What's New In Ubuntu 16.04 "Xenial Xerus"?


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What's new in Ubuntu 16.04

A long waited release Ubuntu 16.04 version codename “Xenial Xerus” is out. If you remember the last release poll that we did here, Ubuntu users expressed that they’re waiting for the next LTS release to upgrade. So this article is worth taking attention to know what’s new in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Long Term Support) release. The release has come out with some but interesting features and changes that really deserve your attention. Please don’t forget to take the poll below this article to tell us what you like the most in Ubuntu 16.04.

As most of us know that Ubuntu releases an LTS release that provides support for 5 years. That means once you install an LTS release that’s going to provide you support for complete five years without any problem. Plus you get new features whenever you have a new LTS release.​If you’ve been following Ubuntu releases for quiet some time then you probably already know that Ubuntu comes with some but interesting features, changes, and improvements with the latest release. Each newer LTS release is more stable, secure and powerful than the last one. Sometimes users complain about the lack of new stuff in the latest release. What I suggest is that even if you don’t find any new features in the latest release, you must upgrade because the new release always fixes several bugs and issues. So it’s always good to go for the newer one.

What’s New & Upgraded In Ubuntu 16.04 “Xenial Xerus”?

Ubuntu 16.04 has presented some interesting features. Although, not many still enough for you to upgrade. So let’s get started and know what’s new in Ubuntu 16.04 “Xenial Xerus“.

Xenial Xerus Based On Kernel 4.4

Ubuntu 16.04 is based on Long Term Supported Linux Kernel 4.4 that has more stability, security and support.

kernel 4.4

Snap Application Format

Ubuntu 16.04 now has Snap Application Format support alongside deb packages that helps the app developers to bring newer app versions quickly and reliably. You can read more about Snap packaging Format here.

Replaced Ubuntu Software Center With GNOME Software

Ubuntu software center replaced with GNOME Software

It was the talk of the town that Ubuntu is replacing Ubuntu Software Center with GNOME software. And here it is. Ubuntu 16.04 comes with GNOME software to install your favorite applications in your system. But in Ubuntu, we won’t call it GNOME software instead we will call it Ubuntu Software.

GNOME Calendar Is Default Calendar

GNOME Calendar

A lot of users were missing this in Ubuntu, a default Calendar app. Now GNOME Calendar is the default calendar app in Ubuntu 16.04.

Ability To Move Unity To Bottom

ubuntu unity launcher in bottom

One thing that completely changes the look of Ubuntu 16.04 is the ability to move unity launcher in the bottom. It was demanded by the Ubuntu users that they should have the ability to move the launcher from the left side of the screen. At the moment we only have the ability to move launcher in the bottom. I hope they will add the option to move the launcher to the right of the screen as well.

Menu Visibility Option Added Into Settings

Menu visibility option in settings

Ubuntu recently provided the way to show the menu always in the window but there was no option under settings. We had to do it using dconf-editor to accomplish the task. But now Ubuntu 16.04 brings that option in the settings under Appearance >> Behavior.

What’s Upgraded And Improved In Ubuntu 16.04 “Xenial Xerus”?

Above you read the new features introduced in Ubuntu 16.04 but now let’s take a look at what’s improved in this LTS version.

Upgraded All Applications

All the applications in Xenial Xerus have been updated to their latest versions.
  • Linux Kernel 4.4
  • Python 3
  • VIM default to python 3
  • Golang 1.6
  • OpenSSH 7.2p2
  • GNU toolchain
  • Improvements to GNOME key grabbing
  • New dash overlay scrollbars
  • Better Dash theming support
  • Support for scaling cursors in HiDPI environments
  • Show icons launching state in launcher when apps launched elsewhere
  • Apt 1.2
  • ​Unity & Compiz Updated latest versions
  • All default applications have been updated to their latest versions
  • Improved HiDPI support in the greeter
  • Bug fixes

Unity has been updated to 7.4 that brings many improvements and more stability to the system.


In this release, Ubuntu has brought some new and interesting features and many changes or improvements and bug fixes. When I first installed Ubuntu 16.04 I moved my unity launcher to the bottom and it looked nice. Although It would take some time to take in habit of using the launcher in the bottom. Please share with us what feature you like the most in Xenial Xerus by taking the poll below. Also, share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.