Ubuntu 22.04 vs 20.04 – What’s new?

Ready to see what’s new in Ubuntu 22.04? In this article, you will learn about all of the main differences between Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish and its predecessor, Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa. We will also list some of the more subtle changes which may not be as noticeable at first, but serve to modify the new operating system under the hood.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • What’s new in Ubuntu 22.04 that’s different from Ubuntu 20.04
Ubuntu 22.04 vs 20.04 - What's new?
Ubuntu 22.04 vs 20.04 – What’s new?
Software Requirements and Linux Command Line Conventions
Category Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used
System Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish
Software N/A
Other Privileged access to your Linux system as root or via the sudo command.
Conventions # – requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of sudo command
$ – requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user

Ubuntu 22.04 vs 20.04 – What’s new?

Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish is the latest LTS (long term support) release of the operating system. It is a direct successor to the previous version, Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa. A new version of Ubuntu always means that some things have changed, but the operating system has also remained faithful to the features and style that users have come to know and trust for years. We will go over some of the most noteworthy changes to Ubuntu 22.04 in the sections below.

A New Look With GNOME 42

Ubuntu 20.04 used GNOME 3.36. With Ubuntu 22.04, a new versioning system was adopted, which explains the giant disparity between version numbers. Once you get used to seeing the new version of GNOME 42, the older version starts looking quite antiquated.

Every version of Ubuntu looks a bit different, but the changes in Ubuntu 22.04 are very obvious, since it comes with a newly revamped version of GNOME. The new version of GNOME has better settings with regards to colors and themes, including dark theme. The new dark theme is better respected across desktop applications and adheres to a standard of colors that make more sense.

GNOME 42 desktop and windows
GNOME 42 desktop and windows

GNOME 42 also makes use of libadwaita and GTK 4, so you can expect the visuals to look a little different from Ubuntu 20.04. Yaru is the default theme for Ubuntu 22.04, developed by the user community. There is a new version of Yaru GTK theme with a new option to choose an accent colour. This gives you more customization options as compared to Ubuntu 20.04.

Changing the accent color for the Yaru theme on Ubuntu 22.04
Changing the accent color for the Yaru theme on Ubuntu 22.04

Keep in mind that it is not necessary to use GNOME, if you prefer a different desktop environment. Ubuntu 22.04 comes in other flavors such as Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Xubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, and a slew of other editions, just in case you don’t like GNOME.

Jammy Jellyfish Wallpaper

The previous LTS version of Ubuntu used a fossa to represent the operating system. For Ubuntu 22.04, it’s a jellyfish.

Ubuntu always keeps with the theme of an animal as their mascot for each version of the operating system. You will be greeted with the new Jammy Jellyfish wallpaper when you first load into Ubuntu 22.04. This can be easily changed in the settings in case you do not like it. Personally, I think it goes very well with default GNOME and they did a good job on the design.

Jammy Jellyfish default wallpaper
Jammy Jellyfish default wallpaper

New Screenshot Tool

Ubuntu 22.04 GNOME comes with a new screenshot tool, which is a huge improvement over the default program in Ubuntu 20.04. It has a very simple interface to let you select an area or a screen to capture. You can also use the default tool to screencast, which is a wonderful addition and allows users to avoid downloading extra software for something that should have always been a built in feature.

New Ubuntu 22.04 screenshot tool
New Ubuntu 22.04 screenshot tool

New Ubuntu Installer

The installation prompts for Ubuntu 22.04 look a little different, because the installer itself has actually been completely revamped. It sports a much more modern and sleek look, while still reflecting the simplicity of Ubuntu. It was created using Google’s Flutter UI development kit.

The installation prompts include options to encrypt your hard drive, use ZFS as your file system, and join Active Directory. These are things that many other distros and older versions of Ubuntu forced users to configure after installation. Having the options available during installation streamlines your setup and makes things much easier.

What’s New Under the Hood?

There are many other subtle changes that Ubuntu 22.04 has undergone since its previous iteration. These may not be as immediately obvious, but these upgrades go a long way in providing new features, support, and security to the new operating system. Let’s go over some of the new software below.

Kernel 5.15

Ubuntu 20.04 uses kernel version 5.13. This is not a far cry from the version in Ubuntu 22.04, but it is missing some key features that you are sure to enjoy in the upgraded kernel.

Ubuntu 22.04 uses kernel version 5.15. As you probably know, core Linux features are built directly into the kernel, so using an updated version will allow users to access some of the latest features available. At the same time, Ubuntu does not use the absolute latest kernel version, since that can lead to an unstable system. Ubuntu 22.04 does a good job of bringing the latest technology to the operating system while still ensuring maximize stability for its users.

The Kernel 5.15 will come with many new features which includes a new NTFS file-system driver called NTFS3. This will make Ubuntu 22.04 much more compatible with drives formatted for Windows NTFS drives.

A new In-kernel SMB server will provide faster file sharing and more features for Samba servers, which is ideal in a mixed ecosystem of Linux and other types of operating systems.

Of course, new hardware support for AMD CPUs and GPUs, Apple’s M1 chip, Intel Alder Lake CPUs, and other hardware will also be included, along with various other features and improvements.

Read more about the new kernel on the Ubuntu 22.04 kernel version page.

Programming and Utility Upgrades

Ubuntu 22.04 comes with a bunch of updates for installed programming languages and system utilities, including but not limited to PHP 8.1, OpenSSL 3.0, Ruby 3.0, Golang 1.18, Python 3.10.0, Mesa 22, and GCC 11. This is a big point for developers and programmers that plan to utilize Ubuntu for some of their coding projects.

Core Application Updates

Ubuntu 22.04 will also come with a slew of updates for some of its most used applications. Including but not limited to Thunderbird 91.5, Firefox 96.0, LibreOffice 7.2.5, PulseAudio 15.0, and NetworkManager 1.32.

Installing Ubuntu 22.04

If the previous sections have convinced you that it is time to give Ubuntu 22.04 a try, you can download the operating system from our dedicated Ubuntu 22.04 download page. If you need help installing the new operating system, we have guides on How to install Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish Desktop or How To Upgrade Ubuntu To 22.04 LTS Jammy Jellyfish.

In case you are already on Microsoft Windows and do not wish to give it up completely to migrate to Ubuntu 22.04, you can alternatively install Ubuntu 22.04 alongside Windows or even Install Ubuntu 22.04 on WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux).

After you finish the installation, come back and check our Ubuntu 22.04 Guide for more tips and tricks, as well as learn about things to install on Ubuntu 22.04 and things to do after installing Ubuntu 22.04.

Closing Thoughts

In this tutorial, we learned about the new features present in Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish Linux. We compared the new features with those present in the previous release from two years prior, Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa. We think Ubuntu 22.04 is a big improvement in many key areas, and is definitely worth upgrading. See our other article on Ubuntu 22.04 Features and Release Date to read about more differences in Ubuntu 22.04.