These release notes for Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) provide an overview of the release, and document the known issues with Ubuntu 11.04 and its variants.

Release Overview

For PC users, Ubuntu 11.04 supports laptops, desktops and netbooks with a unified look and feel based on a new desktop shell called "Unity". This version supersedes Ubuntu Netbook Edition for all PC netbooks.

Developer reference images are provided for select Texas Instruments (TI) ARM platforms, specifically the "PandaBoard" and "BeagleBoard" developer systems.

Ubuntu Server 11.04 has made it easier to provision servers, and reduce power consumption. Ubuntu Server 11.04 for UEC and EC2 has a new kernel and improved initialization and configuration options.

The Ubuntu 11.04 family of Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Edubuntu, Mythbuntu, and Ubuntu Studio have had numerous updates as well.

Ubuntu Changes

New Features

Unity is now the default Ubuntu desktop session. The Unity launcher has many new features, including drag and drop re-ordering of launcher icons, full keyboard navigation support, launcher activation through keyboard shortcuts, right-click context menu quick-list and switching between running applications.

The Ubuntu One control panel now allows selective syncing, and the launcher icon now displays sync progress. File syncing speed has been improved as well.

The Ubuntu Software Center now allows users to "rate & review" installed applications, share reviews via integration with social networking services added into Gwibber, and has other usability improvements.

GNOME programs now use a new scrollbar which takes less screen space.

Updated Applications

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

LibreOffice 3.3.2 has replaced in 11.04 as the default office suite.

Banshee 2.0 has replaced Rhythmbox is the standard music player, and has now been integrated into the sound menu.

Improved Underlying Infrastructure

11.04 has a kernel based on mainline branch stable kernel Some of the highlights include upstream acceptance of AppArmor, support for Intel IPS (Intelligent Power Sharing), removal of the Big Kernel Lock, file system improvements to Btrfs, Ext4, and XFS, and of course the usual driver updates and support for new hardware. 1.10.1 and Mesa 7.10.2 are the new versions included with 11.04. The X server includes a prototype of the multitouch input extension (XInput 2.1). The Qt toolkit also includes pre-release support for multitouch.

The GNU toolchain has transitioned to be based off of gcc 4.5 for i386, amd64, ARM omap3/omap4 and PowerPC architectures.

All main packages have now been built and are installable with Python 2.7.

dpkg 1.16.0-pre brings us up-to-date with staged changes for the upcoming Debian 1.16.0 dpkg release, as well as pulling in the current version of the in-progress multiarch work.

Upstart has been updated to 0.9.7-1. There are a lot of new features: it is now "chroot-aware", there is support for basic job/event visualization, there are two new initctl commands (show-config, check-config), a socket bridge is now provided, the latest D-Bus version now allows D-Bus services to be activated via Upstart, a manual job configuration stanza, and override file support is now available. More details can be found in the Upstart Technical overview.

Ubuntu on ARM

Netbook Images

The preinstalled Ubuntu Netbook images for ARM come with the brand new unity-2d desktop by default which incorporates the improved usability and user interface design of unity into low end 2D graphics hardware.

*New* Headless Images

As a response to long standing community requests, an Ubuntu Headless image is now available for omap3 and omap4 hardware. This image is fully set up to be run and configured using the serial port and contains a minimal command line install.

A detailed list of features and known issues on ARM images can be found here.

Ubuntu Server

New Features

cobbler and mcollective have been included, which will make provisioning servers easier.

PowerNap 2.0 uses a new method to reduce power consumption and can now monitor user activity (Console, Mouse, Keyboard), system activity (load, processors, process IO), and network activity (wake-on-lan, udp ports tcp ports)

Default dhcpd server updated from dhcp3 to isc-dhcp (version 4).

Eucalyptus is now the latest stable point release (2.0.2) with security and efficiency fixes.

OpenStack (nova) in Universe is a technology preview, with a recent snapshot of 2011.2 (Cactus) release.

Cloud images

Ubuntu Server is available for for UEC and EC2.

cloud-init has been updated to 0.60. This version includes support for resizing of the root file system at first boot, adds minimal OVF transport (iso) support and allow setting of hostname when first booting. Rightscale support has been added to cloud-config and cloud-init.

Cloud images now have support for being run as an LXC guest.

Some of the supporting technologies that have been packaged and included are, Cassandra 0.7.0, ZeroMQ, Membase, and XtraBackup.

Images are verified to run against OpenStack (nova) cloud.


Kubuntu 11.04 sports the latest KDE software including KDE Platform and Plasma 4.6.2.

Kubuntu now provides a working Samba file sharing module that lets you add and manage shares from the folder's Properties dialogs.

The new Language Selector module allows you to add, remove, and manage system languages directly from System Settings.

An updated system-config-printer-kde brings a number of bug fixes to Kubuntu's printer management tool.

Please see for details.


Xubuntu wallpaper has been updated for this release. The wallpaper is designed to integrate well with the new graybird theme.

The installation slide show has been updated for Natty Narwhal, and really displays the best of Xubuntu.

The Elementary Xubuntu icon theme has been updated.

Xubuntu is using the Droid font by default, since it is a lightweight, good visibility font.

The newly released Xfce 4.8 is included. The menus in Xfce 4.8 are now editable with any menu editor that meets the standards. The suggested editor is alacarte.


You can test Edubuntu 11.04 directly from your web browser by going at (regular Ubuntu 11.04 is also available).

WebLive is also directly integrated in the Ubuntu Software Center letting you test the most popular apps without installing them on your machine. Just click the "Test drive" button.

The installer now has an additional step allowing users to fine-tune which applications should be installed on the final system.

Edubuntu now ships with Arkose, which provides application sandboxing for downloaded apps.

New software packages in Edubuntu include Pencil, Geogebra, Calibre, LibreCAD, Freemind and Stellarium.

Theming improvements include a new wallpaper, a LDM theme when installing LTSP from the Edubuntu installer. The text-mode boot mode now displays "Edubuntu" instead of "Ubuntu". Our ongoing menu refinements include new icons where they were missing, and more consistent case use in menu entries.

Edubuntu 11.04 ships with the classical Gnome desktop by default but Unity is available as an option in the installer.

For more details on what has changed in Edubuntu 11.04, please refer to .

Ubuntu Studio

The task selections during installation have been updated. The audio tasks have been parsed into two groups: generation and recording.

Currently, Ubuntu Studio is shipping the -generic kernel. We are working with the Ubuntu Kernel Team to get a -low latency kernel into the archives. An interim -lowlatency kernel is available in Allesio Bogani's PPA.

network-manager has replaced gnome-network-admin.

The packages shipped in Ubuntu Studio are now more focused to support identified tasks and their derived work flows.

Ubuntu Studio does not currently use Unity. As the user logs in it will default to Gnome Classic Desktop (i.e. Gnome2).


The Mythbuntu-bare (Backup and Restore for the database and configuration files) Mythbuntu Control Center plugin now has the ability to schedule backups on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

Android and iOS devices can now be used as remote controls.

MythTV 0.24 is now integrated into the builds.



Preparing your computer for Ubuntu is now much simpler, with a wider range of disk setup options. Each of these are detailed at length to provide you with a clear understanding of the actions that will take place with your selection.

You can now reinstall or upgrade an existing copy of Ubuntu with the Desktop CD installer, provided that your computer is connected to the Internet.

Download Release

11.04 images can be downloaded from a location near you:

In addition, they can be found at the following links:

System Requirements

The minimum memory requirement for Ubuntu 11.04 is 384 MB of memory for Ubuntu Desktop. Note that some of your system's memory may be unavailable due to being used by the graphics card. If your computer has only the minimum amount of memory, the installation process will take longer than normal; however, it will complete successfully, and the system will perform adequately once installed.

The minimum memory requirement for Ubuntu Server 11.04 is 128 MB of memory.

Systems with less memory may be able to select "Install Ubuntu" from the boot menu to run just the installer, rather than the whole desktop, or may be able to use the alternate install CD.


From Ubuntu 10.10

To upgrade from Ubuntu 10.10 on a desktop system, press Alt+F2, type in "update-manager" (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, 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.)

For further information, please see the instructions in :

From Other Ubuntu Releases

Users of other Ubuntu releases need to upgrade first to 10.10, and then to 11.04.

For further information on upgrading to 10.10, please see the instructions in:

Known Issues

Boot, installation and post-install


The btrfs filesystem is considered experimental in this release. It can generally be installed and used, but with a number of problems. You should only use it if you are comfortable with dealing with problems and helping us resolve them.

Upgrades from Ubuntu 10.10

Downgrades to Ubuntu 11.04

Graphics and display


In general, the recommended HW configuration for running Unity is available at:

Trackpads, touchscreens, mice, and keyboards

Linux kernel

Ubuntu Software Center

Ubuntu Server

Ubuntu Server for UEC and EC2

Ubuntu ARM




Ubuntu Studio



If you would like to help shape Ubuntu, take a look at the list of ways you can participate at: .

Your comments, bug reports, patches and suggestions really help us to improve this and future releases of Ubuntu. Instructions can be found at: .

NattyNarwhal/ReleaseNotes (last edited 2011-11-30 21:38:59 by brian-murray)