First of all , the next release of Ubuntu will change its names:

  • Ubuntu Netbook Edition and Ubuntu Desktop Edition have been combined into a single Edition called simply "Ubuntu" (with no "Edition").
  • Ubuntu Server Edition has been renamed to simply "Ubuntu Server" (again, the "Edition" has been dropped). 


Some of the key updated packages in Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 1 release are:

  1. Linux kernel 2.6.38
  2. LibreOffice 3.3.2

  3. GCC 4.5

  4. Python 2.7

  5. dpkg 1.16.0

  6. Upstart 0.9


Linux kernel 2.6.38

Beta 1 includes the 2.6.38-7.39 kernel which is based on the latest mainline kernel, 2.6.38. This is a major update from the v2.6.35 in Maverick, and a minor update from the 2.6.38-rc6 shipped with Alpha 3.



GCC 4.5

The GNU toolchain has transitioned to be based off of gcc 4.5 for i386, amd64, ARM omap/omap4 and PowerPC architectures.



Python 2.7

All main packages have now been built and and are installable with Python 2.7.

If any incompatibilities are detected during runtime, please report them on the broken package in Ubuntu, and add the official tag 'python27' on the bug.

dpkg 1.16.0-pre

This is a merge from the community snapshot for multiarch support. This brings us up-to-date with staged changes for the upcoming Debian 1.16.0 dpkg release, as well as pulling in the current version of the in-progress multiarch work from Raphael Hertzog, sponsored by Linaro Ltd.

Upstart 0.9

Upstart has been updated to 0.9.4-1. There are a lot of new features: its now "chroot-aware", there is support for basic job/event visualization, there are two new initctrl commands (show-config, check-config), a socket bridge is now provided, the latest D-Bus version now allows D-Bus services to be activated via Upstart, a manual job configuration stanza, and override file support is now available.




Unity is now the default Ubuntu Desktop session.

The Unity Launcher has many new features in Natty Narwhal, a few of which are:

  • drag and drop re-ordering of launcher icons
  • full keyboard navigation support

  • launcher activation through keyboard shortcuts
  • right-click context menu quick-lists
  • switching between running applications

There is a full Lenses implementation for applications and files now, in addition to the "Dash" start screen (which will come up when clicking on the Ubuntu logo on the top-left of the screen) for the most common actions, such as searching. Also, icons can be dragged and dropped from Dash to the Unity Launcher.

There are now three session types available in GDM:

  • Ubuntu: it runs Unity. It requires 3D driver support.
  • Ubuntu Classic: it runs GNOME with gnome-panel. It supports all video hardware and video drivers.
  • Ubuntu Classic (No Effects): it runs GNOME with gnome-panel. It is in 2D mode only.

Classic GNOME panel applets are not supported in Unity, only indicators such as nm-applet.


Network Manager 

The Network Manager applet has been patched to use appindicator.

Putting nm-applet through as many test scenarios as possible will be much appreciated! 


Banshee 1.9.5 is the standard music player now and has been integrated into the sound menu.


LibreOffice 3.3.2 has been included in 11.04 as the default office package.


Ubuntu 11.04 comes with the latest Firefox 4.0 as standard web browser.



Ubuntu Netbook on ARM

In Natty the dedicated Ubuntu Netbook is only used on the preinstalled OMAP3 and OMAP4 armel images. On all other architectures the Ubuntu Netbook edition has been merged with the Ubuntu's Desktop.

The ARM version is the first one to ship our new Unity 2D interface by default, as there are no free 3D drivers available initially in a default installation.



Ubuntu Server 

Provisioning servers have been made a bit more easier with cobbler and mcollective now available.

Powernap has been updated to 2.0. Powernap uses a new method to reduce power consumption, seen power savings of around 14% in most cases. It can now monitor user activity (Console, Mouse, Keyboard), system activity (load, processors, process IO), and network activity (wake-on-lan, udp ports tcp ports)

Default dhcpd server updated from dhcp3 to isc-dhcp (version 4).

Eucalyptus is now the latest stable point release (2.0.2) with security and efficiency fixes. (Known bug against the dhcpd server)

OpenStack (nova) in Universe is a technology preview, with a recent snapshot of 2011.2 (Cactus) release.