If you upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, you will find that your new OS looks and behaves slightly different from the one you used previously.
This is due to the fact that the cumulative sum of changes from Ubuntu 18.10 “Cosmic Cuttlefish” to Ubuntu 20.04 “Focal Fossa”, in general, is quite a significant set.
To help you and other brave “bionic beavers” navigate the city of “Focal Fossa”, I’ve put together the following”feature search guide”. In it, I highlight the 18 most notable changes between 18.04 LTS and 20.04 LTS.
Note: The following list focuses on changes between LTS releases. If you are using Ubuntu 18.10, 19.04, or 19.10, you already have (most) of the features listed.
18.04 and 20.04: find eighteen differences
1. The new dashing Bow
Let’s start with the most obvious change: the look and feel of Ubuntu.
You just can’t help but notice that the Ubuntu desktop has undergone some changes since the last dramatic LTS release. We are talking about the difference between day and night, which not only increases the attractiveness of the distribution-although this is certainly very important – but also makes it easier to use the system.
ubuntu 18.04 LTS
ubuntu 20.04 LTS
Yaru GTK and icon themes (which were known as “Communitheme” in 2018) rebuild every digital nook, cranny, and cranny of the Ubuntu desktop, from window frames to right-click menus, app icons, and more.
The dark elements of the GNOME shell UI (such as the status menu, notification bar, etc.) are inferior to their lighter options (although you can choose the darkest possible option in Focal if you really want to).
2. Favorite files in Nautilus …
Ubuntu 20.04 comes with the most recent Nautilus (which is often referred to by the simple name Files). Since the days of Nautilus 3.26, the file manager has included the ability to select your favorite files (or, in GNOME parlance, “mark with an asterisk”).
This simple feature makes it easy to mark your favorite files and folders in your file system and access them again at any time as a group from the Marked tab located at the top of the sidebar.
But that’s not all….
3…. Enjoy dynamic resizing…
This is one of those seemingly insignificant changes that have long been requested for implementation. Simply put, the Nautilus file manager now evenly distributes the distance between files / folders when resizing the window.
This allows you to display more items in each row and each column, which is convenient, especially if you regularly browse packaged directories or file systems.
Life has changed dramatically? It seems not, but still, this is a small, but a clear victory.
4…. and a more versatile Path Bar
Finally, the path string in the “new” Nautilus file manager is smarter than the old one.
For example, you can now right-click on the path panel items to access a list of useful actions, such as a new folder, bookmark, highlight all, open in the terminal, and all that.
But the most significant change is to combine the file search box with the path string itself, which is much more convenient than the version from version 18.04, where the search box existed as a separate drop-down field.
5. Accessing disks from the Ubuntu dock
This will save you some time.
When you insert a USB flash drive, SD card, or external hard drive into the Focal system, and a convenient shortcut for it appears on the Ubuntu dock. Click on the icon to open the root folder in Nautilus, or right-click to access the “extract” option.
If you connect a lot of disks / partitions / devices and find that the icons take up too much space in the Ubuntu dock, you can disable this option with the dconf command.
6. Thunderbolt is coming
Ubuntu 18.04 gave you some control over the connected Thunderbolt 3 devices. In 20.04, there are a lot more of these controls (and they are a little easier to use). Simply connect a compatible TB3 device and open Settings > > Thunderboltto see the available options.
What if you don’t see the Thunderbolt panel? Easy, this is because the Settings app now hides panels for hardware that isn’t on your system.
Such sweet attention, huh? ☺ ️
7. Simple (more simple) wallpaper settings
Ubuntu no longer forces you to set separate backgrounds for your desktop and lock screen. (Stunning.) The new lock screen takes the desktop wallpaper and applies a blur.
Changing the background is also much easier with the user interface, as you are no longer limited to selecting images with resolution .jpgfiles stored at the top level of your ~ / Pictures folder.
Just click the big ” + “ button in Settings > > Background, and you’ll be able to select ANY compatible image file from LITERALLY-FROM ANYWHERE in your file system, including removable drives.
8. More elegant terminal application
“If you open the terminal today, you will be in for a big surprise…»
Yes, GNOME Terminal has become fully integrated with the CSD / GTK header panel sometime since 2018. I have never had any problems with it, nor, indeed, with the old “title”. But it seems to me much smarter and more accurate than the previous one – something like a tool like Tilix.
9. Fractional scaling-finally!
Ubuntu only offers 100% or 200% for the out-of-the-box zoom option, which isn’t very good if you’re swiping at the HiDPI display or something equally crafty.
But just one click of the “fractional zoom slider” is all it takes to unlock additional fractional zoom options like 125% and 150%, the command line is no longer required!
While it’s nice to see this feature available, keep in mind that fractional scaling in sessions with X11 interfaces is still a bit rough. Depending on your configuration, you may find that fractional scaling results in higher CPU usage or screen tearing during window animations.
10. Creating custom application folders
The App screen in GNOME Shell has learned a few new tricks since the days of Bionic Beaver. The main one is the ability to easily create custom application folders.
Just drag any icon to another icon on the app screen and-tadam-create a custom folder. The GNOME shell may (depending on the applications being grouped) suggest an automatic folder name based on categories, but you can set a custom name directly at the time of creation.
App folders are displayed as a string, among the usual app shortcuts, in alphabetical order. To delete an app folder, simply pull out each app icon in turn.
11. Faster access to Google Drive
The Nautilus File Manager (using gfvs) has long been able to show remote connections, including Google Drive cloud storage services, in the sidebar.
But performance when accessing remote mounts has increased significantly since 2018. The loading time, especially in directories with a dense number of files, has significantly decreased, especially on Google Drive (a service I use).
While you can’t “sync” files and folders on Google Drive with folders and files on your desktop, you can access, edit, copy, and transfer files – a task that the file manager now handles as well as possible.
12. OEM logo during loading
During the short time that the new ubuntu spends on loading – after all, the loading time in Focal is improved, I did not check it myself, but they say so – you can see the logo of your laptop or computer manufacturer in the center of the screen.
Don’t worry; neither Lenovo, Acer, ASUS, nor anyone else has bought Ubuntu. This is simply the visible result of lower-level technical changes designed to improve and simplify the process of downloading Linux distributions in general.
13. Upgraded app permissions
If you like sandbox app formats like Flatpak or Snapcraft, you should take full advantage of the advanced app permissions available through Settings > > Apps.
Here you can, for example, prevent the Snap app from using your webcam; or restrict Flatpak’s access to your network or anything else.
Just don’t let the new found power get to you, huh? 😉
14. Desktop Icons: a new experience
Since Nautilus is no longer responsible for “rendering” (i.e. displaying) icons on the desktop, Ubuntu is shipping a GNOME extension to avoid losing this feature.
Well, half of it works.
Despite its functionality, the “desktop icons” extension is far from perfect, unfortunately, the replacement of functions with one another has already occurred at the moment.
For example, you can’t drag and drop files from Nautilus directly to the desktop, instead you have to drag and drop files to the ~ / Desktop folder.
But at least we got a quick link to the Display Settings!!
15. Advanced Night Light Settings
You get more control over the Night Light feature in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS compared to 18.04.
This feature can still be turned on automatically at sunset (or at your own choice), but you can now control the overall intensity (“heat”) of the blue light filter. Play with the slider to determine the most suitable level for you.
16. Snap App Channels
The TheSnap plugin for Ubuntu Software already allowed you to choose between stable, beta, and experimental builds (“channels”) for a variety of popular Snap apps. In 20.04, these options are more detectable, if I may say so.
Instead of diving deep into the package information section, you’ll find the channel switcher built into the main toolbar exactly where you need it. It also shows the version number for the latest build of each channel.
17. Changing the order of search sources
Pressing the super key is all it takes to bring up the system-wide app, file search tool, and settings-and in 20.04, you can control the order in which search sources appear (and therefore match searches).
Just drag and drop the search sources specified in the Settings menu> >“Search”to set the appropriate rating on the overview screen.
Want to see the corresponding terminal tabs, previously obscure symbols and emojis? Just move them up.
18. The best feature you can’t see, but it is
Last but not least, I should mention the many memory improvements, CPU optimizations, frame rate, input, and animation tweaks that have appeared in subsequent Ubuntu releases with 18.04 LTS since April 2018.
Although some fixes were moved to version 18.04, however, most of them were related to later versions. So, if you go straight from Bionic Beaver, something will be visually mega-perceptible changes for you.
What is your favorite feature / change?
Ugh! I did it! I was beginning to worry that I would never finish this post, as there are literally an infinite number of big and small changes that I would like to discuss.
So now you know a little more about the differences between that LTS and this LTS. I want to know what changes you think are the most significant / surprising / revealing-let me know in the comments!