Ubuntu 16.04.1 is out with improvements to software installation and low-graphics mode

Canonical just released Ubuntu 16.04.1, the first point release in the Ubuntu 16.04 “Xenial Xerus” series. All the changes made to Ubuntu 16.04 have been combined into a new installer image, which you can now download.

What’s a point release?

If you’re already using Ubuntu 16.04, you don’t need to do anything special to upgrade to Ubuntu 16.04.1. Just install the updates available in the Update Manager application and your system will be upgraded to the latest software.

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Chromebooks can run Windows software with CrossOver for Android

Windows software will run on Chromebooks thanks to CrossOver for Android. With Android compatibility on Chromebooks, it will soon be possible to install Windows software like Steam as well as the many games only available for Windows.

Wine arrives on Chromebooks

CrossOver for Android is a commercial project made by CodeWeavers. It takes code from the Wine open-source project that allows Windows applications to run on Linux and Mac OS X, and adapts it to Android.

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Ubuntu's Unity desktop shows the limits of Windows 10's Bash shell

Enterprising geeks have already found a way to launch Ubuntu’s Unity desktop environment on Windows 10, thanks to the recent addition of the Linux-based Bash shell. But don’t expect Unity and many other Linux applications to actually work properly in Microsoft’s OS. While the hack demonstrates how powerful Windows 10’s Bash shell is, it also shows its considerable limitations.

X server not included

Microsoft says it “does not aim to support GUI desktops or applications,” but it is possible to run graphical Linux applications on Windows 10. When I first tried this feature, it was extremely unstable—but graphical applications are running a bit more reliably now, in my experience. This is thanks to Microsoft improving the underlying Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).

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Microsoft is replacing Skype’s ancient Linux client with a web app (sort of)

The Skype team teased “exciting” news for Linux users, and it’s arrived. The old, outdated Skype for Linux application that’s barely been updated in years is being phased out. Replacing it is a new, modern Skype for Linux application that’s currently in alpha.

It’s a web app, mostly

Skype for Linux Alpha is based on the Skype for Web website, which Chromebook users can now use for voice calls. It works in web browsers on Linux, too.

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Linux Mint 18 is here, but Linux Mint 17.3 users can't upgrade just yet

The Linux Mint project released the final version of Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” on June 30. The project is now working on an upgrade path for Linux Mint 17.3 users.

Linux Mint 17.3 users can upgrade soon

As usual, two editions of Linux Mint are available: one with the more modern Cinnamon desktop and one with the more traditional MATE desktop.

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Chromebooks can now make voice calls with Skype for Web

Chromebooks can now participate in audio calls using Microsoft’s Skype for Web. Microsoft didn’t officially announce this new feature, but it’s already working today. This feature now works on Linux, too.

Skype for Web just works

This feature should “just work.” Head to the Skype for Web website, sign in with your Skype account, and click the voice call button for one of your Skype contacts. Chrome will ask if you want to share your microphone with Skype. Agree and the call will happen normally, just like it would via the Skype client application on a desktop PC or phone. It now uses standards-based web technologies instead of the plugin it initially required on Windows.

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AMD has you covered: Its new Linux graphics driver already supports the Radeon RX 480

AMD’s efforts to catch up with Nvidia on Linux are bearing fruit. AMD has historically lagged on Linux support for new graphics hardware, but its new AMDGPU-PRO 16.30 driver offers day-one support for the impressive AMD Radeon RX 480. (Editor's note: We're monitoring the known issue about power consumption and will update this story when AMD provides more information.

How to get the new AMDGPU-Pro driver

This driver is currently available for download from AMD’s website. At the moment, it’s only officially supported on 64-bit versions of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. It’s very similar to the earlier beta release and AMD still calls it a beta, but it’s reportedly very stable. AMD’s website offers installation instructions.

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