Shuttleworth first announced Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) on 19 September 2009 at the Atlanta Linux Fest; Canonical released it on 29 April 2010. It was Canonical's 12th release of Ubuntu and the third long-term support (LTS) release.
The new release included, among other things, improved support for Nvidia proprietary graphics drivers, while switching to the open source Nvidia graphics driver, Nouveau, by default. Plymouth was also introduced, allowing boot animations. It also included a video editor for the first time, Pitivi.
GIMP was removed from the Lucid installation CD due to its professional-grade complexity and its file size. F-Spot provided normal user-level graphics-editing capabilities and GIMP remained available for download in the repositories.
The distribution emphasized the increasing importance of Web services and of social networking services with integrated interfaces for posting to sites like Facebook and Twitter, complementing the IM and email integration already in Ubuntu.
On 4 March 2010 it was announced that Lucid Lynx would feature a new theme, including new logos, taking Ubuntu's new visual style into account:
The new style in Ubuntu is inspired by the idea of "Light".
We're drawn to Light, because it denotes both warmth and clarity, and intrigued by the idea that "light" is a good value in software. Good software is "light" in the sense that it uses your resources efficiently, runs quickly, and can easily be reshaped as needed. Ubuntu represents a break with the bloatware of proprietary operating systems and an opportunity to delight to those who use computers for work and play. More and more of our communications are powered by light, and in future, our processing power will depend on our ability to work with light, too.
Visually, light is beautiful, light is ethereal, light brings clarity and comfort.
Historical perspective: From 2004–2010, the theme in Ubuntu was "Human". Our tagline was "Linux for Human Beings" and we used a palette reflective of the full range of humanity. Our focus as a project was bringing Linux from the data center into the lives of our friends and global family.
The new theme met with mixed critical responses. Ars Technica's Ryan Paul said: "The new themes and updated color palette are nice improvement for Ubuntu ... After testing the new theme for several hours, I feel like it's a step forward, but it still falls a bit short of my expectations." Paul also noted that the most controversial aspect of the new design amongst users was the placement of the window-control buttons on the left instead of on the right side of the windows. TechSource's Jun Auza expressed concern that the new theme was too close to that used by Apple's Mac OS X: "I think Ubuntu is having an identity crisis right now and should seriously consider changing several things in terms of look and feel to avoid being branded as a Mac OS X rip-off, or worse, get sued by Apple." Auza also summarized Ubuntu user feedback: "I believe the fans are divided right now. Some have learned to love the brown color scheme since it uniquely represents Ubuntu, while others wanted change."
The first point release, 10.04.1, was made available on 17 August 2010, and the second update, 10.04.2, was released on 17 February 2011. The third update, 10.04.3, was released on 21 July 2011, and the fourth and final update, 10.04.4, was released on 16 February 2012.
Canonical provided support for the desktop version of Ubuntu 10.04 until 9 May 2013 and for the server version until 30 April 2015.