Ubuntu's Focal Fossa logo from its desktop background.

The latest LTS version of Ubuntu is Ubuntu 20.04 LTS “Focal Fossa,” which was released on April 23, 2020. Canonical releases new stable versions of Ubuntu every six months, and new Long Term Support versions every two years.

The latest non-LTS version of Ubuntu is Ubuntu 20.10 “Groovy Gorilla.”

The Latest LTS Version is Ubuntu 20.10 LTS “Focal Fossa”

Ubuntu 20.04 standard desktop

The newest long-term support release of this Linux distribution is Ubuntu 20.04, codenamed “Focal Fossa.” It uses version 5.4 of the Linux kernel. Ubuntu releases are always named after animals, and this release is named after the fossa, a cat-like animal found on the island of Madagascar.

This is a Long Term Support, or “LTS,” release, which means it will be supported with free security and maintenance updates for five years from its release date. As Ubuntu 20.04 was released on April 23, 2020, Canonical will support it with updates until April 2025.

Ubuntu 20.04 “Focal Fossa” features a variety of under-the-hood improvements, a more modern GNOME Shell desktop, and a new desktop theme with a lot of purple.

RELATED: What's New in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS "Focal Fossa"

How to Check if You Have the Latest Version

You can check which version of Ubuntu you have installed from your desktop’s settings window or by running a command in a terminal window.

If you’re using the standard version of Ubuntu with either the newer GNOME Shell or older Unity desktop, click the icon at the top right corner of your desktop and click either the Settings icon or the “System Settings” option in the menu. Click the “Details” option in the left sidebar or click the “Details” icon under System if you see a window with a variety of icons.

You’ll see the version of Ubuntu you’re using here. You can also run the “lsb_release -a” command in a terminal window to find this information on any edition of Ubuntu.

RELATED: How to Check Which Version of Ubuntu You Have Installed

How to Upgrade to the Latest Version

You can always upgrade from one Ubuntu release to the next one. For example, you can now upgrade directly from Ubuntu 19.10 to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. You can upgrade from Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, too.

If you’re running an LTS version of Ubuntu and want to upgrade to a non-LTS version—for example, if you want to upgrade from Ubuntu 20.04 LTS to Ubuntu 20.10—you’ll need to tell Ubuntu you want to see “any new version,” not just “long-term support versions.” This option is available at Software & Updates > Updates > Notify me of a new Ubuntu version.

To upgrade to the latest available version of Ubuntu, press Alt+F2, type the following command, and press Enter:

update-manager -c

If you don’t see a message telling you the new release is available, press Alt+F2, type the following command, and then press Enter:

/usr/lib/ubuntu-release-upgrader/check-new-release-gtk

You’ll see a message telling you a new release is now available if one is. Click “Yes, Upgrade Now” to install it on your system

You can also upgrade from the terminal by running the sudo do-release-upgrade command. You  may need to run the sudo apt install update-manager-core command first to install it. Edit the  /etc/update-manager/release-upgrades file to choose which versions of Ubuntu the tool installs.

Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor in Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for nearly a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than 500 million times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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