Today Canonical has released its latest version of the operating system, Ubuntu 21.04. Ubuntu 21.04 codenamed “Hirsute Hippo” packs with some cool new features and a lot of improvements over its predecessor Ubuntu 20.10.
Before users upgrade the current Ubuntu installation to Hirsute Hippo, it is important to note that Ubuntu 21.04 is a short-term support release. It’ll receive updates for 9 months, i.e. until January 2022.
What’s New In Ubuntu 21.04 “Hirsute Hippo”
Ubuntu 21.04 brings in some new features and a lot of improvements that will further improve the upcoming long-term support release.
Linux Kernel 5.11
Ubuntu 21.04 “Hirsute Hippo” ships with Linux Kernel 5.11 that itself contains additional support and a lot of updates. For example, Linux Kernel 5.11 added support for extended attributes in NFS, Btrfs performance and data recovery improvements, Intel Rocketlake and DG1 graphics support, and much more.
Smart Card Authentication
Smart cards are used everywhere, from Government offices to small companies. Smart cards add an additional layer of security by authorizing the person’s identity. Ubuntu 21.04 supports smart card authentication via pam_sss.
Another major change in Ubuntu 21.04 is the replacement of iptables with nftable. nftable is a subsystem of the Linux kernel that has great advantages over iptables. nftable is available in Linux kernel version 3.13 or greater.
Desktop drag-n-drop support
Ubuntu users will finally be able to drag and drop items to/from the file manager. A very small but useful feature that we missed in Ubuntu for a long time.
Power profile mode
Users will now be able to switch power profile mode from the system settings.
Set recovery Key during installation
Another useful feature added in Hirsute Hippo is the option to set the recovery key for decrypting disk data in case a user forgets the password.
Besides all the above features, the new version ships with all the updated applications. Although, Ubuntu 21.04 has not updated GNOME to GNOME 40 but it has updated all the GNOME applications to GNOME 40 applications.
- Firefox 87
- LibreOffce 7.1.2-rc2
- Thunderbird 78.8.1
- Wayland is now the default on most configurations
- Pipewire support is now enabled
- The Active Directory integration has been improved.
- Secureboot on x86_64 (amd64) and AArch64 (arm64) have been improved to include SBAT capable shim, grub2, fwupd.