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Testing Ubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narwhal” Alpha 3

At this moment i’m testing the Ubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narwhal” Alpha 3 and wanted to give you a short heads up on my experience so far. When the Alpha 3 was released i downloaded it and and made me a nice usb installer that didn’t work. I started my system and booted from the usb flash drive and waited for the installation setup screen that never showed up..


So i decided to shutdown my testing system and burn the image on a cd. When the cd was ready to use i booted my testing system from the cd rom player and there it was…. the installation screen. After entering my location and user name, system name and the partition i wanted to install Ubuntu 11.04 alpha 3 on it started installing. But when the installation was almost finished i got an error message that told me that it couldn’t continue with the installation because some files where missing and if i wanted i could file a bug report about it. At first i thought something was wrong with my cd and burned another copy and tried to install Ubuntu 11.04 alpha 3 again and i got the same message. I rebooted my testing system and started the Ubuntu 10.10 version i had installed on it, pressed Alt+F2 and typed: update-manager -d to upgrade Ubuntu 10.10 to Ubuntu 11.04 alpha 3 and waited for the upgrade to finish. When the upgrade was finished i rebooted and there it was: Ubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narwhal” Alpha 3. It looked good but because i upgraded from Ubuntu 10.10 all my installed applications and themes were still on my system (and still working) i decided to do a “fresh and clean” install of Ubuntu 10.10 and to upgrade it to 11.04 Alpha 3.

After about one hour i was done with the whole process and it was time to play a bit with Ubuntu 11.04 alpha 3. At first i tried the “Ubuntu Classic Desktop” but that didn’t work at all. After login in i only had a nice wallpaper and that was about it.. no panels, nothing. The only thing i got was a nice error message telling me that compiz couldn’t start and after clicking the restart application (compiz in this case) i got the same error message again. I decided to reboot my system and pressed Ctrl+Alt+Delete but nothing happened so i did a hard reset by pressing the reset button on my system and logged into the Ubuntu Desktop Edition. When logged in i was a bit surprised that it worked because the “Ubuntu Classic Desktop” didn’t work at all. After running the system update i noticed that the Nvidia drivers were available for installation (and working). After playing with the Unity interface to see how it works i wanted to check out the Ubuntu Software Center and install some applications.. But it crashed so i decided to try to install applications using the Terminal and that worked. I also installed the a-desk stuff because i like to have an animated background instead of the default wallpaper and that also works. The default social network application (gwibber) works fine and Empathy works except for the msn/hotmail account part.

After running some more updates (107 to be exact) i logged out and back into the “Ubuntu Classic Desktop” and it is working like a charm. It’s the good old desktop we all use on Ubuntu 10.10 (and older versions). The next thing i was curious about was sharing files and/or folders. So i created a new folder and enabled the sharing options. After installing samba and setting the folder/user permissions i started my laptop and browsed through my network. I found the shared folder from Ubuntu 11.04 and i could access it without any problems. Back on my testing system i also could access the shared folder on my laptop. After this little test i wanted to know if i could connect to my windows network. I know that sometimes connecting to a windows network can be a problem so i didn’t expect it to happen but… it worked without any problem. I went into my other room and wanted to see if i could access my shared folder from a windows based system and soon found out that i could be accessed without any problems.

So far all went well but there are a lot of things i still need to install or test, some of the things i will try to install is Compiz and the desktop effects, mediaplayers (and the needed codecs) and of course installing extra gtk+ themes and changing the plymouth theme and login screen. Changing/installing the gtk+ themes probably works the same as on Ubuntu 10.10 and i think that changing the plymouth/login screen won’t be any different then how we do it on Ubuntu 10.10. I will start making Ubuntu 11.04 guides/tutorials when the 2nd beta is released because at the moment a lot of things are still missing in this alpha 3 release so stay tuned for more!!

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6 Responses to Testing Ubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narwhal” Alpha 3

  • I probably have to test this out, but you know what im like, im more than comfortable with 1010 and my addiction to gnome. Still, im sure a little virtual machine would be OK to see what’s going on.

    Of course we could just allow you to break stuff, but where is the fun in that?

    I could install it on this old laptop for the lawls!

    Great write up though Tinus, well done. x

    • avatar
      tinuz says:

      lol, i just love to break stuff and repair it :)
      10.10 is nice but 11.04 still has the gnome desktop and the kinky effects… which i just managed to break. wanted to see if the compiz fuzion effects could be installed but ended up without window borders (this is caused by a bug in compiz). but as always i found a temporary solution to restore them.. create a launcher with: metacity –replace as command. the only problem is that you need to click the launcher after every login. now all i can do is wait for the bug to be fixed

      • avatar
        st4rk says:

        uninstall.. reinstall compiz, restart.. your back in the game..

        If you want to make compiz changes do so from the classic desktop then log back to unity..

        • avatar
          tinuz says:

          After installing compiz it did start and i had some effects enabled but then compiz crashed and kept on crashing. So i removed and reinstalled compiz but it keeps on crashing. And after the first install my window borders disappeared end won’t come back until i use the metacity –replace command. Even when compiz is removed the borders still play hide and seek with me… and i can only find them with the command line :)

  • Just thought I’d note that the biggest feature of 11.04 is unity, which doesn’t even work without compiz. You must have compiz already installed, and metacity means no compiz so that makes the largest feature of natty useless. I’m having trouble with compiz too but I’d rather ride it out with the defaults than make the new features useless. unity is really nice.

    • avatar
      tinuz says:

      Unity looks nice indeed but not that functional and hope that they will change it and add some more options to add panels and/or effects. Wondering what the Unity plugin will do with compiz and unity. But to find it out compiz has to run first :). For now all i do is wait and run the updates!

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