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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