First Look: Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) Beta 1

First Look: Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) Beta 1

Summary: Canonical have unveiled the beta 1 of the latest incarnation of its Linux operating system - Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal). Time to take it for a test spin.


Canonical have unveiled the beta 1 of the latest incarnation of its Linux operating system - Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal). Time to take it for a test spin.

Check out the Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) image gallery!

Since this is a beta it is not intended for real usage, and neither is it fair to carry out a full review. So I'll jsut go as far as to say that the installation was short and sweet. I particularly liked the way that I could enter details such as time zone info, keyboard choice, and user name/password while the install was going on in the background. It's an interesting twist and a handy way to save time during the install.


Here's a quick what's new:

  • Ubuntu 11.04 beta 1 features Linux kernel 2.6.38, Gnome 2.32, Compiz 0.9.4 and Xserver 1.10.
  • New Unity interface.
  • Firefox 4, Banshee 1.9.5 and LibreOffice 3.3.2 installed as default.
  • Ubuntu Software Center features review and rating system for applications.
  • Windows snapping by dragging windows to screen edges (a la Windows 7).
  • Imporoved multi-touch support.
  • New wallpapers.

I did run into a few problems - I had troubles getting the Unity interface working both on standalone systems and in a virtual machine. I also had issues where the OS would boot into a blank screen as shown below:

I'm still investigating why this might be the case. But it does say beta on the tin, so problems are to be expected. Later I'll try upgrading a working Ubuntu install later to 11.04 Beta 1 later and see what happens ... stay tuned!


Redownloaded the .ISO and things seem happier on a physical machine. now going to try installing 10.04 beta 1 into VirtualBox which should (fingers crossed) allow Unity to work if I follow these (or maybe these) instructions.


Success! After following these instructions (which despite being in Portugese are pretty easy to follow) I got Unity working in VirtualBox 4.0.4:

Topics: Software, Linux, Open Source, Operating Systems

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  • Hmmm I didn't have the issue with the Alpha 2... that's an odd one.

    The other thing is that the Alpha 2 didn't seem to have the Unity interface (or at least not what I was expecting). It had a unified menu (which I really like), and program specific menus next to it (like OSX) which again I really like.

    I'll upgrade to Beta 1 and see how it goes!
    • RE: First Look: Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) Beta 1

      Who the heck uses that OS except from fools (Adrian) or ultra geeks?
      • Nomorebs, you and Loverock Davidsons are among the shmucks that

        post trash everyday on Zdnet with nothing but moronic FUD.

        Some day you would think that Zdnet would wake up and stop this type of trash. But when you consider that Zdnet is owned by a original Microsoft founder you can SEE why they continue to let any M$ supporter or paid chill spread there FUD against anything Linux.

        Zdnet can't stop freedom of speech, but they can allow there paid chills like Loverock Davidson and others to disrupt, cut and paste outlandish dribble against anything pro Linux from reaching a reaching anyone interested in Linux.

        After a few days of reading Zdnet you will realize that all that is here, is people that have very limited IT backgrounds. All they want to bring to the table is there personal prejudices and to convey out of context view points.

        The reason you get nothing but DRIBBLE on ZDnet is because the jerks can hide behind all the different names "Ye, Loverock Davidson to name a few" If every idiot had to post a REAL e-mail address you might get a real dialog on IT subject, instead of these stupid FLAME wars on what OS is the best.

        If half of the idiots who post here would realize that were lucky that we have have three different types of OS bringing something new to the table everyday and be thank full for it.

        Tell the jerks like LD and others to give it a rest. If you were smart enough to have found Zdnet you want to here valid view points and not FUD, rants and plain old BS.

        I may get baned from Zdnet for my candor on crapy posts, but I thought Zdnet would bring more to the IT community as a whole ..............end of story

        names like
        Over and Out
      • RE: First Look: Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) Beta 1


        While Linux doesn't have the market penetration that Microsoft has, it's still interesting and innovations in usability and compatability that new versions of Linux distros bring make it more and more an option for consumers and businesses.


        While I generally agree with you about the excesses of 'fanboyism' I have to question your tone.

        Firstly, what evidence do you have that Microsoft pays 'nomorebs' 'loverockdavidson' or anyone else here to post FUD? If you don't have any, it's just an uncalled for ad-hominem attack against Microsoft and the above named ZDnet users. It seems to me that the fanboys for all three major OSs are out in equal force commenting on ZDnet.

        Secondly, what does Loverock Davidson have to do with anything here, you wern't responding to a post by him, but trashed him anyway by tenuous association. Maybe I don't know all the history behind his posts, but on the stories that I've read the comments on, nothing he said seemed particularly inflamatory, given the tone of discussion here.

        As for dribble, flame, etc. as I said earlier, it comes from all three sides in roughly equal amounts, you yourself use M$ and others use terms like Micro$oft, Windoze, etc. exagerating problems with security and reliability (many of the issues cited date back from reputation earned during the 9x era, and since been eliminated or mitigated). Hyperbole is not a quality of Windows supporters alone.
      • RE: First Look: Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) Beta 1

        @nomorebs I have stopped visiting this site except for a few times a year because of the kind of crap that the paid MS shills post here every day. I agree with soyousaid. These MS shill posts have destroyed this site. I am not ht only one so disgusted that I vote with my choice not to visit here.
      • RE: First Look: Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) Beta 1

        I agree with @SoYouSaid that these discussions would be much more useful if wasteful comments like yours and most of LD's were rapidly eliminated from the postings by ZDNet. It is amazing how much time people waste commenting on them. And it is pointless.
      • RE: First Look: Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) Beta 1

        The only shmucks are the bloggers who post stupid nonsense and their minions like you who seek to quash freedom of speech.

        So, according to you ZDNet should ban some posters because YOU don't like their speech? Sorry, that's censoring, and can only come from intolerant radicals like you or any other Desktop Linux users.

        However, I do find surprising that when your shmuck brothers (e.g., Donnieboy or Linux Geek) disrupt all the news/blog post about companies they do NOT like by posting negative nonsense usually as the first comment, you don't protest that.

        You are just a hypocrite and a fascist.
      • RE: First Look: Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) Beta 1


        I have installed Ubuntu 10.10 in my brand new HP box as a dual boot. I mostly use Ubuntu to do my work and internet browsing. Only when I need to use some windows specific application like ITunes. I find this OS much more responsive. I do not have to pay huge amounts for virus protection.

        So I suggest you try it for a few weeks, you will also like. I would not call myself a fool as I am developer in very high demand.
        Van Der
      • You don't get out much do you?

      • RE: First Look: Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) Beta 1

        @Joe.Smetona : I referred from the beginning to Desktop Linux usage (Ubuntu is mostly for desktop users). Not workstation Linux, not server-side Linux. Even by referring to all those examples (which are exceptions to the rule), you don't dispute what I said that a Desktop Linux distro is mostly for geeks or fools. But I forgot one case: users whose bosses imposed Desktop Linux on them. That explains the few instances in the examples you cite of employees who are not geeks (e.g. city of Munich) that were mandated to use Linux. The rest is simply server-side and workstation Linux which I did NOT refer to. Nice try!<br><br>Despite all your futile attempts, the fact remains that _Desktop Linux_ usage has been stuck at around 1%.
      • RE: First Look: Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) Beta 1

        @xyz10_z Oh, another Linux defender with the "ignorant" argument. I have tried Desktop Linux several times in a few PCs, but mostly on laptops (Sony, Dell, HP, etc.) It was always a problem with drivers for my network card, my video card, printer drivers, etc. I've been burned several times because I believed in the drivel of rabid zealots Linuxites that Desktop Linux was usable enough: "This is THE year of Linux!!"

        Now, whenever some fool tells me "Oh, I tried it and it works perfectly" I only think: this person is either lying or just got lucky. Soorrry, but Desktop Linux is and has been a utter failure. Nobody wants it. I'm not saying that it will ALWAYS be a failure. But I will only take chances again once I see that Desktop Linux usage goes at least 10%. Getting stuck at 1% is only a confirmation of how bad that OS is.
      • RE: First Look: Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) Beta 1

        Troll, don't feed, move along...
      • RE: First Look: Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) Beta 1

        60,000 Google employees for starters. Quick start up, no continually degrading file system performance due to a defective design and concept, no constant re-image issues in the workplace due to spyware attacks. I could go on and on. Oh I support 500 Windows machine's in my Bellevue Wa non profit. I dual boot many of my friends PC's with Ubuntu and Windows, and they all love Ubuntu. There was once a PC giant called IBM that ruled the PC world. History often repeats itself. It is a matter of time before Microsoft becomes part of history, unless they actually learn from it. (Windows Me, Vista.......l.)
      • Reply to nomorebs

        @nomorebs<br><br>First, 1% usage is not true. No one can give a percentage on Linux usage. If you think about it, you immediately realize there are no sales figures for Linux, and because of the GNU/GPL license, no Activation, it can be indefinitely copied, modified, distributed and re-distributed. The 1% usage figure is not adopted by anyone other than the Microsoft propagandists. Or perhaps, in the Anti-Linux classes Microsoft conducts for Best Buy employees.<br><br>To put it more simply, Linux reproduces like cockroaches. if you see one, there are 10,000 behind the wall.<br><br>To be respectful of your complaint, the issue you are having most assuredly is related to an improperly burned .iso image.<br>It may also be due to an old or dirty CD/DVD media drive. If you are using dial-up or DSL or Comcast to download the .iso file, there is noise along with the signal and that noise may corrupt or stop the download. With all three, this problem could be affected by rain or moisture getting into the connections, or because of loose or dirty electrical connections.<br><br>I use 100% fiber-optic FIOS which has never given me a corrupted download ever (in years). I can download a 1.3 GB .iso file from a Lithuanian mirror site in less than 10 minutes.<br><br>So, after 8 years of Linux use and many installations on many different computers, I don't have the difficulties you mentioned. However, when you try installing it 3 or 4 times and get different results each time, you most likely have a problem with the download integrity, burning integrity or playing integrity (related to the age or cleanliness of your drive.) CD lenses get dirty and cause errors.<br><br>With newer releases, at least 2GB of memory is desirable, if you have 256MB, you can still install it, but it takes a lot longer. <br><br>I don't know what all your variables are, but If you want to continue, go to <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"></a> and find one of the vendors selling Linux Mint 10 DVD's, usually under $10.00. These are pressed CD's and have mechanical holes which provide more reliable operation on older or dirty hardware. Also, you are assured of not having a corrupted file.<br><br>Linux is always better with drivers than Windows. If you could download a Windows .iso file and try and install it in the same manner, you would have the same problems.<br><br>Windows will never be secure enough to operate without Anti-Virus, Linux always does.
      • RE: First Look: Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) Beta 1

        I don't consider myself a fool, but an ultra geek? Guilty as charged.

        Linux = Desktop
        BSD = Server
        Windows = Games station

        I just see bits and bytes, OS is irrelevant.
  • RE: First Look: Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) Beta 1

    When is the final release? I always thought it was an April/October deal?
    • Release schedule

      @KBot Official release of 11.04 is April 28th
      • RE: First Look: Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) Beta 1


        And Beta 2 will be released in 2 weeks, on April 14 (which happens to be my 18th birthday). Hopefully it will also be more stable then.
        Kenny Strawn
    • RE: First Look: Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) Beta 1

      Release set for 28th April
  • How do you do in place upgrades with Ubuntu?

    I remember trying to do an in place upgrade from 10.04 to 10.10 and there was no magical 'upgrade' button to be found. I inserted the 10.10 disc in a running install of 10.04 and search it, but there was no install or upgrade button. I booted from the disk and was not given the option to upgrade like Fedora or Redhat. Windows 7, you boot to the desktop, put the DVD in, click install, click Upgrade, leave it, come and its installed. Why can't difficult Linux work the same way?
    Mr. Dee