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I know that GNOME 3.38 is a flagship feature of Ubuntu 20.10, but will we be able to install 3.38 on 20.04 so we don't have to give up the LTS status?

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No.

LTS releases are intended to be stable in the sense that the software does not change. The software on 20.04, with limited exceptions, won't be updated. That's the whole point of an LTS.

  • LTS releases continue to receive security updates from the Ubuntu Security Team, and major bugfixes. These security updates include newer versions of web browsers. However, a whole new desktop stack is neither.

Let's take a look at an example: The Gnome environment from 18.04...

gnome-shell | 3.28.1-0ubuntu2                   | bionic
gnome-shell | 3.28.3+git20190124-0ubuntu18.04.2 | bionic-security 
gnome-shell | 3.28.4-0ubuntu18.04.3             | bionic-updates
gnome-shell | 3.36.1-5ubuntu1                   | focal   

...see how gnome-shell 3.28 was in Ubuntu 18.04? You can see the minor updates from security patches and bugfixes, but it's still on version 3.28. Meanwhile, 20.04 uses Gnome 3.36. And two years from now, it's likely to still be using 3.36.

In general, if you want newer software, you should run a newer release of Ubuntu.

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  • Therefore, the advice to always have an update like this from Gnome. It would be reinstalling Ubuntu on a different version of LTS, correct? Thanks for the tip! Sep 10 '20 at 23:13
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    @PauloBoaventura LTSes are released every two years and software versions are frozen for their lifetime. Downloading the same LTS version and installing it won't give you any updates anything that apt upgrade wouldn't install. (I believe HWE stack can be an exception from this rule, depending on your configuration).
    – gronostaj
    Sep 11 '20 at 6:59
  • This answers the question in the body of the post but not the question in the title Jun 12 at 3:01
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Ubuntu 20.04 is an LTS release. Therefore, you wouldn't expect a lot in Software changes as it is meant to be stable.

However you can be sure Ubuntu 20.10 to be released on 22nd October will ship with GNOME 3.38.

If you really want to try out GNOME 3.38, Download img file for GNOME 3.38 Beta (approx 2Gb) From that Link and use it as a Virtual machine.

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  • I have downloaded your link; - Its file name has no version number so I do not know what it is - Gnome-boxes crashes on startup. It ran for a day and the images of gnome-os I had yesterday will not load properly. - Including your link, I now have a total of three .iso files, all claiming to be Gnome-OS of some unspecified version, all different from each other, none will boot in a VM. - The images will boot on a Dell Laptop, but seem eager to install themselves onto "the hard disk", and I did not see an option to run them from the ISO image.
    – user36309
    Oct 12 '20 at 11:13

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