May 3, 2011

First impression of Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

After a long time it's about time I wrote a new post, nothing like a new version of Ubuntu to sit down and a write a post, enjoy.


Basically there the are three options: keeping all your information and programs, fresh installation on the same partition and the last option is if you want to do some thing else , mainly changing or adding partitions. If you choose the last option and you want to change one of your partitions, you'll need to enter the size of the partition, in older versions you could have done it using a scale, I miss the older version. Other then that everything fast and smooth. It was the fastest installation I ever did with Ubuntu. The only problem was when downloading things went a little slow the same when installing more applications, but that cloud be understandable since it was lunched that day and Ubuntu's servers where overloaded .

Default applications

Office suit – Libreoffice instead of Openoffice – It's hard to find any big difference between them. I had only one problem which took me some time to solve, since I also write in Hebrew (Right-to-Left) I couldn't find the buttons to change the writing directions. In the beginning I tried Installing Openoffice using the “Ubuntu Software Center” but it installed Libreoffice again, at the end I found the solution. (Tools → Options → Language Settings → Languages → Locale Setting ->[Your language]) If you write from Right-to-Left the buttons will appear in the tool bar, in Openoffice the buttons are default.
  1. Media – Banshee – Love it used it until now it's about time it was the default music player in Ubuntu. In the video section I've installed VLC, here again I've used it before and I'm very happy with it. VLC's main strength is in it's ability to play many video formats.
  2. Graphics - Picasa & GIMP since I use the Picasa on the web using Picasa was a natural choice. Once in a while I need to do some photo editing until now I've used GIMP, no reason changing that.
  3. Browser – Three month ago I have started using Chromium instead of Firefox, that was before Firefox 4 came out, since then I've got used to it and I'm very happy with it's performance.
  4. Last but not least the “Ubuntu restricted extras” applications with restricted copyrights , Skype for communication, Synapse a friendly file and application launcher and Gdebi package installer (I don't understand why it doesn't come in default) . Dropbox instead of Ubuntu One cause I also use Windows.
  5. Removing – Evolution, I use Gmail. Gwibber, I prefer the web interfaces of Twitter and Facebook.

User Interface

In Ubuntu 10.10 I've used Gnome 3 now I'm using Unity 2D, unfortunately my graphic card doesn't support the 3D version. The only thing is that I had to figure that by my self and install the 2D version, the 3D came installed by default. This is the biggest change between the Ubuntu 11.04 and the privies version, at least as the eye can see. Compared to Gnome 2 it's a huge leap. Compared to Gnome 3 it's hard to decide which is better, after using both I think I prefer Unity, but I haven't used it enough that I can be sure. The only thing I miss is the option to add applets to the bar above, I hope in the future they'll add that option to do it the same way as in Gnome 2. I thought of installing Gnome 3, but the roomer is that it will only cause problems and even may result in the need to install Ubuntu from scratch.

One problem I've had in both versions and both interfaces is with the battery applet, when charging or working on battery I can't see the percentage it's stuck on “estimating”.

For conclusion the difference between 10.10 and 11.04 (as a simple home user) are changes in some applications, Banshee & Libreoffice added, GIMP removed. The bigger change is in the interface. Looks like Ubuntu is in the right direction, better applications (no reason removing GIMP), better user interface. Both increasing the user's experience, hopefully attracting more users to Ubuntu.

Already waiting for Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot.

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