Ubuntu 16.04 Features

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The latest Ubuntu 16.04, which is being called Xenial Xerus was released on the April 21,2016. It consists of a lot of flavours and excitement. Ubuntu LTS versions are more about stability and lesser new features, but this is going to change with the a long list of Ubuntu 16.04 features.

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Based on Linux 4.4 LTS, Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus is an LTS release which means that it’ll remain supported for the next 5 years. Also, it’s the first Ubuntu LTS to be released with systemd as default service manager.

1. Snap application format

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS introduces a new application format, the ‘snap’, which can be installed alongside traditional deb packages. These two packaging formats live quite comfortably next to one another and enable Ubuntu to maintain its existing processes for development and updates.

2. Ubuntu for IBM LinuxONE and z Systems

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS includes a new port to 64-bit z/Architecture for IBM mainframe computers. This is a practically complete port of Ubuntu Server and Cloud with around 95% binary package availability. We are excited to enable OpenStack software, Juju, MAAS, LXD, and much more on this platform.

3. Updated packages

With any new release comes along the flood of updated packages and softwares:

  • Linux kernel 4.4

          Ubuntu 16.04 LTS is based on the long-term supported Linux release series 4.4.

  • Python 3

    Python2 is not installed anymore by default on the server, cloud and the touch images, long live Python3. Python3 itself has been upgraded to the 3.5 series.

  • VIM defaults to Python3

    The default VIM package has been built against python3 instead of python2. This means plugins that require a python2 interpreter support from VIM will not work anymore. For this case alternative VIM packages are available that still use python2.

  • Golang 1.6

    The golang toolchain was upgraded to the 1.6 series, and gccgo was upgraded to the GCC 6.1 release candidate. Thus the same level of standard library and compiler features are provided by both compilers on all fully supported architectures.

3. Ubuntu Desktop

The general theme for 16.04 on the desktop is one of bug fixes and incremental quality improvements.

General

  • GNOME is mostly upgraded to 3.18. GLib upgraded to to 2.48 (corresponding to GNOME 3.20)
  • GNOME Software replaces Ubuntu Software Center. This brings a faster store experience and moves our archive metadata in line with Debian. It has been renamed “Ubuntu Software” to improve recognition for Ubuntu Software Center users.
  • All default applications and libraries ported to use WebKit 2

  • GNOME Calendar is now included by default
  • Empathy and Brasero are removed from the default installation
  • Chromium upgraded to version 48
  • Firefox upgraded to version 45
  • Online searches in the dash are now disabled by default
  • Improved HiDPI support in the greeter
  • Added more supported languages by default 

  • Multiple bug fixes

Unity & Compiz

  • Improved launcher integration with file manager and devices
  • Support for formatting removable devices from quicklist
  • Improved support for gtk applications using headerbars
  • Improvements to the switcher and spread backends
  • Activate app spread by Super+Ctrl+W
  • Unity control center option to always show menus
  • Improvements to GNOME key grabbing
  • New dash overlay scrollbars
  • Better Dash theming support
  • Support for scaling cursors in HiDPI environments
  • Show icons launching state in launcher when apps launched elsewhere
  • Launcher can be moved to the bottom

LibreOffice

GENERAL
  • LibreOffice defaults to the Breeze theme in Ubuntu

  • Improvements in the Python scripting and language bindings

  • Support for WebDAV via HTTPS
WRITER WORD PROCESSOR
  • Added support for whitespace hiding. A long standing feature request.
  • Mailmerge in Writer can use spreadsheets as a data source 

  • Spell check dialogue no longer auto closes
CALC SPREADSHEETS
  • Exponential and power trend lines handle negative Y values
  • Performance improvements leveraging SSE3 for SUM functions
  • Added support for PNG export
  • Search for numbers as formatted/displayed
IMPRESS PRESENTATIONS
  • Slide transitions use OpenGL 2.1+ and new transitions added
  • Keyboard shortcuts for navigation and sorting
  • Screensaver inhibiting for KDE, XFCE, Mate

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS is now released. ISO images and torrents are now available for download.

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