Ubuntu remains something of a "Rodney Dangerfield" OS. It proves the value of marketing, but like anything else, the cream eventually rises to the top. With their 11.04 release codenamed "Natty Narwhal", Ubuntu proves to get even creamier.
For those who are already aware of the power Ubuntu can unleash, we'll address the improvements on this version. If Ubuntu is still a foreign word to you we suggest reading our previous article on the basics and then hopping back this way.
The release of Ubuntu 11.04 has seen the addition of a few aspects, mostly addressing the look and feel. Since the new Unity Interface was developed primarily to be accessible to netbooks, the navigation certainly feels paired down. A new launcher, dash, and workspace manager are the most obvious GUI-related updates. Keep in mind that the new system is based on the most current kernal possible, firefox is now included, and the Unity Interface is really getting to feel more solid - so functionally, Natty is more current. That said - the easiest points to spot are...
It’s pretty hard to miss the new launcher that sits on the left-hand side of your screen. It’s designed to make getting to your favorite tools and applications quick and easy. You can hide and reveal it in the top-left corner of your screen, add and remove applications and bookmarks, and keep track of your open windows.
When you click on the Ubuntu logo in the top-left corner of your screen, the new dash will appear. It’s another simple way to get to your shortcuts and search for other applications and programs. So you can get fast access to your email, music, pictures and much more.
Ubuntu 11.04 gives you a really easy way to manage multiple windows and applications. Simply click on the Workspaces icon in the launcher and all your active spaces will pop up. You can move between your different windows easily so there’ll be no more cramping multiple apps into a small space.
One other very welcomed addition is the inclusion of bootable cd that you can easily download from their website. This gives you the option of trying out the OS straight from your disk drive. This should be a great opportunity to introduce Ubuntu to the masses, since it you can just try the cd and if you don't like it... Eject it - and that's it! This step seems small, but I believe it truly lowers the opportunity cost to your average potential user.
Check out the video below for few more details or flip to the next page if you'd like to see some FAQs. If you have any comments or if you've tried Natty Narwhal, please leave a comment and let us know what you think of it.
Where will I find all my files?
Your files will be right where you left them. Simply click on the File Manager icon in the launcher to find your saved documents.
Can I upgrade from my current version?
Yes! You can follow the same upgrade process as normal. Simply upgrade from the Update Manager and choose between our new and classic desktop experiences at login.
What will happen to my settings?
No need to worry… your files and bookmarks will stay the same.
Will it work with my hardware?
Ubuntu 11.04 is built to take advantage of the very latest technologies, but it should work on a most desktops, laptops and netbooks too. If you don’t have the required hardware, Ubuntu will automatically start the classic desktop experience so you won’t have to worry about a thing.
Can I change my mind?
No problem at all. You can choose to launch the classic desktop experience when you log in to your computer.