Ubuntu 11.04 was the first release of the Ubuntu Linux operating system to introduce the controversial and modern Unity user interface, based on the GNOME desktop environment. It is and open source distribution of Linux based on Debian GNU/Linux.
Dubbed Natty Narwhal, this edition was officially released on April 28, 2011 and discontinued on October 28, 2012. It is still available for download, but we recommend to always use the latest version of an operating system, as it contains all the latest security patches and support for new hardware components.
Distributed as Desktop and Alternate editions, supporting 32-bit and 64-bit PCs
Just like the previous release of Ubuntu, this edition is distributed as Alternate and Desktop Live CDs, which can be used to run the live environment or install the operating system. Both 64-bit and 32-bit hardware platforms are supported at this time.
The first Ubuntu release with Unity
Natty Narwhal is known for being the first Ubuntu release with the Unity 3D interface. However, it was designed to automatically drop users to a standard GNOME 2 desktop environment if the graphics card is not supported by Unity.
Key features include a revamped Indicator Applet, built-in support for installing proprietary applications, Ubuntu One Control Panel, support for Apple iPhone mobile devices, multiarch support, reinvented scrollbar, and much more.
Default applications include the Evolution email and calendar client, Mozilla Firefox web browser, Gwibber social networking client, Empathy multi-protocol instant messenger, Vinagre remote desktop viewer, Transmission torrent downloader, Shotwell photo manager, Totem video player, and PiTiVi video editor.
This Ubuntu edition was also the first to drop the Rhythmbox music player in favor of the Mono-powered Banshee audio playback application, as well as the OpenOffice.org office suite in favor of LibreOffice.
Taking a quick peek under the hood, we can report that Ubuntu 11.04 is powered by Linux kernel 2.6.38, X.Org 7.6, Xorg Server 1.10.1, Compiz Fusion 0.9.4, and the GNOME 2.32.1 desktop environment, as a fallback session.