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Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 1 (Natty Narwhal) Released.

From:  Kate Stewart <>
Subject:  Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 1 (Natty Narwhal) Released.
Date:  Thu, 31 Mar 2011 16:56:38 -0500
Message-ID:  <1301608598.2340.4152.camel@veni>
Archive-link:  Article

The Ubuntu team is pleased to announce the release of Ubuntu 11.04

Codenamed "Natty Narwhal", 11.04 continues Ubuntu's proud tradition of
integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a
high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution.

Ubuntu 11.04 now combines Ubuntu Desktop Edition and Ubuntu Netbook
Edition.  This edition introduces the Unity environment as the default

Ubuntu 11.04 Netbook edition will still be produced for the ARM
platform, and the team is proud to introduce a Headless edition with
11.04 for ARM.

Ubuntu 11.04 Server has made it easier to provision servers, and reduce
power consumption. 

Ubuntu 11.04 Server for EC2 is available as well, with a new kernel and
improved initialization and configuration options. 

The Ubuntu 11.04 family of Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Edubuntu, Mythbuntu, and
Ubuntu Studio, also reach beta status today.

Ubuntu features

Unity is now the default Ubuntu desktop session. The Unity launcher has
many new features, including drag and drop re-ordering of launcher
icons, full keyboard navigation support, launcher activation through
keyboard shortcuts, right-click context menu quick-list and switching
between running applications.  

Ubuntu 11.04 comes with the latest Firefox 4.0 as standard web browser.

LibreOffice 3.3.2 has been included in 11.04 as the default office

Banshee 1.9.5 is the standard music player now and has been integrated
into the sound menu. 1.10.0 and Mesa 7.10.1 are the new versions included with 11.04.

11.04 Beta 1 includes the 2.6.38-7.39 kernel which is based on the
latest mainline kernel, 2.6.38. 

GNU toolchain has transitioned to be based off of gcc 4.5 for i386,
amd64, ARM omap3/omap4 and PowerPC architecture

All main packages have now been built and and are installable with
Python 2.7

dpkg 1.16.0-pre brings us up-to-date with staged changes for the
upcoming Debian 1.16.0 dpkg release, as well as pulling in the current
version of the in-progress multiarch work

Upstart has been updated to 0.9.4-1. There are a lot of new features:
its now "chroot-aware", there is support for basic job/event
visualization, there are two new initctrl commands (show-config,
check-config), a socket bridge is now provided, the latest D-Bus version
now allows D-Bus services to be activated via Upstart, a manual job
configuration stanza, and override file support is now available.

The Ubuntu One control panel now allows selective syncing, and the
launcher icon now displays sync progress.  File syncing speed has been
improved as well. 

The Ubuntu Software Center now allows users to "rate & review" installed
applications, share reviews via integration with social networking
services added into Gwibber,  and has other usability improvements.

Please see for details.

Ubuntu Netbook on ARM

The ARM version is the first one to ship with our new Unity 2D interface
by default.

The 2.6.38 kernel for OMAP4 has had many driver improvements, most
notably the display driver was switched to use the HDMI port by default
and auto detect the monitor resolution. 

Ubuntu Headless developer image is being introduced for omap3 and omap4
hardware.  Headless is fully set up for the serial port and contains a
minimal command line install. 

Ubuntu Server

cobbler and mcollective have been included, which will make provisioning
servers a bit easier.

Powernap 2.0 uses a new method to reduce power consumption and can now
monitor user activity (Console, Mouse, Keyboard), system activity (load,
processors, process IO), and network activity (wake-on-lan, udp ports
tcp ports) 

Default dhcpd server updated from dhcp3 to isc-dhcp (version 4). 

Eucalyptus is now the latest stable point release (2.0.2) with security
and efficiency fixes. (Known bug against the dhcpd server) 

OpenStack (nova) in Universe is a technology preview, with a recent
snapshot of 2011.2 (Cactus) release. 

libvirt is updated to 0.8.8 with new features and bug fixes (see
upstream change log for full information 0.8.3->0.8.8)  

Ubuntu Cloud

cloud-init has been updated to 0.60. This feature includes support
resizing of / at first boot, adds minimal OVF transport (iso) support
and allow setting of hostname when first booting. Rightscale support has
been added to cloud-config and cloud-init. 

Webscale technologies have been packaged and included, Cassandra 0.7.0,
ZeroMQ, Membase, and XtraBackup. 

Running images in EC2, t1.micro is currently limited to arch amd64. 


Kubuntu 11.04 Beta 1 sports the latest KDE software including KDE
Platform 4.6.1. 

Kubuntu now provides a working Samba file sharing module that lets you
add and manage shares from the folder's Properties dialogs. 

The new Language Selector module allows you to add, remove, and manage
system languages directly from System Settings. 

An updated system-config-printer-kde brings a number of bug fixes to
Kubuntu's printer management tool. 

Please see for


Xubuntu wallpaper has been updated for this release. The wallpaper is
designed to integrate well with the new graybird theme. 

The installation slide show has been updated for Natty Narwhal, and
really displays the best of Xubuntu. 

The Elementary Xubuntu icon theme has been updated. 

Xubuntu is using the Droid font by default, since it is a lightweight,
good visibility font. 

The newly released Xfce 4.8 is included. The menus in Xfce 4.8 are now
editable with any menu editor that meets the standards.
The suggested editor is alacarte. 


You can test Edubuntu 11.04 directly from your web browser by going at 

WebLive is also directly integrated in the Ubuntu Software Center
letting you test the most popular apps without installing them on your
machine. Just click the "Test drive" button. 

Ubiquity now has an additional step allowing users to fine-tune which
applications should be installed on the final system. 

Edubuntu now ships with Arkose, which provides application sandboxing
for downloaded apps. 

New software packages in Edubuntu include Pencil, Geogebra, Calibre,
LibreCAD, Freemind and Stellarium. 

Theming improvements include a new LDM theme when installing LTSP from
the Edubuntu installer. The text-mode boot mode now displays "Edubuntu"
instead of "Ubuntu". Our ongoing menu refinements include new icons
where they were missing, and more consistent case use in menu entries. 

Edubuntu 11.04 ships with the classical Gnome desktop by default but
Unity is available as an option in the installer.

For more details on what has changed in Edubuntu 11.04, please refer to 

Ubuntu Studio

The task selections during installation have been updated. The audio
tasks have been parsed into two groups: generation and recording. 

Currently, Ubuntu Studio is shipping the -generic kernel. We are working
with the Ubuntu Kernel Team to get a -low latency kernel into the
archives.  An interim -lowlatency kernel is available in Allesio
Bogani's PPA. 

network-manager has replaced gnome-network-admin.  

The packages shipped in Ubuntu Studio are now more focused to support
identified tasks and their derived work flows. 

Ubuntu Studio does not currently use Unity. As the user logs in it will
default to Gnome Classic Desktop (i.e. Gnome2). 


The Mythbuntu-bare (Backup and Restore for the database and
configuration files) Mythbuntu Control Center plugin now has the 
ability to schedule backups on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. 

Android and iOS devices can now be used as remote controls. 

MythTV 0.24 is now integrated into the builds. 

Please see for more details on
the above products.

About Ubuntu

Ubuntu is a full-featured Linux distribution for desktops, laptops, and
servers, with a fast and easy installation and regular releases.  A
tightly-integrated selection of excellent applications is included, and
an incredible variety of add-on software is just a few clicks away.

Professional technical support is available from Canonical Limited and
hundreds of other companies around the world.  For more information
about support, visit .

To Get Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 1

To upgrade to Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 1 from Ubuntu 10.10, follow 
these instructions:

Or, download Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 1 images from a location near you: (Ubuntu and Ubuntu Server) 

In addition, they can be found at the following links: (Ubuntu, Ubuntu Server) (Ubuntu DVD, source) (Ubuntu Server EC2) (Ubuntu Netbook ARM) (Ubuntu Netboot) (Kubuntu) (Kubuntu DVD, preinstalled ARM images) (Xubuntu) (Edubuntu) (Ubuntu Studio) (Mythbuntu) 
The final version of Ubuntu 11.04 is expected to be released in April 2011.

Feedback and Participation

If you would like to help shape Ubuntu, take a look at the list of ways
you can participate at:

Your comments, bug reports, patches and suggestions will help turn this
Beta into the best release of Ubuntu ever.  Please note that, where
possible, we prefer that bugs be reported using the tools provided,
rather than by visiting Launchpad directly.  Instructions can be 
found at:

If you have a question, or if you think you may have found a bug but are
not sure, first try asking on the #ubuntu IRC channel on freenode, on 
the Ubuntu Users mailing list, or on the Ubuntu forums:

More Information

You can find out more about Ubuntu and about this preview release on our
website, IRC channel and wiki. If you are new to Ubuntu, please visit:

To sign up for future Ubuntu announcements, please subscribe to Ubuntu's
very low volume announcement list at:

ubuntu-devel-announce mailing list

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Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 1 (Natty Narwhal) Released.

Posted Apr 1, 2011 1:12 UTC (Fri) by pranith (subscriber, #53092) [Link]

I had to post this somewhere... any one know what this canterbury project is?

The homepages of debian/archlinux/opensuse are all pointing to the same page...

Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 1 (Natty Narwhal) Released.

Posted Apr 1, 2011 1:22 UTC (Fri) by pranith (subscriber, #53092) [Link]

april fool? :-/

Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 1 (Natty Narwhal) Released.

Posted Apr 1, 2011 5:26 UTC (Fri) by msspook (guest, #74011) [Link]

Ubuntu deserves credit for taking Linux forwards instead of backwards.

Fire the Gnome fools who have gained zero market share against Microsoft.

The Gnome project is a broken-by-design joke run by Red Hat and Novell.

Only idiots defend Gnome or apologize for it after a decade of failure.

Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 1 (Natty Narwhal) Released.

Posted Apr 1, 2011 5:39 UTC (Fri) by dowdle (subscriber, #659) [Link]

I feel comfortable calling you an Ahole... ahole.

Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 1 (Natty Narwhal) Released.

Posted Apr 1, 2011 7:28 UTC (Fri) by tajyrink (subscriber, #2750) [Link]

This stuff always brings to my mind conspiracy theories of intentionally fueling flame wars between different communities, but... never attribute to malice what can be (easily but sadly) explained by other factors.

It's quite easy to forget how majority of people simply act by feelings alone and decide sides purely on brand value, actually having little to no real information about anything they are talking about. That's probably also why it's quite easy to forget the importance of marketing, and partially why sometimes people do not understand why Ubuntu succeeded.

Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 1 (Natty Narwhal) Released.

Posted Apr 1, 2011 9:19 UTC (Fri) by dgm (subscriber, #49227) [Link]

You're being unfair. Ubuntu success is in part due to marketing, but the critical part is delivering something that works with as little fuss as possible. Without that, all the marketing in the world is worth nothing.

Over the years I have used quite some distros and, if I recall correctly, Ubuntu has consistently been the easiest to set up and operate. While other distros focused on purity, size, performance or being leading edge, Ubuntu did on "just working". This is the (not-so)secret sauce of Ubuntu success.

I'm not sure if the same applies today, as I have long stopped trying other distros. Ubuntu works for me, no need to shop around any more.

Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 1 (Natty Narwhal) Released.

Posted Apr 1, 2011 9:29 UTC (Fri) by jengelh (subscriber, #33263) [Link]

>You're being unfair. Ubuntu success is in part due to marketing, but the critical part is delivering something that works with as little fuss as possible.

On the contrary. Marketing is everything, who cares about whether it works. Just look at the past 20 years of the desktop. (And not forgetting that Debian actually delivered here.)

Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 1 (Natty Narwhal) Released.

Posted Apr 1, 2011 14:59 UTC (Fri) by dgm (subscriber, #49227) [Link]

> who cares about whether it works.

Most people do.

> Just look at the past 20 years of the desktop.

Ah, an implicit reference to Windows. Your definition of "works" may be different from that of most people. For the record, for me it basically means it does what needs to be done, without having to memorize a manual. It doesn't means do it in a safe way, or only with free tools, or the fastest way possible. Just get it done. And move on.

> And not forgetting that Debian actually delivered here.

Maybe all the pieces were available, but installing Debian and configuring it after that was NOT a task for the faint of heart. A collection of pieces a system does not make.

Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 1 (Natty Narwhal) Released.

Posted Apr 1, 2011 23:18 UTC (Fri) by zander76 (guest, #6889) [Link]

The man/woman has a point. I hate to say this but I choose KDE a long time ago because it was a nicer color. I like blue and white like sunny days with fluffy clouds instead of dark grays of rain and dread. I even use windowmaker but I have never gotten comfortable using gnome.

As far as Ubuntu I hadn't even heard of it until I needed to install it for a maemo project. After that I seem to hear about it all the time. They are doing a good job making it what people need to get there job done or they have a good marketing selling that.

Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 1 (Natty Narwhal) Released.

Posted Apr 1, 2011 10:07 UTC (Fri) by rvfh (subscriber, #31018) [Link]

I am starting to get tired of these trolls. Any chance that we could somehow filter them? Maybe we could set up an IQ test for guests to post, which obviously msspook would fail?

Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 1 (Natty Narwhal) Released.

Posted Apr 1, 2011 10:29 UTC (Fri) by zzxtty (guest, #45175) [Link]

I do find it more than a little odd when people start trolling this site, there is a certain comedy value in it but I'd agree it is becoming a little too regular.

How about implementing a no-posting from new guest accounts for 30/60 days from creation? I've lurked here for years and rarely post, I can't see such a system putting many people off, especially if they have genuine interest.

Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 1 (Natty Narwhal) Released.

Posted Apr 1, 2011 10:57 UTC (Fri) by cesarb (subscriber, #6266) [Link]

Some people register to comment on a particular story. For instance, if LWN is reporting on a new project you wrote, and you want to answer questions directly here. I believe I have seen this happen already in more than one story.

You do not need an account to lurk, so a lot of people will register only when they need to post.

Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 1 (Natty Narwhal) Released.

Posted Apr 1, 2011 11:49 UTC (Fri) by zzxtty (guest, #45175) [Link]

I don't disagree, I was just thinking of a quick dirty hack which would be simple to implement. A lot of the interesting comments seem to come up from the same old usernames, although there would be inconvenience I think it would be limited, however I have no idea if it would justify the benefit.

Another approach might be to let any paying subscriber delete any guest post for an account which is less than $x days old. I doubt it would be abused, sure we disagree with each other but it's usually good natured, I don't recall our exchanges ever escalating to handbags at dawn.

The simplest option is to leave everything as is and just have a good moan every now and again, this works for me!

Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 1 (Natty Narwhal) Released.

Posted Apr 1, 2011 12:18 UTC (Fri) by ean5533 (guest, #69480) [Link]

The last thing we need is Florian Mueller being able to delete our posts.

Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 1 (Natty Narwhal) Released.

Posted Apr 1, 2011 14:14 UTC (Fri) by ballombe (subscriber, #9523) [Link]

It would be much more efficient and less elitist to just

reject posts which use double interlines like this one.

I do not why but this is a sure sign of trolling.

Maybe they are taught to write this way at the Troll Academy.

After all it makes the post harder to read.

Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 1 (Natty Narwhal) Released.

Posted Apr 1, 2011 18:12 UTC (Fri) by mpr22 (subscriber, #60784) [Link]

Slight error: Every line of the troll was a complete sentence. Anyway, my assumption is that "msspook" is in fact the same person who previously trolled here under names including "haydn".

Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 1 (Natty Narwhal) Released.

Posted Apr 1, 2011 23:36 UTC (Fri) by neiljerram (subscriber, #12005) [Link]

For what it's worth, after installing Natty this evening, I absolutely love Unity.

Although I've been vaguely aware, thanks to LWN, of the ongoing UI war, I've been happy with plain old GNOME, and haven't looked seriously into any of the new generation UIs, before today. So this may be a premature opinion, and is unfair because I've not looked at GNOME 3 or the latest KDE; but nevertheless...

I recommend that anyone trying it out takes a look at I was slightly lost before I discovered what a wonderful set of keystrokes there are.

But with those keystrokes, it seems to me that Unity is a beautiful combination

- on the one hand, of the purity of WMs like Ion and Ratpoison, which are effective because they (help/allow you to) focus your mind on your work

- on the other hand, of eye candy when it is helpful, such as when launching applications or switching between windows (e.g. Super-W).

In particular, when an applications is maximized, I like how the WM clutter is reduced to just one line height at the top. This seems to me quite reminiscent of the Ion family, and in a way it's even better than that because of that same line doubling as the application menu.

OK. I'm aware at this point that I probably sound like a Canonical fanboy, or even an undercover employee. I'm really not either of those... but my initial Unity experience has been so good that I really wanted to write somewhere about it. I hope this opinion may be of some use.

Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 1 (Natty Narwhal) Released.

Posted Apr 2, 2011 3:02 UTC (Sat) by adamgundy (subscriber, #5418) [Link]

same here. I just installed a trial VM of the beta-1 CD. make sure you get all the updates before judging, and in a VM, you'll need to install unity-2d package.

I have to say I was impressed. it's very slick (even without 3D effects). it's clearly rough around the edges in places, and crashes fairly regularly.. but does a great job of giving maximized apps the most possible screen real estate. looks polished and 'new'. it's hard to describe I guess...

Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 1 (Natty Narwhal) Released.

Posted Apr 3, 2011 12:23 UTC (Sun) by fb (subscriber, #53265) [Link]

Thanks for the shortcuts link. I use gnome-do a lot, and Unity has gotten in the way of it (it conflicts with my own assigned keys). I still haven't bothered fixing my gnome-do set-up, but that will need to get done soon.

After reading about all different things that the Gnome Shell will /not/ allow, I was also glad to discover that Unity allows me a fair degree of configurability.

All in all I am also very positive about it, but honestly I also wish that people focused more on polishing/writing applications instead of rewriting the desktop shell every so often.

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