Why Are We Calling Ubuntu 16.04 LTS The Best Ubuntu Release In Years?

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ubuntu 16.04

ubuntu 16.04Short Bytes: Making our readers aware about the best privacy practices by providing the latest security news has been fossBytes’ top priority. In this article, we are examining Canonical’s decision to disable the controversial online search of Ubuntu. Canonical has finally listened to privacy advocates and decided to release Ubuntu 16.04 LTS with better privacy credentials.

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, codenamed Xenial Xerus, will be the 6th iteration of the world’s most popular Linux distribution. The release date of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS is set for April 21, 2016. With this release, Canonical is making some key changes to the OS.

At fossBytes, we are calling Ubuntu 16.04 LTS 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.

The release date of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS is set for April 21, 2016

In the later versions of Ubuntu, Canonical expanded the feature to include the Internet search results as well. “Ubuntu, a widely used and influential GNU/Linux distribution, has installed surveillance code. When the user searches her own local files for a string using the Ubuntu desktop, Ubuntu sends that string to one of Canonical’s servers,” wrote Stallman in his famous blog post.

As a privacy advocate, fossBytes has covered numerous articles on the Microsoft’s controversial spying features in Windows 10. While it’ll be unfair to compare Ubuntu’s online search feature with Windows 10’s constant nagging, we are glad to inform you that Ubuntu has decided to make amends.

With Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, no search data will be sent to Canonical’s servers for third parties like Amazon. The Unity 7 Dash search bar will just show local folders, files, and apps.

Online search in Unity’s dash is disabled in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

In the current versions of Ubuntu, a wide range of non-identifiable data is sent to Canonical, which is used to provide you contextual results from multiple online services. While anyone can turn off this online search from Ubuntu System Settings, the open source community hasn’t been a great fan of this feature.

Well, if you think you are going to miss this online search functionality, you can enable it in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, the same way you disable it in the current versions. Just go to Ubuntu System Settings > Privacy > Search and Turn the slider ‘On’.

ubuntu 16.04

Did you like Canonical’s decision? Share your views in the comments below.

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Ananda Verma

Ananda Verma

Writes for machines mostly. Sometimes for humans too.

0 thoughts on “Why Are We Calling Ubuntu 16.04 LTS The Best Ubuntu Release In Years?”

  1. Avatar

    Best Ubuntu release in years, because its releases are years apart now. Lots of changes because they space upgrades out so far!
    I still prefer Fedora. These changes have been out for a very long time now in Fedora. Seems Ubuntu is good, but the updates to the OS are very slow now.
    Good thing there is Cinnamon and KDE for normal users, that desktop looks better suited for tablets and Ipads with touchscreens.

  2. Avatar

    All of these changes coming out on an LTS??? That’s what the interim releases are for. LTS>new features>Fix what’s broken>Polish>Next LTS. The last few interim releases have just been treading water. So many things changing for this LTS may make it exciting but stability and useabilty are for nothing without testing.

  3. Avatar

    Regardless of this new promising 'AntiFeature' the trust to Canonical is lost. Trust is something very important and once lost cannot be build up easily. It takes years to accomplish this.
    Use Debian, Kali or OpenSUSE instead, proper FOSS OS'. :-D

  4. Avatar

    Maotora Manyama I've tried arch myself and even though I enjoy it you cannot compare arch with Ubuntu. The whole concepts are different. But I love arch as well. Which other OS has a memory footprint of less than 50 megs?? :-O

  5. Avatar

    Best Ubuntu release in years, because its releases are years apart now. Lots of changes because they space upgrades out so far!
    I still prefer Fedora. These changes have been out for a very long time now in Fedora. Seems Ubuntu is good, but the updates to the OS are very slow now.
    Good thing there is Cinnamon and KDE for normal users, that desktop looks better suited for tablets and Ipads with touchscreens.

  6. Avatar

    All of these changes coming out on an LTS??? That's what the interim releases are for. LTS>new features>Fix what's broken>Polish>Next LTS. The last few interim releases have just been treading water. So many things changing for this LTS may make it exciting but stability and useabilty are for nothing without testing.

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