Gallery: Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 3

Gallery: Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 3

Summary: In terms of the user interface, Canonical’s Ubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narwhal” represents a significant departure from previous versions. Will end-users accept the changes?

TOPICS: Open Source

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    The Windows or "Super" key brings up the main search interface which allows you to find applications and files on your computer.
  • Here's another search view showing installed applications.

  • Banshee is Ubuntu's equivalent to iTunes. You can connect and sync it with your iPod, iPhone and even Android devices. A built-in music store allows you to buy content from Amazon or Ubuntu One. You can also stream live music from

Topic: Open Source


Jason Perlow, Sr. Technology Editor at ZDNet, is a technologist with over two decades of experience integrating large heterogeneous multi-vendor computing environments in Fortune 500 companies. Jason is currently a Partner Technology Strategist with Microsoft Corp. His expressed views do not necessarily represent those of his employer.

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  • Ugly

    Looks like a bad Windows 7 Royale theme with a Mac-like Menu Bar. Not that I was expecting good design from a Linux distro, of course.
    • RE: Gallery: Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 3

      Maybe you've been reading too much blogs on criticism against Canonical/Ubuntu?
      I say this is a good design, to the fact that I am testing GNOME Shell for many months now on and off - the love and hate. GNOME Shell may compete with unity on usability, but again, Unity as I've seen here is a sign of a good design Shell.
    • RE: Gallery: Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 3

      I agree with LinuxUser&XPGamerGraphic
    • WTF is up with the menu bar?

      Yeah, the first slide shows an app with the menu where it belongs: On the app's main frame.<br><br>Then some subsequent slides show the dumb Mac-style bar glued to the top of the screen, and a floating app window below. Then others have only a title bar and then the title bar is repeated at the top of the screen.<br><br>HUH?
  • RE: Gallery: Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 3

    I'll be honest - this is a major departure from what I've used in Ubuntu and other distros in the past. However, that said, I think I'm going to enjoy playing with it. The recognition of Linux use on netbooks and other small-screen devices in setting the specs for Unity is something I applaud. This will be fun!
    • RE: Gallery: Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 3

      @Den2010 i agree!
      • RE: Gallery: Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 3

        I'd also like to see the option for moving the sidebar to the bottom, if I have a mind to do it.
        cat o nine tails
  • W-A-S-T-E of T-I-M-E

    What a ridiculous waste of time with this pointless window dressing. If they wanted to do something truly useful, they'd address some of the chronic usability issues, such as the incredible pain that you have to go through to accomplish something as simple as getting an application to work with files on a network share.
    • RE: Gallery: Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 3


      Could you give a specific example? I've been using network shares since I started using Ubuntu around 7.10 and I've never had any issues. "Network shares" can mean a lot of things though.
      • RE: Gallery: Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 3

        I can give you a pretty good one we have three windows PCs (XP SP3, Vista SP1, Win7 SP1) and Two Linux PCs (Mandriva 2010 and Fedora 14, formerly Ubuntu 10.10) and it takes some severe tinkering with all five to get them to see each other and share files and allow read/write permissions.

        If Canoical spent more time working on getting Linux better native support for network file sharing and over network printing with out the need for having to configure Samba, or any thing else with windows you just click a few buttons wallah and with Mac well it just works, instead of spending time beating around the bush with a lame UI design, then they might win over even more users.
    • RE: Gallery: Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 3

      Not having this 'pointless window dressing' is what keeps a lot of users away. I'm interested in seeing if this is finally a 'desktop' for casual users... which is what any O.S. needs for mass market inroads. Casual networking, that too.
      • RE: Gallery: Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 3

        I think these criticisms stems from being naive or being against everything Canonical as being the Microsoft of FOSS. Yes, networking is a fine addition, but the dressing itself is nice and that is the current focus. Things will follow later on.

        @GeneralEclectic and @Vasiliw:
        You want us to use GNOME Shell? Or GNOME 2.x? Those ugly icons, menus etc.? Has the GNOME team improve their usability on the desktop? Yes, I think GNOME Shell will offer us breakthroughs of these unfriendliness of the Linux desktop(result=1% market). But if there are no Applications for Linux, we are still doomed.
      • RE: Gallery: Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 3


        Dude, upgrade your Vista.
  • RE: Gallery: Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 3

    Why the FUNNY names? How do I explain it to my grandmother? This is why linux has issue penetrating the casual user. (At least one of the issues.)
    • RE: Gallery: Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 3

      @davidmpaul What funny names are you talking about? "Natty Narwhal?" An end-user will never see that name. The system just comes up as "Ubuntu 11.04"
      • And you don't

        @pb48 think Ubuntu is weird?
      • RE: Gallery: Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 3

        Ubuntu means "the spirit of community".

        To me that is actually not as weird as "small and squishy" (I mean Microsoft) - except that we are more used to the latter. Not as weird as Google, or Yahoo either, or naming your computer company after a UK record label (Apple) - but that doesn't seem to have hurt their bottom line any.
    • Funny names

      @davidmpaul The name of the Final version will be Ubuntu 11.04! Natty Narwhal is no funnier that the code words like Longhorn used by Microsoft in development, at least the animal names are not the official names after final release, like another OS I won't mention by name! 8-)
      • RE: Gallery: Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 3

        @leopards :
        The animal names persist as the names of the repositories, however. I have to remember if I am on Flatulent Fruitbat or Exuberent Elephant when checking the repository settings.
  • It's about time

    I'm happy to see Shuttleworth and Ubuntu taking leadership in this area. There hasn't been a distribution with enough clout to push some of these user-experience changes since Redhat before they went "enterprise." Now that Ubuntu has finally garnered enough respect that they can start herding the open-source cats, they are making some great changes. What they are doing looks usable and the design is beautiful.