Ubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narwhal” was released last week amongst a lot of Linux community fanfare. Statements from those involved in its build and distribution make 11.04 out to be a huge leap forward for the popular niche operating system.
The biggest change is in the adoption of the Unity interface, giving this latest rendition of Ubuntu a user-oriented GWI similar to that found on many netbook computers from Microsoft and Mac.
This has met with a lot of heavy criticism from hardcore Linux users in the community. The dumbed-down interface is, they believe, less intuitive and useful than the previous renditions of Ubuntu. Even more, the new 11.04 release is based on the Ubuntu Classic (which is still an option to install when the OS is downloaded), which many found buggy and unreliable.
So what’s the verdict?
Users should treat the Natty Narwhal release with the words of Abraham Lincoln in mind: “You can please some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time.”
Try before you buy. Since the release is free (as are all Linux OS distributions, for the most part), you are only out the download and a little time to test it. Like nearly every Linux distro, this one allows you to install it into a CD and boot from there to try it out without installing as a partition on your hard drive. This means you can take it for a test drive first.
Do that. You’ll be glad you did. Some will like it, others will love it, some will hate it. Decide for yourself and go with it. It’s not like there aren’t any other Linux distributions available out there..