Join us on our own very special Reddit: /r/Linuxers

Today is the big day for Canonical and their partners. Ubuntu 20.04 'Focal Fossa' is officially released as their new LTS (Long Term Support) edition along with other desktop flavours like Ubuntu MATE. If you're moving from the previous LTS, you're in for quite a shock. It's a massive release.

Why use a LTS release over the interim Ubuntu releases? The key point is stability. These releases are supposed to be what you go for if you want the best possible experience.

Some of the main changes include:

  • Linux Kernel 5.4 and Mesa 20.0 - bringing with it plenty of new hardware support.
  • Feral GameMode integration (more info).
  • Software Updates: Firefox 75.0, Thunderbird 68.7.0, LibreOffice 6.4.
  • ZFS storage upgrades.
  • OEM logo now displays during boot up.
  • Snap Store replaces the Ubuntu Store.
  • A theme refresh (pictured below) with a Light / Dark switcher.

Pictured: A shot to show the difference in the Light / Dark theme.

You can find out more and download from the below links. Your choice depends on which desktop environment you wish to have. Each edition also has their own release notes and highlighted features, with a lot of work going into each one to improve the out of the box experience:

Something else that's worth a read is Canonical's recent survey for 20.04, which they've now published online. Nice to see them be open about things, quite refreshing indeed.

I have to say, I've been running Ubuntu 20.04 during the development cycle as a daily-driver on my work laptop and it hasn't failed me. It's smooth, responsive and it looks fantastic now. They did a great job on tweaking the look. Most importantly though, it's been as stable as a rock. Possibly my favourite Ubuntu release yet.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
27 Likes, Who?
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. We are currently affiliated with GOG and Humble Store. See more here.
About the author -
author picture
I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
See more from me
47 comments
Page: «2/5»
  Go to:

eldaking 23 Apr, 2020
Quoting: CatKiller
Quoting: eldakingI'll wait a bit anyway and probably will update to 20.04 if it isn't too obnoxious to avoid snaps for most things, or if at least it works well.

sudo apt purge snapd will get rid of snaps entirely. Easy enough.

Sure, but will any default programs be removed by that - like say, the calculator? (I legit don't know what would happen to installed snaps)

And will the Ubuntu repositories contain non-snap alternatives for stuff? If they stop maintaining stuff in the repos because they now use snaps, it becomes impractical to use the distro without it. (While, presumably, other distros could still have those normally... at least for now)
Cyba.Cowboy 23 Apr, 2020
Quoting: eldakingBut the way they keep trying to push snaps almost makes me want to not update at all, or switch distros permanently.

Other distros do the exact same thing, except with Flatpak - Linux Mint is a perfect example here, and I doubt they're the only ones...


Quoting: eldakingFirst, snaps had ridiculously bad performance problems; so it was not even a "non-technical users wouldn't even notice" - people did notice, for example how ridiculously slow chromium was.

Flatpak has similar issues... Though once a program is running, it should offer comparable performance.

I have been running Linux Mint for the last 9-ish months - which pushes Flatpak hard - and the only noticeable performance hit is when starting a program after a reboot... Depending on the program, there can be a pretty big delay.

But after initially running a program, it's usually just as quick as a Debian-based program.

My experience has been the same on my tablet - the Microsoft Surface Go - with Snap.


Quoting: eldakingSecond, as a system it is way too closed and centralized, which is particularly bad for something that is intended to work across distros (other distros can't just host their own snap repositories, the backend isn't FOSS, and it is entirely developed by Canonical without any cooperation with other distros).

I agree with this completely.

At the very least, Canonical should commit to eventually making the backend Open Source - though if I am not mistaken, they have not done so, meaning that for the foreseeable future, the backend is unlikely to transition to Open Source...

I think that in the long-term, this will affect the uptake of Snap, and eventually Flatpak will become the dominant of the two - Open Source doesn't always win in the end, but it usually does, especially in the Linux Community.


Quoting: eldakingAnd third, Canonical are actively pushing for it to replace other alternatives, which means we can't even ignore it if we don't like it.

Well you can use other alternatives - it's called "Flatpak" and "AppImage", neither of which is all that difficult to install or manage... There are also other - less common - alternatives , if you're really dedicated.


Quoting: CatKiller
Quoting: eldakingI'll wait a bit anyway and probably will update to 20.04 if it isn't too obnoxious to avoid snaps for most things, or if at least it works well.

sudo apt purge snapd will get rid of snaps entirely. Easy enough.

Or you could just remove Snap support entirely... Personally, I'd just ignore it if I didn't want to use it - but you have the option to remove it, if you prefer.


Quoting: eldakingSure, but will any default programs be removed by that - like say, the calculator? (I legit don't know what would happen to installed snaps)

I can't seem to find the link just now, but certain frequently-used programs - such as the calculator - still use "traditional" packages, largely because of the slow initial start of Snap...

See here.


Last edited by Cyba.Cowboy on 23 April 2020 at 11:13 pm UTC
CatKiller 23 Apr, 2020
Quoting: eldakingSure, but will any default programs be removed by that - like say, the calculator? (I legit don't know what would happen to installed snaps)

And will the Ubuntu repositories contain non-snap alternatives for stuff? If they stop maintaining stuff in the repos because they now use snaps, it becomes impractical to use the distro without it. (While, presumably, other distros could still have those normally... at least for now)

That command will get rid of the bit that loads the snaps as well as the snaps themselves. It will give a list of the snaps that are removed so that (assuming you want the applications) you can install them from the package manager (for the calculator and what-have-you) or find a PPA (for chromium).

They want to get real-world usage of snaps (which is why they're included by default), but you won't be missing out (at least for the foreseeable future) by not using snaps. Chromium is an unusual one in that they no longer carry a non-snap version. I forget exactly where I read it but their reasoning was that chromium usage isn't that high (so the test wouldn't inconvenience too many people) and that a browser is exactly the kind of thing that you'd want to be run in a sandbox. That decision doesn't affect me, personally, since I use chromium from a PPA anyway for the hardware video decoding.
The_Aquabat 23 Apr, 2020
Quoting: CatKillerI read it but their reasoning was that chromium usage isn't that high (so the test wouldn't inconvenience too many people) and that a browser is exactly the kind of thing that you'd want to be run in a sandbox. That decision doesn't affect me, personally, since I use chromium from a PPA anyway for the hardware video decoding.

I also use chromium pa, some little annoying thing is that every time I launch it , I get a message of chromium missing Google API dev keys. Do you know a way of getting rid of those messages?
no_information_here 23 Apr, 2020
Quoting: The_AquabatI've been using Kubuntu flavour since the beta was released, not a single bug. Such a quality release, impressive!! good job canonical and team!
I used to use Kubuntu but defected to Neon LTS a number of years ago. I have been pretty happy with its recent stability. The only thing I miss is 32 bit Wine, but Proton covers most of that use.

I do have some business software that would be really nice to run in Wine, but the Neon dependency chain is just different enough that it is a fool's errand trying to get it to work. I keep thinking that Wine would be a perfect use for snap, but I only find "supporting" wine snaps for other programs that are already pre-packaged. No good for me.
CatKiller 24 Apr, 2020
Quoting: The_AquabatI also use chromium pa, some little annoying thing is that every time I launch it , I get a message of chromium missing Google API dev keys. Do you know a way of getting rid of those messages?

I remember seeing that message, and I don't see that message any more, so I guess I did something to make it go away. (It's my mostly-watching-Netflix-in-bed laptop that uses chromium rather than my main rig). Hang on, I'll see if I can remember.

The PPA lists an elaborate song-and-dance to get API keys, and I definitely didn't do that. Maybe I just turned off whichever service needed the API keys? Sorry, I can't remember. If anything jogs my memory I'll post it.

Edit: it was possibly Google Sync that I turned off.


Last edited by CatKiller on 24 April 2020 at 12:09 am UTC
Mountain Man 24 Apr, 2020
Just updated my Kubuntu box. Smooth sailing as usual. I have never had a problem upgrading Kubuntu in the many years I've used it. It always just works.
obscurenforeign 24 Apr, 2020
Quoting: eldaking
Quoting: CatKiller
Quoting: eldakingI'll wait a bit anyway and probably will update to 20.04 if it isn't too obnoxious to avoid snaps for most things, or if at least it works well.

sudo apt purge snapd will get rid of snaps entirely. Easy enough.

Sure, but will any default programs be removed by that - like say, the calculator? (I legit don't know what would happen to installed snaps)

And will the Ubuntu repositories contain non-snap alternatives for stuff? If they stop maintaining stuff in the repos because they now use snaps, it becomes impractical to use the distro without it. (While, presumably, other distros could still have those normally... at least for now)

Hey, thank you both for this! I had a look on my system and sure enough, not only was snapd installed but among the few snaps installed on my system was gnome-calculator. I was wondering why the hell the calculator in Ubuntu took a freaking minute to load. Went ahead and installed the calculator from apt and now it loads in less than a second like a good calculator should... oh, and also I'm removing all of snapd and REPLACING ALL THE OTHER SNAPS WITH PACKAGES THAT ACTUALLY WORK RIGHT. ...And seriously contemplating switching to like, Debian or something.
scratchi 4 years 24 Apr, 2020
Quoting: eldakingIt actually looks like a meaningful improvement in most aspects; there were many important updates to hardware support and big applications since 18.04, which I mostly had to backport or install in some way (newer mesa fixed several games, newer KDE had some nice features and look for those of us that use Kubuntu, newer libre office had a few important features, and I expect the version of wine in their repositories will be less awful). Plus generally looking nice and bugfixes, as always.

But the way they keep trying to push snaps almost makes me want to not update at all, or switch distros permanently. I used to assume that snaps weren't that bad, but after actually having more contact with them I was shocked by how horrible it is. First, snaps had ridiculously bad performance problems; so it was not even a "non-technical users wouldn't even notice" - people did notice, for example how ridiculously slow chromium was. Second, as a system it is way too closed and centralized, which is particularly bad for something that is intended to work across distros (other distros can't just host their own snap repositories, the backend isn't FOSS, and it is entirely developed by Canonical without any cooperation with other distros). And third, Canonical are actively pushing for it to replace other alternatives, which means we can't even ignore it if we don't like it.

I'll wait a bit anyway and probably will update to 20.04 if it isn't too obnoxious to avoid snaps for most things, or if at least it works well. But frankly, I'm already looking to jump boat from Kubuntu, and particularly for something better to recommend for newbies.

Yea, I agree, snaps suck. I have a use case where I run Ubuntu vdis in Docker container (full UI in docker, it's sick! :D ), and as of 19.10, they no longer have a chromium deb package. If you apt-get install chromium, you get the snapd migration package (it's called something along those lines, i don't remember anymore) and there is no official deb.

The thing is, because snap is basically a container, you can't install it in a Docker container...the snapd service doesn't even work in docker. There are some hacky ways to get it working, but chromium still does not launch. So this was a big problem for me.

To work around this, I have a separate pipeline that builds chromium from source and spits out a deb that I host in a different location (should probably use aptly to host a local repo, haven't got there yet) and then my docker image pipeline fetches the deb from there and installs it. Basically a shitload of work needed to be done to get chromium working in Docker. I haven't tested 20.04 yet, but if they start doing the same for other applications I use in the VDI, I'll probably move to debian or something.
tuubi 24 Apr, 2020
Quoting: Cyba.CowboyOther distros do the exact same thing, except with Flatpak - Linux Mint is a perfect example here, and I doubt they're the only ones...
Quoting: Cyba.CowboyI have been running Linux Mint for the last 9-ish months - which pushes Flatpak hard
Hey, wait a minute. What do you mean? Sure, they added support for flatpaks in their software center (mintinstall) alongside the normal deb packages, but beyond that I haven't noticed them recommending, much less pushing them. No flatpaks installed by default, no deb packages removed in favour of flatpaks or anything like that. Am I missing something?

They did choose to support flatpak instead of snap, if that's what you mean.
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on:

Patreon, Liberapay or PayPal Donation.

We have no adverts, no paywalls, no timed exclusive articles. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!
Login / Register

Or login with...
Sign in with Steam Sign in with Twitter Sign in with Google
Social logins require cookies to stay logged in.