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Ubuntu GUI Graphics Linux

Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) Makes a First Appearance 179

Posted by timothy
from the depends-what-you-want-to-produce dept.
srimadman writes "The Alpha 1 Release of Ubuntu 11.04, often known as 'Natty Narwhal,' is intended as a developer snapshot of the next major Ubuntu version, which is due in April." So, if you want to try Unity and Wayland before your neighbors do, this is the time.
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Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) Makes a First Appearance

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  • by KugelKurt (908765) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @10:38AM (#34450438)

    I don't think so...

    • by SaidinUnleashed (797936) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @10:44AM (#34450472)
      As an option, yes, but not as the default X server. You can expect it to be really buggy right now, though.
      • As an option, yes, but not as the default X server. You can expect it to be really buggy right now, though.

        My understanding is that main point of Wayland is not to be a X server.

        • by walshy007 (906710) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @01:32PM (#34451614)

          The main point is that even if you run wayland, you will still have to run X on top of it.

          Wayland has no drawing api, and it's scope is extremely limited compared to x, x will still be needed on top of it for the forseeable future.

          I have no idea why there are all these stories that are implying wayland is more than what it is. It sasy specifically on the website that it is not a replacement for x and will need something like X to draw on it *sigh*

          • by Daengbo (523424)

            The goal is to write a GTK+ backend for Wayland.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by walshy007 (906710)

              And they would be reimplementing large portions of X's job by doing so. So instead of a known common protocol that is consistent with a few implementation problems, you have a whole new untested drawing system that is GTK specific too... great.

              • by Daengbo (523424)

                I wasn't defending it: you sounded like you didn't know.

              • by Kjella (173770) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @04:27PM (#34453234) Homepage

                And they would be reimplementing large portions of X's job by doing so. So instead of a known common protocol that is consistent with a few implementation problems, you have a whole new untested drawing system that is GTK specific too... great.

                Well it's not like DRI is untested, it's being used by drivers today to provide hardware acceleration for OpenGL. It's more that now everyone talks OpenGL rather than the X protocol. The upside is a greatly simplified display server, the hardware (or the software fallback) does all the rendering and compositing. This makes Linux work like a modern desktop same as OS X or Win7 with every application a hardware accelerated 3D client. The downside is that what works locally - send everything to the graphics card and let the hardware work it out - works terribly over the network as you go from an extremely wide pipe (PCIe x16 mostly) to whatever the network/internet speed is.

                To be honest I think remote applications need a simpler rendering protocol, it's just not realistic to have an application look the same across a 56k dial-up link as it does locally where a thousand shaders can process 1 GB of textures to render something. Either you go down the VNC route and display the output our you need a simplified protocol which is better covered by web applications or some more "real" remote application protocol. X is neither, from what I gather most rendering toolkits no longer use the X primitives because they're too primitive, so they render it and send it as pixmaps anyway.

                • To be honest I think remote applications need a simpler rendering protocol, it's just not realistic to have an application look the same across a 56k dial-up link as it does locally where a thousand shaders can process 1 GB of textures to render something. Either you go down the VNC route and display the output our you need a simplified protocol which is better covered by web applications or some more "real" remote application protocol. X is neither, from what I gather most rendering toolkits no longer use the X primitives because they're too primitive, so they render it and send it as pixmaps anyway.

                  Pretty small niche don't you think? Few people use a 56K link these days and those who do know exactly what to put down the line. Its hardly relevant to a debate about the latest Ubuntu.

          • Wayland has no drawing api, and it's scope is extremely limited compared to x, x will still be needed on top of it for the forseeable future.

            X has no drawing API!
            Do you even know what Xlib provides in the way of drawing? 1980's-style graphics primitives, pixel-based, non-anti-aliased polylines, circles and arcs.
            Nobody is seriously using X for drawing anything anymore. You say in another post that "the fundamentals of drawing haven't changed" - Yes, they have.
            X was designed entirely around raster gra

            • by walshy007 (906710)

              X has no drawing API!

              You then contradict yourself

              Do you even know what Xlib provides in the way of drawing? 1980's-style graphics primitives, pixel-based, non-anti-aliased polylines, circles and arcs.

              Now most people these days use X to draw windows and for pointer/mouse events, these can be accelerated using opengl on the graphics card and efforts are under way to do just that, so it isn't just the glx contexts within windows that is 3d accelerated.

              You say in another post that "the fundamentals of drawing haven't changed" - Yes, they have.

              Fine, you want to get into the fundamentals of 2d/3d, I'll start with geometry, a 4*4 matrix [wikipedia.org] can represent any set of transformations you wish to a set of points in 3d space, you are saying this has changed?.

              To avoid gimbal lock [wikipedia.org] su

      • by KugelKurt (908765)

        As an option, yes, but not as the default

        But mentioning it equally Unity in the sentence makes it sound as if Wayland was default in Natty which is ridiculous.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by node 3 (115640)

      After suffering X for years, then using a Unix that uses another windowing system while still allowing for X compatibility, all I can say is that this is a very good move on Canonical's part. At least in terms of their motivations. Execution is very important and remains to be seen.

      X11 is the single worst thing about Linux systems. They've got a great kernel, great filesystems, great command line shells, great non-GUI scripting tools, great non-GUI libraries all hobbled by an ancient windowing system and so

  • Ah man... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mindcontrolled (1388007) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @10:46AM (#34450482)
    I so hoped they would go with the suggestion from the guy over at LinuxHaters blog: Ubuntu 11 - "Naughty Nutgoblin". Seriously, who comes up with those naming schemes?
  • I'm pretty happy with my current version.
  • Don't bother... (Score:5, Informative)

    by The MAZZTer (911996) <megazzt@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Sunday December 05, 2010 @10:52AM (#34450506) Homepage

    Installer crashes and burns, at least when run under VirtualBox, it complains one of the packages is malformed and then crashes.

    Not sure if the installed OS is runnable after this, it might be but I didn't want to mess around with it, I'll wait for Alpha 2.

    • Doing an upgrade at this moment from 10.10 with the upgrade-manager -d option... hopefully it will be a little better. Did you check the bug site to see if your bug was on that list? It would help the dev team a lot for you to report it.
      • The upgrade process was pretty flawless so far... Though I notice that google chrome doesn't play well with their unity setup (dual window controls and the top menu only closes it). The ubuntu button now opens a nautilus folder and all your apps are just crammed in there. No sorting. Something they might want to work on. Performance isn't too bad on my gaming laptop (nvidia gtx 260m 1gb dedicated, 4 gigs of ram, 2.1 ghz core2duo). Missing my favorite keyboard shortcut (alt+f2). This is going to take some ge
        • by PhrstBrn (751463)
          The same problem exists with Chrome on Ubuntu 10.10 with Unity. If you turn off the borderless option in chrome, it works as a workaround for the double window controls. The setting is in the chrome options on the first or 2nd page, I don't have it open right now. It's no longer "borderless" but the extra window controls are gone.
    • Not sure if the installed OS is runnable after this, it might be but I didn't want to mess around with it, I'll wait for Alpha 2.

      And you call yourself a geek... You should be ashamed of yourself. Real geeks try out Alpha 1 versions on their main machines!
      Chicken!

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Actually, I'd try it out on my main machine on a flash drive. I have a tolerably speedy 16GB OCZ Diesel2. If I thought there was any point, that is. I wait for the beta, IMO alphas are for people who want to actually write code. I mean, run what you want, but no thanks. (I've been known to do packaging and such but I'm no programmer)

    • by multisync (218450)

      Installer crashes and burns, at least when run under VirtualBox

      I just completed a successful install of the x86 image in Virtualbox. I updated to version 3.2.12 r68302 first, so give that a try.

    • by rrohbeck (944847)

      You're not supposed to run it in a VM - be a man and do a real install.

  • I'm sorry (Score:5, Interesting)

    by knightsbore (1788744) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @11:02AM (#34450558)
    But at least in the current setup unity is garbage. They say it was initially designed for netbooks,yet the ui is really laggy on a low end processor and the menu bar takes up around 10% of the left side, on a machine with an already small real estate. Gnome however runs smoothly and takes up almost no real estate. They also chose for some reason to make the settings and properties menus completely disappear. This is linux, not iOS! Oh and this is typed from an eee pc with ubuntu 10.10 on it, with unity, but currently using gnome.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by TheLink (130905)
      Every now and then when I look at what they are up to I wonder whether they are seriously trying to achieve "Desktop Linux" or are actually sabotaging it.
      • It's the first alpha release. What did you expect?

        • by Nimey (114278)

          I noticed the same slowness problems with the previous netbook interface.

        • by TheLink (130905)

          I mentioned "every now and then" - so not talking about the bugs, or specifically this particular alpha release. I'm talking about the direction/design/"dream". They keep moving widgets around for not good enough reasons.

          And some time ago, when I looked at 9.10 apparently there was no built-in GUI unified sound mixer: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/10964/how-to-fix-sound-issues-in-ubuntu-9.10/ [howtogeek.com]

          That's very far from "Steve Jobs insanely great" right? In fact that situation is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE for a desktop

          • One of those releases--I think it was 9.4--was like stepping in to a time machine, as far as sound was concerned. They switched to the PulseAudio sound system for reasons that I still don't understand, which it turns out was developed only to late alpha levels at best.

            That release gave me more trouble with sound than I've seen since back when you had to have OSS compatibility installed because not everything had switched over to ALSA yet. Sound was a thing that was "just working" in Ubuntu and most other

    • by Bert64 (520050)

      It makes sense to take up space at the sides since wide aspect screens are becoming increasingly common...
      By contrast, the way windows 7 has a thicker bar at the bottom and thicker window borders/titles just seems totally ridiculous with the current trends towards widescreen.

    • I've got an eeePC netbook with WinXP, and am not impressed by this Unity interface being offered. The description of it looks like Ubuntu's trying to be as much like Apple as possible. "We made the desktop look like someone spilled colorful pills all over it and hid everything but your favorite "apps", which we want you to get from our walled garden. We put everything into a "Me Menu" which you probably can't even rename, and you can, like, totally use Twitter and Facebook because everybody who's anybody us
    • by PhrstBrn (751463)
      I like the taskbar on the side. Netbooks are all widescreen nowadays, and vertical real estate is more important to me than horizontal on a widescreen monitor. Either I lose 40 of 1366 pixels, or 40 of 786 pixels... 3% vs 5% of my screen real estate. Big difference.
    • by dominux (731134)
      Those may be fair points to make about the Unity in 10.10, however the Unity in 11.04 which is the release this article is about is totally different on a technical level as it is based on Compiz and takes much better advantage of hardware graphics acceleration. There may well be valid criticism to make of Unity in 11.04, but lets make it informed criticism about the relevant version for the article.
    • by Cruciform (42896)

      I use a 1200x1900 vertical layout and the inability to move the Unity bar makes it unappealing to me.
      I'll be sticking to a combo of Cardapio and Docky until something better comes along.

    • Linux does not exist as an OS, what you are talking about here is a distro which uses Linux for its kernel that is making some choices.

      Are they the right choices? That is irrelevant. It is their choice. There are already plenty of Linux distro's including ones based on Ubuntu, that any choice you don't like, you can easily switch.

      Any choice is bad in somebodies eyes. I can make X work, so to replace it is to me unneeded because it only means I have to learn something new. But others can't make X do what t

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 05, 2010 @11:03AM (#34450562)
  • Ugh, I'm still trying to fix my broken DVD playback from upgrading to 10.10 last week.

    This alpha does sound fascinating. Will this be an Ubuntu without X-windows sitting under a GNOME? An Updated GNOME?

    • Did you try vlc? I have tested dvd's in mplayer, vlc and "movie player" which I think is totem, and all seem to work (10.10 x86_64). Though I used to ultimate edition dvd from distrowatch that came preloaded with all codecs and such pre-installed. Though I think VLC does not need any additional codecs installed. Good luck.
      • Yes and I was surprised that VLC worked fine for DVDs, post upgrading to 10.10, would not play. It has made the extended search for a solution to the broken totem more comfortable.

        I've been on ubuntuforums, the ubuntu IRC channel on freedone, the ubuntu-users email list, launchpad, comp.os.linux.misc, alt.os.linux.ubuntu and linuxquestions.org

        People in all of those places have been very helpful. They have given me suggestions which I have done. The only suggestion that turned up paydirt was installing VL

    • by couchslug (175151)

      "Ugh, I'm still trying to fix my broken DVD playback from upgrading to 10.10 last week."

      That's why I either test upgrades in a VM or an expendable machine. "New" /= "upgrade".

    • by antdude (79039)

      This is why I don't upgrade major OS'. Upgrades CAN break stuff. :(

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Can someone explain to me why Ubuntu uses .04 instead of .0 for the first release of a new major version?

  • In addition to poxy written English and problem with summary pointed out above, I get to this, third paragraph:

    four more alpha releases of Ubuntu 11.04 are planned for after this one, followed by a beta version due roughly a month before Natty Narwhal's scheduled official release on April 28.

    I then stopped reading.

  • Is it really that hard to include a link to Ubuntu's official Alpha 1 page, http://www.ubuntu.com/testing/maverick/alpha1 [ubuntu.com] ?

    Oh wait, guess there's not enough annoying ads and popups on that page..

  • This is suboptimal. The .iso is 717Mb, and Brasero on my Ubuntu 10.4 won't let me burn it to an 80min CD because it's too big. So just how am I expected to test this gizmo?

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