Archive for February 4th, 2011

Natty Narwhal Alpha 2 Has Been Released

Natty Narwhal Alpha 2 was released on Thursday, February 3, as scheduled. The Natty Narwhal Alpha 2 release of Ubuntu 11.04 is a developer snapshot to give an early glance at what is coming up.

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 should come up and tell you: New distribution release ‘11.04’ is available. Then you just need to click Upgrade and follow the instructions.

You can download Alpha 2 ISOs from: (Ubuntu Desktop and Server) (Ubuntu Server for UEC and EC2) (Ubuntu Netbook ARM) (Kubuntu) (Xubuntu) (Edubuntu DVD) (Ubuntu Studio) (Mythbuntu)

One of the key packages appearing for the first time in the Alpha 2 release is LibreOffice 3.3, which has replaced 3.2. Alpha 2 now also includes the 2.6.38-4c2 Linux kernel, which is based on the latest release candidate kernel. Alpha 2 also includes a new X stack, comprised of XServer 1.10 and mesa 7.10, along with updates to all the major drivers.

Unity is the default of the Ubuntu Desktop session. This is only partially implemented at this time. The Unity Launcher is now available and can be used to launch applications that are pinned to the launcher and switch between running applications. There is also a rudimentary Places implementation, but it is still very unstable, and scroll bars and search do not work yet. Classic Gnome panel applets are not supported, only indicators.

There are now three kinds of sessions in gdm. Ubuntu Desktop will run Unity by default. The Ubuntu Classic Session will run gnome-panel. (Ubuntu Desktop requires 3D driver support, while Ubuntu Classic supports all video hardware and video drivers.) For the third kind, you can foce a “2D mode only” with Ubuntu Classic Session.

Of note to Nvidia and ATI users: The binary video drivers -fglrx and -nvidia do not have XServer 1.10 compatibility. Therefore, they do not function in Alpha 2. The exact ETAs of the -nvidia and -fglrx updated versions are not known yet.

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February 2011

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