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oneiric ocelotIt’s here! With a multitude of user interface improvements and a few new default programs, Ubuntu 11.10 keeps the premiere Linux distro moving forward. Whether you’re a long time Ubuntu user or a Windows/Mac user interested in trying something new, Ubuntu 11.10 is worth downloading now.

Ubuntu comes twice a year. The latest version of Ubuntu is numbered 11.10 (as of October 2011) and codenamed Oneiric Ocelot (as in a dreaming South American wildcat). This release builds on the momentum built by Ubuntu 11.04 Ubuntu 11.04 Unity - A Big Leap Forward For Linux Ubuntu 11.04 Unity - A Big Leap Forward For Linux It's here. The newest version of Ubuntu sports an entirely new user interface: Unity. It also includes a much-improved Software Center, alongside the usual updates for the thousands of free programs Ubuntu offers. Canonical decided... Read More earlier this year. Some may dislike it simply because they dislike Unity, the desktop interface used since 11.04. Even people who found 11.04 unusable however, may find 11.10 a pleasure to use.

New Software

So what’s new? A few of the default programs, to start.

Ubuntu ousted the much-maligned Evolution email How To Send Signed & Encrypted Email With Evolution [Linux] How To Send Signed & Encrypted Email With Evolution [Linux] In today's technological world, sending encrypted messages between people has become an increasing standard. In order to secure your email communications, you need to sign and/or encrypt your emails. In Linux, this is an easy... Read More and calendar application in favor of Thunderbird. This means you don’t have to uninstall Evolution every time you set up Ubuntu, something I’ve been doing for about five years.

Deja Dup, the perfect Linux backup software Déjà Dup - The Perfect Linux Backup Software Déjà Dup - The Perfect Linux Backup Software Read More , is now part of Ubuntu by default. This gives Ubuntu a world class backup program, on par with Time Machine for Mac 4 Resources to Become a Backup Master with Time Machine [Mac] 4 Resources to Become a Backup Master with Time Machine [Mac] Read More and superior to the clunky default Windows backup system.

oneiric ocelot


You’ll find DejaDup in the new settings menu; it’s very easy to setup.

Gwibber, Ubuntu’s microblogging tool for Twitter and Facebook, sucks less then before. By this I mean Gwibber lost some serious weight, and gained some stability. Whether or not you’ll use it is another question entirely, but the improvements are real.

A couple of great programs disappeared from the default setup – Synaptic, the advanced package manager, is no longer a default program. Video editor Pitivi vanished as well. Both programs can be quickly installed from the Ubuntu Software Center or, for command line ninjas, via apt-get.

Interface Improvements

Unity keeps evolving, much to the annoyance of some. If you’re like me though, you’ll enjoy the changes.

The menu button moved from the top bar to the dock. Click the button and you’ll see a similar starting point as before, but the application menu is a huge improvement:

oneiric ocelot linux

As you can see, it’s possible to browse applications in a menu-like structure.

The “lenses” that previously took up space on the dock moved to the bottom of the main menu. Click them and you can browse just as before.

Another big improvement is the settings window:

oneiric ocelot linux

This single interface controls all settings, meaning you no longer need to jump from program to program in order to find the setting you’re looking for. You can find a link to this window in the new top-right panel menu:

oneiric ocelot linux

The Ubuntu Software Center continues to evolve; it looks and runs better than before:

oneiric ocelot

You will, no doubt, find many other changes over Ubuntu 11.04 in 11.10; too many to count. Read Ubuntu’s release notes for more information.

Unity 2D

Don’t have a 3D graphics card? You won’t miss out on Unity. A new, 2D version of Unity works on pretty much any computer on earth, and will open by default on systems that can’t run Unity.

Of course, this means that Gnome classic isn’t available by default. Don’t worry, you can install Gnome classic easily, at least for now.

Get Ubuntu 11.10

Ready to start? Head over to to start downloading. You will find easy instructions regardless of your setup.

What do you think of the new Ubuntu? Please leave your comments below, even if they just consist of Unity hatred. We love hearing from all of you.

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  1. Punne4e
    November 19, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Hy there! It's a good post, and i am going to use ubuntu. What do you think about's it? please suggest me i want to shift from windows to linux platform or should i use both.....and how is it for web developing.

    Thanks and Regards.

    • jhpot
      November 19, 2011 at 2:17 pm

      It's been a while since I used Fedora, but it looks like its growing quickly and it works well for a lot of people. Why not download both and try them out? Both run easily as live CDs, meaning you won't need to install anything to figure out your own opinion.

  2. jhpot
    November 3, 2011 at 12:20 am

    I love Unity too. I feel like we're a minority sometimes, but maybe not...

  3. VP
    November 2, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    I'm liking Unity. It's different and has a real polished look to it. I made a list on my blog of what's new in Ubuntu 11.10 with screenshots & a video of the UI :

  4. Linux WAS great :<
    October 25, 2011 at 5:17 am

    Unity and Gnome 3 is the reason I am typing this post in Windows 7 and I hate Windows. Unity is a tablet interface, I have a tablet its running Android I don't want a Ubuntu tablet OS on my desktop computer. :(  (alt-tab to see running programs), (no panel applets and no desktop applets), (can't add panels to the right or left of desktop), (some of my Linux programs will not run in 11.10),(Unity hiding the application menus in the top panel witch breaks two of my apps) I can go on and on and on (Unity and Gnome suck) and that's why I paid $200 for a full copy of a OS I hate. Thank you Ubuntu and Gnome

    • jhpot
      October 25, 2011 at 2:41 pm

      I've got some bad news about Windows 8...

  5. Deekshith Allamaneni
    October 17, 2011 at 3:57 am

    I am very happy with Ubuntu-11.10. Earlier i was mislead by comments on forums saying that Unity is not good, but after trying it myself, i found that it is wonderful. Once we get used to it (esp keyboard shortcuts), we will appreciate it. Also, i am impressed with the new alt+tab animation (you may notice it when you have many windows open). Overall, Ubuntu has done a great job and hope it keeps going this way.

    • UUUnicorn
      October 17, 2011 at 4:01 am

      Deekshith, are you using it on a netbook? Just curious.

      • Deekshith Allamaneni
        October 17, 2011 at 4:08 am

        No, I am using it on a desktop.

        • jhpot
          October 17, 2011 at 1:42 pm

          I've used it on both netbooks and desktops; I love it either way.

  6. Guss606
    October 16, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Thank you for the article, but any fix for the wireless issue?

    • jhpot
      October 16, 2011 at 2:09 pm

      What wireless issues? Many of us are using Ubuntu without any wireless problems...

  7. UUUnicorn
    October 16, 2011 at 1:02 am

    Getting back to the topic of Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot--a Facebook friend of mine tried installing it on his computer, but he's having problems with it; so, it's back to 11.04 Natty Narwhal for him.

    • Miggs
      October 16, 2011 at 6:16 am

      What problems?

      • jhpot
        October 16, 2011 at 2:10 pm

        I'd be curious to hear too.

      • UUUnicorn
        October 17, 2011 at 3:59 am

        He gets "a spontaneous power-off"--meaning, I guess, that his computer spontaneously switches off on him.

        • jhpot
          October 17, 2011 at 1:41 pm

          That's bizarre.  I bet a bug report on that would be really helpful to the community.

  8. UUUnicorn
    October 16, 2011 at 1:00 am

    I'm sad that there's no longer a Xubuntu-based Linux Mint Xfce--the last one was Linux Mint 9 Isadora. It was GREAT on my MSI Wind U100 netbook.

    Linux Mint Xfce now is a Debian-based rolling release.

    • Deekshith Allamaneni
      October 17, 2011 at 3:51 am

      And that Debian-based xfce is too buggy to use... not even the installer works properly. I prefer Xubuntu over it.

      • jhpot
        October 17, 2011 at 1:41 pm

        Xubuntu, when I last used it, wasn't much faster than the standard Ubuntu. Is that still true?

        • Deekshith Allamaneni
          October 23, 2011 at 5:17 pm

          Yes, it is still true. But Lubuntu is very fast compared to both Ubuntu and Xubuntu.

  9. joshua griffin
    October 15, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    I wish I could have a cat like that in my house. lol

    • jhpot
      October 16, 2011 at 2:08 pm

      Wouldn't we all? So cute...

  10. millgillo
    October 15, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    Everything working fine except I can't access the propietary drivers to go online with it.  wonder how to get them back?

    • Anonymous
      October 16, 2011 at 5:10 am

      Use an Ethernet cable to connect to the internet. Ubuntu should find them automatically for you.

      • jhpot
        October 16, 2011 at 2:06 pm

        Yep: ethernet is the way to go for getting the Wireless drivers. After that you'll be unbound, though.

  11. Anwar Aemran
    October 15, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    Does seem nice, I think I'll try it instead of waiting for Linux Mint's new release.

    • jhpot
      October 16, 2011 at 2:07 pm

      Maybe it's just me, but I've always preferred Ubuntu over Mint. I've always found the UI to be too Windows-ish for my tastes, and could never think of anything it did that Ubuntu didn't.

      • Anonymous
        December 10, 2011 at 11:38 pm

        couldn't agree more with you.

  12. Miggs
    October 15, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    You don't have to use Unity if you don't like it. Gnome Shell is easy to install and use. Just type 'sudo apt-get install gnome-shell' in the terminal or search for 'gnome-shell' in the Software Center.

    My advice for every Ubuntu user is to try both interfaces and decide afterwards.

    • Anonymous
      October 16, 2011 at 5:09 am

      What keeps me from GS is the wasted vertical space. I got so used to Unity having the window controls on the panel that I don't want to go back. Also, I love how this version of Unity looks. GS default theme is not my thing. Especially the icons and the Activities View scroll bar. I don't like having the launcher hidden away from me all the time.

      Both desktops are awesome and both have their pros and cons, but Unity is my fav.

      • Miggs
        October 16, 2011 at 6:13 am

        I agree with the space issue. Not only they didn't implement ways to expand it ( like in Unity's global menu ) but made the applications title bar bigger, so yes, that sucks. Well, I think they've done that for those who grab them with the mouse often.

        Anyway, overall I tend to like it better than Unity. Firstly, it's the general interface. It's cleaner and simpler. The dash in Unity is a mess in my opinion. Why would they put 4 songs and 6 files there? Does anybody open a song from the dash? I think most of us use a music player for that... And a file manager for files. So seems the upper-right menu. I see it a bit messy and ugly, especially when comparing it to Gnome Shells.

        Also, there are some unique features I use and like in Gnome Shell. 
        - the interactive notification system - you can opt for yes, no, undo, open and stuff like that for various notifications;
        - the Online Accounts integration - I use Google products all the time so it's a plus for me;
        - the contacts search after pressing the super key.

        • Anonymous
          October 16, 2011 at 9:02 pm

          I agree with you on the Dash problem to some extent. I don't mind the Music and Contacts appearing when searching for something, but I really hate to see settings and things alike on the Apps lens, it makes the Dash look bloated. The Dash needs some tweaking and organization, that's it.

          I personally don't think GS or Unity are easier to use than the other. Both are easy, both are fast and both work great. It depends on the user's taste.

  13. RichieB07
    October 15, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Installed it on my netbook and it works better than 11.04 did.  Loving all the new updates they did with this version!

    • jhpot
      October 16, 2011 at 2:02 pm

      It's a great version. What I love about Ubuntu: if you don't like the current  release, just wait 6 months and it will be better.