Ubuntu 11.04(Natty) Beta 1 released and download links are included

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The Ubuntu developers are moving quickly to bring you the absolute latest and greatest software the open source community has to offer. Ubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal" Beta 1 gives a preview of the next version of Ubuntu.

Naming Changes

Ubuntu Netbook Edition and Ubuntu Desktop Edition have been combined into a single Edition called simply "Ubuntu" (with no "Edition").

Ubuntu Server Edition has been renamed to simply "Ubuntu Server" (again, the "Edition" has been dropped).

Using Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 1 with WUBI is not recommended at this time

There is a known issue that prevents Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 1 from being used with WUBI at this time. Please consider waiting for a few more days for updated desktop images that fix this issue, or use the Live CD or USB images to try out Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 1.

Upgrade from Ubuntu 10.10

To upgrade from Ubuntu 10.10 on a desktop system, press Alt+F2, type in "update-manager -d" (without the quotes), and press Enter. Update Manager will open up and display the message, "New distribution release ‘11.04' is available." Click Upgrade and follow the on-screen instructions.

To upgrade from Ubuntu 10.10 on a server system, install the package update-manager-core if it is not already installed. Then execute the command sudo do-release-upgrade -d, and follow the on-screen instructions. Note that the server upgrade is now more robust, and thus will utilize GNU screen and automatically re-attach in case unexpected problems arise, e.g. dropped connection problems.

The same instructions apply to all other editions of Ubuntu (such as Kubuntu, Xubuntu, etc.)

Download Ubuntu 11.04(Natty) Beta 1

Ubuntu 11.04(Natty) Changes

Unity

Unity is now the default Ubuntu Desktop session.

The Unity Launcher has many new features in Natty Narwhal, a few of which are:

drag and drop re-ordering of launcher icons
full keyboard navigation support
launcher activation through keyboard shortcuts
right-click context menu quick-lists
switching between running applications

There is a full Lenses implementation for applications and files now, in addition to the "Dash" start screen (which will come up when clicking on the Ubuntu logo on the top-left of the screen) for the most common actions, such as searching. Also, icons can be dragged and dropped from Dash to the Unity Launcher.

There are now three session types available in GDM:

Ubuntu: it runs Unity. It requires 3D driver support.
Ubuntu Classic: it runs GNOME with gnome-panel. It supports all video hardware and video drivers.
Ubuntu Classic (No Effects): it runs GNOME with gnome-panel. It is in 2D mode only.

Classic GNOME panel applets are not supported in Unity, only indicators such as nm-applet.

If you encounter a problem with Unity, and it is not mentioned in the known issues below, please follow the directions for filing a Unity-specific bugs.

X.org/Mesa

X.org 1.10.0 and Mesa 7.10.1 are the new versions included with 11.04.

Network Manager

The Network Manager applet has been patched to use appindicator.

Banshee

Banshee 1.9.5 is the standard music player now and has been integrated into the sound menu.

LibreOffice

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

Firefox

Ubuntu 11.04 comes with the latest Firefox 4.0 as standard web browser.

Ubiquity

Preparing your computer for Ubuntu is now much simpler, with clearly worded options detailing the exact set of actions that will take place with your choice.

Also, you can now replace or upgrade existing Ubuntu installations with the Desktop CD installer.

Ubuntu One

The Ubuntu One control panel now allows selective syncing. Note: music purchased from the Ubuntu One Music Store is not selected to sync by default.

The Ubuntu One launcher icon now displays sync progress. Important notifications will be displayed through OSD notifications.

File syncing is faster now, thanks to the improvement of scanning which files to sync.

Software Center

Ubuntu Software Center now allows users to "rate & review" installed applications, provided that they have Ubuntu Single Sign On accounts.

Users can also optionally share reviews via integration with social networking services added into Gwibber.

Ubuntu Software Center has also had improvements made in the usability (fully integrated software purchase workflow, improved feedback on install/remove, and alternate search suggestions). The startup time performance has also improved in 11.04.

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