Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal Swims Out Today

Maybe not really today because the release happened about 3 days ago, April 28. However, it is only today that I finally was able to get a copy. The Ubuntu download servers were too slow that day, presumably, from the thousands to millions of people trying to get their hands on the new release. What is more exciting about this release is the brand-shining-new desktop interface called Unity.

This controversial new UI has been in the hot seat in the Ubuntu community since the announcement last year that it would replace the traditional Gnome desktop. Many people have mixed feelings over the move by Canonical to push for Unity as the default desktop. It is a love-hate thing with Unity. Many say it is not yet ready, that Mark S. is rushing things with the release of the interface that has too many bugs and for now has only a handful of features. While I am not one of those haters – honestly, I think Unity is a good move for a whole new look for Ubuntu – I would dare say it is not yet ready. Even before beta status came, I’ve been trying out Unity. It is missing a lot on the many tiny things that is sure not to escape my notice when it comes to these details.

And so today Natty swims in the sea that is my computer albeit in a virtual pool called Virtual Box Wubi.

By the way, Unity is now able to run on Virtual Box version 4.0.6 when before your only option is Unity 2D. Just update and install the latest guest additions. A word of caution: the performance of Unity on Virtual Box may be poor. In fact it is so bad that you will be turned-off with the new Ubuntu release. Even with Unity 2D the resulting experience is still poor, at least in my case.

For a better (temporary) experience of Natty Narwhal, install it through Wubi. Unity runs faster and with no complications with the pre-loaded themes. It will be able to run Unity fine as soon as you enable the proper driver for your graphics card. I say ‘temporary’ because it’s for those not yet ready to take the big leap but are quite interested to try it without having to do a major system change on their machines.

Above: One of the new wallpapers that comes with Natty – Aubergine Sea by Wyatt Kirby

Download Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal at http://www.ubuntu.com/download.

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Notice: This article was published on May 1, 2011 and the content above may be out of date.