Codenamed ‘Xenial Xerus’, Ubuntu 16.04 will be the 6th Long Term Support release of the hugely popular open-source operating system. The first LTS was released in June 2006. Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus will include the Unity 7 desktop, Linux Kernel 4.4, and a host of updated applications. It may even feature a refreshed icon set.
As a Long Term Support release the Xenial Xerus will be backed by 5 years of on-going updates, bug fixes, critical security patches and new hardware enablement stacks straight from Canonical.
The fossBytes, declared it the best Ubuntu release in years “….thanks to the disabled Ubuntu ‘Spyware’ in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. Before we dive deep into the details of this change, let me remind you how Canonical was bashed by Free Software Foundation President Richard Stallman long ago in December 2012. The FOSS stalwart called Ubuntu Linux “spyware” because the operating system’s search feature sent data to Canonical when a user searched the desktop.”
Unity’s controversial online search feature is being disabled by default in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, due for release in April. Search terms typed into the Unity 7 Dash search bar will only show local file, folder and app results. No search terms will be sent to Canonical or passed to third party results providers, as is currently the case. In currently supported versions of Ubuntu the Dash sends search queries the user enters to a remote web server run by Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu. No user-identifiable data is included with these queries, which are used to retrieve contextually relevant results from over 50 online services, including Wikipedia, YouTube and The Weather Channel.
A switch to disable online search entirely is available in Ubuntu through the Ubuntu System Settings > Privacy pane.
Ubuntu Gets Serious About Data Privacy
Canonical disabled Amazon product results on fresh installs of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and up (though results from other online sources and services continue to appear until the opt-out is chosen).
For the next LTS, Ubuntu 16.04, Canonical curtails the contentious online searching feature entirely, right out of the box, just like the EFF asked them to do in 2012.
“None of your search terms will leave your computer…”
The change will also lower the support and infrastructure burden of Unity 7. With fewer Unity search results to handle Canonical can redirect time and engineering effort to more exciting avenues, like the promising Unity 8 desktop.
Ubuntu is 15.10 was released on October 22th, 2015. It’s the current stable release and is supported for 9 months, through July, 2016.
Ubuntu 16.04 LTS will no longer search online sources in the Dash by default
Online results can be turned back on manually using a toggle
A second opt-in allows Amazon product results
The change only affects new installs. In-place upgrades will retain user preferences