Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS is now available to download.
This is the second point release in the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS series. As you’d expect it rolls together all app updates, bug fixes and security fixes issued to the Xenial Xerus so far, and introduces a new hardware enablement stack.
Anyone who installs Ubuntu from the point release disc image won’t need to download as many post-install updates and patches as they would had they used a regular 16.04 LTS iso.
This is first of two 16.04 point releases planned for 2017, with Ubuntu 16.04.3 due in the summer.
Ubuntu 16.04.2 Changes: New Hardware Enablement Stack
The biggest selling point of point release is an updated hardware stack. Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS is no different. It brings the Linux 4.8 kernel, plus an updated version of the X server that has been back-ported from Ubuntu 16.10.
These updates are generally worth having as they offer improved hardware support, particularly for PCs and laptops that were released after the LTS was.
Ubuntu 16.04.2 uses version 4.8 of the Linux kernel, where the first two 16.04 LTS releases came with version 4.4. This is the same kernel version provided in Ubuntu 16.10, released last October.
If you installed Ubuntu 16.04 LTS last year you won’t get the new hardware updates automatically — but you can opt-in to receive them. Scroll on down for details on how to do that.
But, if you install Ubuntu 16.04.2 from the freshly pressed install images this new hardware enablement stack is included by default. You’ll also be able to upgrade to newer versions of this stack as they’re released, every 6 months, until Ubuntu 16.04.5.
You can view a full list of changes made between Ubuntu 16.04.1 and Ubuntu 16.04.2 here.
How to Upgrade to Ubuntu 16.04.2
If you’re already running Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and have installed all available security patches, bug fixes, and app updates then congratulations: you’re running Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS. If, however, you want to reap the hardware support improvements of the Linux Kernel 4.8 and associated goodies you’ll need to opt-in to receive them.
How? By running one single, simple command:
sudo apt install --install-recommends xserver-xorg-hwe-16.04
if you’re humming along nicely with the Linux kernel 4.4 and the X server combo the distro shipped with, you can keep on running it. You won’t automatically be upgraded to anything newer without explicitly asking to.