Ubuntu has put out the latest point release of its stable version, or the fourth bugfix of 20.04.
The main difference will be visible in new installs: a clean install of 20.04.4 – for example on some new hardware – will get kernel version 5.13 from 21.10 “Impish Indri”, which came out after 20.04.3 last August.
However, if you already have “Focal Fossa” installed and just run a normal update, you’ll get 20.04.4.
If you want that on an existing installation, you can just install the HWE (HardWare Enablement) stack. Ubuntu provides instructions. As it says, just watch out if you’re running binary drivers with kernel modules, such as Nvidia graphics drivers.
The next release we can expect is 22.04, “Jammy Jellyfish”, the forthcoming LTS, which should ship on 21 April.
The point releases are mainly bug-squashing exercises. Without them, if you did a fresh install of 20.04 from the ISO image release nearly two years ago, you’d immediately need to apply several gigabytes of updates and in the interim you’d potentially be exposed to some vulnerabilities.
Some of the smaller updates contained in 20.04.4 include Firefox 97, GNOME 3.36.8, and LibreOffice 126.96.36.199.
There should be a few more point releases to Focal after Jammy comes out. As we said about the recent kernel updates, the canny always wait for the point-one release of a new OS version. ®