Ubuntu 21.04 “Hirsute Hippo” aka “Hairy Hippo” will be released on April 22nd, 2021. The upcoming Ubuntu release will, however, do without Gnome 40 and instead will still contain Gnome 3.38. Gnome 40 misses the time window for UI changes. In addition, the Ubuntu developers want to first check how the far-reaching changes to the Gnome Shell affect the Ubuntu desktop and the theming.
Gnome 40 late
Like that Development dates for Ubuntu 04/21 can be seen, the time window for changes to the user interface closes on March 18th. The Gnome developers plan to release Gnome 40 on March 24th. Ubuntu developer Sebastien Bacher announced the decision to stick with Gnome 3.38 on the Ubuntu community forum. It is not yet clear what the new Gnome Shell design will mean for the Ubuntu desktop. He reckons with the necessary adjustments in order to reconcile the redesign with the Ubuntu desktop. Gnome 40 brings among other things a new spatial arrangement of the virtual work surfaces. The new UI framework GTK 4 will also not be on board by default. Most GTK applications, including Gnome 40, still use GTK 3.
Ubuntu 21.04 is a short-term release with a life cycle of nine months. The current long-term release is Ubuntu 20.04 LTS “Focal Fossa”, which Canonical will provide with updates until 2025. If you want to try Ubuntu 21.04 before the release date, you can use a ISO image to install from the Ubuntu website download.