New features of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) with screenshots

Ubuntu 20.04 codenamed Focal Fossa has been released Officially released. This is the LTS (Long Term Support) version and will be supported for 5 years until April 2025.
This article describes the most important changes in the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS desktop since the last version 19.10 (Eoan Ermine), as well as some changes between Ubuntu 18.04 (the previous LTS version) and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. Get the most out of Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

GNOME desktop

New features of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) with screenshots

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS comes with GNOME 3.36.1, which has visual improvements, including a reorganized system menu, an updated login and lock screen design, a “Do Not Disturb” button, and significant performance improvements.
GNOME Shell 3.36 includes changes:

  • The system menu has been reorganized. The Settings/Lock/Power menu items are no longer buttons, and the Power/Logout/Suspend options have been reorganized in the submenu, and the suspend options are now always visible (previously it was difficult to find the suspend button, requiring the user to hold down the Alt key. Change the power off button to a suspend button, or press and hold the power off button)
  • GNOME Shell now respects system font settings
  • Redesigned system dialog
  • The login and lock screens have undergone design updates. The lock screen now uses the user’s desktop wallpaper, with some serious blur effects applied on top of it
  • The “Do Not Disturb” button has been added to the notification pop-up box. Once enabled, this “Do Not Disturb” mode will hide notifications until you turn it off
  • The application folder in the application overview can now be renamed (drag and drop an application onto another folder to create an application folder), and the design can be updated
  • Refresh the design of calendar menu and other parts of GNOME Shell UI
Ubuntu 20.04 screenshot appfolder
The app folder has been updated in design and can be renamed
Ubuntu 20.04 screenshot authentication dialog
New authentication dialog
Ubuntu 20.04 screenshots won't disturb the calendar
New do not disturb button + refreshed calendar design
Ubuntu 20.04 screenshot system menu
The system menu has been reorganized, and pending operations are always visible
Ubuntu 20.04 login screen
Ubuntu 20.04 login screen
New features of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) with screenshots
Ubuntu 20.04 lock screen

Although it is not directly part of GNOME 3.36, there is also a fractional zoom (only for X11) option in the “Settings” of Ubuntu 20.04:
Ubuntu 20.04 screenshot fraction scaling HiDPI system settings

Open “Settings”, go to “Screen Display”, you will find an option to enable fractional zoom, and set the desired zoom ratio to 125%, 150%, 175% and 200%. I don’t have a HiDPI display, so I can’t comment on the performance of this feature, but when using the proprietary Nvidia driver, fractional scaling does not currently work! Performance has also been improved. Window and overview animation, JavaScript execution, mouse movement and window movement have lower CPU usage (and now also have lower latency).
I’m using Ubuntu 20.04 with a desktop with Nvidia graphics in an X11 session, and what I can tell you is that the activity overview opens immediately and in the end GNOME Shell no longer looks behind. Opening the Application Overview for the first time after restarting is still a bit lagging, but other than that, the performance is good on old desktops with Intel i7-2600K CPU and Nvidia GTX 980 GPU. Related: New features and changes in GNOME 3.36

Settings and applications

GNOME 3.36 also made some improvements to its “Settings” application and some core applications:

  • set up:
    • Rearranged the various parts to make them easier and faster to navigate
    • User and relevant part of the updated design
    • Now, the “Privacy” pane will list applications that have been granted access to location, camera and microphone, and you can revoke access to them from here
  • There is a new application called Extensions for removing, disabling and updating GNOME Shell extensions and configuring their preferences (although they are not installed by default)
  • The software now pauses updates when it detects a metered network (such as mobile data) to reduce data usage
  • The clock has been completely redesigned and now has a responsive user interface
  • Files now allow the use of hidden files as document templates
  • Passwords and keys now show public SSH keys and have been updated to use adaptive UI

These are the updated “About” and “Users” sections in the “Settings” app:
Ubuntu 20.04 setup screenshot

Ubuntu 20.04 screenshot user settings

Even though it is not installed on Ubuntu by default, I think I would also mention the update received by the Web (Epiphany web browser), which now has a responsive design, supports dark mode, and can be directly in the web browser Open the PDF file.
The Google GVFS code (used to mount Google Drive so it can be accessed from GNOME applications (for example, files)) has also undergone an important improvement: it now supports move and copy operations.
As for the default Ubuntu 20.04 applications/packages, they have obviously been updated to the latest version, so you will find the latest Firefox 75, Thunderbird 68.7, LibreOffice 6.4.2, Shotwell 0.30.8, BlueZ 5.53, PulseAudio 14.0 (pre-release version) ) , and many more.
In addition, the snapshot versions of calculators, characters and logs have been replaced by native versions (DEB packages) of these applications.
Ubuntu 20.04 Software Snap Store

However, more importantly, the GNOME software has been replaced by the Snap Store (still known as “Ubuntu Software”, the same as the previous version, and looks the same-the screenshot above), a branch of GNOME Software allows from storage Find and install software packages in the library, as well as snapshots. If you want to install the Flatpak application, you need to install the GNOME software from the repository, because the pre-installed Snap Store does not support it.
Both the snapshot storage and GNOME software (if installed) now display the snapshot channel in the toolbar, making it easier to discover:
Ubuntu software capture channel selector

It is also worth noting that Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) installs Feral Interactive’s GameMode by default. This is a Linux daemon/library that allows the game to request a set of optimizations to be temporarily applied to the host operating system and/or game process. It optimizes the CPU regulator, I/O priority, process accuracy, kernel scheduler, disables the screen saver, changes the GPU performance mode and more.

Theme update

Yaru is the default Ubuntu theme package starting from Ubuntu 18.10 (so this is a brand new default theme for users upgrading from Ubuntu 18.04). It has been updated for the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS version to use eggplant color as the second accent color instead of Blue, which does not match the rest of the theme. This is done for all 3 theme variants (regular, light and dark):
Ubuntu 20.04 Yaru theme

Ubuntu 20.04 Yaru theme

Ubuntu 20.04 Yaru theme

Now, Eggplant is used in GNOME Shell sliders and dialogs (active buttons/fields) as well as Gtk progress bars, sliders, checkboxes, radio boxes and switches. The icon theme has also been updated with a brand new folder icon, which is now mainly gray, with eggplant/orange as the key color:
Ubuntu 20.04 new Yaru folder icon

Related to the topic is also a new and demanding option. In this Ubuntu version, users can find the option to change the window theme to Yaru Light, Standard (light and dark mixing) and Dark in “Settings” -> “Appearance”:
Ubuntu 20.04 screenshot theme selection system settings

However, this will not change the GNOME Shell theme, which does support light and dark variants. To make changes, you need to install the User Themes extension and enable it (it is part of the gnome-shell-extensions package), then use the Tweaks application to change the Shell theme.
It is worth noting that although there is a built-in dark theme, you can even change the theme in “Settings”, but the GNOME Shell Night Light feature of the system settings will not change the application theme to a dark theme. If you want Night Light to also automatically change the theme to dark/light, please refer to this article. In addition, a new graphical boot program is provided, which is integrated with the system BIOS logo.

Other (more technical) changes in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa):

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS uses Python 3.8 bu by default. Python 2.7 has been moved to the Universe library pocket, and Python 2.7 is not included by default in new Ubuntu installations.
Further, /usr/bin/python Not present in the new Ubuntu 20.04 installation (for upgraded systems, /usr/bin/python Continue to point to python2). if you need /usr/bin/python Point to python3, install python-is-python3 package.
Now that we have resolved these issues, here are the remaining updates in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS:

  • ZFS 0.8.3, which includes native encryption with hardware acceleration enabled, device deletion, pool TRIM, and sequential cleanup and restart
  • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS comes with Linux 5.4, which includes important changes:
    • Starting from Linux 5.3:
      • Support for new hardware, including Intel Comet Lake CPU and the initial Tiger Lake platform, Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 and 855 SoC, AMD Navi 12 and 14 GPU, Arcturus and Renoir APU and Navi 12 + Arcturus power functions.
      • Added support for exFAT file system, virtio-fs is used to share the file system with virtual guests, and fs-verity is used to detect file modifications
      • Built-in support for Wireguard VPN
      • Lock enable in integrity mode
      • The riscv64 kernel can be used to run on RISC-V hardware
    • Since Linux 4.15, included in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS:
      • Supports AMD Rome CPU, Radeon RX Vega M and Navi GPU, Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 and other ARM SoC and Intel Cannon Lake platforms
      • Support Raspberry Pi (Pi 2B, Pi 3B, Pi 3A+, Pi 3B+, CM3, CM3+, Pi 4B)
      • Significant improvements in energy saving
      • Numerous USB 3.2 and Type-C improvements
      • New mount API, io_uring interface, KVM support and pidfd support for AMD’s secure encryption virtualization
      • By changing the default kernel compression algorithm on most architectures to lz4 (in Ubuntu 19.10), and changing the default initramfs compression algorithm on all architectures to lz4, the startup speed can be improved.
  • Compared with the previous Ubuntu version (1.20.5), X.Org 1.20.8 contains many fixes and patches needed to support Vulkan and OpenGL + GLX’s PRIME rendering uninstallation
  • Mesa 20.0 (total map to Mesa 19.2.1 available in Ubuntu 19.10) includes:
    • For Broadwell (Gen8) Intel graphics or higher, the Intel Gallium3D driver is the new default setting for OpenGL support
    • Vulkan 1.2 supports AMD Radeon and Intel drivers
    • The RadeonSI driver has switched to NIR and gained OpenGL 4.6 support
    • OpenGL 4.6 support for Intel i965/Iris driver
    • RADV re-enables NGG geometry shader support
    • Support more Vulkan extensions
    • Much more
  • Updated toolchain: glibc 2.31, OpenJDK 11 (LTS), rustc 1.41, GCC 9.3, Python 3.8.2, ruby ​​2.7.0, php 7.4, perl 5.30 and golang 1.13
  • The Amazon web app is no longer installed by default, so you should no longer see it on the Ubuntu dock

Some other changes for users from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

In addition to the content already introduced in this article (for example, the Yaru theme is now used by default), Ubuntu 18.04 LTS users should also pay attention to the following points / things to note when upgrading to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS:

  • Nautilus (file) no longer draws desktop icons, but instead uses GNOME Shell extensions (called desktop icons) for this purpose. This extension does not support dragging icons from Nautilus to the desktop. Instead, copy/move the files to the Desktop folder in Nautilus and they will be displayed on your desktop
  • Since Ubuntu 19.10, the Chromium web browser is no longer available as a native (DEB) package, and now snap is the only option. Even if installed via apt, it will pull the snap package
  • In version 19.10, Ubuntu has abandoned support for 32-bit x86 (i386) architecture most of the time. Users running the 32-bit i386 version of Ubuntu will not be able to upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04. The main Ubuntu 18.04 with GNOME does not have a 32-bit image for download, but the Ubuntu flavor is available for download. Users can upgrade from Ubuntu 16.04 LTS 32bit to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS 32bit, but as I said, this is no longer possible.
  • For users who use Nvidia GPUs, Install third-party software... Now, the checkbox in the Ubuntu installer will install the most suitable proprietary driver for your GPU generation
  • Tracker is a file system indexer and search tool, which is installed by default. Some GNOME functions/applications use this feature when searching for files and folders in the “Activity Overview”, such as Nautilus (its batch renaming function and faster search function that supports full-text search). This feature was previously disabled due to performance issues, and now the developer has resolved this issue (if you want to disable it, see here)
  • The night light section has been moved to a separate tab in the “Display” panel and provides more options, such as the ability to control color temperature
  • Sandbox applications (Snap and Flatpak) now have separate permissions in Settings -> Applications
  • Playmouth (boot screen) has been updated to provide a flicker-free boot experience when using UEFI for recent Intel graphics boot
  • GNOME Shell is much faster in Ubuntu 20.04
  • Because I always use the latest version, I may have forgotten other things

Download Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa)

Official Ubuntu 20.04 release notes (You should read, especially the Known Issues section), which contains instructions for upgrading to this version from an earlier version.

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