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The Ubuntu developers are proud to introduce Ubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal".

Naming Changes

Starting with Ubuntu 11.04 product names have dropped the "Edition" title.

Ubuntu Netbook Edition and Ubuntu Desktop Edition have been combined into a single Edition called "Ubuntu".

Ubuntu Server Edition has been renamed to "Ubuntu Server".

Get Ubuntu 11.04

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 11.04

11.04 images can be downloaded from a location near you:

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

Features new to Ubuntu 11.04

Updated packages

As with every new release, packages--applications and software of all kinds--are being updated at a rapid pace. Many of these packages came from an automatic sync from Debian's Unstable branch, while others have been explicitly pulled in for the development of Natty Narwhal.

For a full list of all packages accepted into Ubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal", please see natty-changes archive.

Some of the key updated packages in Ubuntu 11.04 release are:

Linux kernel 2.6.38

Ubuntu 11.04 includes the 2.6.38-8.42 kernel which is based on the latest mainline kernel (stable branch),

This is a major update from the v2.6.35 in Maverick. 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.

gcc 4.5

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

Python 2.7

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

dpkg 1.16.0-pre

This is a merge from the community snapshot for multiarch support. This 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 from Raphael Hertzog, sponsored by Linaro Ltd.

Upstart 0.9

Upstart has been updated to 0.9.7-1. Upstart 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.

Please see Upstart Technical overview for more details.



Unity is now the default Ubuntu Desktop session.

The Unity Launcher has many new features in Ubuntu 11.04, a few of which are:

There is a full Lens 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:

Unity uses the new simplified set of panel indicators. However gnome-panel applets are not supported anymore.

Multitouch in and Qt

The X server includes a prototype of the multitouch input extension (XInput 2.1). The Qt toolkit also includes pre-release support for multitouch.

Network Manager

The Network Manager applet is now compatible with the appindicator protocol and can be used under Unity. It can still work as a gnome-panel applet.


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


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.

Ubuntu Netbook on ARM

In Ubuntu 11.04 the dedicated Ubuntu Netbook is only used on the preinstalled OMAP3 and OMAP4 armel images. On all other architectures the Ubuntu Netbook edition has been merged with the Ubuntu's Desktop.

The ARM version is the first one to ship our new Unity 2D interface by default, as there are no free 3D drivers available initially in a default installation.

One click enablement of the TI OMAP4 addons to install the 3D SGX drivers was added back to the image.

Ubuntu Headless

Ubuntu 11.04 release had updated the "Headless" developer image for OMAP3 and OMAP4 hardware.

This image is fully set up for the serial port and contains a minimal command line install.

Ubuntu Server

Provisioning servers have been made a bit more easier with cobbler and mcollective now available.

Powernap has been updated to 2.0. Powernap uses a new method to reduce power consumption, seen power savings of around 14% in most cases. It 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. (Known bug against the dhcpd server)

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

libvirt is updated to 0.8.8 with new features and bug fixes (see upstream changelog for full information 0.8.3 → 0.8.8)

Ubuntu 11.04 installs in most scenarios on both bare hardware and in virtual environments. Testing of the platform server, and additional server tasks is welcomed.

Cloud images

The Ubuntu Server cloud has a newer kernel inside. See the kernel section for more information.

cloud-init has been updated to 0.60, new features. This feature includes support resizing of / 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.

Webscale technologies have been packaged and included, Cassandra 0.7.0, ZeroMQ, Membase, and XtraBackup.

Running images in EC2, t1.micro is currently limited to arch amd64.

Images are now available in OVF format, and requires further testing.


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

Kubuntu now provides a working Samba filesharing 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 bugfixes to Kubuntu's printer management tool.

For more information, please refer to:


As Xubuntu uses Xfce instead of Gnome Desktop Environment, Unity will not be the default.

This milestone includes the Xubuntu wallpaper for this release. The wallpaper is designed to integrate well with the new graybird theme.

The installation slideshow has been updated for 11.04. This displays the best of Xubuntu.

There is a new panel layout including a launcher panel in this release. The launcher panel is hidden at the bottom of the screen.

The Elementary Xubuntu icon theme has been updated.

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

Xfce 4.8

Xfce 4.8 has been released and is included in 11.04:

Menus in Xfce 4.8 are now editable with any menu editor that meets the standards. The suggested editor is alacarte.


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

Edubuntu 11.04 ships with the classical Gnome desktop by default but Unity is available as an option in the installer. When selecting Unity, both the 3D and 2D versions will be installed to ensure you'll get the Unity experience even on slower hardware.

You can test Edubuntu 11.04 directly from your web browser by going at

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 below the screenshot of an available software.

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 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.

For the latest information on Edubuntu 11.04, please refer to the Edubuntu Website

Ubuntu Studio

Installation tasks

The task selections during installation have been updated. The audio tasks have been parsed into two groups: generation and recording. The 'generation' task selections is focused more on synthesizers and sequencers (i.e. tone generation) and the 'recording' task focuses on recording live musician performances.


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

If possible please report any testing results comparing the -generic kernel performance compared to the -lowlatency kernel performance at


Due to continuing problems, network-manager will replace gnome-network-admin. If performance degradation is experienced, please contact the Ubuntu Studio developer via email email or on IRC (#ubuntustudio-devel on freenode).

Package selection

The installed packages have changed. The packages shipped in Ubuntu Studio are more focused to support identified tasks and their derived work flows. Please note that this is a work in progress. If your favorite package is not include, please inform us about it and consider updating the task/work flows wiki page.


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


We were hoping to have -controls updated for 11.04 but it appears to we will not be done in time. Therefore we will be removing -controls from 11.04 as it's functionality is either not needed or broken.

We plan to continue working on it and hopefully SRU it into 11.04 later.


The Mythbuntu-bare (Backup and Restore for the database and configuration files) Mythbuntu Control Centre 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.

Known issues

As is to be expected at this stage of the release process, there are still some known bugs. Please read the known bugs carefully and do not make duplicate bug reports.

Boot, installation and post-install

Upgrades from Ubuntu 10.10

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 Netbook on ARM




Ubuntu Studio

Report bugs

Your comments, bug reports, patches and suggestions are welcome and will help improve the quality of future releases. Please see this page for more information:

If you want to help out with bugs, the Bug Squad is always looking for help.

Participate in Ubuntu

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

Find out more

You can find out more about Ubuntu on the Ubuntu website and Ubuntu wiki.

To receive Ubuntu developer-related announcements, please subscribe to ubuntu-devel-announce:

NattyNarwhal/TechnicalOverview (last edited 2011-06-26 18:26:13 by tgerhard60)