Ubuntu Natty Narwhal 11.04… Is Unity all that?

Posted by on Sep 1, 2011 in Facebook Featured Posts, Linux | 0 comments

Ubuntu Natty Narwhal 11.04… Is Unity all that?

Ubuntu is one of the more popular free Linux distributions, with both community and professional support. We have been using, supporting and deploying it for several years now. As a systems administrator and day to day ser, I can confidently say that Apple and Microsoft have now got competition here for alternative free and scalable operating system.

Ubuntu is extremely versatile, and with a variety of configurations, there is a flavour and configuration out there for you. We’ve used it to install as an affordable office file server, domain controller, desktop workstation, Time Machine/backup server and even a custom boot OS for an exam environment. They’ve just released Natty Narwhal 11.04 now, so what’s changed?

New to Ubuntu? What is it?!

The Ubuntu community is built on the ideas enshrined in the Ubuntu Manifesto: that software should be available free of charge, that software tools should be usable by people in their local language, useable despite any disabilities, and that people should have the freedom to customise and alter their software in whatever way they see fit. “Ubuntu” is an ancient African word, meaning “humanity to others”.

Installing Ubuntu 11.04

As always with Ubuntu, installation was a breeze (well if you have decent media it is!). I burnt a few coasters before finally using a more expensive CD media. I had loads of ErrNo 05 errors on multiple PCs before I realised our cheap CDRs were exactly that. Once I grabbed a higher grade CDR and burned it at a more realistic speed, we were up and running.

Once booted, you will notice the new and “improved” desktop GUI named Unity. This only runs if your computer is up to spec. Personally I’m not 100% keen on it yet. I’m sure it’ll grow on me, but I didn”t think there was anything wrong with Gnome!

First Look at Unity

I can understand that they needed to add some bells and whistles to content with Windows Aero or Apple’s OSX. It’s also been optimised for sub-notebooks with a dash board that appears from the left hand side when you need to access applications, or system functions. There is also a notification feature called OSD Notify which is very OSX Growl-esque.

What Else is Included?

On installing Ubuntu 11.04, you are also met with a wide range of office applications straight off the bat, including:

  • LibreOffice
  • Firefox
  • Evolution Email
  • Banshee Media Player
  • Ubuntu One

Ubuntu 11.04 Conclusion

It’s a great operating system. One that could replace your desktop or server OS of choice. If your organisation is looking for an affordable and above all manageable alternative to Microsoft Windows then now would be a good time to jump ship. There are still security concerns as with any operating system, but we can help your company address these.

All office software such as Microsoft Office has a free alternative under Ubuntu and we’ve even managed to get a version of Photoshop for the PC running sucessfully under Wine. Download it today, what’s it going to cost you to test it? A blank CDR? If you’re looking to replace your Microsoft desktop or Microsoft server any time soon, why not give us a call to discuss the benefits of running an open source operating system.

Downloading Ubuntu 11.04

To download the latest version of Ubuntu check out www.ubuntu.com where you can download a version for your chipset and even try it before you wipe your machine.

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