Canonical has announced that Ubuntu 24.04 LTS will be codenamed Noble Numbat. If you’ve never heard of a numbat, don’t worry, the company always tends to pick weird exotic animals that are usually in danger of going extinct to raise awareness.
Alongside the codename, Canonical also gave us the full release schedule which reveals that a beta will drop on April 4 and the final release will be with us on April 25. Of course, these dates would change if there are any delays but it’s pretty unlikely; unlike Fedora, Ubuntu usually arrives on time.
Ubuntu 24.04 is a biggy because it’s a long-term support release. This means that it will be supported for a long five years meaning you can install it and forget about it for years so you can just focus on working and playing.
It’s also a significant update for people running Ubuntu 22.04 LTS because this will likely be the first Ubuntu version to be offered to them as an upgrade. You can go to the interim Ubuntu versions from 22.04 but by default only the long-term upgrades are shown.
Just last month, Canonical released Ubuntu 23.10 with preview support for hardware-backed full-disk encryption. With the upcoming LTS, it’s expected to deliver broader hardware support for this feature and more configuration and management options.
Other than that, users should expect a more up-to-date version of GNOME heavily modified by Canonical as well as a newer kernel with more newer hardware supported. It’s unclear what else is coming in Ubuntu 24.04 right now but over the coming months we should learn more.
In terms of planning future upgrades, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS users may want to consider moving to 24.04 when the first point release update is pushed out around July or August 2024. This will have given Canonical time to work out any serious bugs and it’s still before May 2025 when Ubuntu 20.04 LTS loses mainstream support.
If you’re on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, there is no immediate need to upgrade. If you do decide to upgrade, you won’t be presented the option until 22.04.1 is released either for stability reasons.