Beyond Natty: The next version of Ubuntu Linux

Beyond Natty: The next version of Ubuntu Linux

Summary: Mark Shuttleworth talks about his vision for the November 2011 version of Ubuntu Linux: Oneiric Ocelot.

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Well, we dodged a bullet. Instead of Octopoid Octopus, Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu Linux and its parent company Canonical, has chosen Oneiric Ocelot for Ubuntu's November 2011 version name.

Unless you're a film maven, your first question is probably: "What's Oneiric!?" I know it as a film criticism term for dream sequences in a movie. Or as Shuttleworth explained, "Oneiric means "dreamy", and the combination with Ocelot reminds me of the way innovation happens: part daydream, part discipline." I'll buy that. But, let's get down to brass tacks: What does this mean? What can we expect from this version?

For starters, you should keep in mind that the next version of Ubuntu, Natty Narwhal, is going to be quite different from the current version of Ubuntu. The most striking difference is that starting with Ubuntu 11.04, Ubuntu will be using the Unity desktop instead of GNOME 3. In addition, it will the April Ubuntu will be using several new default applications, including Banshee to play music, and its windowing system will be based on Wayland instead of the X Window System.

Those are big changes, and I expect Oneiric Ocelot to introduce far less changes and include a lot more polishing of the new features. Shuttleworth indicates that he sees it in rather the same way: "Our desktop has come together beautifully, and in the next release we'll complete the cycle of making it available to all users, with a 2D experience to complement the OpenGL based Unity for those with the hardware to handle it. The introduction of Qt means we'll be giving developers even more options for how they can produce interfaces that are both functional and aesthetically delightful."

I suspect Shuttleworth wrote that last before the news broke that Nokia seems to be spinning off its Qt business. That's a story I'll look into more deeply later. For now, suffice it to say that both Ubuntu and KDE, which also depends upon the Qt toolkit, have reason to be concerned for its future.

Looking at the business side, Canonical, which now supports OpenStack, Eucalyptus Systems's platform, and Amazon's Elastic Computing (EC2) for its cloud offerings, will be cutting down how many cloud platforms it will support. Shuttleworth wrote, "In the cloud, we'll have to tighten up and make some firm decisions about the platforms we can support for 12.04 LTS [Long Term Support]. UDS [Ubuntu Developer Summit] in Budapest will be full of feisty debate on that front, I'm sure, but I'm equally sure we can reach a pragmatic consensus and start to focus our energies on delivering the platform for widespread cloud computing on free and flexible terms."

Shuttleworth then gave a brief pep-talk on the state of Ubuntu today. "Ubuntu is now shipping on millions of systems from multiple providers every year. It makes a real difference in the lives of millions, perhaps tens of millions, of people."

He concluded, "Natty is a stretch release: we set out to redefine the look and feel of the free desktop. We'll need all the feedback we can get, so please test today's daily, or A3 [alpha 3], and file bug reports! Keep up the discipline and focus on the Narwhal, and let's direct our daydreaming to the Ocelot."

Topics: Operating Systems, Hardware, Linux, Open Source, Software

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  • RE: Beyond Natty: The next version of Ubuntu Linux

    [i]For starters, you should keep in mind that the next version of Ubuntu, Natty Narwhal, is going to be quite different from the current version of Ubuntu.[/i]
    Linux people say this about every new release and yet its always the same on the desktop. "This time its going to be different!" Sure it is. Its still going to have the same bug ridden linux kernel underneath, still going to compile that source, still going to have sound and multimedia issues, still going to have security issues. I wouldn't put much faith in this version of ubuntu being any different than the previous ones, this is based on past history.
    Loverock Davidson
    • RE: Beyond Natty: The next version of Ubuntu Linux

      @Loverock Davidson

      Actually the desktop in 11.04 is going to be very different. I've been reading a lot on it as well just seeing the desktops you will notice a huge difference. I know most users will be switching from 10.10 or older versions to Linux Mint. There are a lot of people not happy with the looks and functionality of the Unity Desktop and would rather of kept up with Gnome. I'm personally very disappointed with the direction of Ubuntu 11.04 and will stick with 10.10 or move to Mint.
      audidiablo
      • RE: Beyond Natty: The next version of Ubuntu Linux

        @audidiablo <br><br>Linux Mint isn't switching fully over to GNOME 3. It too is retaining the classic interface (as is Ubuntu but default is only Unity). <br><br>Mint also has the advantage of shipping on average a month after a regular Ubuntu release (and having no real time timetable it has to follow). It is understandable that Ubuntu hold back on shipping Gnome 3 because the final release is scheduled only a month after Gnome 3's set final release date. Moreover, Gnome 3 is still very much a work in progress as evidenced by the recent decision to remove Window buttons completely. Adapting to such changes rapidly would be very difficult especially as key deadlines in Ubuntu's release cycle have passed.
        threeblackdots
      • RE: Beyond Natty: The next version of Ubuntu Linux

        @audidiablo You realize that Mint is based on Ubuntu? They won't be able to update it much if Ubuntu moves to wayland, considering that the new builds will be running wayland.
        Jimster480
      • Please don't feed the trolls!

        @audidiablo
        If you ignore it, it might just go away (if we're lucky).
        rahbm
      • how about some real improvement

        "would rather of kept up with Gnome"

        What is that supposed to mean: "would rather of"?

        Anyway, let's see some legitimate UI enhancements, and not idiotic regressions like transparent panels and cheeseball wedding-video transitions.
        dgurney
      • RE: Beyond Natty: The next version of Ubuntu Linux

        @audidiablo I'm definitely one of those users. Unity on the 10.10 Netbook version is terrible. I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet but 11.04 is not in my future.
        sully0208
    • RE: Beyond Natty: The next version of Ubuntu Linux

      @Loverock Davidson

      What a dead-set clueless moron.
      For the love of all thats holy - get this clown out of here!
      GWCC
      • RE: Beyond Natty: The next version of Ubuntu Linux

        @GWCC : What clown? Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols? OK, that clown is a delusional fanatic with little objectivity and not enough smarts to realize, once and for all that Desktop Linux is DOA. All these marvelous stories about the next version of Ubuntu which is an irrelevant Desktop OS and not getting any better for most desktop users, are a waste of time. His and anybody's.
        nomorebs
      • RE: Beyond Natty: The next version of Ubuntu Linux

        @GWCC

        If people stopped feeding Loverock Davidson the troll, he would probably go away and find another place to get attention.
        colinmeister
    • RE: Beyond Natty: The next version of Ubuntu Linux

      @Loverock Davidson

      dude, when was the last time you used linux? back when windows 3.2 came out? You do realize that it is far superior to what it was years ago right? I haven't had multi-media issues in linux for years, kernel works great, and you can get most popular software in binary form for the major linux builds, and in a conveinent software repository that updates all the software in your system from one place.
      KBot
      • RE: Beyond Natty: The next version of Ubuntu Linux

        @KBot

        There was no such thing as Windows 3.2 and I've been using Linux since Kernel 1.94.

        Ah, the good old days when AUDIO ACTUALLY WORKED! There was OSS and ALSA and they worked. The didn't require freaking server processes (hello Pulse Audio) in order to make noises come out of the speaker.

        You're a lamerz! You install binaries instead of compiling your own optimized versions using the -O flag and don't spread the compiling out over all your Linux machines using DistCC? Loserz!

        Yes, a repository that updates all your worthless software that does absolutely nothing and 9/10 breaks something else.
        kyleoster
      • RE: Beyond Natty: The next version of Ubuntu Linux

        @kyleoster

        I can't tell if you're sarcastic or serious. Audio works fine in ubuntu, never had any problems.

        Software works fine on ubuntu for all my needs and i use it daily for many applications

        updater works great and keeps my software in check

        I do plenty of compiling when I need to, why the hell would I go through the hastle of compiling everything on a machine unless i was building a linux module from scratch just for fun? Geeks like me do things like that but Linux can be used by the casual computer user with about as much training as one would need going from one OS to another. don't be an @$$ get your facts straight. oh and sorry, I guess I meant windows 3.1 I didn't start using computers until Windows 95.
        KBot
      • the audio is broken....

        my latest install of ubuntu 10.10 makes all sorts of annoying buzzes when changing levels, none of which showed up on my debian mint system. They also changed the default level of the system overall. Unfortunately the mint system would not install correctly the second time I installed it, (since the desktop was broken, my number keys went away on my keyboard, and finally the network just stopped working.)
        The new kde desktop is terrible, and looks like a mix of windows and mac desktops. The program menu is clueless. Video is worse than ever, and I hope someone finally gets it right. Debian's x install is jerky, and I have a decent card and went through the trouble of installing the ati driver.<br><br>all in all not very compelling. Totem wouldn't even work on debian 6. The whole field is out in the woods again.
        sparkle farkle
      • and to all the anything bad about ubuntu flaggers

        Freedom of speech is paramount. If it sucks, it sucks.
        sparkle farkle
      • RE: Beyond Natty: The next version of Ubuntu Linux

        @kyleoster : You don't need Pulse to make audio work. You can still use straight up ALSA... Pulse and Jack are just userspace wrappers for ALSA to make it behave in a more friendly way for various programs so they don't have to reinvent the wheel for multisource streams and things like that.

        Also, ALSA is fairly recent, previously OSS was the standard.
        snoop0x7b
      • RE: Beyond Natty: The next version of Ubuntu Linux

        @KBot and @kyleoster

        KBot was correct. Please see <strong>Windows 3.2</strong> @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_3.2#Windows_3.2
        Isocrates
      • RE: Beyond Natty: The next version of Ubuntu Linux

        @KBot <br>I totally agree with you on all accounts
        <br>@kyleoster<br>Audio works but just like in the old days you have to compile for audio cards that aren't so popular or have proprietary drivers case and point my laptop's Broadcom Modem/Dolby Sound Room audio card it needed a driver before the audio would work or I could use the modem to dial out on my Dial-up internet.

        And Binaries work well if you have a BASE (or you don't know what your doing) install of the OS it is designed for, not if you have'd added or removed stuff, and the repository won't break things you got through it, installing your own stuff and updating through the repository BIG mistake.

        My dad had the same preconceived notions about a lot of what you said he doesn't trust Pulse and wouldn't upgrade from Mandriva 2006 Powerpack until I showed him he could finally put away his old notebook with the procedures for pretty much every linux operation
        Vasiliw
    • RE: Beyond Natty: The next version of Ubuntu Linux

      @Loverock Davidson Not sure what your talking about. But 11.04 is going to be very different. Infact its going to be so different that I'm moving to Fedora. Since they are dropping my favorite desktop in favor of their own proprietary one and a graphics system that nothing supports, including the drivers for my graphics card.
      Jimster480
      • elementary-school spelling

        @Jimster480
        "Not sure what your talking about"

        What his what is talking about?
        dgurney