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Nathan Haines: Ubuntu 16.04 LTS FAQ

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Ubuntu 16.04 LTS is here! Let’s take a look at some of the most exciting features and common questions around this new operating system.

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

  1. When does Ubuntu 16.04 LTS come out?

    • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS will reach general release on April 21st, 2016.
  2. I meant at what time will the release happen?

    • Ubuntu is actively being developed until the actual release happens, minus a small delay to help the mirrors propogate first. The release will be announced on the ubuntu-announce mailing list. (This page will not exist until the release.)
  3. What does "16.04 LTS" mean?

    • Ubuntu is released on a regular schedule every six months. The first release was in October 2004, and was named Ubuntu 4.10. For Ubuntu, the major version number is the year of release and the minor version number is the month of release. Ubuntu 16.04 is released on 2016-04-21, so the version number is 16.04.
    • Ubuntu releases are supported for 9 months, but many computing activities require stability. Every two years, an Ubuntu release is developed with long term support in mind. These releases, designated with "LTS" after the version number, are supported for 5 years on the server and desktop.
  4. What does "Xenial Xerus" mean?

    • Every version of Ubuntu has an alliterative development codename . After Ubuntu 6.06 LTS was released, the decision was made to choose new codenames in alphabetical order. Ubuntu 16.04 LTS is codenamed the Xenial Xerus release, or xenial for short.
    • "Xenial" is an adjective that means "friendly to others, especially foreigners, guests, or strangers." With lxd being perfect for "guest" containers, Snappy Ubuntu Core being perfect for IoT developers, snap packages being perfect for third-party software developers, and Ubuntu on Windows perfect for Windows developers who use Ubuntu in the cloud (or Ubuntu developers who are forced to use Windows at work!), xenial is a perfect description of Ubuntu 16.04!
    • "Xerus" is the genus name of the African ground squirrel. They collaborate and are not aggressive to other mammals, so they fit the description of xenial. It also makes for an adorable mascot !
  5. How long will Ubuntu 16.04 LTS be supported?

    • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS will be supported on desktops, servers, and in the cloud for 5 years, until April 2021. After this time, 16.04 LTS will enter end-of-life and no more security updates will be released.

Getting Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

  1. Where can I download Ubuntu 16.04 LTS?

    • Once released, Ubuntu 16.04 LTS will be available for release at http://www.ubuntu.com/download/. This URL will help you select the right architecture and will automatically link you to a mirror for the download. Please don’t constantly refresh the direct download site!
  2. What if I find ubuntu-16.04-desktop-amd64.iso on an Ubuntu server before the official release is announced?

    • Then you’ve found a final release candidate that is being used to seed the mirrors before releases. Downloading or linking to it will interfere with the mirrors and delay the release.
  3. What if I post a link to it anyway?

    • If you do it on /r/Ubuntu, your post or comment will be removed and you will be banned for a day. The release team works hard enough as it is!
  4. What if I want to help others get Ubuntu 16.04 LTS faster?

    • Thank you for your help! Consider using BitTorrent (Ubuntu comes with Transmission ) and seeding the final release.
  5. What if I’m already running Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS or Ubuntu 15.10?

    • Then you can simply upgrade to Ubuntu 16.04 using Software Updater

Upgrading to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

  1. Is upgrading to a new version of Ubuntu easy?

    • Yes, the upgrade process is supported and automated. However, you should always back up your files and data before upgrading Ubuntu . Actually, you should always keep recent backups even when you not upgrading Ubuntu.
    • Ubuntu checks for software updates once a day, and Software Updater will inform you once a new version of Ubuntu is available. The upgrade will download a large amount of data–anywhere from 0.5 – 1.5 GB of data depending on the packages you have installed, and the upgrade process can take some time. Don’t do any serious work on your computer during the upgrade process. Light web browsing or a simple game such as Aisleriot , Mahjongg , or Mines is safe.
  2. Should I upgrade to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS right away or wait?

    • It should be safe to upgrade immediately, and as long as you back up your home folder and have install media for your current version of Ubuntu in case you want to reinstall, there’s very little risk involved.
  3. Is it better to wait until later?

    • Probably not, but there are other benefits. Ubuntu 16.04 will receive newer release images with bug fixes about 3 months after its initial release. In addition, downloading updates can be much faster after release week. (Be sure to set up your Ubuntu mirror in Software & Updates !) Ubuntu 14.04 LTS is supported until April 2019 and Ubuntu 15.10 is supported until July 2016, so you have nothing to lose by waiting a couple weeks.
  4. I’m running Ubuntu 15.10. How do I upgrade to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS?

    • After Ubuntu 16.04 LTS is released, Software Updater will inform you that a new version of Ubuntu is available. Make sure that all available updates for Ubuntu 15.10 have been installed first, then click the "Upgrade…" button.
  5. I’m running Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS. How do I upgrade to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS?

    • After Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS is released in July 2016, Software Updater will inform you that a new version of Ubuntu is available. Make sure that all available updates for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS have been installed first, then click the "Upgrade…" button.
  6. I’m running Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. How do I upgrade to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS?

    • You can’t upgrade directly to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, so you have two options:
      • Use Update Manager to upgrade to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, then reboot and use Software Updater to upgrade again to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.
      • Back up your computer and install Ubuntu 16.04 LTS from scratch.
  7. What is Ubuntu 16.04.1 and why can’t I update Ubuntu 14.04 LTS immediately?

    • A new version of Ubuntu is released every six months, but LTS releases are used for years. So Ubuntu offers "point releases" of LTS versions. Starting 3 months after the release and then every 6 months thereafter, new install images are created that include the latest updates to all of the default software. This allows new installations to run the latest software immediately and decreases the time it takes to download updates after a new install.
    • Because LTS users depend on stability, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS will not automatically offer an update to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS until the first point release. After three months, any show-stopper bugs should be solved and the upgrade process will have been tested by many others and improved if necessary.
  8. What if I want to upgrade right now?

    • Upgrading from Ubuntu 14.04 LTS to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS should be safe and easy. If you have a recent backup of your files and data, simply open Terminal and type update-manager -d . This will tell Ubuntu to upgrade to the next release early.
  9. What if I already ran update-manager -d and upgraded to a beta or pre-release version of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS?

    • If you run Software Updater after the release of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, your version of xenial will be the same as the released version of Ubuntu.
  10. What if I don’t believe that?

    • When xenial is being developed, it is constantly being improved. Milestones such as Alpha 1 , Beta 2 , and so on are simply points in time where developers can check progress. If you install Ubuntu from a Beta 2 image (for example), the moment you apply updates, you are no longer running Beta 2 . Updates to xenial continue until release, when the Ubuntu archive is locked, images are spun, and the xenial archive is finalized and released as Ubuntu 16.04 LTS . After the release of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS , all further updates come from the xenial-updates and xenial-security repositories and the xenial repository remains unchanged. Updating from the Ubuntu repositories during and after the xenial development and release brings you along through theses moments in time.
      • TRIVIA : As implied above, this means that Ubuntu 16.04 LTS doesn’t exist until the Release Team names the final product. Until then, the release is simply Xenial Xerus or xenial for short.

Coming next:

Details on new features!

  • How do snap packages and deb packages work together?
  • DAE Unity 8?
  • Y U NO AMD fglrx drivers?
  • And other questions you ask in the [/r/Ubuntu comments](https://redd.it/4frg4a)!

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