The release of the next version of the Linux distribution is scheduled for April 26, 2018
Ubuntu 17.10 came with a series of major changes, and especially the move to a new desktop environment and a new display server. In this release, users will be granted GNOME 3.26 as the default desktop environment instead of Unity, following Canonical’s decision to abandon the development of Unity 8. As a consequence of this decision, the Mir display, developed jointly with Unity 8 to replace X.Org, has also fallen. In Ubuntu 17.10, Wayland was delivered by default.
Other changes include the upgrade to version 4.13 of the Linux kernel. There will also be no 32-bit ISO image for Ubuntu Desktop, which will make new installations of Ubuntu Desktop 32-bit impossible. Along with that, there are also the usual incremental improvements, with newer versions of GTK and Qt, and updates to major packages like Firefox and LibreOffice.
In short, this is an important update for which the CEO of Canonical wanted to congratulate the developers who have done all this work, through a blog post. As usual, Mark Shuttleworth also took the opportunity to reveal the code name of the next version of Ubuntu, which will have long-term support.
For the code name of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, Canonical’s CEO chose “Bionic Beaver” which could literally be translated as “Bionic Beaver”. Beaver is a rodent and bionic is an adjective that refers to having members or parts of one’s body that are artificial, and particularly electromechanical. The beaver was chosen for “his energetic attitude, his industrious nature and his technical prowess” and the bionic adjective was chosen “in honor of the robots running on Ubuntu Core,” says Mark Shuttleworth.
For those who wonder about these choices, it should be noted that they only follow the logic behind the code names of the different versions of Ubuntu. This logic consists in choosing two words starting with the same letter and respecting the alphabetical order from one version to another. The first word of the code name must be an adjective and the second is usually the name of an animal. The version number, meanwhile, indicates the year (the first two digits) and the month (the last two digits) of the release date, knowing that there is an interval of 6 months between each version. Thus, after 16.04 Xenial Xerus, 16.10 Yakkety Yak, 17.04 Zesty Zapus and 17.10 Artful Aardvark, one had to switch to a code name consisting of two words beginning with the second letter of the alphabet, such as Bionic Beaver.
Mark Shuttleworth did not reveal Canonical’s plans for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, but it looks like his team will be working particularly on the Ubuntu Core system for IoT devices and improving the GNOME experience, among others.
It should also be noted that the publication schedule has been unveiled. The development begins on October 26, and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Bionic Beaver will follow the same pattern as its predecessors: a six-month development cycle with two Alpha versions and two Beta releases to be released.
According to the publication schedule, the first Alpha is expected on January 4, 2018 and the second should arrive on February 1st. Starting in March, things will be faster. On March 1st, the development team will stop adding new features (features, packages, APIs) and will focus on bug fixes to release the first Beta on March 8th. The last Beta will follow April 5 before the release candidate and the final version respectively on April 19 and 26, 2018.