It’s finally here, Ubuntu 11.04 released

At April 28 2011, Ubuntu 11.04 has been released after the usual 6 months of development. The release of Ubuntu 11.04 has seen the arrival of a new look and feel for Ubuntu. A whizz, new launcher and dash, and a clever workspace manager are some of the biggest changes. This is the first post will be talk with you about the newest version of Ubuntu 11.04 – Natty Narwhal. Ubuntu 11.4 isn’t the only thing new, Caninocal has been made a new design of Ubuntu Homepage too.

Unity Interface

The “big talking point” of this release has been the switch from the traditional GNOME desktop to Unity – Canonical’s (originally) netbook-orientated interface.

Ubuntu 11.04 with Unity
Ubuntu 11.04 with Unity

Boot into Ubuntu 11.04 and you’ll see biggest changed. Ubuntu 11.04 doesn’t come with GNOME(GNOME 3 or GNOME Shell) . Unity was already default in Ubuntu 10.10 netbook edition but besides being default for the desktop edition (the netbook edition doesn’t exist anymore starting with 11.04), it was also completely re-written and now uses Compiz. Ubuntu 11.04 make Evolution as default email client but I replaced with my favorite email client – ThunderBird as you see on my image. If you want to switch back to the classic GNOME interface, you can choose Ubuntu Classic at login.
But the new Unity UI include some serious problem when you choose upgrade or fresh install with your Graphic Card just as black screen, blank screen or text mode only…. I have black screen problem after upgraded from 10.10 to 11.04 and I’ve spent about 3 days to make my laptop – Acer Aspire 4738 works again since it lost backlight and my laptop screen became black. I’ll tell you how to fix it and make it temperated works again.

Intel GMA 4500 MHD blackscreen problem

After you installed or upgraded, if your laptop or computer has Intel GMA 4500 MHD graphic card (used G45 chipset) – it’s unsupported in Unity, you could got a black screen during booting then your screen blacked. If you in a darkest room, you will view somethings of your screen because your screen has been lost backlight. It’s occurred because Power Manager Brightness Applet – can’t control brightness since 10.10, in Ubuntu 10.10, the brightness set to max but in Ubuntu 11.04 the brightness set to min. That’s mean if you want to fix this, you must increass the brightness level with command in virtual console (press Ctrl + Alt + Fn, Fn from F1 to F6) after you logged in.

sudo setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B=10

now you have normal screen brightness and can press Ctrl + Alt + F7 to go to Ubuntu 11.04 default login. It’s must repeat again after you booted because it’s Unity bug.
If you won’t repeat it again per boot, you can create a bash file and set it can excutable then place it into /etc/init.d/.

You can still install Gnome, or download the Xfce-based Xubuntu distribution, but Unity is now the default.

The Unity Dash gives you access to everything, easily.

When you click on the Ubuntu logo in the top-left corner of your screen, the new dash will appear. It’s another simple way to get to your shortcuts and search for other applications and programs. So you can get fast access to your email, music, pictures and much more. In the Ubuntu 11.04, The Dash is basically the menu which replace to GNOME menu similar with Windows Start Menu. Now you had new OS menu as difference way, it can find in four ways: clicking the Ubuntu logo on the top left corner or clicking the Applications or Files & Folders icons on the Unity launcher and simpler way is press the Windows logo key – Super key in Ubuntu.

Ubuntu 11.4 with Unity Dash
Ubuntu 11.4 with Unity Dash

Unity uses Zeitgeist, a clever contextual search technology, so Ubuntu knows what apps you use most frequently and can make them available at your fingertips.
If you’re looking for a particular application (say, Firefox) and you know the name of it, then the easiest way to find it in the Dash is simply by searching. Begin by typing the first few letters and the Unity Dash will filter results for you as you type.

Unity’s Launcher makes things easy.

It’s pretty hard to miss the new launcher that sits on the left-hand side of your screen. It’s designed to make getting to your favourite tools and applications quick and easy. You can hide and reveal it in the top-left corner of your screen, add and remove applications and bookmarks, and keep track of your open windows.
The Launcher also replaces the standard Window List for managing running applications and open windows, you can see it in the Dash image above. While it may look like a regular dock to the untrained eye, it has a wide feature set with many that aren’t immediately obvious or learnable.

Unity’s AppMenu let’s you control your software’s settings

Just like Mac OS X, Ubuntu now has global menus for applications in the panel, rather than in the application window itself. The menu for applications is traditionally filled with entries such as File, Edit, View etc.
This minimizes clutter in each application window, allowing you to focus easily on the task at hand. The menus aren’t visible when you don’t need them, so they hide away until you roll over the area where they are. To show them, simply move your mouse over the name of the application in the panel, to the right of the Ubuntu button in the corner.
The application main menu will appear and you can click on the entries to find advanced options and actions.

Default Softwares

Two default applications have been replaced in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal: Banshee is now the default music player, replacing Rhythmbox and LibreOffice has replaced OpenOffice.

Banshee and LibreOffice
Banshee and LibreOffice

The default browser has been bumped up to Firefox 4; Evolution remains the desktop e-mail application of choice but in my laptop it’s replaced with ThunderBird.
Shotwell photo manager and editor is present. Recently updated the application lets you ad, tag and sort your photos easily. Of note is the social network publishing support for Flickr, Facebook, etc. This works flawlessly once set up.

Other changes

There lots of other changes in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal. Here are a few more worth mentioning:

  • You can now upgrade to Ubuntu 11.04 using the Live CD (and doing so, you can keep your settings)
  • Software Center now supports ratings and reviews
  • Ubuntu One control panel has a brand new design
  • Version 11.04 gives you a really easy way to manage multiple windows and applications with clever workspaces
  • Both Unity and the classic Ubuntu desktop  use of overlay scrollbars by default, but not for all applications

Download / upgrade to Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

Are you using Ubuntu 11.04 already? Spend a few minutes using Unity and get new experiences in Ubuntu. Get Ubuntu 11.04 now!

6 thoughts on “It’s finally here, Ubuntu 11.04 released”

  1. Hi!

    Could you please tell how to make the bash file to automatically set the “sudo setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B=10” in the booting? Ubuntu 11.04 is the first linux I’ve ever used so all the things are pretty new.

    • Just simple, you can do it automatic when you booting you computer, let’s do it:

      Open the Terminal the type: sudo gedit /etc/rc.local
      Add setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B=10 in it then save
      Reboot and the brighness will comeback

      • Hi Narga,

        Does this also solve the black screen or resolution problem with the login screen ?

        I have also a hp with an Intel GMA 4500 MHD card.


          • Hi Narga,

            I was @ work when writing my first message. I just tried and it does not solved my original problem.
            That is bad resolution or no login and long boot time. In fact I have no brightness problem Fn keys
            works perfectly.

            In fact, when I manage to connect (after one or 2 reboot) it work well, problem is boot time and resolution.

            If you can help, your help is very welcome !


  2. Yes, you can’t boot into Ubuntu 11.04 because it’s a bug that found from Ubuntu 9.10. My tips only works if you login to graphic mode of Ubuntu. If you can’t boot into it, you can try steps below:

    Boot your laptop and press E key when you get GRUB Boot Menu Screen
    You will find linux /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.38-8-generic root=UUID=32939def-1f4a-4134-9b56-bed2319a9216 ro quiet splash vt.handoff=7
    You need replace
    quiet splash with nomodeset then press F10 to boot again (not restart your laptop)
    Now, you can login to Ubuntu standard graphic mode like Windows Safe Mode screen

    Then do my tips again.


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