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Review—Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

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Ubuntu

The latest and greatest version of Ubuntu, 11.04 Natty Narwhal, was released on 28th April 2011. Ubuntu is now the most popular desktop operating system, and with this release, Canonical has made some major changes—both up front, and under the hood. Read on to learn more.

In Natty, Unity is the default desktop atop GNOME; it requires a 3D graphics accelerator, as it uses Compiz Fusion heavily—however, you can switch to GNOME Classic from the login menu, if you don’t have the right hardware. Ubuntu 11.10 will be shipped with a 2D version of Unity, for systems with average graphics cards.

Natty replaces Ubuntu Netbook Edition for all PCs and netbooks. Available in the usual variants—Kubuntu (KDE), Xubuntu (XFCE), Edubuntu and more—the software defaults have also changed. LibreOffice 3.3.2 is now the default office suite; Firefox 4 is the default browser; and Banshee replaces the Rhythmbox music player.

The Ubiquity installer has ‘graduated’

The Ubiquity installer is getting much smarter and understandable with every incremental release. People new to Linux (who fear messing up their existing OS while doing a dual-boot installation), and those who don’t understand what swap space is, or how much they need of it, will like Ubiquity. This installer is quite impressive;

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