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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10 Responses to “Natty Narwhal Alpha 2 Has Been Released”

  1. 1 Peter February 24, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    If I want to get the same touch screen support in Debian as there is in NN, what do I have to do?

    My touch screen works perfectly from Alpha 2 CD of NN. But I am trying to use touch screens with web converger, which is a debian based kiosk distro.

    Do you have any idea what I need to do?

    • 2 ubuntulady February 25, 2011 at 1:17 am

      I don’t have a touch screen computer, myself – so I don’t know how to advise you. Perhaps another reader will know.

  2. 3 reformedmusings February 26, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    I tried to load NN A2 in a virtual machine a few weeks ago. The VM recognized the distro, but the install hangs. After restarting the VM I could run the live CD, but it still would not install. Between that and the lack of nVidia support, I think I’ll hold off until a later beta.


    • 4 ubuntulady February 27, 2011 at 12:18 am

      I’ve been holding off because I use Nvidia, too. I hope Nvidia hurries up and gets the drivers to Ubuntu. I want to be able to test Natty. 🙂

      • 5 reformedmusings February 27, 2011 at 12:33 am

        I just updated to Maverick. I waited because VMWare Workstation didn’t support a Maverick host until recently. I suspect the same thing will happen with Natty.

        I’m a bit concerned about what will happen when Ubuntu drops Xorg support. nVidia will have to develop drivers for Wayland. Ouch.

  3. 6 ubuntulady February 27, 2011 at 3:51 am

    I am not looking forward to the dropping of support. Wayland sounds like a good idea, but what happens if Ubuntu goes one way and all the rest of Linux goes the other?

    • 7 reformedmusings March 1, 2011 at 12:16 am

      Ah, what indeed. I’m afraid that decisions like this and the dust up with Banshee over music stores indicate that Cannonical is losing touch with the Linux user community. They’ve done a lot to broadly socialize Linux, but that only gets you so much slack. If only Ubuntu goes to Wayland and the video card makers balk at supporting it, I’m off to another distribution that plays nice with the broader community. I came to Ubuntu freely and I can leave it just as freely.

  4. 9 reformedmusings March 3, 2011 at 12:54 am

    Me too. I saw that Shuttleworth apologized for the Banshee fiasco and took responsibility. That’s certainly a kudo.

  1. 1 News Databank :: Latest News :: Narwhal Trackback on February 8, 2011 at 4:17 pm

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February 2011

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