X marks the spot

The Ubuntu 16.04 LTS codename has been revealed — and, unsurprisingly for a release beginning with ‘x’, it’s a little obtuse. 

The Ubuntu 16.04 name is ‘Xenial Xerus’.

It is the successor to Wily Werewolf, and the next Long-Term Support release.

Xenial ‎is an adjective meaning ‘hospitable’ or ‘friendly’, while xerus is the posh name given to a ground squirrel.

Announcing the name of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS on his blog, Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth explains the codename further:

“What fortunate timing that our next LTS should be X, because “xenial” means “friendly relations between hosts and guests”, and given all the amazing work going into LXD and KVM for Ubuntu OpenStack, and beyond that the interoperability of Ubuntu OpenStack with hypervisors of all sorts, it seems like a perfect fit.

And Xerus, the African ground squirrels, are among the most social animals in my home country. They thrive in the desert, they live in small, agile, social groups that get along unusually well with their neighbours (for most mammals, neighbours are a source of bloody competition, for Xerus, hey, collaboration is cool). They are fast, feisty, friendly and known for their enormous… courage. That sounds just about right. With great… courage… comes great opportunity!”

X is also fitting for another reason: Ubuntu 16.04 is expected to be the last version of Ubuntu to ship with the standard X server by default. Canonical’s home-grown Mir display server and Unity 8 shell are maturing nicely, aiming to replace the default offerings in Ubuntu 16.10 due in a year’s time.

Mark describes Utopic, Vivid and Wily as “three intense releases, packed with innovation”, adding that Ubuntu 16.04 LTS will ‘bring the threads together…making Ubuntu the fastest path to magic of all sorts”.

Xenial Xerus