It’s here: Ubuntu 17.04 Beta 1 is now available to download.
Ubuntu Budgie, Ubuntu GNOME and Xubuntu are among the community flavors taking part in this bout of testing.
The regular version of Ubuntu, i.e. the one most of you came here hoping to see, will take part in the 2nd beta release, tentatively due on March 23.
All the beta releases listed below feature X server v1.18.4, Mesa v13.0.4 (though the newer v17.0.0 is on the way) and the Linux Kernel 4.10.
For a closer look at the key changes in the most notable beta releases, read on.
Ubuntu Budgie 17.04 Beta 1
Ubuntu Budgie 17.04 Beta 1 features the latest stable release of the Budgie desktop (v10.2.9), a stack of GNOME 3.24 apps, and an updated version of Budgie Welcome, a set-up wizard and web browser ballot screen.
Unlike upstream Budgie AppIndicator support is included by default. This means you can continue to use and enjoy your favourite indicator applets.
A new set of community contributed wallpapers are also included in this beta.
Ubuntu GNOME 17.04 Beta 1
Ubuntu GNOME 17.04 Beta 1 is based on GNOME 3.24 Beta (v3.23.90). GNOME 3.24 is due for formal release in March.
Among new features available for you to toy with is the new Night Light feature (which reduces the amount of blue light your monitor emits); updated versions of many core apps, including Calendar, which picks up a week view too.
Two apps remain at their GNOME 3.20 versions, including Nautilus and GNOME Terminal,
Flatpak 0.8 is installed by default, as is the chrome-gnome-shell system helper that will be required to manage GNOME Shell extensions in many browsers from this spring.
For a more detailed look at the changes see 17.04 Release Notes.
Xubuntu 17.04 Beta 1
The beta release of Xubuntu 17.04 has a number of notable changes included. There’s a new and improved version of Thunar, the Xfce file manager, which is said to fix a stack of issues users have been experiencing.
Two new default file templates are now included, OpenDocument Spreadsheet and Writer.
New upstream release of the Whisker Menu plugin, plus updated versions of xfce4-dict and xfce4-weather-plugin, the latter of which will now fetch data from the Yr.no service,
Beta builds of Lubuntu, Kubuntu, and Ubuntu Kylin are also available.