First Look at Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal Final!


It’s been a long 6 months, with a lot of ups and downs, but it’s finally here! Head on over to to get your copy!

To check out my first look and initial impressions video, click the “Read More” button below.

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18 Responses to “First Look at Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal Final!”

  1. Mohan says:

    Its already been almost an hour since you released this video but its not available on youtube yet.

    • TWIL says:

      Sorry about that. Got the video uploaded to last night, went to see if blip had pushed it to YouTube yet and found YouTube had gone into “Maintenance mode”, so I couldn’t do anything. :/ Had to wait until morning (it was after 1am here by then)

  2. Gatton says:

    You don’t waste any time do you Jordan? lol
    Well no surprises of course since you and the rest of the world have been tracking 11.04 since it’s infancy. I have to say this video is the first one I’ve seen that made me think Unity might not be so bad. I don’t know if I’ll be upgrading 10.04 on my desktop but I’m sufficiently intrigued enough now to try it out on a laptop or a VM. Thanks again.

    • TWIL says:

      I don’t waste MUCH time. :P
      but yeah, I’ve been following 11.04 for quite a while now. It’s kind of a big deal in the Linux world. :)

  3. Nyromith says:

    I’m very disappointed with 11.04. Just when it seemed that there is a mature and stable distribution growing to be prepared to compete with Windows, they are doing such a crazy and unexpected change to the interface that can make people thinking whether they should trust Linux (and Ubuntu is the face of Linux). It is very difficult for experienced users to get used to a new interface, and when the interface of gnome is so mature and comfortable, I don’t think it has to be sacrificed in the sake of innovation.

    Plus, more and more programs (like chrome and Firefox) are move away from the menus idea (file, edit…) in order to make the interface of the program more minimalistic and appropriate for its design. So IMO by forcing global menus Ubuntu limits the imagination of program developers and hurts innovation that is different from their own.


  4. DLandonCole says:

    Well, I’d love to know how Unity works, but it won’t run on my system. For some reason, my graphics card is coming up as blacklisted and I can’t find a workaround. I tried Nouveau, and that was a bit of a nightmare. From what I can tell, a lot of people are having similar issues. I know that it’s hard to build a distro as popular as Ubuntu that works on all the different flavours of machine out there, but I am a bit disappointed.

    • TWIL says:

      I’ve noticed, just today, a LOT of people reporting issues with graphics drivers. Not a good start…

      • DLandonCole says:

        No, it’s not a great start. I finally got Unity working by bodging various bits together. It wasn’t working properly, though, which I’m sure is as much to do with my bodge as anything else. It’s really disappointing as Ubuntu is something of the flagship for Linux and I want it, as far as possible, to work ‘out of the box’.

        I’m not a power-user, but I think I’m slightly more than a noob and I’m happy enough playing with a command line and I can’t make it work. I’ve ummed and ahhed before about which flavour of Linux I should give to first-timers to try; in the past, I’ve always ended up going for Ubuntu. Given the current state of Natty, I would recommend Mint. Certainly in the office, we’re staying on 10.04LTS.

        I hate to say this, but it feels for all the world like Natty was rushed to get it out on time.

        I should have said this earlier, btw – good job on the video!

  5. Nate Wiebe says:

    In terms of not being able to minimize, it’s because if you have more than one window open, you can select that to pull up all of that app type and choose between them in a grid layout. Kind of like SUPER + W except specific to the application type.

    In terms of video cards, its just a matter for installing your nvidia, or ati proprietary drivers if needed. Also Unity-2D is available for those that want unity but don’t have a good card

    Lastly people making the argument about a rapid ui change obviously don’t know whats going on in the Linux world. Gnome 2.0 came out in 2002 so the interface is 9 years old. Gnome 3 was just released this year. So the choice was gnome3 or unity. It would have been a drastic ui change no matter what path they chose. Personally I prefer unity over gnome3.

    Unity is still said to be a WIP. The biggest hurdle (migrating to unity) is now over. The next six months can now be focused on perfecting the new shell and adding in more customization.

  6. I think that Canonical should remove the upper panel, and merge it with the Unity bar. I don’t see the point of having both, since it is perfectly suitable gather all the functions in a single bar/panel.

    Appart from this, I feel that the user needs more mouse clicks to get to programs or folders, which in my opinion is not a good idea in terms of productivity. Well, we will see if this change gets to the next level or becames a failure. Personally, I switched time ago to KDE, but if I have to choose, I rather prefer Gnome 2 or Gnome 3 with Gnome Shell.

    Greetings from Spain. Keep doing the good work ;) .

  7. Jeff Meister says:

    I disagree with the mouse clicks issue. Hit the Windows key, type the first few letters of the program, hit enter and you’re done. It’s a heck of a lot quicker than clicking through menus. If you put the program on the dock, it’s just one click.

  8. MACscr says:

    I really, really hating unity so far. If I wanted crappy Apple type menu’s, I would use osx. I dont like the idea of mixing running apps and shortcut icons. I also really dislike the whole global menu’s and definitely a pet peeve of mine with osx. If a keyboard shortcut requires me to use more than one hand or move my hand from “home row”, its not user friendly IMHO. I am a fan of the new “search” part of the menu though, but not the rest of the stuff i listed above.

  9. [...] First Look at Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal Final! [...]

  10. Lars Martinsen says:

    My opinion on Natty Narwhal is that Unity feels rushed out. I don’t think this is a bad choice to have this kind of user interface, but for now there are few things that doesn’t feel right.

    I had some few problems with Unity. (I did the upgrade from 10.10)

    1. Not all my software was showing in the Dash (like Crossover)
    2. Not all the software were placed in groups in Dash

    Dash feels kinda messy.

    The future looks very interesting for the Ubuntu Linux, and I can’t wait until they would take advantage of GNOME3 instead of Unity :)

    I have removed the Unity, and I am using the Ubuntu Classic session for now.

  11. Pascal says:

    I use Ubuntu 11.04 since yesterday on a tablet.
    Althought Unity looks very useful for tablets you have no chance to search any Apps in this dash.
    One great advantage of Linux is that the applications are put in categories. In Unity it’s very uncomfortable to open this little menu.

    I think it should be easier to change the look of unity and it’s sad that Gnome 2 wil not be supported anymore.

  12. Conzar says:

    I am running 10.10 right now. I want to do the Upgrade but only if I can use Gnome classic. How do you switch to Gnome classic?

    • TWIL says:

      Conzar: To switch to Gnome Classic, just log out, select your user account, but before putting in the password, go to the bottom of the screen, where it says “Session” and select “Ubuntu Classic”.

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