Canonical, through Walter Lapchynski, announced on January 4, 2016, that the first Alpha build of the Lubuntu, Ubuntu Kylin, and Ubuntu MATE 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating systems are available for download and testing.
Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Alpha 1 is the first development release towards the next long-term supported version of the Ubuntu Linux operating system, but it has been released only for opt-in flavors, which means that Ubuntu itself won’t be available at this time.
“Our own squirrel, Xenial Xerus (to become 16.04 LTS), should be much better than your average rat. You can see for yourself, as Alpha 1 has now been released,” said Walter Lapchynski. “This alpha features images for Lubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, and UbuntuKylin.”
Highlights of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Alpha 1
We’ve already written in-depth articles about the new features implemented in the Lubuntu 16.04 LTS Alpha 1, Ubuntu Kylin 16.04 LTS Alpha 1 and Ubuntu MATE 16.04 LTS Alpha 1 distributions, so we recommend reading them if you want to know exactly what was changed.
One thing all of them have in common is Linux kernel 4.3, the latest stable and most advanced Linux kernel version available at the moment of writing this article. However, the final releases will ship with the soon-to-be-released Linux kernel 4.4 LTS, which is expected on January 10, 2016.
Being the first Alpha build and all that, there aren’t many changes in the partitipating flavors. Lubuntu is still GTK based, Ubuntu Kylin has fixes for localization and internationalization bugs, as well as updates for its specialized software, and Ubuntu MATE comes with updated MATE tools.
The development cycle of the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system will continue with a second Alpha build for opt-in flavors on January 28, the first Beta build on February 25, the second and final Beta version on March 24, and will conclude with the final release of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS on April 21, 2015.