Operating Systems

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Release Date and New Features

Ubuntu’s founder Mark Shuttleworth has just revealed the codename of Ubuntu 18.04. It’s called Bionic Beaver.
This is not surprising considering the logic behind the codename and versioning of Ubuntu releases. All Ubuntu releases are codenamed with two words, both starting with the same letter. The first word of the codename is an adjective and the second word is usually an endangered species and sometimes mythical characters. The release codenames are in incremental order as well.
Since Ubuntu 17.10. is named Artful Aardvark, it was obvious that Ubuntu 18.04 release name will start with the letter B. Now let’s dig into the codename of Ubuntu 18.04.
If you are into science fiction, you should already know the meaning of bionic. Bionic refers to having an artificial, electromechanical body part.
Beaver is a large nocturnal rodent. It is known for building dams, canals, and homes. The English verb “to beaver” meaning to work hard and constantly actually comes from the industrious nature of a beaver.
In fact, Shuttleworth dedicated this hardworking attribute of beaver to the Ubuntu team:

“It’s builders that we celebrate – the people that build our upstream applications and packages, the people who build Ubuntu, and the people who build on Ubuntu. In honour of that tireless toil, our mascot this cycle is a mammal known for it’s energetic attitude, industrious nature and engineering prowess. We give it a neatly nerdy 21st century twist in honour of the relentless robots running Ubuntu Core. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you 18.04 LTS, the Bionic Beaver.”

Ubuntu 18.04 release date

The release date for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS is out as well. Here it goes:

  • 30th November: Feature Definition Freeze
  • 4th January: Alpha 1 release
  • 1st February: Alpha 2 release
  • 1st March: Feature Freeze
  • 8th March: First beta release
  • 5th April: Final beta release
  • 19th April: Final Freeze
  • 26th April: Stable Ubuntu 18.04 LTS release

So now that you are aware of Ubuntu 18.04 release date, let’s see the new features of Ubuntu 18.04 as they are developed.

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.
Ubuntu will be using the same open source emojis that are being used on Android. Does it mean we’ll have the ‘wrong burger emoji‘ in Ubuntu?

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.