Version 21.04 Release Date: April 22, 2021 (Release Notes)
Ubuntu 21.04 will be supported for 9 months until January 2022. If you need Long Term Support, it is recommended you use Ubuntu 20.04 LTS instead.
New features in 21.04
Ubuntu 21.04 includes the 5.11 Linux kernel. This includes numerous updates and added support since the 5.8 Linux kernel released in Ubuntu 20.10. Some notable examples include:
- Better anonymous memory management to reduce swapping
- New cgroup slab controller which allows sharing of slab memory between cgroups
- Proactive memory compaction to reduce latency for huge-page allocations under fragmented memory conditions
- Support for running BPF programs on socket lookups
- FSGSBASE support to improve context switch performance on x86 processors
- Support for using Intel SGX to create encrypted enclaves
- Support for running SEV-ES guests under KVM to protect guest register state from the hypervisor
- Support for extended attributes in NFS
- fsync() performance improvements for ext4 and btrfs
- Btrfs performance and data recovery improvements
- io_uring restriction support to facilitate secure sharing of rings to less-trusted processes
- virtio-fs DAX support to improve performance and reduce memory consumption
- Intel Rocketlake and DG1 graphics support
- AMD Vangogh, Green Sardine, and Dimgrey Cavefish graphics support
GCC was updated to the 10.3.0 release, binutils to 2.36.1, and glibc to 2.33. Python now ships at version 3.9.4, Perl at version 5.32.1. LLVM now defaults to version 12. golang defaults to version 1.16.x. rustc defaults to version 1.50.
In addition to OpenJDK 11, OpenJDK 16 is now provided (but not used for package builds).
Ruby was updated from v2.7.0 to v2.7.2, and rubygems has been extracted from ruby2.7 source and is provided as a separate package.
Secureboot on x86_64 (amd64) and AArch64 (arm64) have been improved to include SBAT capable shim, grub2, fwupd.
nftables is now the default backend for the firewall.
- Added support for smartcard authentication
- Wayland is now the default on most configurations, which features better security and performance
- The desktop view now properly handles drag and drop interactions, e.g. dragging from/to the file manager
- The power profile mode can now be changed from the settings (on configuration where there is proper kernel support)
- Pipewire support is now enabled which restore working screen recording and allow better audio handling for sandboxed applications
- The installer includes support for specifying a recovery key, which can be used to decrypt the disk if the password is forgotten
- The Active Directory integration has been improved. User authentication with GPO enabled works out of the box after installation.
While the new shell version hasn’t been included yet in Ubuntu the applications have been mostly updated to their GNOME 40 versions.
- Firefox version 87
- LibreOffice version 7.1.2-rc2
- Thunderbird version 78.8.1
- PulseAudio 14
- BlueZ 5.56
- NetworkManager 1.30
Minimum System Requirements
- 2 GHz dual core processor
- 4 GiB RAM (system memory)
- 25 GB of hard-drive space (or USB stick, memory card or external drive but see LiveCD for an alternative approach)
- VGA capable of 1024x768 screen resolution