The Ubuntu developers are moving quickly to bring you the absolute latest and greatest software the Open Source community has to offer. The Oneiric Ocelot Alpha 1 Release of Ubuntu 11.10 is a developer snapshot to give you an early glance at the next version of Ubuntu.

One of the requests received during the last Ubuntu Developer Summit was to provide a bit more information about the release process, and what's happening there. With this in mind, the release team will be adding a section about "what's happening in the background", to each of the milestones for those who are interested as part of this Technical Overview.

Get Ubuntu 11.10

Upgrading from Ubuntu 11.04

To upgrade from Ubuntu 11.04 on a desktop system, press Alt+F2 and type in "update-manager -d" (without the quotes) into the command box. Update Manager should open up and tell you: New distribution release '11.10' is available. Click Upgrade and follow the on-screen instructions.

To upgrade from Ubuntu 11.04 on a server system: install the update-manager-core package if it is not already installed; launch the upgrade tool with the command sudo do-release-upgrade -d; and follow the on-screen instructions. Note that the server upgrade is now more robust and will utilize GNU screen and automatically re-attach in case of e.g. dropped connection problems.

Download the Alpha 1

This release is for developers only. Most of these images are oversize; you can use either a DVD or USB for installation instead of a CD.

You can download Alpha 1 ISOs from:

New features in Oneiric

Please see the Oneiric blueprint list for details.

Please test and report any bugs you find:

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, others have been explicitly pulled in for 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot.

For a list of all packages being accepted for 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot, please subscribe to oneiric-changes:

Some of the key packages making their first appearance with this Alpha 1 release are:

Linux kernel 2.6.39

Alpha 1 includes the 2.6.39 kernel which is based on the latest mainline release candidate kernel at kernel milestone freeze kernel. This is an update from the v2.6.38 in Natty.

Gcc 4.6

The default compiler in Oneiric Alpha 1 has been bumped from gcc 4.5 to gcc 4.6.

network-manager 0.9

The network-manager API has also broken compatibility, and if you use the DBus API directly here as well, will also be another pain point. It at least provides an introspectable Version property, so you can do the right thing for both versions.

Ubuntu Desktop Edition

GNOME 3 has landed

  • Components changes:
    • gnome-panel Since the 2d session on the CD in oneiric will be unity-2d we dropped some of "default ubuntu experience" patches from gnome-panel and got back closer from the upstream layout and experience. Note that currently indicators are not working because they need to be ported to GTK3 (see transitions below)

    • gnome-screensaver Upstream did a lot of cleaning in the screensaver code and the current version doesn't handle "hacks" (the graphics you could select to be rendered on the locked screen). We do plan to bring those back in some way this cycle, see: for details. The locked screen also has a gnome-shell look, we might want to look at getting it closed from the unity experience

    • gnome-keyring The Freedesktop Secret Service API has changed incompatibly, and the new gnome-keyring implements the new version of the API, without keeping backward compat for older incarnations of the API. If you're using the DBus API directly, this will be a pain point, especially if you need to maintain compat in the app, for older versions of Ubuntu. There also does not appear to be an introspectable way to get the API version here, which makes this that much more painful.

  • Transitions:
    • GTK2 to GTK3 GNOME3 is using GTK3, we are working on migrating other softwares and wewould like to get GTK2 out of the CD for the lts next cycle. You can find documentation on how to work to GTK3 on:

    • gconf to gsettings (dconf) Gconf has been deprecated in favor of gsettings, we would like to get gconf out of the CD for the LTS as well, you can find porting documentation on:

    • libpanel-applet, bonobo,gtk2 to dbus,gtk3 The gnome-panel has been ported to use GTK3 now and dbus, the applets need to be ported to those technologies to work with the oneiric version. You can find instruction on how to port on:

    • libnotify The libnotify in oneiric has an abi,api break, basically upstream deprecated the possibility to position the notification next to widget or systray icons (notify_notification_(attach_to_widget|set_geometry_hints() got dropped), the GtkWidget argument from notify_notification_new() as well.

    • static bindings to gobject-introspection Static bindings (like pygtk) are deprecated in favor of gobject-introspection, see for details.

    • dbus-glib to GDbus That one is less of a goal than other transitions listed before but if you do want to port code from dbus-glib to gdbus see

Ubuntu ARM

Due to kernel misconfiguration, omap3 images are non-functional for Alpha 1 (791552). They will return as normal for Alpha 2.

Ubuntu Netbook

unity-2d has been updated to 3.8.6

Upcoming work: With unity-2d being shipped as part of the desktop image this cycle, it is expected that the ubuntu-netbook image for ARM will be retired in favor of an ubuntu-desktop image with unity-2d as the default environment.

Ubuntu Headless

There are no significant changes.

Ubuntu Server

Most significant change is that the delta with Debian reduced in many areas.

Openstack components mostly at 'diablo-1' development snapshot.

Orchestra elements have been been refreshed.

Ubuntu Server Cloud images

There are no significant changes.


Kubuntu now uses the Muon Software Center and related packages for package management

The core Plasma workspace and related applications have been updated to the latest maintenance release (KDE SC 4.6.3/KDE PIM 4.4.11). The beta of the next major release (4.7 beta 1) is not in Oneiric yet. Users interested in this release should try out Project Neon.

Kubuntu installer status:

  • The alternate installer has been tested and works on both i386 and amd64.
  • The live session in the normal Kubuntu image works and is useful if you want to try out Kubuntu Oneiric without changing your computer. Installations with this image will fail. In order to install Kubuntu Oneiric Alpha 1 the alternate image must be used.
  • No armel or powerpc images are provided as they are known not to be working.


There are no significant changes to Xubuntu for Alpha1.


Edubuntu 11.10 Alpha-1 ships gobby-infinote instead of the older gobby client.

When installing LTSP from the installer, LTSP users now get the same session as the server's.

The custom Edubuntu installer steps are now translatable (though only English is present for this alpha).

To learn more on Edubuntu and download a stable version of it, go to:

What's happening in the background

The time around Alpha 1 is when most of the system wide changes happen for the release. Toolchain versions are one obvious case, but there are also other transitions that are happening. To give provide a bit of perspective on this, Iain Lane, one of our new release team members, has provided the following overview of what we mean when we refer to Transitions.

The Ubuntu archive contains many different libraries and applications, most of which see updates from time-to-time. Sometimes these updates are incompatible with the previous version, and in these cases software which uses this old version must be updated to work with the new. Ubuntu developers usually refer to this process as transitioning.

Typically transitions require touching several different packages. Changes may range from simple no-change rebuilds to porting to new API versions.

The Ubuntu release team is now running a tracker at

which is being used to keep track of ongoing transitions that are taking place in the archive. The tracker has already been used in the Oneiric cycle to monitor Perl, OCaml and OpenSSL transitions. Currently we are tracking, amongst others, transitions involving Libav, Hal and GHC.

If you wish to have a transition monitored by the tracker (they can be added in advance), please propose a merge against this branch:

following the brief documentation at

Help with completing existing transitions is welcome; please visit #ubuntu-devel on to get involved.

Known issues

As is to be expected, at this very early stage of the release process, there are some significant known bugs that users may run into with the Oneiric Alpha 1 Release. The ones we know about at this point (and some of the workarounds), are documented here so you don't need to spend time reporting these bugs again:

Graphics and Display

  • In GTK3:
    • there is no GTK3 theme yet (you can install gnome-theme-standard from universe to get the upstream theme)
    • there is no indicator-appmenu or scrollbar integration yet for GTK3
  • On unity-2d, clicking on the bfb or a launcher crashes unity with the following error:
    • unity-2d-places crashed with SIGSEGV in QTJSC::Structure::materializePropertyMap() (791127)

    • unity-2d-places crashed with SIGSEGV in QMetaObject::metacall() (791213)

  • On Unity:
    • the windows buttons are missing from the title bar (791081)

    • With Nautilus default plain blue background or another plain color the background fails to redraw (784209)

    • Nautilus doesn't display the background by default (you can change it in dconf-editor org.gnome.desktop.background show-desktop icons)
  • to test LightDM, you can install the sample greeter: sudo apt-get install lightdm-greeter-example-gtk and select LightDM when prompted. It is currently un-themed
  • The session live persistent with USB don't start with some graphics card, error in the prompt initramfs [WARNING: at /build/buildd/linux-2.6.38/drivers/gpu/drm/radeon/radeon_gart.c] (557261)

  • With some ATI graphics card, error de Video - [DRM: radeon_ttm_backend_bind] * * ERROR no pudo enlazar 1.772 páginas (656486)

  • the user background image is not migrated on upgrade

Since Unity is in active development right now, please check the unity bug reports before filing new bugs.


  • On login gnome-user-share crashes with the error: "gnome-user-share crashed with SIGABRT in g_option_context_parse()" (788714)

Boot, installation and post-install

  • booting under KVM is not working for Unity 2D on some systems.
  • Unity-2D is not working on KVM with xen and cirrus video devices (759803)

  • OEM Install: No launcher or desktop shortcut to prepare for shipping (791159)

  • sound muted on live cd and first boot of fresh installation with many sound cards (770349)


  • omap3 images are non-functional for Alpha 1 due to misconfiguration, this should be fixed shortly after Alpha 1. (791552)

Ubuntu Cloud

  • Eucalyptus fails to start up (791607)

  • Oneiric cluster compute instances do not boot (791850)

  • udevd dies, loses events, network doesn't come up (791868)

  • /mnt not mounted, swap not used, disk is xvde (784937)


  • The network management widget doesn't work as it is not yet compatible with NetworkManager 0.9. DHCP ethernet connections still work however.

  • Some packages from the KDE Software Compilation (none included in the default install) are not installable due to library transitions in progress. This will be corrected shortly after Alpha 1 release.


  • LTSP Live won't work because of some changes in Network Manager. A rewrite of it is in progress which will address the issue. Installing LTSP will work fine though. (791611)

  • Edubuntu currently ships with the "fallback" gnome3 session by default until we decide what we want our default session to be. As this session is still quite new, some major bugs are present like the Applications menu being empty. We did this choice to make sure everyone would be able to start this Live DVD, but we recommend the user to choose Unity at installation time if not installing in a virtual machine.
  • Starting the installation from the live environment can be done by:
    • Clicking on the "Places" menu
    • Choosing Desktop
    • Double-Clicking on the Installer icon in the file browser
    • Then in the installer, choose Unity if your hardware can run either unity-3d or unity-2d.

For a listing of more known issues, please refer to the Oneiric Ocelot bug tracker in Launchpad.

Reporting bugs

It should come as no surprise that this Alpha 1 release of Oneiric Ocelot contains other bugs. Your comments, bug reports, patches and suggestions will help fix bugs and improve the quality of future releases. Please report bugs using the tools provided.

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

More information

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

To sign up for future Ubuntu development announcements, please subscribe to Ubuntu's development announcement list at:

OneiricOcelot/TechnicalOverview/Alpha1 (last edited 2011-06-02 19:31:09 by 173-31-67-99)