Ubuntu 11.04 explored: a new dawn for Linux?

Ubuntu releases are always eagerly awaited, generating feverish debate on the blogosphere, but Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal has received an unprecedented amount of attention because it’s different – in more than one sense of the word.

This release is about the one area that’s often overlooked in the Linux ecosphere, the desktop. Linux has struggled with the desktop; compositing window managers such as Compiz Fusion allowed you to play around with it but it still looked the same.

But if you think the Gnome 3 Shell is different, wait till you experience Unity – and there’s a lot more to it than glitter.

In this article we’ll explore the desktop in close detail, tell you how to use it productively and compare this release with previous versions and its major competitors. In adopting the Unity interface, Ubuntu 11.04 marks a major departure from Gnome for Canonical.

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