Welcome to the world of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS!
The next LTS release of Ubuntu, version 16.04, dubbed Xenial Xerus, will be officially released on April 21st, 2016. This release was originally expected to arrive on October 13th, 2015, but was delayed due to the discovery of a critical security vulnerability in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS back in June 2015. While the new release date isn’t until over 6 months later than previously anticipated, it will allow Ubuntu developers more time to fix bugs and integrate major feature updates into this latest Long Term Support (LTS) release.
What does LTS stand for?
LTS stands for Long Term Support. It’s meant for businesses who want to be able to count on a system being available, stable, and well-supported for five years or more. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at what will be happening when we get closer to the April release date.
The first thing you’ll notice is the change in version number from 15.10 to 16.04. That signifies that this release will be an LTS release.
The second thing you’ll notice is the update manager has had its design refreshed with some new branding – giving it a fresh look and feel while retaining familiarity with previous versions
Why should I care about it?
Ubuntu is a Linux-based operating system made for PCs, laptops, tablets and phones. The OS takes care of all the hardware requirements and allows users to install whichever apps they want. Ubuntu has always been committed to a pure open source experience, meaning that we do not include any proprietary software by default on our desktop version (see screenshots below). As well as being free as in free speech and free as in free beer, it’s also entirely free as in free services. We don’t charge money for it or ask you to register anything with us either.
The next release – codenamed Xenial Xerus – is due out on April 21st 2016, and will be supported until 2021.
When will it be released?
On April 21st, Mark Shuttleworth announced that Ubuntu 17.04 will be released on April 26th 2017, two days after the release of Windows 10 Creators Update (1703). The final release date for Ubuntu 17.10 is scheduled for October 19th 2017, giving a six-month development cycle to include all major desktop features before branching out into full support cycle, meaning planned releases every two years thereafter …
How do I upgrade my machine?
It’s time for a new Linux distribution release, which means it gets time for some upgrades too. Most distributions will have upgrade options available from within the GUI installer, but if not then you’ll need to boot into rescue mode and install your distro manually via command line or shell. If you’re unsure which option is best, take a look at your current system configuration with lshw -C cpu and lspci -nn grep VGA . Compare this against what hardware is listed in the minimum requirements for the distro, then go with the one that most closely matches your current setup.
If you want to keep any files, settings or software packages that are already installed on your system, back them up before you start upgrading by creating an emergency disk (aka: CD-R) with CloneZilla Live.
What new features can I expect?
The upcoming release of Ubuntu, codenamed Xenial Xerus, is right around the corner and with it comes a wide variety of new features that any GNU/Linux enthusiast can’t wait to use. Here are just a few highlights – Ubuntu now provides its own PPA repository for drivers, meaning no more waiting for NVIDIA or ATI updates to come out before you install your graphics card driver.
There’s also improved hardware support in terms of power management on laptops as well as dual monitors.
Is there anything to be aware of before upgrading?
There are a few things to be aware of before upgrading your current version of Ubuntu, starting with making sure you have enough free disk space on your hard drive. If you are running an older version (14.04 or 14x) it is important that you upgrade first to 16.04 rather than install it fresh out-of-the-box in order to avoid errors caused by newer software dependencies not being met on older systems.
Some things you may have missed in 15.10
* Ubuntu is built around Unity, one-click installer and desktop environment (GNOME being an optional install). * The Debian Testing repository is a main feature in Ubuntu that can give you access to all upstream projects as they become available. * You’ll find many apps for your home and mobile life, including LibreOffice with full support for Microsoft Office formats; Firefox Quantum, the fastest Firefox ever; Thunderbird with cross-platform Sync; and GIMP, Photoshop or Paintshop Pro.