Archive for December, 2010

Natty Narwhal Alpha 1 Has Been Released

On Thursday, December 2, 2010, Natty Narwhal Alpha 1 was released. This is a developer snapshot to give an early glance at the next version, as well as to test it.

To upgrade from Ubuntu 10.10 on a desktop system, press Alt + F2 and type in “update-manager -d” (without the quotes) into the command box. Update Manager will let you know: New distribution release ‘11.04’ is available. Then you just need to click on Upgrade and follow the instructions.

This release is labeled for developers only. It is far too early a release to be used on production machines. For Ubuntu Desktop and Server, the list of source ISOs is here. I recommend choosing a torrent. Transmission makes torrents easy to add to the download list. If you use a torrent, please consider letting people upload from it for a while after you have finished downloading.

Unity is now the default for the Ubuntu Desktop session. This is only partially implemented. The Unity Launcher is available. It can be used to launch applications that are pinned to the launcher and also to switch between applications. For now, clicking the Ubuntu logo in the upper left of the screen will open the applications directory. This is temporary until the Applications place is available.

Network Manger applet has been patched to use appindicator. Classic Gnome panel applets are not supported in Alpha 1, only indicators.

There are now two kinds of sessions in GDM: Ubuntu Desktop will run Unity by default, and the Ubuntu Classic Session will run gnome-panel. Ubuntu Classic supports all video hardware and video drives. Ubuntu Desktop requires 3D driver support.

Alpha 1 includes the Linux 2.6.37-rc3 kernel which is based on the latest mainline release candidate kernel. This is expected to roll forward to version 2.6.38 for final release.

Please note for installation: the live CD configurations are being reworked for Natty. At this time, the images are a bit too large to fit on a CD. You are advised to use a USB stick or DVD as a workaround.

I will not be upgrading right now, because I have Christmas card address labels to print. Normally, I run my computer for testing so others don’t have to. Right now, it is a production machine. 😉

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