Canonical have announced the release of the latest version of Ubuntu, version 11.04 codenamed Natty Narwhal. This features Unity, the new desktop interface. You can download the required files from http://releases.ubuntu.com/natty/ .
Here is a full review :
Unity is the new default interface of Ubuntu 11.04 !!
It gets rid of the all fashioned panels and adopts new looks with 3 major components:
The Unity Panel and Global Menu
The top panel of Ubuntu is called the Unity panel. It no longer supports addition of applets, but houses the indicator applets and “The Global Menu” and the Ubuntu button. The global menu houses the application menus and window controls like close and minimize. The indicator applets include the integrated volume control button allowing you to pause, skip, track or play music. The network manager applet is converted into an indicator applet as well !!
The Unity launcher is the most eye catching component of Unity. It is to the left of the screen but has intelligent hide feature. It houses short cuts to different applications which you can customize (by dragging and dropping of course !!). It also contains a workspace switcher button and the Trash. Minimized applications show up int the Launcher and also indicates open applications using a small triangle to the left of the icon. It also provides you with two new menus called the “Files and Folders” and “Applications”.
The Files and Folders menu allows you to browse the files in your machine dynamically. It shows you recent files, Downloads folder and the folders bookmarked in nautilus.
The Applications menu lets you search/browse applications. It lists applications installed, favorite applications and the ones available to install from the software center !!
Both these menus fall under a category called Lenses. There are Lenses available for installation like a You Tube Lens to search videos right from your desktop, Ask Ubuntu Lens to search stack overflow questions etc.
The unity dash is kind of the replacement for the main menu view. It gives you an organized list of shortcuts. The files menu and applications menu basically opens up the dash. Pressing the Ubuntu button or pressing the window button in the keyboard.
Banshee is the new default music player. It can import, smart sort and organize your music. It allows accessing on-line music stores like Amazon and Ubuntu One music store. Pod-casts and on-line radio is also supported. There are several cool add ons to browse too . It also syncs with a large number of Music players.
The Ubuntu Software center
The Ubuntu software center has added features to include user reviews and ratings. It has also been optimized for Unity, by adding an option to add the application to the Launcher right away !! It even gives you software suggestions .
The new Ubuntu installer has new looks and a great new feature to upgrade the currently installed Ubuntu version using the live boot CD itself and not the alternate CD .
The Ubuntu one sync service gets a new cool UI !!
The server editions support Amazon cloud service as well as an experimental support for Openstack. Ubuntu is certainly taking the right steps to keep up with “near future” technology.
Classic desktop is still supported !! You can choose this during login !!
Other softwares worth mentioning includes the office suite, Libre Office, Firefox 4, Shotwell (Image viewer and organizer), and many more Gnome software. All in their latest versions of course !! Latest kernel is not to be forgotten too !!
- Unity : Takes getting used to. But its fun. I miss panel applets .
- Indicator applets : Neat implementation. Waiting for new applets to come.
- Software : Top notch selection. No issues for me.
- Stability: Fair given that Unity is a completely new software introduced.
- Software Center: Professional !!