Ubuntu 21.04 "Hirsute Hippo" Release: Microsoft Active Directory Native Integration and Migration to Wayland

Canonical has released a new version of the Linux distribution Ubuntu 21.04 "Hirsute Hippo". The stable version comes out three weeks after the beta release and is available for download in three versions: desktop, server and cloud.

Updates from Ubuntu 20.10 were not included in the release because some systems with EFI 1.10 may stop booting. The company says that updates will be included in the future when "an updated version of the shell is available that is compatible with EFI version 1.10."

Ubuntu 21.04 "Hirsute Hippo" is a short-term support release and will receive updates for 9 months. The current long-term maintenance release is Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

Ubuntu 21.04 "Hirsute Hippo". What's new

The release is based on Linux kernel 5.11 and GNOME 3.38. This is the first version of Ubuntu to have Wayland enabled by default, provided the computer's hardware supports the protocol.

By moving to Wayland, users may see improvements in graphics performance in many applications, such as the Firefox browser.

The developers have abandoned the integration of GNOME 40, which was recently introduced.

Ubuntu 21.04 comes with Flutter SDK integration and a new dark theme with "navigation accessibility improvements and new file icons."

The new version of Ubuntu has received native integration with Active Directory. Devices running Linux can centrally join Active Directory (AD) domains, and Active Directory administrators can manage Ubuntu devices and configure system settings from an Active Directory domain controller.

Using the Group Policy client, system administrators can configure security policies for all connected client devices, such as password policies or user access control, as well as desktop environment settings such as the login screen, background image, and favorite apps.

Microsoft and Canonical also announced improved support for Microsoft SQL Server in Ubuntu. Optimized Ubuntu Images on Azure are now available with a Database Management System (DBMS) and Command Line Interface (CLI). The database platform will receive security updates for 10 years. Integration includes performance improvements, persistent memory support without additional configuration requirements, and high availability.

Other changes

  • Added support for smart card authentication method.
  • Fixed moving objects on the desktop using drag & drop.
  • In the settings, you can now change the energy profile.
  • Pipewire Media Server support is enabled by default.
  • The installer has a new option to create a recovery key that will allow you to decrypt disks in case of password loss.
  • Updated versions of many open source applications are present, including Mozilla Firefox, Thunderbird, and the latest LibreOffice 7.1.
  • Several GNOME 40 applications are included by default! For example, System Monitor (with new tab icons), Symbols app, Disk Usage Analyzer, and Disks app.
  • Ubuntu Server has received Rails 6 support.

Info & Download

Ubuntu Desktop 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo)

Ubuntu Desktop 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla)
Ubuntu Desktop 20.04.2 (Focal Fossa)
Ubuntu Desktop 18.04.5 LTS (Bionic Beaver)

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