Today I am upgrading to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS from Ubuntu 15.10(Wily WereWolf). Xenial is a Galacian word meaning Great. So, just curious, why it's named as Xenial Xerus? Is there some developer after which this name is given or what else the reason be?

I feel this is not a duplicate of How are release codenames chosen? because @7-R3X's explanation of the history and details why exactly this name helped me. About the codenames, that is a plus information but that still did not help me understand why Xenial Xerus. So that's why I feel this is not a duplicate.


2 Answers 2



“Xenial” means “friendly relations between hosts and guests”, and given all the amazing work going into LXD and KVM for Ubuntu OpenStack, and beyond that the interoperability of Ubuntu OpenStack with hypervisors of all sorts, it seems like a perfect fit.


The African ground squirrels, are among the most social animals in my home country. They thrive in the desert, they live in small, agile, social groups that get along unusually well with their neighbours (for most mammals, neighbours are a source of bloody competition, for Xerus, hey, collaboration is cool). They are fast, feisty, friendly and known for their enormous… courage. That sounds just about right. With great… courage… comes great opportunity!



Xenos (ΞΕΝΟΣ) in Greek means "guest", "stranger", "friend by way of hospitality" (in classical Greek), and by extension "foreign" (in hellenistic and modern Greek). Zeus was known as Xenios Zeus (Zeus, the protector of guests and god of hospitality). The latter meaning is evident in many words now part of English, such as "xenophobia", or even Xenon, the gas.

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