Canonical should release Ubuntu 18.04 “Bionic Beaver” long term support distribution later today. One of the most obvious change compared to Ubuntu 16.04 is the switch from Unity to GNOME 3.28 resulting in a fairly different user interface, although the company tried to keep the look-and-feel are close of the Unity version as possible. There are still some differences such as the dash now appearing on the top center of the screen.
Eventually, Ubuntu 18.04 Desktop ISO file will be found on Ubuntu website, but in the meantime, I could update an Ubuntu 17.10 virtual machine to Ubuntu 18.04 using the following commands:
sudo apt update
sudo apt dist-upgrade
sudo do-release-upgrade -d
I’ll update my main machine a little later, maybe after the dot release in July, and my server after that, just in case some bugs have gone unnoticed.
You’ll be greeted with a “What’s new in Ubuntu” window after upgrade showing the main part of the new interface with Apps button, Launcher, Windows Switcher, System Menu and so on. The next part of the wizard includes:
- Livepatch integration, so you just need to sign-in with your Ubuntu One to enable live updates of the kernel without rebooting.
- Anonymous data reporting opt-in/opt-out
Ubuntu 18.04 comes with newer packages such as LibreOffice 6.0, Rythmbox 3.4, Files/Nautilus 3.26, etc…, as well a a more recent Linux 4.15 kernel:
jaufranc@Ubuntu-Latest:~$ uname -a
Linux Ubuntu-Latest 4.15.0-20-generic #21-Ubuntu SMP Tue Apr 24 06:16:15 UTC 2018 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
jaufranc@Ubuntu-Latest:~$ cat /etc/lsb-release
DISTRIB_DESCRIPTION="Ubuntu 18.04 LTS"
Canonical is also said to have improved boot speed, offers a new minimal installation option (for fresh installations with the ISO file), a new server installation menu, support for color emojis, and more. Canonical has dropped 32-bit x86 support since Ubuntu 17.04,
so updating from Ubuntu 16.04 32-bit to Ubuntu 18.04 32-bit won’t be possible, you’d need to move to a 64-bit ISO file., but you’ll still be able to update to Ubuntu 18.04 32-bit, the company does not release 32-bit Ubuntu ISO anymore.