It is now possible to download Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, and in this way a new cycle begins
Even if you don’t use Linux, surely the name Ubuntu sounds familiar to you. It is the most important and easily recognizable Linux desktop distro in the world, and it is the only one known to many people.
With the release of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, we are at the best time to make the jump to Linux and try the distro that everyone talks about, since it is a version with some new features, but above all oriented to stability.
Below we will review the most important information about Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, known as Xenial Xerus, whether you are new to this Linux or if you just want to update.
What does Xenial Xerus mean?
Canonical has a tradition of naming each Ubuntu version composed of an animal’s name and an adjective, starting with Ubuntu 4.10Warty Warthog. Since Ubuntu 6.06Dapper Drake, the initials are in alphabetical order, and so Ubuntu 14.10 was Wily Werewolf, and 16.04 is Xenial Xerus.
Xenial Xerus means Hospital Xerus, being the xerus a species of ground squirrel typical of africa.
The first number refers to the year in which it was released, and the second number refers to the month. The first version of Ubuntu was 4.10.
What does LTS mean in the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS name?
LTS stands for Long Term Support. In other words, this is the Ubuntu version that will be officially supported by Canonical for the next five years; That means that you continue to receive security updates, and that the included software is focused on stability.
The non-LTS versions of Ubuntu include the latest versions of the applications, but their official support only lasts about nine months, so they are only recommended if we are always going to update to a new version of Ubuntu every time one comes out.
Am I required to update?
No, although the system will notify you that you have an available system update, you can ignore it and never appear again. Now it may you have to accept them if you want to continue receiving security updates for your programs.
For example, If you use Ubuntu 15.10, you should know that in the middle of this year you will stop receiving security updates. If you use Ubuntu 15.04, this version stopped being supported last February 2016.
Instead, If you use Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, you will continue to receive updates until 2019, whereas if you use Ubuntu 12.04 LTS you will have updates until next year, so you should start thinking about updating.
Where do I download Ubuntu 16.04 LTS?
Ubuntu alternative download
How do I install Ubuntu 16.04 LTS?
Ubuntu installation is even easier than Windows. We just have to download the ISO image and burn it to a DVD or a USB drive, and boot the computer (we may have to change the boot order in the BIOS).
The installation process is guided, and the Program I will do all the dirty work like formatting the disks, and also we can make it keep installing Windows to choose between the two systems every time we turn on the computer.
How do I upgrade to Ubuntu16.04 LTS?
If you use Ubuntu 15.10 or other non-LTS version, the update notice will appear automatically in the next few days.
If you use Ubuntu 14.04 LTS instead, you won’t receive the notice until approximately JulySince to guarantee stability the update is only done when Ubuntu 16.04.1 is released, Ubuntu 16.04.1 will be the same 16.04 LTS from now, but with the patches and updates that have come out in the first weeks since its release.
In both cases, you can force the update manager to check for a new update. To do this, first make sure you have the system up to date, open the Update Manager and install all those that are pending. When you finish, close it, open a new terminal and write the following:
sudo update-manager -d
The update manager will open, but now check if there is a new version of Ubuntu and ask if you want to install it. Keep in mind that the first days it is possible that the servers are so requested that the download is very slow, so If you can wait, you better do it.
How can I test Ubuntu 16.04 LTS without installing it?
The same ISO image that you download to install Ubuntu also serves to test it. It is what is known as Live-CD, the system runs in RAM without the need to install it on the hard disk; If you like what you see, you can start the installation from an icon that will appear on the desktop.
If you want something even simpler, you can try the Ubuntu Online Tour, a web application that loads the Ubuntu desktop in your browser. You can do practically nothing, just try a couple of applications and test the interface, but it will give you an idea. Of course, the current version in Ubuntu Online Tour is 14.04 LTS, so it is not exactly the same as what you will have with 16.04 LTS.
What version of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS do I have to use?
Basically you have two versions of Ubuntu for desktop, one for 64 bit systems, and one for 32 bit systems. 32-bit is geared towards older computers, and is the option compatible with all processors, but most could use the 64-bit without problems.
Keep in mind that Ubuntu exists in many forms. Ubuntu as such is the one with the Unity desktop, with an application launcher on the left and the program menus at the top. In addition to this, there are other official flavors that start from the same base but use a different desktop.
For all intents and purposes, they are the same operating system, but are controlled differently. The official alternative versions of Ubuntu are as follows:
- Kubuntu. Use the KDE Plasma desktop. With a modern design very similar to Windows (taskbar with start menu) and its own pre-installed applications, Kubuntu is ideal if you don’t like what you see from Ubuntu.
- Ubuntu GNOME. Use the Gnome desktop. Many pre-installed applications are the same, but in the latest updates they are including more of their own apps with an original design and interface.
- Xubuntu. Use the XFCE desktop. It is lighter than Gnome and Unity, but without neglecting the design. It is a desktop that has evolved very little but that in the future will move to the Ubuntu Gnome platform.
- Lubuntu. Use the LXDE desktop. It is the lightest of all, but also the most basic and least beautiful. Ideal for older computers, its successor called LXqt is already in development.
- Ubuntu MATE. Use the MATE desktop. It is the sensation of the moment, the flavor that is giving more to speak thanks to its desktop based on the old version of Gnome. Light and powerful.
- Edubuntu. It uses the Unity desktop like Ubuntu, but it includes applications and tools for education, schools and institutes.
- Mythbuntu. Ubuntu with MythTV pre-installed for computers connected to televisions.
- Ubuntu Studio. It’s Ubuntu with pre-installed tools geared towards graphic designers, video editors, and content creation.
- Ubuntu Kylin. Ubuntu for Chinese users.
All of these versions will be updated to 16.04 LTS. Some may take longer than others, but normally, in a few days they all use the same base code as Ubuntu.
These are the official Ubuntu flavors, but it is also easy to find other Ubuntu based distros.
How do I change the application launcher site?
Until now, the application launcher could only be on the left side of the screen, but In Ubuntu 16.04 we can move it to the bottom, like Windows or KDE.
We can do it in two ways. For the first, open a new terminal and run the following command:
gsettings set com.canonical.Unity.Launcher launcher-position Bottom
To make the launcher go back to the left, run this command:
gsettings set com.canonical.Unity.Launcher launcher-position Left
Another simpler way is to install Unity Tweak Tool, a program that you can find in the Ubuntu Software Center. Access Launcher, and in the Appearance section you can choose the location of the launcher.
Why has the software center changed?
Ubuntu had its own software center, but a new and more complete one has appeared in the latest versions of Gnome. It is so good, that Canonical has decided to close its own and use the Gnome one.
What new applications does Ubuntu 16.04 LTS include?
The only really new app is Gnome Calendar, a modern and easy to use calendar app coming from the Gnome desktop; Allows you to connect with Google Calendar and other online calendar services. Otherwise, there are some redesigned and updated apps, but nothing important.
What applications have we lost?
Empathy, the instant messaging app, and Brasero, the CD and DVD recording app, are no longer included by default, although we can install and continue using them as before.
Is it true that I can’t use Ubuntu 16.04 LTS if I have an AMD graphic?
No, but there is some truth in that story. AMD’s proprietary drivers, called fglrx, are not compatible with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, nor will they ever be. The reason is that fglrx does not support version 1.18 of XServer (Ubuntu’s graphics server) which Canonical wanted to include by default.
So we cannot install the driversfglrx, even if we download and install them manually.
Instead of that, Ubuntu use AMD open drivers, but they have much lower performance and they are very limited regarding afglrx. For example, they are not compatible with OpenGL 4.3 or higher, and that means that we will not be able to play many games.
The good news is that AMD is working on the AMDGPU project to create open source drivers, and that considerable progress is expected this year. But until then, If you use a Radeon graphics card, you may not be interested in updating to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.
What is Snap?
Snap is a new type of packages that allows us install programs very easily, without looking for dependencies.
The package itself stores everything necessary to install the app, such as dependencies. If you want to know more about Snap, in Omicrono we already published an in-depth article on this technology.
What is LXD?
LXD is a hypervisor, a platform that allows using multiple operating systems on virtual machines. This is one of the great new features of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS for administrators, and together with OpenStack they can now mount private clouds with lower latency and higher workload than any other solution on the market, says Canonical.
What is ZFS?
ZFS is a file system, originally created by Sun Microsystems for its Solaris operating system. Many people have been waiting for this implementation for a long time due to its new concept that unites the file system with the volume manager under a single umbrella.
ZFS allows a large capacity, with volumes that can reach 256 zebibytes (2 raised to 78 bytes), in addition to guaranteed data integrity. So ZFS has great potential in servers and work teams, but at the same time it also has a lot of controversy behind it, since it is not clear if its implementation in Ubuntu and other free systems is legal.
ZFS was born as a closed code, then it was opened, and it was finally closed again after Oracle bought Sun.
What version of Unity can I use in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and what’s new?
Default, the version of the Unity desktop included is 7.4, which includes hardly any news and focuses on fixing bugs. Although there was the possibility that Unity 8 came by default, it refused because we are facing an LTS version that should not cause problems.
Despite everything, Unity 7.4 includes some new features, such as the aforementioned possibility of putting the launcher at the bottom, the option to always show the menus of the applications (by default they disappear if we have not placed the mouse on them), the disappearance of online searches by default.
Can I use Unity 8?
Unity 8 will be the next Ubuntu revolution, using the new look at graph. Although it is not installed by default, it is available in the repositories and we can install it with a simple command, taking into account that we can find problems and bugs:
sudo apt-get install unity8-desktop-session-mir
What will come next?
After this release, Ubuntu 16.10 will arrive, and although the name has not yet been decided, it will probably be announced in the next few days. The next versions will focus on two aspects: finally implementing the Unity 8 desktop, and enhancing the convergence between smartphones, tablets and computers.
What is the new Ubuntu 16.04 LTS wallpaper?
Sorry to leave the best for last.
Yes, seriously, it’s the new one.