Canonical’s Ubuntu which is a potent child of Debian has succeeded in giving birth to a multitude of other projects out there and it is now official that Debian is a happy grand parent with a rich posterity. The Ubuntu desktop is by far the world’s most widely used Linux workstation platform, powering the work of engineers across the globe. Ubuntu Core sets the standard for tiny, transaction operating systems for highly secure connected devices.

This article digs into Ubuntu’s pedigree to find out the different kinds of offsprings and their various flavors. We shall look at the projects that are based on the new Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa).

1. Xubuntu 20.04

Xubuntu is a Canonical Ltd.–recognized, community-maintained derivative of the Ubuntu operating system. The name Xubuntu is a portmanteau of Xfce and Ubuntu, as it uses the Xfce desktop environment (which is stable, light and configurable), instead of Ubuntu’s GNOME desktop (Wikipedia)

Xubuntu team assure that it is perfect for those who want to make the most of their desktops, laptops and netbooks, featuring a modern look and enough features for efficient, daily usage. It works well on older hardware too. Xubuntu 20.04, codenamed Focal Fossa (derived from Ubuntu 20.04), is a long-term support (LTS) release and will be supported for 3 years, until April 2023

Features of Xubuntu 20.04

  • Kernel: Powered by Linux Kernel version 5.4. Linux Kernel 5.4 brings support for new hardware and processors, support for exFAT filesystems, built-in support for the WireGuard VPN.
  • Xfce 4.14: Comes with Xfce 4.14
  • File Manager: Thunar 1.8.14
  • Codenamed “Focal Fossa”
  • Support up to:supported with security and maintenance updates, until April 2023.
  • Xfce Panels: Improved window grouping, a new default panel layout, and clock format

Accessories and applications

Xubuntu 20.04 comes with many default apps in a bid to fit the needs of users.

  • Office, email and internet
  • LibreOffice 6.4.2
  • Thunderbird 68.7.0
  • File manager
  • Thunar File Manager 1.8.14
  • Catfish 1.4.13: File search utility
  • Firefox 75.0

2. Kubuntu 20.04

Kubuntu is an official flavour of the Ubuntu operating system that uses the KDE Plasma Desktop instead of the GNOME desktop environment (Wikipedia). It is a free, complete, and open-source alternative to Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X which contains everything you need to work, play, or share. The installation includes productivity, office, email, graphics, photography, and music applications ready to use at startup.

Features of Kubuntu 20.04

  • Codenamed “Focal Fossa”
  • KDE Plasma 5.18 LTS: simple by default
  • Kernel: Linux 5.4-based
  • KDE Frameworks 5.68 and KDE Applications 19.12.3
  • Support up to:supported with security and maintenance updates, until April 2023.
  • Architecture: 64 bit support only

Other applications

Elisa, the wonderful new music collection player from KDE replaces Cantata as its default. KDE connect has a major new feature release. Krita, Kdevelop, Digikam, Latte-dock, and many many more applications are updated.

More on Kubuntu

3. Lubuntu 20.04

Lubuntu is an official Ubuntu flavor which uses the Lightweight Qt Desktop Environment (LXQt). The project’s goal is to provide a lightweight yet functional Linux distribution based on a rock-solid Ubuntu base. Lubuntu provides a simple but modern and powerful graphical user interface, and comes with a wide variety of applications so you can browse, email, chat, play, and be productive.

Lubuntu is targeted at PC and laptop users running on low-spec hardware that, in most cases, just don’t have enough resources for all the bells and whistles of the “full-featured” mainstream distributions. Members of the team take care of LXDE and other packages that are part of Lubuntu.

Now onto Lubuntu 20.04, it is codenamed Focal Fossa and is the 18th release of Lubuntu, the fourth release of Lubuntu with LXQt as the default desktop environment, and the first Long Term Support release with LXQt.

Features of Lubuntu 20.04

  • Codenamed “Focal Fossa”
  • Support up to: Lubuntu 20.04 LTS will be supported until April 2023
  • Desktop Environment: Lightweight Qt Desktop Environment (LXQt)
  • Installer: Lubuntu uses the Calamares system installer
  • Architecture: 64 bit support only

Applications and toolkits installed by default

  • LXQt 0.14.1.
  • Qt 5.12.8 LTS.
  • Mozilla Firefox 75, which will receive updates from the Ubuntu Security Team throughout the support cycle of the release.
  • The LibreOffice 6.4.2 suite.
  • VLC, for viewing media and listening to music.
  • Featherpad 0.12.1, for notes and code editing.
  • Discover Software Center 5.18.4, for an easy, graphical way to install and update software.
  • The powerful and fast email client Trojitá 0.7 to get you to inbox zero in no time.

Find out more about Lubuntu here

4. Ubuntu Mate 20.04 –

Ubuntu MATE is an Open Source Linux distribution takes Ubuntu base operating system and adds MATE Desktop to come up with Ubuntu Mate. The MATE Desktop has a rich history and is the continuation of the GNOME 2 desktop, which was the default desktop environment on many Linux and Unix operating systems for over a decade. This means that MATE Desktop is tried, tested and very reliable.

Features of Ubuntu Mate 20.04

  • Linux Kernel 5.4
  • Native exFAT support and support for WireGuard VPN
  • Ubuntu MATE 20.04 LTS will be supported until April 2023.

New Additions in Ubuntu Mate 20.04

  • MATE Desktop 1.24
  • A lot of visual improvements
  • Bouquets bugs fixed
  • Addition of experimental ZFS support
  • Replacement of Thunderbird with the Evolution email client
  • Addition of GameMode from Feral Interactive.
  • Several package updates

Find out more about Ubuntu Mate here

5. Pop!_OS 20.04

Developed and maintained by System76, a US-based Linux hardware company, Pop!_OS is an operating system for STEM and creative professionals who use their computer as a tool to discover and create. Unleash your potential on secure, reliable open source software. Based on your exceptional curiosity, we sense you have a lot of it.

Features of Pop!_OS 20.04

Auto-Tiling With Pop Shell

Auto-tiling helps you be both organized and efficient, and is especially convenient on large displays. When you open new windows, the OS takes care of slotting them in on the available space while you focus on the window you are currently working on. To make it even better, you can resize, move, launch and search using keyboard exclusively. If you have used i3 before, you will have a lot of fun using Pop!_OS 20.04.

Fawless Development Toolkits

Develop software out of the box with a vast array of libraries and tools at your disposal. Pop!_OS uses APT and Flatpak package management, meaning it’s easy to install, remove, and update all software on the OS.

Update on Your Terms

Pop!_OS provides the latest features and security patches through rolling updates and periodic OS version upgrades, to be performed at your discretion

Encryption out of the box

Pop!_OS encrypts your installation by default, and is the only Linux distribution that enables pre-installed full-disk encryption out of the box

Get more details about Pop!_OS here

6. Greenie 20.04

Greenie Linux is a Ubuntu-based Linux distribution hailing from Slovakia that is developed to befit e-book readers and writers. The latest release (Greenie 20.04) includes features of both Ubuntu 20.04 LTS repositories and Kubuntu using KDE Plasma desktop 5.18. Greenie 20.04 uses KDE which replaces its previous MATE desktop.

Since it targets readers and writers of e-books, Therefore, Greenie 20.04 comes with additional fonts with complete support for Slovak and Czech languages along with its language packages.

Features of Greenie 20.04

  • KDE Plasma 5.18 LTS: simple by default
  • Kernel: Linux 5.4-based
  • KDE Frameworks 5.68 and KDE Applications 19.12.3
  • Support up to:supported with security and maintenance updates, until April 2023.
  • Architecture: 64 bit support only

7. Regolith Linux 1.4

Regolith is a modern desktop environment designed to let you work faster by reducing unnecessary clutter and ceremony. Built on top of Ubuntu, GNOME, and i3, Regolith stands on a well-supported and consistent foundation. All of you i3-wm lovers will be rocked by Regolith. Imagine the convenience, the swift, and awesome usability of i3 combined with GNOME. Your favorite shortcuts are still viable and your desktop will have the same tiles you are used to. This is what Regolith does:

  • Combines GNOME’s system management features with i3-wm’s productive workflow.
  • Enables new users a fast and fun way to try out a tiling window manager.
  • Supports easy customization and ricing via a consistent Xresource configuration.
  • Relies on Ubuntu’s app store and package repositories for a large, high quality selection of software.
  • Built to be taken apart. Swap in UI components of your choosing easily.
  • Ships with a toggle overlay of basic keybindings to make getting started easier.
  • Provides a build script and package metadata to allow users to easily fork the d

Remontoire app makes keyboard shortcuts (“keybindings”) easier
A new default theme, called Lascaille.

Find out more about Regolith Linux here

8. Ubuntu Budgie 20.04

Ubuntu Budgie is a community developed distribution, integrating the Budgie Desktop Environment with Ubuntu at its core hence a proud official member of the Ubuntu family. Whether you are using it on an old computer, or a powerful workstation, Ubuntu Budgie is adaptable to any device, keeping them fast and usable.

20.04 is a Long Term Support (LTS) release and is supported from Apr 2020 to Apr 2023.
Built-In Security: Ubuntu Budgie is designed with security in mind. Unlike operating systems that update only once a month, Ubuntu Budgie receives updates continuously.
Easy Migrations: Connect your accounts, sync your calendars and download your favorite apps. Ubuntu Budgie is your very own Operating System.
Pre-Configured Yet Flexible: Using Ubuntu Budgie provides you with the freedom to run a complete, full-featured operating system, pre-configured with most, if not all, of the applications you will need for your daily computing.
Ubuntu Budgie comes with a collection of apps that enables you to work on everyday tasks and be productive such as:

  • Firefox browser
  • Geary
  • Rhythmbox
  • MPV player
  • LibreOffice

Base requirements

Ideal for computers with: 4GB or more of RAM
64-bit capable Intel and AMD processors
UEFI PCs booting in CSM mode.
Modern Intel-based Apple Macs

If you would wish to check out more about Ubuntu Budgie, click here

9. Ubuntu Studio 20.04

Ubuntu Studio is a free and open source operating system, and an official flavor of Ubuntu that is most widely used for multimedia-orientated projects in the world. This is a very different kind of spinoff with a lot of tools that I personally found quite alien to me. It comes preinstalled with a selection of the most common free multimedia applications available, and is configured for best performance for various purposes: Audio, Graphics, Video, Photography and Publishing.

Major Objective of Ubuntu Studio

The project aims to be a multimedia-oriented operating system configured to work out-of-the-box for multimedia applications and to be especially easy-to-use for the complex processes required by professional audio production while still being a good all-in-one studio for various creative types.

Features of Ubuntu Studio 20.04

Kernel: Linux Kernel 5.4
Support for 64 bit only
Supported for 3 years (until April 2023)
Ubuntu Studio’s default ISO uses the Xfce desktop environment.
Ubuntu Studio makes available some of the most popular and recently updated audio software in the Linux world such as:

  • Jack: a low latency capable audio and midi server, designed for pro audio use.
  • Ardor: a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), suitable for recording, mixing and mastering.
  • Carla: a virtual Audio Rack and Patchbay, otherwise known as a plugin host.
  • Calibre: a popular program that makes things easy for new users by providing excellent templates for common formats, such as kindle, various types of tablets and other hardware readers, and a lot more.
  • Scribus: an application that will let you creat professional PDF publications.
  • Sequencers and Synthesizers
  • Blender: a full fledged 3D content creation suite.
  • Inkscape: a superb vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X, using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format.
  • GIMP
  • PikoPixel: an easy-to-use application for drawing & editing pixel-art.
  • Shotwell: organizes library of photos.
  • Darktable: a photography workflow application and RAW developer.
  • Openshot: a simple video editor for Linux. Add videos, photos and music to create DVD’s, youtube clips and a range of other formats.

If you would wish to check out more and support Ubuntu Budgie, click here

10. Ubuntu Kylin 20.04

The objective of the Ubuntu Kylin project is to create a variant of Ubuntu that is specifically suited for Chinese speakers across the globe, especially those without any experience using operating systems other than Microsoft Windows. Development is driven by a commitment to providing a simpler and more enjoyable experience out-of-the-box.

Ubuntu Kylin’s page is in Chinese and hence could not find more information about it but the project is a live.

The project is found at Ubuntu Kylin

Learning Linux courses:


The flavors presented above distribute installation images that are curated groups of software packages to be installed over Ubuntu Core, producing unique computing experiences for users with specific needs. As it can be observed, users ranging from those with scientific interest to those who produce music and publish content are covered by the various spinoffs that concentrate on those areas of interest. It is now up to you to choose the one that suits your needs best. Otherwise, it has been a pleasure having you and we appreciate reading till the end.

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