Ubuntu 17.04 is open for development as of October 20, 2016, when the toolchain got uploaded.
Daily build images were published a few days later after that date and were initially based on the Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) repository, but as Canonical’s engineers never rest, they managed to bring all the latest Open Source software applications and GNU/Linux technologies to Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus).
These include Linux kernel 4.9.0, Mesa 13.0.2 3D Graphics Library, systemd 232, GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) 6.3.0, support for IPP Everywhere Apple AirPrint compatible printers a.k.a. driverless printing, various improvements to the Unity 8 interface, which is still available as a preview, and some packages from the GNOME 3.22 Stack.
A first Alpha build was planned for December 29, 2016, only for opt-in flavors, but because of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, it would appear that it was skipped because no one stepped up to be the Community Milestone Coordinator, despite the fact that Ubuntu Kylin developers announced their participation.
The development cycle of Ubuntu 17.04 will continue with the second and only Alpha release, which should hit the streets on January 26, 2017, again, only for opt-in flavors. Fingers crossed! After that, the Beta 1 will arrive on February 23 also for opt-in flavors, and the Final Beta (a.k.a. Beta 2) is coming March 23, 2017, for Ubuntu itself too.
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht