Ubuntu Linux 20.04 Upgrade
Ubuntu Linux MATE Desktop

Ubuntu Linux 20.04 Upgrade

By kimbriggsdotcom | kimbriggsdotcom | 11 May 2020

As of April 2020, there is a new version of Ubuntu Linux out that will be a LTS, or Long Term Support, version.  I have been a full-time Linux user since at least 2004 and rarely find a time when I need to use proprietary software.  I will describe how I use linux and give an overview of the upgrade process.

1106634066308755456Ubuntu Linux 20.04 Gnome Desktop



The above picture is what a fresh install of Ubuntu 20.04 would look like with the Gnome desktop environment, which is the default.  The banner pic at the top of the article is the same operating system using the MATE desktop environment.

Ubuntu Linux is a modern and polished computer desktop working environment. It comes with a free office suite (free forever), administrative tools and multimedia software.  In most cases, graphics and WIFI are supported "out of the box", but the chance some hardware may not be supported has always been one of the drawbacks of using Linux.  Luckily, you can try it out for free by burning a disk/stick ISO at ubuntu.com and working off of a "live" system.


In my particular case, I have a dual-boot laptop with Windows 10 and Ubuntu Linux.  The idea of dual-boot used to be complicated, but now Dell has an official "How To Dual Boot with Ubuntu Linux" on their website.  I followed the instructions closely and it has worked well for me.

Of course, you should always have a backup of all your important files, even when you are not doing an upgrade.  For people who are familiar with Linux, I want to make sure you know how easy it is to upgrade with Ubuntu Linux.  "Way back when", there was  a technique of creating a separate /home partition to keep personal files on to make upgrading easier.  The Ubuntu version of Linux includes an "upgrade" option that will leave your personal files untouched, but "system wide settings" will be cleared.

I was hesitant to use this with a dual-boot computer because there is no explicit statement of what will happen to your Windows files.  I finally confirmed on the Ubuntu Help pages that only the Linux partition would be affected.  In fact, there is a pop-up window that explains the changes AFTER you click on a button that says "Install Now" (this info needs to be given earlier).

The complete details of Upgrading to Ubuntu Linux 20.04 are on my website.

Linux Desktop Experience

The Linux desktop has the ability to utilize multiple virtual desktops, called workspaces, that are probably my most-utilized and loved feature over a PC or Mac. The workspaces in Gnome are generated dynamically as you start new tasks ("Activities" in the desktop).  There is an easy keyboard combo to cycle through the desktops, but after trying it a while, I still prefer having a static series of workspaces that I can view at all times in an "applet" in the taskbar. To get that option, I switched to the Ubuntu MATE desktop.

1106643745289240576Ubuntu Linux 20.04 MATE Desktop  

The above picture is the MATE desktop with a few tweaks of my own.  For a dual-boot system, the Windows partition's files are automagically mounted under the Devices section and labelled as "OS" (operating system).  Within this file browser, called Caja, it is then a simple matter to browse to your home directory in Windows, choose "Bookmarks... Add Bookmark" from the top menu, and you have a quick way to work with your files stored on the Windows partition.  Note: It is not an easy thing to work in the opposite direction.


Linux is not for everyone and I realize there are some programs you may need that will not run on it.  For any family with a second computer, especially an older one, consider giving Ubuntu Linux a try by burning a disc or thumb drive and running a "live" version without changing anything on your computer.  It can make your older hardware seem like new again!

How do you rate this article?




Travel photography, Linux and OSS, random articles


Mostly my travel photos and descriptions. Random articles on computers, house & garden, and irreverent material.

Send a $0.01 microtip in crypto to the author, and earn yourself as you read!

20% to author / 80% to me.
We pay the tips from our rewards pool.