So, you decided to use Ubuntu. Set upon to install Ubuntu and find that there are several active Ubuntu releases.
That makes you bother about the latest Ubuntu release. Let me help you with that.
The newest Ubuntu release is Ubuntu 21.04. It is a short term release which was out in April 2021 and it will be supported till January 2022. After that, you’ll have to upgrade to Ubuntu 21.10 (will be releases in October 2021).
The latest LTS release is Ubuntu 20.04 codenamed Focal Fossa. It was released in April 2020 and it will be supported till April 2025. If you do not want to upgrade your version every nine months, stick with the latest LTS release.
In other current Ubuntu releases, version 18.04 is still active. It will be supported till April 2023. But if you are going for a fresh Ubuntu install, go for the latest Ubuntu LTS release, which is 20.04.
For your information, every two years, there is a new LTS release and three non-LTS releases in between (every six months). You may read this article to know about Ubuntu LTS and non-LTS releases.
The non-LTS releases often bring bleeding-edge features but with minor iterations. And, the next LTS release can be expected to bring all the features added to the non-LTS releases.
Latest LTS Version of Ubuntu 20.04 “Focal Fossa”
Every Ubuntu release is associated with a codename, which is often named after animals in alphabetical order.
In this case, it is “Focal Fossa” which refers to a catlike animal found on Madagascar.
Ubuntu 20.04 comes packed with Linux Kernel 5.4 will be supported till April 2025. And, the latest LTS point release is Ubuntu 20.04.3.
If you are using the latest point release (via a new installation), you might have Linux Kernel 5.11 if you are hardware did not fully support Linux 5.4
Did You Know?
Every LTS version release is followed by seven point releases, with extra extended security maintenance updates available for five more years (for a fee).
If you are an enterprise or want longer LTS support than usual, you can subscribe to Ubuntu ESM to get a total of ten years of support for Ubuntu LTS versions on your desktop or server.
The Long Term Support versions are usually known for adding major feature improvements while the non-LTS versions add bleeding-edge technologies to test and get it ready for the next LTS release.
If you take a look at Ubuntu 20.04 features and Ubuntu 21.04 features, you should get an idea of the differences between an LTS and non-LTS release.
Which versions of Ubuntu are LTS?
Not just limited to the version number, there are several Ubuntu flavors available as well. Some of them offer similar software update support and some of them only give you three years of updates (in contrast to five by Canonical).
So, if you want to explore those, I suggest you know which Ubuntu version to use before deciding to install any Ubuntu flavour.
How Long is Ubuntu LTS Supported?
Any Ubuntu release is supported until the end-of-life period.
For LTS versions, this is usually five years. And, for non-LTS versions, it is nine months.
Should I Upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS?
First, you should check the Ubuntu version installed on your computer.
If you are using an older LTS release, you should definitely consider upgrading to the new one for better hardware compatibility, improved workflow, and performance.
If you do not want to break the user experience, you can stick to the older release until it reaches the end-of-life period.
How to Upgrade to the Latest Ubuntu version?
You can upgrade to the latest Ubuntu version using the graphical user interface (GUI) or the terminal.
Simply head to the Software Updater, it should check and notify you if an update is available.
To get help, you can refer to our upgrade instructions guide to swiftly upgrade your Ubuntu version without any issues.