UPDATE 06/28/2020: Am reclaiming Media Library space by deleting old pics.

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Windows 7 Users, you’re in luck, for as your Windows 7 support comes to an end on January 14, 2020, the #1 Linux Distro is getting ready to release their new LTS version on April 23, 2020. Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Long-term support) will be Ubuntu’s new stable Desktop version, but they cover it all – from the Cloud, Server, Containers, Desktop and all the way to IoT (Internet of Things). They are into this for the ‘Long Haul’ and few (if any) Linux Distros have so much support. Also…do not allow your computer to make you fearful (AKA Cyberphobia) of it, i.e. *MAKE* it *FEAR* you!

OK…back to Ubuntu Focal Fossa (development branch):

That release date may be a day or two off, but I suspect omg! Ubuntu!’s Joey Sneddon has probably got is as close as anyone. He also shows a schedule (Ubuntu has stayed on a ‘Schedule’ for a long time):

Testing week: January 9, 2020
UI Freeze: March 19, 2020
Ubuntu 20.04 Beta: April 2, 2020
Kernel Freeze: April 9, 2020
Release Candidate: April 16, 2020

I couldn’t wait any longer for the official 20.04 stable release … to be released, so I downloaded the focal-desktop-amd64 iso 2.5 GB daily build this morning. Heck, with Ubuntu, their daily builds are more stable than 99.99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999% of the 2000++++++++++++++ other Linux Distros anyway.

Rule of Thumb – if you can’t install Ubuntu on it, then you can’t install any Linux Distro on it.

The codenames of Ubuntu releases are composed of two words starting with the same letter. The Ubuntu 20.04 codename is ‘Focal Fossa’:

snip … This is a fitting moniker in many respects. The word ‘Focal’ means ‘centre point’ or ‘most important part’, while Fossa is a cat-like predator native to the island of Madagascar … snip … Ergo Ubuntu 20.04 is being signposted as both an important and successful update … snip … Ubuntu 20.04 is the next long-term support (LTS) release of Ubuntu, and follows on from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS launched back in 2018 (and supported until 2023) … snip … Every LTS release is supported for 5 years on the desktop and server … snip … Notable, this release will be supported for 10 years as an ‘extended maintenance release’ (ESM). ESM status is not free and is tailored towards businesses, industry and enterprise customers of Ubuntu Advantage.

As noted in my post – Ryzen™ & Linux problems – ‘Blog Update & Deleting Posts’ – I’ve been having problems with the ‘Live’ USB testing of many Linux Distros, on ‘Apevia’ the new Ryzen™ 5 3400G with Radeon™ RX Vega 11 Graphics build. Thusly, my plan for this new Ubuntu Focal Fossa (development branch) was to throw it into the ‘Ring’ with Ryzen™ and see how it did. Round 1 clearly went to Ryzen™ after knocking the Wi-Fi outta ‘Focal Fossa’. It’s long past the time for Linux Distros to be able to master the basic Wi-Fi connection. I had used Rufus to create bootable USB, and everything went well – except for the daily build not recognizing my Wi-Fi connection. As mentioned in the Ryzen™ & Linux problems post, I had found that some of the Distros did fine after being updated, so I decided to try Universal USB Installer’s Persistent Linux (a method of saving data, settings, etc. on ‘Live’ USB for future use).

Round 2 also went to Ryzen™ after ‘Focal Fossa’ failed the persistence test. However, it had recognized the Wi-Fi connection immediately, and connected after I entered the security code. Did a full download of updates, but when I rebooted to see if persistence remembered my setting & such, it showed persistence had failed. OK, it’s a ‘Daily Build’ so some problems are to be expected…besides, it had immediately recognized Wi-Fi, and everything other than persistence was working great.

Round 3, and the ‘Fight’, went to ‘Focal Fossa’ after knocking out Ryzen™ 10 seconds into Round 3. This time, I had used Universal USB Installer (UUI) to create a bootable USB without persistence (NOTE: you may need to check the “Show All ISOs?” box if you can’t find it), and everything looked so good that I decided to try a install to the test 128 GB SSD. I went with the “Normal installation” and included updates plus third-party software:

 

This was a basic Ubuntu installation, so will leave out pics of most install steps…Installation type:

 

Go for the Erase disk option…then hit Install Now:

 

Name and password, plus I like to “Log in automatically” – and the installation finished with no problems, so rebooted and removed the ‘Live’ USB:

 

Booted right into the normal Ubuntu GNOME desktop – i.e. a dock on the left (options to move it) and a Top Bar with time, settings, internet connection, sound, shutdown, etc. I’ve never liked that Top Bar, but you can get use to it, tho it is certainly different than the Windows 7 desktop. Here’s the new system info:

 

Speaking of desktops, Ubuntu offers a variety of them – known as ‘Flavors’ – which brings me to a major Linux problem, ‘Linux Fragmentation’. Distros are fragmented, Desktop Environments (DE) are fragmented, terminology is fragmented – basically, Linux is about thousands and thousands and thousands and a never-ending fragmentation of those and newer thousands of choices. Too many choices can be confusing, which is one of the reasons that after some 29 years Linux is still stuck at the 2% usage mark of total desktop OSes market share…its even behind Google’s relative new Chrome OS. It’s just another reason that I recommend going to Windows 10, but also try Linux if you have the time – especially if that old Windows 7 computer is due to be replaced, and you can use it to test Linux on after buying a new WIN10 computer. Personally, I don’t want to go to a ‘Toy Store’ or a ‘Candy Store’ for my OSes, and Microsoft has proven over and over again, for decades, to be the most reliable desktop/laptop OS there is. With that said, Ubuntu is clearly the #1 desktop Linux Operating System, and that is one of the reasons I am doing this post. Interested? This Ubuntu Focal Fossa (development branch) is offering you an opportunity to get started with testing Linux…it will soon be a fully stable long-term supported Ubuntu OS, and I am finding it to be amazingly stable already.

OK…we have gone thru creating a bootable ‘Live’ USB using the Universal USB Installer (UUI) utility. This gives you some time to test it, but remember that any changes you make don’t get saved in this ‘Live’ USB version – note: Ubuntu 18.04.3 and 19.10 can have persistence installed on their ‘Live’ USB, but this daily build 20.04 test version didn’t work with persistence when I tried it. Get a cheap HDD or SSD (if your computer isn’t too old), unplug your WIN7 drive, and install Ubuntu 20.04 to your new test drive – since you will be able to fully test and add apps, bookmarks, change settings, etc. and save it all when shutdown. We have seen the default Ubuntu GNOME DE, so I want to show a simple method of changing that DE to one more similar to your Windows 7 Desktop Environment. Dash to Panel:

For those unaware, Dash to Panel is a popular Dash to Dock alternative that marries the GNOME Shell Dash and the GNOME Top Bar into a single, unified panel (think the Windows or Plasma 5 desktops).

That simply means that the Ubuntu GNOME desktop and that Top Bar gets merged together, and moved to the bottom (which is optional in settings). First thing you need to do is open the Firefox in Ubuntu, go to Add-ons and search for the “GNOME Shell integration” Add-on. It will look like this:

 

Go ahead and add it and then just shut Firefox off, if you like. Next, look for the Ubuntu Software folder – it looks like this:

 

You may have to update it, since I forgot mentioning to always do a system update after installing to your test HDD/SDD – no biggie, but at some point you need to update the OS and software. If you mess up, simply plug that ‘Live’ USB back in, and reboot it (may have to use your Boot Menu key to choose the USB over HDD/SDD)…when you reach the ‘Live’ USB desktop, go to the bottom left corner and click on that Show Applications icon. Find GParted and then open it or even add it to Favorites (add to Dock) – reformat that test HDD/SDD to NTFS, and reinstall. Remember – *MAKE* that computer *FEAR* you!

OK…open that Ubuntu Software folder, and run a search for “Dash to Panel” … the search result should produce this:

 

Click on that search result, and you will get this next:

 

Hit the install button…after installation, you’ll see the Dash to Panel results:

 

Click on Extension settings – to check out how to change the look and such of the panel:

 

I usually change icon size first:

 

This is what my DE looks like after some removing and a little tweaking:

 

Oh, BTW, that “Tweaks” icon (third from right) is useful, and I used it to remove desktop icons like trash and home folder – you can also add desktop icons with it, and it has many other options and settings. That can also be added from the Ubuntu Software folder. That’s also how to go back to the default DE. Note: If something hangs up, usually just a reboot clears that up. Remember – *STOP* allowing your computer to make you fearful of it!

Next, I like to shutdown my computer from the bottom left…thusly, I go to the Ubuntu Software folder and add the KShutdown app:

 

I set my KShutdown app to “Turn Off Computer” (under Select an action dropdown) and to “No Delay” (under Select a time/event dropdown). That way, I can shutdown the computer from bottom left and/or bottom right corners.

Good luck on whatever you decide!