Ubuntu 11.10 coming this October

On 1st of September Beta 1 of the new Ubuntu was released on the Ubuntu releases website. This build is a big leap forward since the last time I tested the new Ubuntu.

Unity & Unity-2D

  • Unity Greeter is now the default login screen.
  • Dash has been improved a lot since 11.04. A mechanism similar to Windows 7 Libraries is now in place and is calles Lenses (Application Lens, Files Lens, Music Lens). The Dash button has been moved from the top ribbon to the to of the Unity launcher, which provides more streamlined experience.
  • Windows controls (min, max, close) are now hidden by default and are only displayed on mouse-over. This reminds of the EVE Online GUI, which also had this feature introduced at around 2008.
  • Alt-Tab switcher made it back (there has been a great alt-tab switcher in Compiz, which has been missing since introduction of Unity) and now displays previews of windows contents, even those minimized.
  • The rightmost shutdown icon has been changed to include a small gear, so it suggests there is “settings” menu hidden under it.
  • Messaging and login buttons have been merged to “Messaging menu” which now includes all messaging applications, social websites, mail and status updates.

By default, if 3D acceleration is not available, Ubuntu 11.10 will now fall back to Unity-2D (instead of GNOME in 11.04). Unity-2D also contains most of the upgrades of its 3D-enabled counterpart, including Lenses and new Dash. If you don’t like Unity at all, it is still possible to install GNOME 3.1.4 from the Ubuntu Software Center.


By default, the new Ubuntu delivers the following software:

  • Kernel 3.0.0-9.15
  • Firefox 7.0 beta 3
  • Thunderbird 7.0 beta 1
  • Nautilus 3.1.4
  • LibreOffice 3.4.2
  • Gedit 3.1.4
  • Totem 3.0.1
  • Banshee 2.1.3
  • Empathy
  • Shotwell 0.11
  • Gwibber 3.1.6
  • Transmission 2.33
  • Deja Dup 19.90

The next milestones for Oneiric are as follows:

September 22nd – Beta 2 Release
October 6th – Release Candidate
October 13th – final Ubuntu 11.10

PS. If you already have Ubuntu 11.04 and would like to upgrade your exisiting system to the current beta release, run this command:

sudo do-release-upgrade -d

Please mind that this is still a Beta, so it can be unstable. I am not responsible for any damage this causes to your system.

PS. II Development branch is currently very unstable, some processes die for no reason; there are multiple bug reports on launchpad, so think twice before installing the current build on a production system.

Ubuntu 11.10 “Oneiric Ocelot” Alpha 2 released

Ubuntu 11.10 desktop
Ubuntu 11.10 desktop

The Alpha 2 build of the new Ubuntu 11.10, which should be released in about 3 months, has just been released by Canonical. New version of this popular Linux distribution will bring some changes, for example:

  • No Ubuntu Classic (GNOME) fallback. Unity-2d/Qt by default – Unity-2d as default 2d experience.
  • Plan how to integrate GNOME 3 and port GTK2/pygtk2 apps to it.
  • LightDM default login/user switching by LightDM. Ubuntu themed greeter
  • Deja Dup – Simple backup by default
  • Gwibber UI port to speed up UI and more modern look and feel
  • Thunderbird as default email client
  • Software Center UI Focus areas for this cycle are a general visual “makeover” (new icons, etc.), enhanced integration with Unity, targeted performance improvements, better touch-friendliness, increased stability and usability improvements.
Ubuntu 11.10 lock screen
Ubuntu 11.10 lock screen

On a side note, lock screen reminds of an… iPad lock screen.

Source: lists.ubuntu.com

Unity review

Unity review

About two months ago Jack Wallen has posted a nice comparison of GNOME and Unity on techrepublic.com. I really recommend reading this text, because it compares the old Unity from Ubuntu 10.10 with GNOME, and also points out is weaknesses. This post is a quick review of the new Unity, which comes included in the recently released Ubuntu 11.04. We will try to see if and how Ubuntu developers responded to feedback from users.

Read more

Ubuntu 11.04: Natty Narwhal released

Ubuntu 11.04: Natty Narwhal released

Today is a very good day for Ubuntu Linux fans, because Canonical has just released the brand new Natty Narwhal (11.04) version of its very popular Ubuntu distribution.

New Ubuntu introduces a common desktop environment for both desktop and netbook computers called Unity. It replaces the Gnome desktop and is very functional on limited netbook screens. It also provides very good-looking program menu, which reminds Android and iOS – it is useful, but requires some getting used to.

  • Move your cursor to the left side of the screen to show the launcher ribbon.
  • Click on the Ubuntu logo to display menu with apps, programs, documents and games.
  • Type in the text box on the top to find the program or file you are looking for.

Classic GNOME desktop is still available, if your graphics card does not offer hardware acceleration (this might be the case in some virtual environments, like VMware server).

The new version can be downloaded from the official ubuntu website.