Ubuntu MATE project leader Martin Wimpress has announced today, April 5, 2016, the release of the second Beta build of the Ubuntu MATE 16.04 port to Raspberry Pi 3 and Raspberry Pi 2 single-board computers.
Yes, you’re reading it right, the Ubuntu MATE for Raspberry Pi operating system has just been updated to the upcoming Ubuntu MATE 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) branch, bringing users the new Welcome screen, which has been tweaked with Raspberry Pi-specific features, and many updated components.
Best of all, Ubuntu MATE 16.04 for Raspberry Pi 3 now supports the on-board Wi-Fi and Bluetooth hardware, thanks to the BlueZ 5.37 component. The system is powered by Linux kernel 4.1.19 LTS, and includes raspberrypi-firmware 1.20160315-1, wiringpi 2.32, nuscratch 20160115, sonic-pi 2.9.0, and omx-player 0.3.7~git20160206~cb91001.
“Ubuntu MATE 16.04 Beta 2 for the Raspberry Pi 2 and Raspberry Pi 3 is available for download,” said Martin Wimpress. “Many thanks to The Pi Podcast presenters Joe Ressington, Winkle ink and Isaac Carter for testing some early images and providing valuable feedback. Thanks to them this Beta is in pretty decent shape.”
Experimental hardware-accelerated OpenGL support
Another interesting change that landed in the Beta 2 builds of the Ubuntu MATE 16.04 for Raspberry Pi 3 and Raspberry Pi 2 single-board computers is that it’s now possible for users to enable hardware-accelerated OpenGL technology, but it’s not a thing for the faint-hearted.
Lastly, it looks like the team also managed to migrate the configuration tweaks to the raspberrypi-sys-mods and raspberrypi-general-mods components. If you want to test, go ahead and download the Beta 2 of Ubuntu MATE 16.04 for Raspberry Pi 3 from the project’s website, where you’ll also find the more stable Ubuntu MATE 15.10.3 images.