Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) Expected Features and Updates

Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) Expected Features and Updates


Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) will be the fourth concurrently supported release when it’ll arrive in April. The other supported versions will be Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, 16.04 LTS and 16.10. This short term release will be supported for 9 months, i.e., until January 2018.

Canonical’s Iain Lane informed the Ubuntu community of developers about the fact that the upcoming Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) operating system is now officially in Feature Freeze stage, effective immediately as of February 16, 2017, at 21:00 UTC.

Expected Features in Ubuntu 17.04 code name – Zesty Zapus

Ubuntu 17.04 will be released with the latest Linux kernel series 4.9.

Linux kernel 4.9

Ubuntu 17.04 is based on the Linux release series 4.9.


  • GTK+ 3.20 requires theme developers to make changes to their themes. Many (but not all) popular themes are now compatible with GTK+ 3.20.
  • Unity 8 session sometimes locks up when you press Print Screen (1525285)
  • Unity 8 session locks up when you press media meta keys such as play/pause. (1633046)
  • Unity 8 Web Browser has no sound. (1632620)
Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) unity8-greeter
Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) unity8-greeter

The previous release arrived with Unity 8 Preview. Canonical has been working on Unity 8 for many years, and Ubuntu 17.04 will showcase its greater capabilities. At a Q&A session at Ubuntu Online Summit held earlier this year, Richard Collins, Product Manger at Canonical, said that Canonical is heavily focused on sharing a more evolved Unity 8 experience with Ubuntu 17.04. In the past, Canonical has also hinted that it’s going to get “a usable all-snaps based Unity 8 image by 17.04.” Also, in Ubuntu 17.04, Canonical’s Snaps will surely be more noticeable.

Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus)  unity-8-scopes
Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) unity-8-scopes
Scopes in Unity 8

At the time of writing this article, Canonical is yet to release any new Ubuntu 17.04 features. As Canonical starts releasing more feature-rich builds, I’ll be updating this article to include more updates.

Convergence Continues

A Q&A session held at this week’s (rather sparse) Ubuntu Online Summit offers more insight in to the hows and whys of Unity 8, Ubuntu Personal, and plans for Ubuntu 17.04 and beyond.

Richard Collins, Product Manager at Canonical,

“Convergence for us is taking what we’ve achieved with Ubuntu Touch, the variant of the OS that is running on tablets and phones, and extending that to run on all form factors that have some kind of requirement for a display.”

This means evolving Ubuntu to run on any form factor or device .

“The next big target for us is to evolve the Unity 8 experience so that it runs as both a touch and a desktop experience. We’re making great progress with that,” Collins says.

“We’re heavily focused on releasing the Unity 8 experience on 17.04 […] by the time we get to 17.04 you’ll see a very much more (sic) evolved experience, with much more applications running. The app store itself will be fully set up to run Snaps.”

Ubuntu Personal, the name given to version of Ubuntu toting Unity 8 that will run on devices that you and I use, phones, tablets, laptops, 2-in-1s and so on – and which will be Snap (not Deb) based.

A Snappy Unity 8 is the first step towards that.

New Unity 8 Features You Can Expect to See

Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus)  unity-8-new-app-drawer
Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) unity-8-new-app-drawer

Work in progress: The new app drawer in Unity 8

The immediate focus of the Unity 8 team, says Michael Sawicz, engineering manager for the team behind Unity 8, is as follows:

  • Make Unity 8 a Snap — Not an easy task, and one which will require careful decoupling of bits in to separate Snap packages so that other desktop shells can make use of it.
  • Full Window management — I.e. replicating the Unity 7 experience so that app windows, dialogs, context menus, tool tips, etc appear where expected. This will make use of an abstraction layer called Miral.
  • Make Unity 8 behave better in a pointer-based (non-touch) environment, e.g., changing the look and feel of indicators depending on whether you open them with touch or mouse.
  • Application drawer — A ‘big change’ is introducing a new application drawer to Unity 8. This replaces the apps scope, and will feature an extended launcher; as you drag from the left the launcher appears, as you drag further, you see the full drawer. This will consolidate all apps in one place, e.g., snaps, x-apps, etc.
  • Multi-monitor support – supporting more than one display on Unity 8 devices.

‘We don’t just want to copy/paste behaviours from Unity 7 or other desktop environments. This will take some time as we’re still iterating on the design’.  Screen mirroring is the first fruits we can expect to see from this work.

Design work is pending on some of the changes above  changes, user-testing, iteration, etc.

Here’s the complete release schedule of Ubuntu 17.04:

  • Alpha 1 – 29 December (for flavors)
  • Alpha 2 – 26 January (for flavors)
  • Feature Freeze — 16 February
  • Beta 1 – 23 February (for flavors)
  • UI Freeze — 9 March
  • Final Beta – 23 March
  • Kernel Freeze — 30 March
  • Release Candidate — 9 April
  • Stable Release – 13 April

Get Ubuntu 17.04

Official flavours for Alpha 2 of Ubuntu 17.04

The release notes for the official flavours can be found at the following links:Kubuntu https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ZestyZapus/Alpha2/ReleaseNotes/Kubuntu

Lubuntu https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ZestyZapus/Alpha2/ReleaseNotes/Lubuntu

Ubuntu Budgie https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ZestyZapus/Alpha2/ReleaseNotes/UbuntuBudgie

Ubuntu GNOME https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ZestyZapus/Alpha2/ReleaseNotes/UbuntuGNOME

Ubuntu Kylin https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ZestyZapus/Alpha2/ReleaseNotes/UbuntuKylin

Ubuntu MATE https://ubuntu-mate.org/blog/ubuntu-mate-zesty-alpha2/

Ubuntu Studio https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ZestyZapus/ReleaseNotes/UbuntuStudio

Download Ubuntu 17.04

Images can be downloaded from a location near you.

You can download ISOs and flashable images from from:

http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/kubuntu/releases/17.04/alpha-2/ (Kubuntu)
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/lubuntu/releases/17.04/alpha-2/ (Lubuntu)
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/ubuntu-budgie/releases/17.04/alpha-2/ (Ubuntu Budgie)
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/ubuntu-gnome/releases/17.04/alpha-2/ (Ubuntu GNOME)
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/ubuntukylin/releases/17.04/alpha-2/ (Ubuntu Kylin)
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/ubuntu-mate/releases/17.04/alpha-2/ (Ubuntu MATE)