Archive for April, 2011

Natty Narwhal Has Been Released

Natty Narwhal has been released and is now available by the front page.

On the Download page, you will find new options. You can download and install, try Ubuntu from a CD or USB stick, or run it within Windows using wubi, as before. Now, you can also try Ubuntu online. That way you can give it a test run and decide when to download it.

If you’re like me and want a clean copy to burn to CD, you have one more option, the alternative download page. This lists torrents. The best thing about downloading a torrent is that the more people who are online downloading, the faster your download time.

Of course, if you are already running Maverick Meerkat (Ubuntu 10.10), you just need to press Alt + F2 and type in update-manager. (You no longer need the d because Natty has been officially released.

I am using Natty again, even though I fussed about it. I don’t like what has happened to the menus I depended on, but clicking on the Applications button and typing in the first 2 or 3 letters of a word makes life a bit easier.

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ShipIt Has Closed

After delivering millions of Ubuntu CDs, the Ubuntu ShipIt program has closed. It is still possible to download Ubuntu for free from, or, as the message states, “buy a CD straight from the Canonical shop.”

The problem I have with this is that Ubuntu CDs come in packs of 5. What if a person wants only *one* CD? Paying for the other 4 should not be required. I wonder if it is almost as expensive to ship one as it is 5?

At any rate, may ShipIt rest in peace.

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GetDeb and PlayDeb Repositories Available for Natty

The announcement has been made today (Tuesday, April 26) that the GetDeb and PlayDeb repositories for Natty Narwhal (Ubuntu 11.04) have been published.

The GetDeb policy is to support the latest and the LTS releases of Ubuntu. For now, this means packages will be published in the 11.04 and 10.04 repositories.

GetDeb is an unofficial project that provides the latest open source and freeware applications for the current and LTS Ubuntu releases, in an easy to install manner.

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Natty Narwhal Beta 2 Is Now Available

Natty Narwhal Beta 2 is now (as of April 14) being made available through the home page.

Let me point out some of the changes made with Natty. The most obvious is the launcher on the left, containing several buttons for folders and applications and the Ubuntu Software Center, among other necessities. Here is a screenshot to show the general layout:

The top bar no longer allows widgets – it is used instead for the list of menus that used to be part of each separate application screen. I am suffering from withdrawal because I used to use the top bar for everything from monitoring my CPU to launching applications.

Another thing that is gone is the notification area. This means that, for example, checkgmail no longer works. I am presently trying cGmail, a program that uses the notification area. The problem with it is that it only shows notifications when the e-mails arrive. There is nothing on the screen afterwards to warn you that you’ve got a boatload.

If you click on the Ubuntu logo on the top left of your screen, you will find a group of shortcuts, including Check Email (for Evolution), Find Files, and several AOos choices. Unfortunately, when I tried to get a screenshot of that page, when I left-clicked on the screenshot button on the launcher, the shortcut page disappeared. 😦

The Applications search button pulls up an intelligent window. At first, I was worried that every time I wanted to run a particular app, I would have to go through 173 applications to find it. Thankfully, as you keep using the game or bleachbit or whatever else you want, it will start showing up among the most used.

Natty is running more slowly on my $300 computer (with some modifications) than past versions have done. I don’t know if this slowness will be fixed by release time or not.

I’m not sure I am ready to recommend Natty Narwhal. It looks like a great system for a young child whose parents can set up the most used areas, and add buttons to the launcher for the child’s favorite applications. It feels very much like a netbook interface.

If you do decide to upgrade to Natty, this is probably the time to do it. Natty is stable enough to use. It can at present be downloaded from the start page, as I noted earlier. If you are running Maverick, you may wish to go with the Alt + F2, type in update-manager -d, method of upgrading. I did a clean install because I had extra PPAs I was using, and wanted to clean up my machine.

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Natty Narwhal Beta 1 is Available

Natty Narwhal Beta 1 has been made available for testing and perusal. It was made available on March 31.

Ubuntu Netbook Edition and Ubuntu Desktop Edition have now been combined into a single Edition called “Ubuntu” (with no edition).

To upgrade from Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick) on a desktop system, simply press Alt+F2, type in “update-manager -d” (without the quotes) and press enter. Then Update Manager should display the message “New distribution release ‘11.04’ is available.” You then need to click Upgrade and follow the directions.

Beta 1 images can be downloaded from: (Ubuntu and Ubuntu Server)

In addition, they can be found at the following links: (Ubuntu, Ubuntu Server) (Ubuntu DVD, source) (Ubuntu Server for UEC and EC2) (Ubuntu Netbook ARM) (Ubuntu Netboot) (Kubuntu) (Kubuntu DVD, preinstalled ARM images) (Xubuntu) (Edubuntu) (Ubuntu Studio) (Mythbuntu)

Beta 1 includes the 2.6.38-7.39 Linux kernel, which is based on the latest mainline kernel. This is a major update from the v2.6.35 in Maverick.

LibreOffice 3.3.2 has been included in 11.04 as the default office package.

Ubuntu 11.04 comes with Firefox 4.0 as the standard browser.

I plan to try Beta 1 even though one of the known issues is that installing the proprietary Nvidia drivers causes Plymouth to hang on some systems. Other warnings include: Ubuntu on i386 systems will occasionally not reboot after completing the installation and clicking “Reboot Now.”

Here’s hoping it works now and I don’t have to keep waiting to do a review!

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April 2011

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