Whats new in the new Ubuntu 11.04? Well, a lot actually. Both visually, and under the hood. And, some radical changes in a long time concept.
The "Netbook" and "Desktop" edition is now combined into one edition, leaving us with two editions to choose from; Ubuntu, and Ubuntu Server. The version I tested had the 2.6.38-7.39 kernel. No info on what kernel will be in the final release, but the Ubuntu team aims at a stable version of course.
A new Desktop in Unity. This might be one of the groundbreaking news. Time will tell if this was a good or bad idea. Ubuntu have done strange designs and radical steps before, which have proven to be right from a strategic and community perspective. LibreOffice, replaces Sun's OpenOffice.
Natty had severe problems running in a virtual environment. Or, at least I hope it's because of that. Maybe VirtualBox and Natty beta2 is not the ideal combination. "Hardware does not support Unity, please choose Ubuntu Classic". Yes I did. I also tried to logon into normal Ubuntu, but still it went into classic mode. Now, this might not be a problem. Maybe it's even good that you can run the "old style" Ubuntu. I'm pretty sure you can have a nice and functional desktop without using all new features. And still remember this; This was a beta in a virtual environment.
As with all new releases, there's the question of "to upgrade or not to upgrade". If you already have a working release, you might want to think twice before upgrading. Don't fix whats not broken. But..there's always a slight chance that some things will improve. My main concerns with a Compaq CQ61 is the Unity desktop, and how my nVidia graphics card will welcome it (or not). And of course, sound card settings etc. A lot of other things. As always, we have the three options.
- Don't upgrade
- Upgrade existing version
- Clean install
What will be your choice? Think about it, and please check back for updates to this post.
Someone elses opinion
As a bonus, please read Jack Wallen's blog post on Techrepublic. He made a 180 degree turn on the Unity part, which at least made me think twice. As I said before, Ubuntu is not following the Linux path. They are leading it, and taking it forward.