The Ubuntu 18.04 LTS release date is set for April 26, 2018.
Developers now have six short months to badger away at building the ‘Bionic Beaver’.
For those of you unaware Ubuntu’s April (xx.04) releases follow a 27-week schedule (as opposed to October releases’ 25 week schedule, owing to the little matter of Xmas and New Year).
During the cycle time 2 alpha milestones, 2 beta milestones and 1 release candidate build are issued for public testing. Ubuntu flavors often take advantage of all of these.
However, the regular version of Ubuntu participates in the final beta milestone only (but issues daily builds for the curious to try out ahead of then).
Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Release Schedule
With Ubuntu 18.04 LTS open for development, the full Ubuntu
- Alpha 1 – January 4th, 2018
- Alpha 2 – February 1st
- Beta 1 – March 8th
- Final Beta – April 5th
- Release Candidate – April 19th
Other key dates in the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS release schedule include User Interface Freeze on March 22 (if there’s a new Ubuntu theme it will be in place before this date), and Kernel Freeze on April 12th.
All of the above culminate in the stable release:
- Ubuntu 18.04 LTS – April 26th
New features in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
Ubuntu 18.04 development has begun. Let’s see how things are rolling there.
1. Native support for color emojis
Ubuntu 18.04 will provide native support for color emojis by default. Until now, only monochrome emojis are supported out of the box on Ubuntu. You can do some tweaking and get color emojis even today but a default support will always be better.
2. Brand new default theme developed by community
There has been no significant change in the default Ambiance theme of Ubuntu for years. It looks more or less the same in last several Ubuntu releases.
But this is changing with Ubuntu 18.04. Canonical has initiated a collaborative project to develop the default Ubuntu 18.04 theme with contribution from the community.
If you are interested in helping Ubuntu in developing its new theme, then do check out the details.
3. Suru is the new icon theme for Ubuntu 18.04
Not only the GTK theme, Ubuntu 18.04 will also have a new icon theme. Suru is going to be the new default icon theme. It’s an already existing icon theme developed by the same developer who gave us icon themes like Moka and Paper.
4. GNOME 3.28
You probably already know that Unity is no longer the default desktop environment for Ubuntu anymore. A customized GNOME version was introduced in Ubuntu 17.10.
Ubuntu 18.04 will keep the same trend and will feature the latest GNOME (i.e. version 3.28) at the time of the release.
5. New default applications
|Category||Top Voted Default Application|
|IDE||Visual Studio Code|
|Screen Recorder||Open Broadcaster Software (OBS)|
As you can see, users are happy with most of the default applications but there are new suggestions as well.
I am sure that Canonical won’t go with the top results in each category. I mean VLC is a great video player but I won’t prefer it as a music player.
6. Linux Kernel 4.15 (tentatively)
Ubuntu 18.04 was initially planned to have Linux Kernel 4.14 LTS. But lately, Kernel team shared that are tentatively planning to converge on 4.15 for the Bionic Beaver 18.04 LTS release”.
7. Xorg becomes the default display server again
Ubuntu 17.10 switched to the newer Wayland as the default display server. Quite obviously, it became a big issue as a huge number of applications wouldn’t work on Wayland. This forced people to switch back to Xorg from Wayland.
It seems Ubuntu has learned the lesson and it is moving back to Xorg as the default display server. Wayland will still be available as an option and users will be able to switch to the display server of their liking.
Download Ubuntu 18.04
Ubuntu 18.04 daily builds are available to download now. It means that you can download and install it.
But before you do that, let me tell you that it is in very unstable phase and you’ll encounter a number of issues. So don’t use it on your production system or on your regular computer. If you want to try it out or test to help Ubuntu team, you can get the images from the link below:
I’ll keep on updating on all the major happenings around 18.04. If you have something to add to this list, feel free to inform me in the comment section.