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Jeremy Morgan for Pluralsight

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Will Ubuntu 20.04 Steal More Windows Users?

It's that time of year again, Ubuntu 20.04 is now available. Will this be the release that steals away more Windows users?

No, 2020 won't be the year of the Linux Desktop. However, as Jason Evangelho pointed out a couple of days ago Windows 10 usage suffered a rare drop in usage while Ubuntu usage went up 599 percent. It's tough to make a call with such little information. But the idea that Ubuntu could be stealing users from Windows 10 isn't that hard to fathom.

Usability and compatibility have always been the sticking points when moving from Windows to Linux, and some distributions are closing that gap. Ubuntu is one of them.

I'm not a huge Ubuntu fan. I quit using it regularly at version 10.04. I will download it and play with it every release, but I'm not interested in daily use. However, it's hard to deny it's a well crafted Operating System. Let's take a look at some of the new stuff that's arrived with 20.04.

Ubuntu 20.04 Review

Theme Improvements

Canonical has made some improvements to the theme settings right out of the box. One of the first things I noticed: fractional scaling.

Ubuntu 20.04 Review

This is something I use all of the time. It's nice to have this option without having to install or configure anything.

Ubuntu 20.04 Review

Love the switch between modes. Cliche as it may be, I love dark mode for nearly everything unless I'm in a bright room or demonstrating code. Other than that, I'm your typical dark mode for everything geek. It's nice to see the option here.

Oh, and you can hide the dock. This is something I've grown somewhat accustomed to over the years to maximize screen space.

It also comes with Gnome 3.36 standard, which is great if you're a Gnome person. They've made a ton of significant improvements.

Ubuntu 20.04 Review

They've added a "do not disturb" button. You can also disable lock screen notifications, and for better security, you should.

With this being Linux, you can tinker and accomplish these things with some work, but it's nice that it's available out of the box.

No More Apt, Now We Snap

Ubuntu 20.04 Review

A big change for 20.04 is Ubuntu Software now points to the Snap store. There's tons of good stuff in here. It contains more packages than I've seen from any other distro lately. Snap is pretty nice, but if you still want to apt-get stuff, you can.

Ubuntu 20.04 Review

You can choose which channel to install from: stable, beta, or edge. Pretty cool.


Ubuntu 20.04 Review

I ran this in a VM with a single core and 8 Gig of RAM. It was snappy, and I didn't feel any lags or anything unusual. I'm confident it will perform even better natively, with any machine made in the last ten years or so.

Other Stuff

Ubuntu 20.04 Review

Ubuntu has always been a "batteries included" operating system. It comes with all sorts of bells and whistles if you choose to install everything. Backups are managed for you, as well as auto-updating. Office applications, image viewers, and the like are all installed. It's a turnkey OS if you want to get started doing things fast.

Will It Help Lure Windows Users?

The increased interest in Linux is great. I've been using it since the mid-90s, so clearly, I'm sold on it. But I've noticed a lot of new folks from the front end development world getting curious as well.

Ubuntu destroys many of the pain points that keep people from trying Linux.

Here's how:

  • It's not difficult to install
  • You don't need to configure a ton of things
  • You get many programs out of the box, or available in the store
  • It's clean, polished and fast

Linux could continue gaining steam and steal some folks away from Windows, and OSX. If you're considering the switch, try Ubuntu. They've made some great improvements in 20.04, and it's very capable of being a solid desktop operating system that stays out of your way.

You can download Ubuntu 20.04 here.

You can learn more about Linux by taking some of these awesome courses at Pluralsight.

Top comments (30)

manishfoodtechs profile image
manish srivastava

I am lover of Ubuntu... not Ubuntu desktop but Ubuntu servers.
However, still windows desktop has easier UI

abskr82 profile image

I am already sold to linux, I have sacrificed my paid windows for this.

jonrandy profile image
Jon Randy 🎖️

Dumped Windows years ago. I remember the fist time I dual booted Ubuntu - it felt like I had a new laptop - everything was so much faster. Gradually booted Ubuntu more and more until Windows just felt like it was wasting space on the HDD. Have never looked back

davidjames profile image

No. I'm core audience material and have been for a very long time. Windows is just easier and there's no arguments between factions concerning being "open enough" or whatever let's make everyone's life harder tangent Richard Stallman is barking about this week. (+WSL exists)

jankapunkt profile image
Jan Küster

The greatest thing about Ubuntu and it's derviatives is that I can install if for my parents and basically remove all the "danger zone" functionality from the UI, configure unattended updates and I have no trouble since 16.04. while with windows I had every two weeks an issue to solve for them (something broke after updates, they klicked something and installed a ransomware etc)

hinasoftwareengineer profile image

Hello Jeremy, I really like your post so much. I am currently running Ubuntu 18.04 with windows (Dual Boot). Now, I want to update my Ubuntu 18.04 to 20.04. Can you tell me how to do it?? I am eager to use it.

jeremycmorgan profile image
Jeremy Morgan

I haven't done this upgrade myself, but I found this guide that looks very similar to how I've updated Ubuntu in the past.

lechatthecat profile image

Thank you for the good article. It seems it's as easy as:
$ sudo do-release-upgrade
after some preparations.

markosaric profile image
Marko Saric

Ubuntu 20.04 really is a quality product and a great introduction to the world of Linux. It's more difficult when people cannot buy a machine with Linux preinstalled in the stores but I do hope that more try and explore the world of Linux as it is not that challenging to install. There are so many benefits to it. I personally moved from macOS almost two years ago after some 15 years on Macs and I do not plan to go back.

lechatthecat profile image
lechat • Edited

I am using Ubuntu 20.04 in my desktop and using windows in Virtual box because I use windows only when I need Windows office or play games that work only on windows. It was a bit difficult to use Nvidia GPU with Ubuntu.
Dual boot might have been better though. Anyway I love how fast my ubuntu PC is.

dpashutskii profile image
Dmitrii Pashutskii

That's really nice!
I completely stuck in a bog of Apple ecosystem but my first love of Unix was Ubuntu indeed. So I'm really happy how it developing and gain more users.
I wish game development move somewhere from Windows but so far it's monopolized.

gilesc9 profile image

I've tried Linux several times, and could never get used to it. I just prefer Windows, for development and gaming. I've never thought in my time as a developer that I needed to use Linux because Windows couldn't do it. Mind you I mainly develop the dot net stack and that's pretty slick to dev with on Windows. Maybe one day I'll find a good enough reason to switch to Linux but as it stands I find Windows more than capable for my needs. If I ever really need Linux capability during dev work then I'll use WSL.

adamkeinan profile image

for years i had arguments and discutions aout moving large part of our developers to a new platforms, code etc...
now im sorry i haven't done this before.
my feeling is not only Ubuntu, but linux haven't scratched the surface yet.while windows still aiming for the same old markets. sooner or later its gonna change.
already were seeing new trend in the mobile platforms and ML that will allow servers like Red Hat or Debian to be online 24/7 and totally detached from any home pc/laptop. i think it's time Microsoft will reinvent itself "or else..."

jeremycmorgan profile image
Jeremy Morgan

I haven't experienced something like that for a long time with Ubuntu, but I'm not surprised. There are times when hardware can be a real pain to use in Linux.

manishfoodtechs profile image
manish srivastava

agreed... but the chapter is about desktop ubuntu vs desktop windows...
There was twitter poll 10 days ago and Debian has beaten Ubuntu by very less margin.

woosal1337 profile image

Does not matter whether you move to linux or not, first of all Adobe products will not be available to download and use, and lastly a good dev is also a good dev without the OS difference.

siy profile image
Sergiy Yevtushenko

Yeah, dev is dev. But devs' productivity is way better on Linux.

bobbyiliev profile image
Bobby Iliev

I am sure that more and more people would be switching over!