[ubuntu-studio-users] Ubuntu Studio 20.04 LTS Released!

Erich Eickmeyer eeickmeyer at ubuntu.com
Thu Apr 23 17:45:07 UTC 2020

The Ubuntu Studio team is pleased to announce the release of Ubuntu
Studio 20.04, code-named “Focal Fossa”. This marks Ubuntu Studio’s 27th
release. This release is a Long-Term Support release and as such, it is
supported for 3 years (until April 2023).

Since it’s just out, you may experience some issues, so you might want
to wait a bit before upgrading. Please see the release notes
<https://wiki.ubuntu.com/FocalFossa/ReleaseNotes/UbuntuStudio> for a
complete list of changes and known issues.

You can download Ubuntu Studio 20.04 LTS from our download page


Please note that those running Ubuntu Studio 19.10 will likely not
receive an upgrade notification right away. This may take anywhere from
a few days to a couple weeks. Since 19.10 reaches End Of Life in July,
please upgrade as soon as possible.

Those running Ubuntu Studio 18.04 can also upgrade, but will likely not
receive any upgrade notification until 20.04.1 is released in July.
Please note that you should purge the Ubuntu Studio Backports PPA prior
to upgrade. Since 18.04 was not an LTS release, please upgrade as soon
as possible.

Full upgrade instructions are found on the Ubuntu Wiki.

    New This Release

      MyPaint Returns!

With the release of version 2.0 of MyPaint, the library conflict with
GIMP no longer exists. As such, MyPaint has retruned to our default
installation. This is a welcome re-inclusion for our graphics design
community, and has been a long-requested feature. MyPaint, welcome back!


Available as an LV2 plugin, AVLDrums is now included with the default
installation of Ubuntu Studio. AVLDrums is a drumkit plugin which can be
used in conjunction with MIDI in any DAW that supports LV2 plugins, such
as Ardour.

      Ubuntu Studio Controls

Our flagship audio control application, Ubuntu Studio Controls, got a
large update this release. Among the new changes:

  * Audio setup tab is split into three tabs: Jack Master Settings,
    Extra Devices, Pulse Bridging
  * Due to kernel compatibility reasons, Firewire devices are no longer
    supported. Consider upgrading to a modern USB or PCIe audio interface.
  * PulseAudio bridges can now be named by the user

      Libreoffice Impress

One item that has been requested is the inclusion of Libreoffice
Impress, which was missing in releases past. We now include it by
default to help those who need it for making presentations.

      Other Changes

Most of this release is evolutionary on top of 19.10 rather than
revolutionary. As such, most of the applications contained are simply
upgraded versions. Details on key packages can be found in the release

We have followed Xubuntu’s lead on a few desktop packages and replaced
them. GNOME Calculator has been replaced with MATE Calculator,
FileRoller has been replaced with Engrampa, and Evince has been replaced
with Atril.

Unfortunately, we did have to say goodbye to some applications that
people rely on due to library incompatibilities. Most notably, Python 2
has reached End-Of-Life, and many packages that depend on Python 2
simply have not been upgraded to Python 3. Those packages are as follows:

  * DisplayCAL
      o The author needs to upgrade this package to Python 3. Once it’s
        upgraded, we will include it in the Ubuntu Studio Backports PPA.
  * Patchage
      o The author has already patched this for Python 3, but relies on
        a newer version of another library not yet included in Ubuntu.
        We may be able to add this package and its library to the Ubuntu
        Studio Backports PPA at a later date.
      o In the meantime, use the Patchbay functionality in Carla.
  * GMidiMonitor
      o This project appears to be dead upstream and relies on Python 2.
      o We have replaced it with midisnoop, which is functionally

For a more complete list of changes, please see the release notes.

    Backports PPA

Packages already exist in the Ubuntu Studio Backports PPA for 20.04 for
items that could not make it into the official Ubuntu repositories in
time for release. These items include:

  * dragonfly-reverb 3.0.0
  * lsp-plugins 1.1.19

The above have also been backported to 19.10 and 18.04, along with many
packages that did make it to the official Ubuntu repositories. However,
as of today, the packages for 18.04 in the backports PPA will be frozen.
If 18.04 users wish to receive further updates, please upgrade to 20.04
as soon as possible.

Instructions for enabling the Ubuntu Studio Backports PPA

  * Automatic method:
      o Open Ubuntu Studio Installer
      o Click “Enable Backports”
  * Manual method:
      o Follow these instructions

    The Future of Ubuntu Studio

      Desktop Environment

Unlike other flavors of Ubuntu, Ubuntu Studio isn’t based on its desktop
environment. We strive to look for the best experience for all of our
users, which includes more than just audio.

About two years ago, we decided to try to release a second version of
Ubuntu Studio with the KDE Plasma desktop environment. Unfortunately,
that proved to be too time-consuming as we’d essentially have to be
introducing a new flavor of Ubuntu, subject to the same application
process as other new flavors. Knowing it would be too much for our small
team, we decided to drop that idea and, with Ubuntu Studio Installer,
make it so that other flavors could have Ubuntu Studio as a bolt-on,
which enabled users to choose their desktop environment themselves.

Ubuntu Studio Installer isn’t going away, but we did reach a decision
that does affect the future of Ubuntu Studio's ISO installer image.

Ubuntu Studio 20.04 LTS will be the final release of Ubuntu Studio using
the Xfce Desktop Environment. As such, upgrades from Ubuntu Studio 20.04
to later releases may result in breakage.

See the source image

Future versions of Ubuntu Studio, beginning with 20.10, will be using
the KDE Plasma Desktop Environment by default. Plasma has proven to have
better tools for graphics artists and photographers, as can be seen in
Gwenview, Krita, and even the file manager Dolphin. Additionally, it has
Wacom tablet support better than any other desktop environment.

It has become so good that the majority of the Ubuntu Studio team is now
using Kubuntu with Ubuntu Studio added-on via Ubuntu Studio Installer as
their daily driver. With so many of us using Plasma, the timing just
seems right to focus on a transition to Plasma with our next release.

See the source image

For audio production, nothing in terms of resource usage changes. If the
display compositor proves to be problematic, a simple alt-shift-F12
disables the display compositor. It can also be disabled from starting
at login. A known resource hog from KDE, the Akonadi server in the KDE
Personal Information manager, will not be included by default (Kubuntu
currently does not use KDE PIM, but Thunderbird as do we). The Plasma
desktop environment has, without Akonadi, become just as light in
resource usage as Xfce, perhaps even lighter. Other audio-focused Linux
distributions, such as Fedora Jam and KXStudio, have historically used
the KDE Plasma desktop environment and done well with audio.

Here is a recent article highlighting some of the resource usage
comparisons with Plasma, showing how light it is on resources.

We will be working with the Kubuntu project on these changes, and the
Lubuntu project as they have already cut the path ahead of us in
changing desktop environments.

We look forward to working with the Kubuntu and KDE teams on this
transition, and are excited to be joining the KDE community.

      Evaluation of Included Applications

During this transition to Plasma, we will be evaluating our included
applications to see if there is any duplication going on. Some have
pointed out that there is duplication of application purpose. For
example, we include 3 video editors by default: Pitivi, OpenShot, and
Kdenlive, and each may have features the other does not have. We will be
doing a lot of evaluation like that over the course of the next release

More details on all of this will emerge in the coming months. Please
stay tuned to our website, our Twitter feed, and Mastodon for updates.

    A Personal message from the Project Leader

/The rest of this announcement is a personal message from our project
leader, Erich Eickmeyer/

This release represents the culmination of two years of hard work by the
Ubuntu Studio team. This release is much more revolutionary than was
released for 18.04 when I first started leading this project. We have
come a long way since then, when a group of burnt-out developers were
rallied into making a great product.

I would very much like to thank the following volunteers who made this
release happen:

  * *Len Ovens:* Ubuntu Studio Controls, Ubuntu Studio Installer, Coding
      o Len has become my right-hand with this, and though we have
        disagreements about things, we have a common goal: making audio
        production on Linux easy, affordable, and ready for everyone
        with little to configure.
  * *Thomas Ward*: Packaging, Ubuntu Core Developer for Ubuntu Studio,
    Code Cleanup
      o I’d say Thomas is my other right-hand, but I don’t have two
        right hands, so Thomas gets to be my left hand. When I have
        questions about Ubuntu policy, or need a new package sponsored
        and uploaded, Thomas is my guy. He has been absolutely
        instrumental with Ubuntu Studio, and is someone I can genuinely
        call a friend.
  * *Eylul Dogruel:* Artwork, Graphics Design, Website Lead
      o Eylul has been amazing to work with. She had a bit of a hiatus
        over the past couple years, but that was completely
        understandable. We have many VOIP discussions about the future
        of the project, and it’s great having her perspective as a
        graphics designer. She has become a great friend, even though
        she lives halfway across the globe from me.
  * *Ross Gammon: *Upstream Debian Developer, Guidance, Sage Wisdom
      o Ross does most of his work upstream with Debian project, making
        sure our upstream has functioning code for us to use. He always
        keeps Ubuntu Studio in mind when working on packages in Debian,
        even taking some of my packaging in Ubuntu to use. He is someone
        I have historically gone to when I have questions about
        packages, and, when there’s a huge update in Debian, is my go-to
        for getting that package synced to Ubuntu.
  * *Stephen Jay Cohen: *Reddit moderator, perhaps more soon!
      o Stephen is a recent example of someone who uses Ubuntu Studio
        actively in a recording studio. He came wanting to get involved
        with the project and proved to be very engaging on Reddit. I
        have already seen plenty of potential in Stephen when it comes
        to community and communication, so I’m looking forward to
        working with him more.
  * *Krytarik Raido*: IRC Moderator, Mailing List Moderator
      o Although we share some of these responsibilities now, Krytarik
        has been very instrumental in keeping the IRC room and mailing
        lists clean of spam. I’m very thankful for his help over the years.
  * *Set Hallstrom*: Previous Ubuntu Studio Leader
      o Shortly after taking a lead role for Ubuntu Studio back in 2016,
        Set had to step back. However, even though he was unable to lead
        the project, the transition to handing the project over was
        smooth and accomplished in the course of the past two years.
        Without Set’s guidance, I wouldn’t have known where to begin.
  * Other help along the way, including some key players:
      o Steve Langasek
      o Adam Conrad
      o Simon Quigley
      o Chris Cooper
      o Matthias Klassen
      o Filipe Coelho
      o Robin Gareus
      o David Runge
      o Olivier Humbert
      o Mattieu Trudel-LaPierre
      o Ian Lane
      o Łukasz Zemczak
      o Colin Watson
      o William Grant
      o Rik Mills
      o Valorie Zimmerman
      o Sean Davis
      o Unit193
      o And anyone else I missed!

      Success Stories

Over the past two years I have come in contact with many people who have
used Ubuntu Studio as part of their professional environments. I’d like
to highlight a few here.

I mentioned *Steven Jay Cohen* above, who recently converted all of his
recording studio machines over to Ubuntu Studio and uses them for his
professional audio production.

Another person I’d like to point out is *Mike Holstein*, who uses Ubuntu
Studio for his production environment. Here’s a track from him produced
entirely with Ubuntu Studio: https://hearthis.at/mike-holstein/glad/

album art image

Last but not least we have the band *Lorenzo’s Music
<https://www.lorenzosmusic.com/>*, who uses Ubuntu Studio to record and
produce their music, develop their artwork, and even produce their music
videos. They recently released a new EP entitled /Spaghetti
Mid-Western/. I highly recommend checking-out their music


Finally, I want to thank the entire Ubuntu Studio community for being
with us through the past two years. It hasn’t been easy, especially
since we couldn’t release 18.04 as a long-term support release. I’m
humbled to be leading this project, and I believe it has a bright future.

/Erich Eickmeyer/
Project Leader
*Ubuntu Studio*

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