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See What’s New in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Flavors

Notice: This post is more than a year old. It may be outdated.

lts logoAlongside the latest version of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS come  new releases from its family of flavors.

From lightweight Lubuntu to the marvellous Ubuntu MATE – in this post we look at what’s new in the rest of the Ubuntu family.

You’ll find download links for each release below. Please use the official torrents were possible. These not only save the community bandwidth (and money) but help you and others get the release much faster.

Be sure to let us know your thoughts on any of the spins in the comments section.

Introduction out of the way, let’s begin…

Xubuntu 16.04 LTS

Xubuntu 16.04 LTS desktop

Support period: 3 years

Ideal for: users seeking a a stable, lightweight and configurable desktop experience

Xubuntu 16.04 LTS features the latest Xfce 4.12 desktop, associated packages, and core app updates. There are plenty of bug fixes and improvements, too.

This release does not include a default media manager (‘music player’). Never fear: a choice of media players can be found in the Software app, including gMusicBrowser which used to ship by default.

Other changes those jumping from the previous LTS release will notice is easier configuration of multi-monitor set-ups in the Xfce Display Settings panel, you can ‘click’ on apps in the alt-tab switcher,

Xubuntu system requirements ask for a pc with a 700MHz or better CPU, at least 512MB RAM and 7GB HDD space.

Key new features:

  • New power manager applet
  • Updated apps, including Catfish file search
  • Improved login screen visuals

Download Xubuntu 16.04 LTS

Ubuntu GNOME 16.04

Ubuntu GNOME 16.04 Desktop

Support period: 3 years

Ideal for: Users looking for a modern, highly extensible desktop experience.

Ubuntu GNOME 16.04 is the second long-term support release of the popular GNOME-based distribution.

It might not be shipping the latest GNOME 3.20 release but there are enough iterative improvements in GNOME 3.18 to make it a worthwhile upgrade.

Those of you who install the release will see a new “Getting Started Guide” that opens at login, find two new GNOME apps (Music, and Photos), and find a dark version of the Adwaita used in the Ubuntu Software store.

More substantives changes are on offer for those jumping up from Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 LTS.

LTS upgraders will benefit from all the changes introduced  in GNOME 3.12, 3.14, 3.16, bundled up in one distro update, ranging from a reworked system menu and new overlay scrollbars, to support for creating folders in the Activities overlay, and even a brand new notification system!

The system requirements for Ubuntu GNOME are modest. The OS will run on a PC with a minimum of 1GHz CPU, 1.5GB RAM and 7GB of HDD space.

Key new features:

  • ‘Most of’ GNOME 3.18
  • (Optional) experimental Wayland session
  • New apps, including GNOME Logs, Photos & Calendar

Download Ubuntu GNOME 16.04 LTS

Kubuntu 16.04 LTS (5 Years)

Kubuntu 16.04 LTS desktop

Support period: 5 years

Ideal for: Fans of a modern, modular operating system.

LTS-to-LTS upgraders are in for a shock as the Plasma 5.x desktop series used in Kubuntu 16.04 LTS is a significant upgrade over Plasma 4.11 — but I suspect most will find it a good improvement.

Elsewhere, the distro ships Mozilla Firefox 45, a new version of ‘Muon’ software centre, and comes bundled with KDE Applications 15.12.

Recommended system requirements for Kubuntu 16.04 LTS remain the same as for 14.04 LTS. The run competently the distro asks for 1GB of RAM, a 1GHz (x86) or better dual-core processor, and 10 GB of hard-drive space.

Key new features:

  • Plasma 5.5
  • New ‘Breeze’ theme
  • KDE Applications 5.12

Download Kubuntu 16.04 LTS

Ubuntu MATE 16.04 LTS

Screenshot of the Ubuntu Mate 16.04 LTS desktop

Support period: 3 years

Ideal for: Low power computers and fans of the classic desktop aesthetic.

Ubuntu MATE 16.04 LTS is the first long-term support release of the retro-styled distribution — and what a corker it is. You get the latest MATE Desktop 1.12.1, an improved welcome wizard, and the desktop even plays nice with Compiz desktop effects.

Better handling of GNOME apps that use client-side decoration is welcome, as is the decision to add the Synapse app launcher by default. If you like the layout of the Ubuntu Unity desktop you really should try the new ‘Munity’ panel that’s included — it’s uncanny in its resemblance!

Recommended system requirements for Ubuntu MATE is a dual-core processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB HDD space, and a graphics card able to drive a resolution of at least 1366×768.

Key features at a glance:

  • Latest MATE 1.12.1 Desktop
  • New apps includes the Synapse app & file launcher
  • Better integration of/with CSD, Qt and Compiz

Download Ubuntu MATE 16.04 LTS

Lubuntu 16.04 LTS

default-apps

Support period: 3 years

Ideal for: Low power computers

Lubuntu 16.04 features few new changes. You get all the benefits of the new version of Ubuntu, including Linux Kernel 4.4, updated versions of Firefox and LibreOffice, and so on.

The default Box icon theme has been tweaked a little, and the various ‘user sessions’ that used to ship by default no longer do (you can install them from the software center).

Lubuntu systems run best with at least 512MB of RAM, and a 1GHz or better processor

Key new features at a glance:

  • Support for PowerPC devices
  • Updated applications
  • Small improvements to the Box icon theme

Download Lubuntu 16.04 LTS