Sunday, February 6, 2011

Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal Alpha 2 is available

The new prerelease version of Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal has been announced by its developers, and it's time make a summary of developments and changes who have arrived since the first draft, which appeared 2 December, 2010.


The article is based on the fantastic analysis.

Packages
There are two significant changes in the selection of software packages available, and although I knew the news that these alternatives would make their appearance in Natty Narwhal sooner rather than later, we already have with us these two developments. It is Banshee and LibreOffice, replacing Rythmbox and OpenOffice.

Also in the Alpha 2 are the kernel 2.6.38-rc2, X.org Server 1.10 and Table 7.10, GNOME 2.32, Nautilus 2.32.1, Firefox 4 Beta 10, Evolution 2.32.1 and the referred to LibreOffice 3.3.0 and Banshee 1.9.2.

Kernel Improvements
In reality that affects all new distributions that use the kernel 2.6.38, because this version has integrated the famous improvement that was the surprise in every way to know Linux means with only 200 lines of code could improve system performance is very relevant in certain scenarios.

The new kernel also comes with news on support for new hardware devices (over WiFi chipsets supported, such as sow), and also the new X.org Server and Mesa offer support for Sandy Bridge ,well as improved support for dedicated graphics cards from AMD and Support more extensions to OpenGL.

AppMenu
The menu of the applications you have open, even if they are maximized and the entire screen- is hidden by default, And displayed according to perform certain actions :
  • When a window is maximized, shows the application title in the top panel and the menu is displayed if you hover above it.
  • When an application is not maximized but has focus, when you mouse over the title on the top panel of the title only shown to know which application the menu belongs we are seeing.
Unity Launcher/Places
Unity Launcher now has the support feature called Intellihide (Which is now enabled by default). If you have an application maximized and want to access Unity Launcher can press the Super key or click the Ubuntu logo in the upper left corner.

There are also some experimental options as the backlight always on, the Launch animation and animation urgent ,With two different visual effects to highlight these events and we see them well.

Besides feature File Locations (Places Files) and Applications is again back in Unity, but apparently is not fully functional in this version.

Ubuntu Software Center
Software Center wants become the central repository of this distribution when installing new software, and this has been moving forward in adding new features.

In this preliminary release of Natty Narwhal will have the possibility include our rating (With stars) and comment on some application, even if it means we must have Ubuntu account.

Other visual Improvements
Although less important, other important changes in visual and usability that will undoubtedly be very useful for many users. We describe.

In Unity we have a copy feature of AeroSnap of Windows 7 that can "dock" a window into one half of the screen by dragging it to one edge (left or right) on the desktop. The property of 'tiling' or 'tiles' can be really useful for movie screens and high resolution formats, such as 1.680×1.050 px.

Sound Menu in Ubuntu now supports playback of lists ,This small utility makes this one of the highlights once again the usability of the system.

In Ubuntu One also have visual changes, And as we mentioned a few days ago the "control panel" of this service in the cloud Canonical is refined over time, and now has a performance that emulates the normal applications with AppMenu (formerly Global Menu .)

GRUB2, in order to support Btrfs
One of the surprises we did not know is the inclusion of Btrfs support in GRUB2 ,This will allow us to partition the boot and normal that we can choose from the boot menu, fantastic for anyone who wants to experiment with this file system as promising.

However, the support is not quite right , where indicated to be investigated issues such as integration with the updated versions of Ubuntu, with the integration of snapshots and package dependencies, interface options and other options that still seem somewhat confusing.

Unity 2D (Qt)
Recently published a version of Unity for Qt/QML is supposed to be available as an option for those who can not run the normal Unity (with 3D support). However, Unity 2D is not available natively on the Ubuntu CD 11.04.


Instead Canonical will continue to build a classic based on GNOME desktop if your hardware can not support Unity. Things may change in future versions, so this could change in the final version.

Goodbye Ubuntu Netbook Edition
Canonical's announcement makes clear that Netbook Edition has disappeared to integrate with conventional publishing, although there are rare cases like the one shown in the ARM version that makes use of some specific components that differentiate it from the conventional version for x86 desktops.

In the concluding original notices of versions are still to come, And of course are planned under the roadmap that Canonical published long ago. This is the plan for the coming weeks:
  • 3 March, 2011: Alpha 3
  • 31 March, 2011: Beta
  • 21 April, 2011: Release Candidate
  • 28 April, 2011: Ubuntu 11.04 final.

Now what I played, of course, is to download the ISO image of Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal Alpha 2 if you are interested to try it in your PCs and laptops.
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