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The Ubuntu 17.04 Beta Is Now Available to Download

ubuntu 17.04 zesty zapus desktop

Ubuntu 17.04 Beta 2 is available to download. 

ubuntu 17.04 zesty zapus

The release is the first formal development snapshot of the Ubuntu 17.04, and it gives testers and early adopters the chance to kick the tyres on the next major Ubuntu release ahead of its debut next month.

Other Ubuntu flavors, including Ubuntu MATE and Xubuntu, which have made prior alpha and beta releases this cycle, also release their Beta 2 snapshots today. We cover those in a separate article.

Ubuntu 17.04 stable will be released on April 13, 2016.

What’s New in Ubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapus?

With this beta being the first proper testing snapshot of Ubuntu 17.04, many of you will be excited to see what’s new.

Sadly, on the whole, Ubuntu 17,04 is barely different from Ubuntu 16.10 or Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, at least no superficially.

There are fixes and patches, and plenty of core app updates (most thanks to GNOME 3.24) but little of anything else worth shouting about. The most obvious changes to my eye is the new wallpaper and a capitalisation fix in the date time indicator — literally it.

Under the hood things get a wee more exciting.

New installs of Ubuntu 17.04 use a swap file instead of a swap partition, a change we wrote about this change back in December. Not yet know how much of an impact this will actually have on performance (I’m guessing little).

The venerable gconf is no longer installed by default having been long superseded by gsettings. Be gone, cruft!

This beta, as the final release will be, is powered by the Linux kernel 4.10. This improves hardware compatibility, performance and betters power consumption. X server 1.18.4 (was almost 1.19.2) and MESA 17.0.x also feature.

Apps

Updated default apps include Mozilla Firefox 52, LibreOffice 5.3, and Thunderbird 45.

The majority of the GNOME stack sits on the freshly release GNOME 3.24, though the Nautilus file manager and GNOME Terminal stick at v3.20, and Ubuntu Software — now able to handle Snap URLs — is a patched version of v3.22.

The super organised will appreciate the addition of a ‘week’ in the default calendar app (pictured), and the ability to drag and drop events to reschedule.

Fans of the (largely pointless) Ubuntu Web Browser app (which ships pre-installed to handle the Amazon web-app pinned to the launcher by default) will notice it has a spiffy new, and significantly less Safari-esque, app icon.

There’s also a new Ubuntu default wallpaper to squint suspiciously at (though we promise it is new!).

Download Ubuntu 17.04 Beta 2

To download Ubuntu 17.04 Beta 2 tap the button below, then select an architecture suited to your system.

As this is a beta release you (probably) shouldn’t use it as your primary OS just yet. If you’re curious about what’s new you can load it up on a live USB or run it in a virtual machine.

Download Ubuntu 17.04 Beta 2