Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

Today marks the release of the next Ubuntu version, 11.04, named "Natty Narwhal".

Some of you might be asking 'What the hell is a narwhal?", so for those of you:
You still don't know what it is? Don't worry, neither do I.

Others might be asking what Ubuntu is. Strictly speaking, it's an African philosophy:
 A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed. 
Archbishop Desmond Tutu

 But for us, people of technological surroundings, it's a Linux distribution. One that has attempted to bring Linux to the masses by creating an easy to understand, friendly environment, as far away removed from the hardships of "making everything work by yourself" which has characterized Linux for the most part, leaving it's usage to only those who know enough or are willing to learn enough to make any use of it.

So with a user friendly installation, interface and tools, it should be a good choice to everyone right?
No, not yet. It still is a bit far from being a "good to go" operating system out of the box. I have ran into a number of difficulties myself, even with 10 years of experience with computers, I've been tempted to uninstall it and go back to comfortable Windows.

So what's new in this latest edition of the OS?
The most striking difference to those upgrading from the previous version is the lack of those three useful menus replaced by a big list of icons on the left. The idea is that you drag and drop your most used items there and then scroll through them, getting what you want with a click of the mouse, everything at your fingertips.

Well it fails at that, it's a bad concept. If I want a series of shortcuts, I'll have them in my desktop as it's always been, or maybe even in the top bar:

Furthermore, if the icon of the application you want is not on the left bar, and not on the latest used programs, you'll have to search for it. This makes finding a program more of a hassle than before, requiring you to type the name, which you may not know. At least before you could find the program by it's grouping, this is, if it was a graphics application, or a game, you'd see it under "graphics" or "games".
The bottom bar, which was very Windows-like with all the tabs of the things you had open (task-bar), is gone. Thanks mates, that was useful! >:(
Some other design choices also are leaving people confused. The system settings is in the shutdown menu. Yeah, what the fuck right?
There's user friendly and there's treating users like retarded people.

All of this seems to be a byproduct of choosing Unity instead of Gnome as the desktop manager, but I really don't get it. If it was all for a sidebar with questionable usefulness, then Gnome 3 can do that perfectly. Developers say Unity is needed for the "bigger picture" in Ubuntu's development, but right now all I see is the smaller picture and it doesn't look too pretty.

I'm sticking to 10.10 for the time being.

Trivia of the day:
Jet fuel has a flash point of only 38 º C and a autoignition temperature of 210 º C


  1. looks like it still needs improving!

  2. Actually one my old teachers always talked about Ubuntu ... Strange guy but whatever i agree with you they should work harder if they want to publish something like this!

  3. kinda off topic but i watched a documentary on narwhals once

  4. wow they really copy mac os :)
    i prefer the original tough

  5. I think I'm gonna start downloading this and try it out for myself. here's to curiosity! hehe

  6. Obviously the best choice of a name :D

  7. Looks good. But ill stick to windows.

  8. And thus is the fate of most *nix distros. IMO I can't wait for Android to have a legit Desktop OS.

  9. oh so it has to do with computer stuff. at first i thought there was some type of new whale ha ha
    please check my blog out

  10. I installed Ubuntu and didnt like it. I dont see why people like it. Maybe it is the best Linux Distro. I am not sure. But it doesnt match up to my Windows 7.

  11. Not a big fan of Ubuntu to be honest.

  12. Have been meaning to switch to Ubuntu and this release looks the best yet

  13. It looks nice. I dunno, I don't think I'm retarded but I like the user-friendliness.

  14. i think narwhales are beautiful, in their own unique way! i cant handle computers too much, so if i wanted to set it up that way id have to get someone haha

  15. well thats the power of linux, it can just get better :)

  16. Thank you. I've been programming computers since 1982 and have been following/using Linux since the 90's. Eventually I became a Redhat fan, and then later I used Mandrake, which became Mandriva. More recently, in the last few years, I tried LinuxMint and liked it, and then eventually went to straight Ubuntu. Now I might have to give up on Ubuntu and go with something like Fedora, which at least uses a familiar Gnome desktop. You have said what I have been feeling all along about Ubuntu 11.04 with Unity. I gave the beta a try, and was so alarmed and disappointed that I removed it after a few days of trying to work with it.

  17. I'm also sticking to Perfect 10.10 for the time being !

    I tried Natty for weeks on my "backup" laptop. To me, Natty is a disappointed Ubuntu version. Maverick is still truly a perfect 10 over 10 for me. BTW, I'm a software developer (not for Linux) for a decade.