Ubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal" has been officially released this morning. Canonical's new Linux release that features their custom-designed Unity Desktop is now shipping along with improvements to their own Ubuntu Software Center, various package upgrades, and much more.
The bug introduced during the development of the Linux 2.6.38 kernel causing excessive power consumption is very real, is occurring on many different hardware platforms, and has just been deemed a bug of high importance by the Ubuntu Kernel Team. This serious regression was just made widely known on Friday in my Mobile Users Beware: Linux Has Major Power Regression article and then further detailed in The Tests Showing Ubuntu 11.04 On A Power Consumption Binge.
For those NVIDIA customers out there who haven't yet tried one of the test releases of Ubuntu 11.04 but are curious to know whether Canonical has enabled the open-source 3D acceleration driver via Gallium3D, they have not enabled the necessary support by default.
A week ago a discussion began on the Ubuntu development mailing list whether Ubuntu 11.04 should ship with Unity or the classic GNOME desktop as many people are concerned about the state of the Canonical-developed desktop and shipping it too prematurely. While it looks like they'll continue using Unity since they went ahead and released Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 2 yesterday without any change, they have some published some rather frightening results from their user testing.
There's just two weeks left until the planned release of Ubuntu 11.04, a.k.a. the Natty Narwhal. With the release candidate for Natty having been dropped due to scheduling issues around Easter, a second beta was released today by Canonical as the final pre-release.
The development discussion surrounding whether Ubuntu 11.04 should default to the classic GNOME desktop rather than the Unity Desktop being developed in-house at Canonical is ongoing. One of the latest discussions is over the lack of system tray support in Ubuntu 11.04 Unity and the new style of application notifications. An interesting comment was just posted by one of Canonical's employees.
Besides the MPlayer fighting that's now going on, the battles within the Ubuntu community isn't limited to GNOME vs. Unity on the desktop, but in fact the Ubuntu Developer Membership board and Community Council have jointly decided to expel one of the Ubuntu developers.
Earlier today Phoronix was the first publication to widely report that Ubuntu 11.04 may default to the GNOME classic desktop rather than the Unity desktop that Canonical has been developing viciously over the past few months. There's just too many bugs outstanding and issues with Unity, but here's the whole spiel about what their evaluation is coming down to in deciding whether to stick with Unity by default or instead use the classic GNOME desktop until presumably Ubuntu 11.10.
When Mark Shuttleworth and co announced last year that Ubuntu 11.04 would deploy a Canonical-developed Unity desktop environment instead of the GNOME 3.0 Shell or the classic GNOME2 desktop, many users were concerned by this move with Unity on Ubuntu Netbook not even being in great shape, etc. Concerns over Unity by default in Ubuntu 11.04 have only grown with the Unity interface in Ubuntu 11.04 Beta still being sluggish and broken in areas. Now it looks like Canonical may default Ubuntu 11.04 to using the classic desktop.
There's less than one month left to the release of Ubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal" and in preparing for that major release, the first beta release has been published this afternoon.
You may have heard of Launchpad's Bug #723831 this month, which is a bug to select the 'install third-party software' option in Ubuntu's LiveCD installer by default. By doing so, Adobe Flash support and various other non-free packages would effectively be installed by default, thereby providing a better "out of the box" experience where YouTube would be working nicely, etc. Obviously though including non-free software by default in Ubuntu is a hotly debated issue.
While Fedora 16 might be codenamed Bacon, Mark Shuttleworth has announced the codename for Ubuntu 11.10 and it's to be called the "Oneiric Ocelot" release.
While Red Hat / RPM distribution fans can be celebrating the release of Scientific Linux 6.0, early adopters of Ubuntu "Natty Narwhal" can be testing out the release of Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 3.
Not only did Canonical announce today their relatively uninteresting hardware database, but Kate Stewart, the Ubuntu Release Manager, announced a scheduling change for the Ubuntu 11.04 release candidate. There will be no release candidate for Ubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal", but an additional beta is now planned for release.
As expected, the second alpha release of "Natty Narwhal", a.k.a. Ubuntu 11.04, has been released today. This release switches over to using the Linux 2.6.38 kernel, replaces OpenOffice.org with LibreOffice, updates the graphics stack, and further enhances the Linux cloud computing experience.
For those interested in potentially becoming an Ubuntu developer, Emmet Hikory has written a brief guide about that very topic. Some feel that it can be challenging to become an Ubuntu developer, but in a long mailing list post he goes over all the details.
Mark Shuttleworth has announced today on his blog that as part of Ubuntu 11.10 they are looking at expanding their support for the Qt tool-kit. They are looking at now including the Qt libraries as part of their default Ubuntu installation and to include worth while Qt applications.
The Ubuntu X developers are getting ready to push the Mesa 7.10 graphics library and X.Org Server 1.10 into the Natty Narwhal repository for Ubuntu 11.04. Due to API/ABI breakage, this also results in new driver builds going into Natty, and for a period of time at least where the ATI Catalyst driver will no longer be compatible with the xorg-server (though the NVIDIA binary driver should properly support Linux 2.6.37 and xorg-server 1.10 right now).
Back in October there was the very controversial news that Canonical would be replacing the GNOME Shell with their own Unity project as the default desktop shell for Ubuntu 11.04 and going forward. The original version and specification for Ubuntu Unity (and as found in Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook) required 3D acceleration and would use Compiz as its compositing window manager. For those without the necessary graphics drivers to support the functionality, Canonical's plan for Ubuntu was to have it fall-back to the traditional GNOME desktop and inform the user of their sad graphics support. However, now Canonical's developing a 2D version of Unity for such scenarios.
On the same day as the Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 1 release, the developers behind Linaro, which is also sponsored by Canonical, released their first alpha of Linaro 11.05.
As expected, Ubuntu 11.04 (codenamed "Natty Narwhal") was released on Thursday afternoon. Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 1 uses the Linux 2.6.37 kernel, a very early snapshot of Canonical's Unity desktop, updated GNOME 3.0 applications, and much more.
The first alpha release of Ubuntu 11.04 is set to arrive this Thursday and one of the most prominent changes to be found in Canonical's April 2011 Linux distribution update is the Unity desktop by default rather than GNOME2 or the GNOME 3.0 Shell on the desktop -- up to this point Ubuntu's Unity had just been used on the Ubuntu Netbook Edition. For those that have yet to try out the latest Ubuntu "Natty Narwhal" packages in preparation for this first alpha release, you are probably curious how far along is this new Unity desktop. Well, fortunately, Canonical's Rick Spencer who is the Director of Ubuntu Engineering has provided a Unity update.
There's been a lot of Ubuntu announcements coming down the pipe lately from ditching the GNOME Shell in favor of their own Canonical-developed Unity desktop to eventually shipping with the Wayland Display Server instead of X.Org. Here's another interesting one: Ubuntu may become a rolling-release distribution.
While we may see Canonical use Wayland beginning with Ubuntu 11.10, there's still the Ubuntu 11.04 release coming out before that we have to look forward to with the new Unity desktop interface. Here's some of the key X.Org details for Ubuntu 11.04, a.k.a. the Natty Narwhal.
Last week was the Ubuntu 11.04 Developer Summit in Orlando, Florida of the United States where a variety of topics were discussed. Aside from the very surprising announcement that Ubuntu 11.04 will use the Unity Desktop rather than GNOME's interface, most of the coverage on Phoronix was focused around the X.Org / graphics side of things, such as the xorg-server and Mesa to be used by Ubuntu 11.04 and the other discussions. Of course, other things were discussed too at this Ubuntu Developer Summit, and here's some of the other major happenings from the event.
Two days ago we reported on what the graphics stack should look like for Ubuntu 11.04 in terms of its X.Org Server, Mesa / Gallium3D, and the open-source graphics driver versions to be deployed in this next Linux operating system release codenamed the Natty Narwhal. This though wasn't the only X-related discussion to take place at the Ubuntu 11.04 developer summit in Orlando this week, but there were other related topics discussed such as KMS configuration / quirk handling, the multi-monitor experience on the Ubuntu desktop, and multi-touch support. There were also talks aimed at Linaro / embedded Ubuntu on ARM platforms with regards to embedded GPU drivers and OpenGL ES support.
The general X.Org planning summit for Ubuntu 11.04 just ended at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Orlando. Here's a few key highlights from this hour-long discussion about the make-up of the X.Org / graphics stack for the Natty Narwhal release due for release in April.
The announcement of Ubuntu dropping the GNOME shell in favor of their own Unity interface that came during Mark Shuttleworth's keynote to kick off their Ubuntu 11.04 development summit has not been welcomed by many Linux users.
While GNOME 3.0 is expected to roll out in March and will boast the brand new GNOME Shell interface with the Mutter compositing window manager, this will not appear by default in the Ubuntu desktop. Certainly not in Ubuntu 11.04 and it doesn't look like it will be used at all in the future by default (granted, you'll be able to install the shell from a package repository). It's just been announced that beginning with Ubuntu 11.04, the desktop spin will begin using the Unity shell that Canonical originally developed for netbooks.
Not even a week has passed since the release of Ubuntu 10.10, but developers are now free to start committing package changes for the next release, Ubuntu 11.04, which is codenamed Natty Narwhal. Matthias Klose has announced that the Ubuntu Natty repository is now open for business.
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