The second beta releases of Ubuntu 16.04 flavors have diligently made themselves available for download. 

Now, first things first: the change-logs for a few of these spins is …modest. Both Lubuntu and Xubuntu 16.04, the two lightweight Ubuntu spins, ship the benefits of Core Ubuntu 16.04 (new kernel, drivers, etc) plus a handful of package updates, general improvements and bug fixes between them.

Download Xubuntu 16.04 Beta 2

Download Lubuntu 16.04 Beta 2

Other Ubuntu flavors offer more substantive change-logs, as detailed below…

Ubuntu MATE 16.04 Beta 2

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Ubuntu MATE 16.04 has an OPTIONAL ‘Unity’ Layout

Ubuntu MATE is the Ubuntu flavor you can count on to bring the goods. For its second beta is delivers a boatload of improvements, including:

The handy Synapse app launcher can now be enabled through (an updated version of) MATE Tweak.

Compiz integration continues to improved, with many minor issues corrected.

The (optional) Plank dock has been updated. It now sports a new theme and supports a small selection of Docklets.

MATE Menu, the welcome wizard and distro artwork all get a bump, with the latter now able to fall gracefully handle client-side decoration (i.e. GNOME 3 apps) even without a compositor enabled.

If you like Unity, but feel more comfortable running MATE, there’s an entirely-optional-please-lower-the-pitchforks desktop setting that mimics the Unity desktop.

Lastly, but by no means least-ly, the guvcview webcam app has been replaced by Cheese.

Download Ubuntu MATE 16.04 Beta 2

Ubuntu Kylin 16.04 Beta 2

ubuntu kylin xenial xerus
Ubuntu Kylin 16.04 moves the Unity launcher to the bottom by default

A bunch of changes for Ubuntu’s official Chinese flavour including:

  • New Kylin Greeter (login screen)
  • New icons and GTK theme
  • Unity Launcher can now be moved to bottom of the screen (default)

On the applications side Kylin 16.04 sports:

  • New version of Youker Assistant
  • Updated Indicator China Weather
  • New version of Kylin Software Center

Download Ubuntu Kylin 16.04 Beta 2

Kubuntu 16.04 Beta 2

Kubuntu-16_04-Beta2 screenshot

Kubuntu 16.04 Beta 2 is the first chance we get to see what’s new in the KDE-based distro, with the spin having sat out previous development in this cycle.

It features:

  • KDE Applications 15.12
  • Plasma 5.5.4
  • LibeOffice 5.1
  • Firefox 45

Download Kubuntu 16.04 Beta 2

Ubuntu GNOME 16.04 Beta 2

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Ubuntu GNOME 16.04 Beta 2 ships the bulk of the GNOME 3.18 desktop stack rather than the newer, leaner GNOME 3.20.

Older, but far from stale. It adds native Google Drive integration with the file manager, improves touch screen support, introduces a new to-do application, and refines what the (oft unwieldy) system menu.

The GNOME focused distro also benefits from the broad set of improvements to its app selection, including updated versions of Nautilus, Weather and Photos.

Download Ubuntu GNOME 16.04 Beta 2

Remember: beta releases are intended for testing and feedback purposes only. They are not production ready. You will find bugs, missing and/or broken features and quirks.

Big thanks to Martin Wimpress

Download News Lubuntu Ubuntu MATE Xenial Xerus