Ubuntu 24.04 LTS (Noble Numbat) Released, This Is What’s New

Ubuntu 24.04 LTS (Noble Numbat) is now generally available. Here's what's new for the world's most popular Linux desktop.

Canonical’s biennial LTS releases of Ubuntu are significant events for the open-source community. Today, that’s precisely the case, with the just-released Ubuntu 24.04 LTS, codenamed Noble Numbat, now available for download and use by everyone.

Why do these LTS versions matter so much? Simply put, as one of the most popular Linux distributions used by millions of users, the Ubuntu LTS releases largely set the direction that the Linux ecosystem as a whole will be moving in over the next few years. This is true for the average home user as well as business customers.

That said, it’s time to look at what the new Ubuntu LTS release has in store for us.

What’s New in Ubuntu 24.04 LTS (Noble Numbat)

It’s been exactly two years since the previous 22.04 LTS (Jammy Jellyfish) release, and there are many differences between it and the current Ubuntu 24.04. Let’s look at them in detail, starting with the visual changes.

New Installer

Brand new installer.
Brand new installer.

The new Ubuntu 24.04 installer has shifted from the traditional Ubiquity installer to a more modern, Flutter-based system with an improved UI design. This change is driven by the need for a more maintainable codebase and the embracement of modern application development standards.

The installer’s redesign focuses on enhancing user experience with features like a new accessibility page, an option for automated installation via a central configuration YAML file for power users, support for ZFS-guided installations, TPM-backed full-disk encryption (requires TPM 2.0), and more.

In addition, the installer can now update itself, and if a newer version is available, it will ask the user to update at the beginning of the installation process.


Ubuntu 24.04 comes with GNOME 46, the most noticeable update for the average user due to its significant visual changes. However, unlike the vanilla GNOME experience found, let’s say, in Fedora, Ubuntu’s version comes customized with various extensions added to provide a more straightforward and predictable user experience.

This includes familiar features for Ubuntu users, such as the permanent sidebar on the left, desktop icons, customized overview screen, system tray functionality, and more.

Ubuntu 24.04 Desktop
Ubuntu 24.04 LTS Desktop

There are many new features to explore, and while you can find a detailed look at all of them in our comprehensive article on the subject, here’s a quick summary of the GNOME 46’s key highlights:

  • Enhanced notification system – notifications now feature collapsible and expandable functionality.
  • Redesigned “Settings” – a new “System” menu and improved “Mouse & Touchpad” settings.
  • GNOME Online Accounts now has integrated support for Microsoft OneDrive.
  • VRR (Variable Refresh Rates) is included as an experimental feature but is disabled by default.
  • Enhanced system efficiency with lower search memory usage, better screen recording, smarter image viewer resource management, and faster GNOME terminal apps.

Apart from those, the Files app has been fully revamped, offering Ubuntu users a range of new features, with the following being the most important:

  • A massive improvement to the file search functionality within the Files application, introducing a new global search.
  • The tracking of any file operations has now been relocated to the bottom left corner of the Files interface.
  • Users can now select their preferred format for displaying the date and time on files in either List or Grid view, with “Simple” or “Detailed” available.
  • Lightning-fast switch between “List” and “Thumbnail” views.
Files App
Files App

Additionally, users will quickly see a new scrollable dynamic workspace indicator in the top left corner, which has replaced the old “Activities” three-dot button. The Ubuntu logo icon at the bottom of the left panel provides easy access to the GNOME’s overview screen.

Furthermore, the revamped Quick Settings offers easy access to various features, such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, switching themes from light to dark, adjusting power modes, and more.

Improved Window Tiling Capabilities

Unlike the earlier 22.04 LTS version, the new Noble Numbat release brings major improvements to desktop window tiling—the feature that allows you to snap windows to the edges or corners of your screen.

Previously, you could only snap windows to the screen’s left, right, top, or bottom. Now, with Ubuntu 24.04 and the introduction of the brand-new “Ubuntu Tiling Assistant,” you can snap windows into any quarter of the screen.

Ubuntu 24.04 now supports quarter-tiling.
Ubuntu 24.04 now supports quarter-tiling.

New App Center

Ubuntu 24.04 introduced a redesigned Ubuntu App Center, replacing the former Snap Store. Developed from the ground up using the Flutter toolkit, the new App Center offers a more streamlined and efficient user experience.

In addition, the app now features a dedicated Games page, a new addition introduced in the previous 23.10 (Mantic Minotaur) release. This section is explicitly tailored to gamers, providing an easy and convenient way to discover and install games.

Linux Kernel 6.8

Ubuntu 24.04 LTS features the Linux kernel 6.8, which introduces several enhancements. Here are the main ones.

  • Virtualization Enhancements: It introduces Linear Address Masking (LAM) for Intel processors and guest-first memory support for KVM, enhancing both performance and flexibility in virtual environments.
  • Filesystem Support: Key improvements include a new online check and repair feature for Bcachefs, enhanced online fsck for XFS without the need for unmounting, faster reading of small blocks for Ext4, and new features for Btrfs and EROFS that improve performance and compression, especially in low-memory situations.
  • Hardware Compatibility: Linux kernel 6.8 expands its support to newer hardware, such as the Broadcom BCM2712 processor found in Raspberry Pi 5, AMD’s WBRF Wi-Fi feature, and Intel’s Xe graphics with a new DRM driver.
  • Memory Management: Memory management has been improved through optimizations such as zswap writeback disabling and a multi-size interface for Transparent Huge Pages (THP). It also begins integrating Rust support, enhancing security and reliability.
  • Networking Optimizations: Enhancements to networking include improved cache efficiency and the ability to create special files in the SMB file system.
  • Power Management: Kernel 6.8 refines power management with features like SBI-based suspend to RAM for more efficient power use in devices using the RISC-V architecture.
  • AppArmor Enhancements: AppArmor bolsters security by upgrading the hashing algorithm from SHA1 to SHA256, albeit with a potential minor slowdown in policy loading on lower-end systems.
Ubuntu 24.04 LTS (Noble Numbat) running Linux kernel 6.8
Ubuntu 24.04 LTS (Noble Numbat) running Linux kernel 6.8

Refreshed Software Base

Outside of the novelties mentioned above, the Noble Numbat release comes with a completely refreshed software base; on the client side, you can find Firefox 124 as a native Wayland app, LibreOffice 24.2, Thunderbird 115 “Supernova,” GIMP 2.10.36, and more.

Furthermore, you’ll also find an updated toolchain, including the following:

  • GCC 14
  • Golang 1.22
  • Python 3.12
  • Rust 1.75
  • OpenJDK 21 LTS
  • Ruby 3.2
  • PHP 8.3
  • LLVM 18

Additionally, it’s worth noting that the release of .NET 8 marks an important advancement for Ubuntu in its support for the .NET community. Both Ubuntu 24.04 LTS and 22.04 LTS will fully support .NET 8 throughout their lifecycles.

On the server software side, many applications have received version bumps, including Apache 2.4.58, Nginx 1.24, Squid 6.6, MariaDB 10.11, PostgreSQL 16.2, Clamav 1.0, Spamassassin 4.0, Chrony 4.5, Containerd 1.7.12, Docker 24.0.7, LXD 5.21, QEMU 8.2, Django 4.2.11, Dovecot 2.3.16, Exim 4.97, GlusterFS 11.1, HAProxy 2.8.5, Kea 2.4.1, libvirt 10.0, Net SNMP 5.9.4, OpenLDAP 2.6.7, Samba 4.19, and so on.

Ubuntu 24.04: Minimal by Design

The Noble Numbat release introduces a new “minimal” by default installation option. When you choose this during setup, it installs only a basic set of applications. This means you’ll end up with just Firefox as your web browser, plus the essential system tools.

Minimum set of applications in the default Ubuntu 24.04 installation.
Minimum set of applications in the default Ubuntu 24.04 installation.

For those who like to have apps like LibreOffice, Thunderbird, Rhythmbox, GIMP, and others ready to use from the start, there is still an “Expanded Selection” option available in the installer. Moreover, Games are no longer preinstalled by default.

However, here’s where we start to wonder if the “minimal” label really fits. For example, a fresh installation of Ubuntu 24.04 uses up to 9 GB of disk space, which doesn’t seem very minimal to us.

In comparison, the newly launched Fedora 40, which also uses the GNOME 46 desktop environment, takes up just 3.5 GB. That’s a significant difference compared to Ubuntu’s 9 GB for what’s supposed to be a “minimal” setup.

As more applications are added, the operating system grows larger. And even though disk space isn’t a big concern nowadays, there might be better choices for older systems than Ubuntu 24.04. In such cases, Fedora, Debian, or Linux Mint could be better suited.

Other Ubuntu 24.04 Highlights

After years of being used in Ubuntu’s top version, the Canonical-developed Netplan tool is now part of the 24.04 LTS release.

Netplan 1.0
Netplan 1.0

Don’t know what it is? In short, it’s a utility used to configure network settings. Netplan uses YAML files to define network interfaces, simplifying the process compared to older methods requiring editing multiple files. Additionally, NetworkManager now uses Netplan as its default settings-storage backend.

In the media field, PipeWire (v1.0.4) has become the default sound server in the Noble Numbat release. While it was included in the earlier 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish version, it only managed video streams then. Now, in 24.04, it has been promoted to handle all audio and video tasks, ensuring a seamless multimedia user experience.

The Power Profiles Manager has also been enhanced and optimized to better support the latest hardware features, particularly for AMD devices. It now works with multiple optimization drivers and has become battery-aware. This means it can automatically adjust the optimization levels to be more efficient when the device runs solely on battery power.

Moreover, Noble Numbat has introduced a new Firmware Updater application that works on both AMD64 and Arm64 systems. It features a user-friendly graphical interface, making it easy to update your device’s firmware directly without keeping a full app store open in the background.

Finally, we cannot fail to mention that Ubuntu 24.04 is set to be the first LTS release to support the Raspberry Pi 5. It will provide comprehensive support with both arm64 server and desktop images specifically designed for the latest Raspberry Pi model.

Noble Numbat Support Lifecycle

As is the case with all previous LTS (Long Term Support) releases, Ubuntu 24.04 comes with a five-year support period. In other words, Noble Numbat will receive updates and security patches until April 2029. This approach caters primarily to enterprises and users who need a stable and predictable OS without frequent upgrades, allowing long-term planning.

At the same time, Canonical offers Ubuntu Pro, a subscription service for users and organizations needing more extensive support. It extends the support period and enhances the OS’s coverage to an impressive 12-year period.

Moreover, Ubuntu Pro offers additional security features, such as live kernel patching. This allows users to apply critical kernel patches without rebooting their systems, ensuring the overall security posture without disrupting operations.

Upgrade to Ubuntu 24.04 LTS

If you’re running a desktop version of Ubuntu 22.04 LTS (Jammy Jellyfish) and want to upgrade to 24.04 LTS (Noble Numbat) but are still trying to figure out how to do it, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered! Just follow the steps in our comprehensive guide for hassle-free execution.

Upgrading to Ubuntu 24.04 LTS from Ubuntu 22.04 LTS
Upgrading to Ubuntu 24.04 LTS from Ubuntu 22.04 LTS

Bottom Line

Ubuntu 24.04 LTS is another polished release from Canonical that solidifies its status as one of the best Linux desktops. The evolution from the previous 22.04 version is clear, as almost every part of the system has been improved, making it an even more secure and reliable operating system that’s equipped to handle your daily computing needs for years ahead.

We’re sure you can’t wait to try it out. The good news is that Noble Numbat’s ISO installation images are already available from the project website’s download section. For more detailed information about all novelties in Ubuntu 24.04 LTS, visit the release announcement.

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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