Can’t wait to try Ubuntu 22.04 LTS? Well, it is finally available to download and upgrade. It brings in a ton of impressive features, having GNOME 42 and Raspberry Pi desktop support as its key highlights.
Now that it is here. Let us take a moment to check out the most significant changes with this release before you decide to give it a try.
Ubuntu 22.04 LTS: What’s New?
Ubuntu 22.04 is a major upgrade with desktop environment enhancements, visual changes, and a couple of added functionalities. Undoubtedly, it is a Long-Term Release version. So, you can expect maintenance updates until 2027, i.e., five-year support. Some of the most considerable changes include:
1. Accent Color Selection
While most other Ubuntu-based Linux distributions offered the ability to set an accent color, you had to use GNOME Tweaks to do it.
Now with Ubuntu 22.04, you can easily set the accent color of your choice that affects folders, notification area, and other elements of your desktop experience.
2. GNOME 42
The much-awaited desktop environment upgrade is here. While the GNOME implementation with Ubuntu 22.04 does not feature a horizontal dock, you should get the rest of the benefits added. You should be able to experience all the goodness of GNOME 42 with Ubuntu 22.04 LTS. Unfortunately, you will still find several applications at 41 version numbers. The developers mention that they need more time to test apps making use of libadwaita.
3. New Screenshot Tool
Unlike Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, you do not directly snap a full-screen picture with the PrtScrn (or any other assigned shortcut key). Instead, the new screenshot tool pops up if you press the shortcut key to trigger a screenshot. It is not only an intuitive experience, but it also supports screen recording. So, that’s quite an exciting change!
4. Dark Mode Improvements
While we already had a dark mode, it wasn’t a perfect system-wide implementation. Thanks to elementary OS 6, GNOME 42 was inspired to implement a system-wide dark mode that blends in better to maintain consistency.
5. Firefox as Snap
The transition from the deb package to Snap has been in progress for a while now. With Ubuntu 22.04, Firefox will now be included by default as a Snap package with a combined effort from Mozilla aiming to push faster security updates and ensure cross-distribution support without needing to maintain numerous things. You can read more about the decision behind it in the forum post.
6. Desktop Icons in the bottom
By default, the desktop icons could be seen in the top-right area, near the dock. Now, with Ubuntu 22.04, the default desktop icon position has been changed to the bottom. You can change this from the options available in the appearance settings.
7. Ability to Shrink the Dock
If you dislike the dock taking up the entire left-side area, you can change that. You need to disable the “Panel” mode under the Dock settings in Appearance tweaks, as shown in the image below:
This detaches the dock and provides a floating effect for a modern desktop experience.
8. Raspberry Pi Desktop Support
Ubuntu 22.04 is the first desktop LTS release that can also be used for Raspberry Pi. With the introduction of zswap, performance on Raspberry Pi boards should see a significant boost with Ubuntu 22.04. It can even run on a 2 GB Raspberry Pi 4 variant. You can test these improvements on your Raspberry Pi boards.
9. Access to Ubuntu Advantage
Ubuntu Advantage is a premium subscription for businesses and enterprises to get critical security updates without needing to restart it.
10. Linux Kernel 5.17 and Linux Kernel 5.15 LTS
Linux Kernel 5.15 LTS is a significant upgrade with an improved NTFS driver, initial support for the upcoming Intel discrete graphics, and more performance improvements. You should notice Linux Kernel 5.15 out of the box for your desktop. The Ubuntu Server also features the Linux Kernel 5.15 LTS. With this release, Ubuntu packs in multiple kernels as per the product.
11. Live Image for RISC-V
Starting with Ubuntu 22.04, you will find a separate live image available for the RISC-V architecture.
In addition to the major changes mentioned above, some other significant changes with the upgrade include:
- Newer software packages like OpenSSL 3.0, Ruby 3.0, Python 3.10, PHP 8.1, etc.
- Updated applications include Firefox 99, LibreOffice 7.3, and Thunderbird 91
You can take a look at its official release notes to explore all the technical changes.
Download or Upgrade to Ubuntu 22.04 LTS
If you want to experience the new LTS release by performing a fresh installation using the ISO, head to the official website linked in the button below to download it.