Canonical has just officially announced the release of Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo, the new version of the popular Linux distribution is not exactly loaded with revolutionary new features, but it does bring some important changes that improve the experience and make it worth upgrading.
Perhaps the most relevant new feature is that Wayland finally becomes the default graphical server. For Canonical this represents a big leap in security, and they also explain that with the change, software like Firefox, OBS Studio, or applications made with Electron and Flutter will be able to take advantage of Wayland automatically to offer smoother graphics.
The new Ubuntu includes some new features on the visual side, such as a new dark theme with improved accessibility and navigation and new icons for files.
It is nothing drastic, and the distro has not wanted to make the switch to GNOME 40 either, precisely because the changes in the latest version of GNOME are significant, and the Ubuntu team needs more time to evaluate them and decide which ones to apply to its distro.
Another notable change is that from now on the Home folder will be private, so if you create a new user in the system, this user will not have access to the contents of the directory without authorization. Some applications have also been updated, such as the LibreOffice office suite to version 7.1, Firefox to version 87, and Thunderbird to version 78.8.1.
Pipewire support has also been added, which ensures better audio for sandboxed applications and also restores support for screen recording in apps like Discord, Firefox, and OBS.
Ubuntu 21.04 uses the Linux 5.11 kernel and will be supported for nine months, so if you’re using Ubuntu 20.10, that’s more than enough reason to upgrade and you’ll have a free pass because it’s the recommended version to take the leap and upgrade directly to the next extended support version, i.e. Ubuntu 21.10.
You will be able to download Ubuntu 21.04 throughout the day, as soon as the stable versions are updated on Canonical’s servers.