Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) desktop new features

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Oneiric Ocelot includes new releases of all major flavors of Ubuntu: desktop, server, cloud, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Edubuntu, Mythbuntu, and Ubuntu Studio. For Ubuntu, this release provides a full Unity experience, even without 3D hardware acceleration, promoting Unity 2D to the primary fallback shell. LightDM steps forward as the login manager for Ubuntu, Edubuntu, Xubuntu, Mythbuntu, and Ubuntu Studio. It also includes a customized Unity greeter. Kubuntu showcases the best and the newest features of the KDE Platform, Plasma Workspaces, and Applications (including the Muon Software Centre). Ubuntu Server introduces a technical preview of Juju -- a modern approach to service deployment and orchestration on cloud and bare metal environments, and support for the ARM architecture.

New Features

 Lenses and Interface Changes

11.10 includes a new release of compiz and Unity. Highlights of this release are:

  • A new Alt+Tab switcher.
  • "Places" are renamed to "Lenses". This feature now also integrates multiple sources and advanced filtering options like ratings, range, and categories.
  • The Dash has a new music lens, linked to Banshee, that searches your personal and online music collections.
  • Better performance of launchers and panel, ported to GTK 3 and GTK 3-based indicator stack.
  • Full support for Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and other script languages.

Unity 2D reduces the delta with Unity, shares more code with it, and has an almost completed accessibility support set of features.

The indicators got a visual refresh that includes a refactoring of the session indicator and a new power indicator.

The Ubuntu Font Family, developed under the guidance of the Dalton Maag type foundry and the Canonical design team, has been expanded with Ubuntu Mono and Ubuntu Condensed.

 Ubuntu Software Center 5.0

11.10 includes Ubuntu Software Center 5.0, featuring a completely revamped interface that provides a simpler and more enjoyable experience for browsing, searching, and managing your software. The navigation tree view pane from previous Ubuntu Software Center versions has been replaced by a much cleaner toolbar approach for navigating between views. Top-rated applications are now displayed prominently in the main view as well as in category views, leveraging the extensive database of excellent review data that has been provided over the past year by the Ubuntu community.

Application list views can now be dynamically sorted by top-rated, by name, and also by the date the application appeared in the Center. A dynamic banner has been added to the main view that will serve to highlight interesting new applications as well as themed collections. These banners will be updated regularly, and this, along with the dynamic What's New and Top Rated sections, should help to ensure an interesting and fun experience each time you open Software Center.

Last but not least, OneConf is now built in to keep your installed applications in sync between multiple computers. To activate it, use "File ? Sync between computers…".

 New ARM subarchitectures

Ubuntu 11.10 introduces two new desktop images for ARM subarchitectures: armel+ac100 for the Toshiba ac100 netbook (NVIDIA Tegra 2 SoC), and armel+mx5 targeted at the Freescale i.MX53 Quick Start development board. Both of these images are "best-effort" community-supported images aimed at developer and hobbyist use.

 Revised DVD content

In Ubuntu 11.10 there is now a revised, smaller (in size) DVD based on community feedback over the last few cycles. This new DVD has a more manageable size of 1.5G, and is an extension of our current CD image that includes all the language packs and some other useful applications, such as Inkscape, GIMP, Pitivi, and a more complete LibreOffice suite. All the packages that used to be on the DVD are still available from the archive.

New App Developer Site

Coinciding with the Ubuntu 11.10 release, a significant milestone in the ongoing effort of making Ubuntu a target for application developers has also been reached: the Ubuntu App Developer site launch.

developer.ubuntu.com should now be the central point of reference for any topics related to Ubuntu application development, from creation to publication: porting, sharing, contributing, and finding information. This site should grow organically to provide the tools, share knowledge, and act as the springboard for fostering application proliferation and developer community growth.

New Localized ISO Tools

Ubuntu now provides a set of tools for Ubuntu LoCo teams to create custom images to provide an experience even closer to the culture of the region they cover. After setting the foundations in Ubuntu 11.10, in the next cycle we plan to work with the community on expanding community usage.

Updated Applications

Thunderbird is included as the default email client. This now includes menu and launcher integration via Unity.

Backups are easy in Ubuntu 11.10 now that Déjà Dup is included as the default backup tool. Securely store copies of your important data on a separate hard drive, cloud server, or even Ubuntu One.

The new Gwibber landed in Ubuntu 11.10, bringing improved performance and a new interface using the most recent GNOME technologies.

GNOME 3.2 is included and is a major upgrade from GNOME 2.32 included in Ubuntu 11.04. GNOME Classic is no longer installed by default, but can be enabled after installation completes by installing gnome-panel. Note that the indicator status menus have not yet been ported to the new gnome-panel and the default upstream panel layout is used instead of the heavy Ubuntu customizations. GNOME Shell is also available for install.

Ubuntu now uses the LightDM login manager with the Unity greeter.

Synaptic and Pitivi are no longer included in the default install but are still available in the Ubuntu repositories.

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32 Responses

  1. amgadelsaiegh says:

    good article but, unfortunately misses pictures

  2. h.lorenz says:

    Ubuntu 11.10 desktop is the biggest crap!

  3. Kumar says:

    What is the substitute for Synaptic ? What if I want to install “liblapack.so” — the Ubuntu Software Center returns 0 results.

  4. Stephan Huebner says:

    I’ve got to say that Ubuntu 11.10 is nothing but an annoyance. Bugs with essential apps and configuration-options are dumbed down. Wtf were they thinking releasing this piece of crap?
    If I’d want to have an unchangeable desktop-environment I’d switch back to OS X, thank you. 🙁

  5. Stephan Huebner says:

    @Kumar: I think you should be able to install Synaptic. Here it is still there, just not visible in the GUI. The only problem is that it crashes on 11.10. One of the more annoying new bugs.

  6. ibbill says:

    Well I have moved to Mint this unity is the worse. Gulp dare I say windows 7 is better.

  7. phil cunningham says:

    11.10 doesnt recognise my display card nvidia 8500gt and have lost dual moniter capability its ok in 10.04 and 11.04 but 11.10 is turning into a joke

  8. Tom says:

    Do not like Unity wish Gnome was back. Unity stinks do not like the desktop.

  9. J_Delund says:

    I sooo wanted to like it after updating from 11.04 but so many methods of customizing things were ripped out that it drove me nuts, not to mention denying the use of gnome right off the bat.

    Synaptic… gone.
    Gnome… gone.
    Themes… gone… and so on, and so on.
    11.04 wasn’t perfect but improvements can be added without dumbing things down so much.
    Seriously thinking of going back to 11.04 or using a different distro altogether.
    Wtf, Canonical??

  10. marku says:

    did the upgrade. always no problem. now i have a netbook that is locked to an ubuntu login screen that will accept no passwords. it will not shut down or reboot. i have to let the battery run down. probably to much junk on ubuntu these days. after 12 years of linux, starting with yellow dog i think it is time to go mac with every thing. very dis. with this.

  11. haidery says:

    kind of wished i viewed this forum before formatted my computer with windows 7 and loaded this piece of crap.. i am back to win 7 now..

  12. tavi says:

    I subscribe to this seeming general angry disappointment feeling and cannot stress enough my frustrating experience with this piece of dictatorial CRAP!!!
    I guess Canonical guys found out that the large majority of Ubuntu users were still using the beautiful, flexible and customizable gnome2 and in a pure geekeshly revenging way they decided to push Unity deep down our throats! Well you f….ancy egomaniac dudes I switched to Kubuntu 11.10 but it’s buggy and I’m not thrilled whit it.. so BACK to Ubuntu 11.04!!
    This is the last time I put up with Canonical stupid and obnoxious will to violate me with the f. Unity crap. Next time I’m going straight to other distro!! F.U. Canonical!

  13. Robert Frayer says:

    Im not sure what these guys were thinking releasing an incomplete beta desktop for widespread use. I posted my opinions and in no way was offensive on the ubuntu forums and bam account was banned from posting…. Seriousely it is obviouse whats going on, ubuntu must have hired a full new team including forum mods that are complete d***s . Ive been a long time user and have developed a few launchpad repos but after this release I will regress to debian

  14. Robert Frayer says:

    seriousely gnome2 is great and everything works if it aint broke dont fix it!!

  15. yifangt says:

    Hmmmmmm, spent two days (>12 hours) to update, but not finished yet, especially:
    1) Synaptic manager is gone, though I tried to put it back;
    2) gnome is gone, and I put it back;
    3) Drop down menu is gone, put it back
    4) System preference has gone somewhere,
    5) many many other things are gone……..

    I would not have done this if I did not read the misleading review, or, if Ubuntu had not kept prompting “Update available”, which was so annoying. Should not say it is a crappy upgrade (11.10), but for sure could be better. I am thinking moving to MINT, at least start to doubt ubuntu’s future.
    Anyway, now
    6) the automount for my USB stick is gone too…
    Could not figure out the way to bring it back. tried couple of things as suggested, but not succeed, more confused. Believe this is a old bug.

    I am not a computer specialist though.

  16. aneeszaki says:

    Ubuntu 11.10 is a piece of shit..coz of this stupid ugle Unity..I installed Kubuntu 11.10 and it is much better..I ll wait for the new mint to compare between it and Kubuntu then I ll decide..
    Ubuntu ..plz ..think again…

  17. Robert Frayer says:

    I find it seriousely funny how about 2 years ago when a major change in team members took place, the ubuntu forums went from being a [place to give input to improve a distro to a place that banns or gives infractions for any critisism given (no matter how polite).. anyways has anyone toyed with the latest stable of debian? seems to kinda rock the gnome2 very well

  18. Robert Frayer says:

    thank god they let you install gnome-shell witch isnt nearly as bad , i didnt notice that before i spoke up, gnome-shell alsoe seems to be a bit more stable than it used to be

  19. yifangt says:

    I am pretty sure Ocelot is copying the style of old Mac OS when you use more. Did they hire those people from retired Apple engineer?

  20. chulsa says:

    I totally agree with yifangt. I have noticed this the very first day of its official release. There so many bugs, cannot figure much of what you want. I have to installed xubuntu-desktop. However, I decided to go back to fedora or redhat for 3d work because they are more stable. Ubuntu team, you have made a very wrong move…hope you will not repeat SGI OS path…strong famous and then dead..

  21. aX says:

    Try using Xubuntu (Xfce) it’s a lot like gnome2, but even faster 🙂

  22. Robert Frayer says:

    Wow Silicon Graphics lmao.. to funny i could imagin that being posted on Distro watch Ubuntu suffers Chapter 11 bankruptcy; assets acquired by Rackable Systems, which renamed itself Ubuntu International Corp lmao…!!!!

  23. Pat McFarland says:

    I am so sorry I clicked the “Upgrade” button.
    My regular computer wouldn’t even boot (I had to boot the recovery kernel and go through a bunch of ridiculous crap to get it up)
    Apparently there is no way to get the ordinary desktop with menus so I have to deal with the brain-dead “Unity” desktop. I have many .sgf files and I have qgo installed. I wish to double-click on a sgf file icon and have qgo open it (worked fine on the previous release) Now it won’t let me associate the .sgf files with qgo. I clicked on “Show other applications” and it’s not there. I hate this pile of shit so much I’m getting rid of linux completely and installing freebsd. Honestly, this release is *worse* than MS windows – I didn’t think that was possible.

  24. acce says:

    I hate unity. I didn’t like the idea of change from gnome but I was waiting to see what the result would be. I don’t like the Gnome Shell either. This is all bloated crap. I gut frustrated when I’m trying to do simple tasks. I don’t know why all major Oses try to put icons in some kind of dock. W7, OSX and now Ubuntu…I like a simple taskbar. The gnome panel was great and efficient, but it’s all gone. The Xfce panel is not as great as the gnome-panel, but is way better than the new crap they served us.

  25. Gene says:

    This thing is horrible. If you are running a previous version, I highly recommend not upgrading.

  26. mlusink says:

    What a huge mistake Canonical has made by following the ‘Unity’ road!

    This will make ’em lose all the users that they were gaining over the last years.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this was some evil trick by Bill Gates & Co. … infiltrating Canonical and creating a big piece of F%$#ing Crap so that MS Windows can win some ‘paying’ customers back.

  27. Base SG says:

    hmm… after having used KDE, GNOME and Blackbox Unity is a nice change… also it works great for me on my netbook (currently my only working comp)

  28. Dan says:


    I loved 10.10 and 11.04 (when using gnome and overlay scrollbar removed).

    Had to reinstall my desktop after corrupt hard disk, so went with 11.10. Bad move. It’s abysmal. After a week of gnome 3, I’ve moved to xfce. It’s not as nice as gnome 2, but at least it’s bearable.

    Worst ubuntu upgrade ever.

  29. tooper says:

    Upgrade from 10.04 was quite smooth but final result lack flexibility & stability.
    First time I struggle over one day without being able to restore my favorite old SGI theme + the Unity launch menu if more overcrowded & fluffy than ever.
    Probably will drop Ubuntu after this one… just a matter of finding where to go. Will give a try to Mint & LFS !

  30. re1n0ut says:

    I’ve always been a firm advices of Ubuntu,.. not. any. more.

    After the Natty Narwal killed my multiple monitor setup (thank you Unity) I just went on, I knew it would get better and I had high hopes for Unity (it’s not all that bad). Yet after the 11.10 upgrade my Oneiric Ocelot has been crashing and hanging, I’ve even got screenshots to reply the ‘can your mac do this meme’ (google it | yes it can and my oneiric Ubuntu can do it better : http://imgur.com/8xPs3). I’m sad to say I had less problems with Vista than Ubuntu 11.10 and am searching for another substitute. I NEED my computer to make a living and lately I’m spending too much time fixing issues and rebooting while not getting ANY work done. But I am sorry for leaving good ol’ (trusty) ubuntu…

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