Being part of an LTS (Long Term Support) release, Ubuntu GNOME 16.04 will ship with the current stable version of the GNOME desktop environment, GNOME 3.18, which has been thoroughly tested during the past six months since its official announcement on September 23, 2015.
The GNOME desktop environment usually gets up to two official point releases after the initial release, and the GNOME 3.18 branch is now at version 3.18.2, but some of the packages have gone as far as 3.18.8 i.e. GTK+ 3.18.8. However, Ubuntu GNOME 16.04 LTS will include most of the GNOME 3.18 packages, among which, of course, GNOME Shell 3.18.
“After 16 hours of extremely hard work; testing and re-spinning the images, testing and re-spinning the images… due to last minutes bugs and other unexpected issues, here we go again… what did you expect? give up and surrender? we don’t do that,” developers haveexplained.
Here’s what’s new in Ubuntu GNOME 16.04 LTS Beta 1
According to the official release notes, the first Beta build of Ubuntu GNOME 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) replaces Ubuntu Software Center with GNOME Software as the default graphical package manager, installs the GNOME Logs system log viewer and GNOME Calendar apps by default, and adds the GNOME Builder IDE to the repositories.
Additionally, the team has managed to fix an issue with the Sharing panel in GNOME Control Center, as well as to add an experimental Wayland session (GNOME on Wayland) to the login screen. However, be aware that it only works with open-source graphics drivers, such as Intel or Nouveau, and you’ll have to install the gnome-session-wayland package.