta for Desktop, Server, and Cloud. There are also downloadable beta images of alternative Ubuntu flavours including Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu Budgie, UbuntuKylin, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Studio, and Xubuntu.
The main Ubuntu 21.04 for Desktop is quite a good release this time around; it includes the newer 5.11 Linux kernel so more hardware will be supported and Canonical has switched to Wayland sessions by default away from X.org. Unlike Fedora 34, Canonical has decided to stick with GNOME 3.38 so that it can adapt its desktop extensions to work properly with GNOME 40.
In its announcement, Canonical said:
“The Ubuntu team is pleased to announce the Beta release of the Ubuntu 21.04 Desktop, Server, and Cloud products.
21.04, codenamed "Hirsute Hippo", continues Ubuntu's proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution. The team has been hard at work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs.”
If you’d like to take Ubuntu 21.04 beta for a spin before the final release drops on April 22, head over to the mailing list announcement where you can find the links to all of the available Ubuntu 21.04 beta editions and flavours. Keep in mind that this software is still in development and you could run into bugs. If you do, you can report them to Canonical so they can be fixed before the final release later this month.