Ubuntu development follows a 6-month pattern, during which multiple milestones happen. For version 18.04, these milestones will be:
- January 4 – first alpha build
- February 1 – second alpha build
- March 8 – first beta build
- March 22 – user interface freeze
- April 5 – final beta build
- April 12 – kernel freeze
- April 19 – release candidate build
- April 26 – final release
While this pattern features multiple alpha and beta builds, the more important dates are the "freeze" dates, which dictate what features make it into the latest release. This means that on March 22, the Ubuntu team will settle on what Ubuntu 18.04 will look like on user's computers, and will focus on polishing the experience afterwards. On April 12, the Linux kernel that Bionic Beaver will use will be locked down, and the final two-week crunch to finish the latest version of Ubuntu will begin.
While multiple alpha and beta builds are listed on the milestone schedule, these are usually only used by various flavors of Ubuntu. However, the standard Ubuntu version will release daily builds for everyone to try out.
If you have ever used LineageOS on your phone, you are probably familiar with the concept of daily builds. They're an opportunity to try the very latest version of the operating system, at the cost of any potential bugs that may be present.
Ubuntu 18.04 is still very early in development, so if you install a daily build today, you probably will not notice any big changes from the latest stable version, 17.10. However, as development picks up, more and more changes will start to appear.
As we reported previously, Ubuntu 18.04 is planned to be a Long Term Support release, so don't expect any changes as big as what you saw in the Artful Aardvark release earlier this year. But while April's upcoming Ubuntu release will mostly aim to be a more polished version of Ubuntu 17.10, there is one big feature that you might not want to miss – colour emoji support.
You may download the latest Ubuntu 18.04 builds at the official website.
via OMG! Ubuntu!