The Unity interface was developed for Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook addition and was based on Mutter much like Gnome Shell. However, with this release Ubuntu Netbook edition has been dropped and there is no separate Desktop or Netbook Edition but simply ‘Ubuntu’. Unity has been also ported from Mutter to Compiz and has been made more robust, fast and stable overcoming Mutter’s Limitations.
For other devices that are not capable of 3D hardware acceleration, Unity-2D will be default desktop experience for them. Unity-2d is based on faster and lightweight Qt/Qml framework.
Ubuntu 11.04 comes with Linux Kernel 2.6.38, Xserver 1.10 and Gnome 2.32.1 stack. New Default Applications include Nautilus 2.32.2, Firefox 4.0, Shotwell 0.9.2, Empathy 2.34.0, Banshee 2.0, LibreOffice 3.3.2, Evolution 2.32.2, Gwibber 126.96.36.199, Totem 2.32.2, Compiz 0.9.4, GDM 2.32.1, GRUB 1.99 RC1, Linux Kernel 2.6.38 (yes, with the “wonder 200 lines” patch now included by default), X.org Server 1.10 and Mesa 7.10.1.
To configure Unity you must use CompizConfig Settings Manager which is not installed by default (install it in the Ubuntu Software Center). In CompizConfig Settings Manager you’ll find a “Unity” plugin under which you can tweak the Unity launcher reveal mode screen corner to trigger it, change some various keyboard shortcuts as well as some experimental, more advanced features like panel opacity, launcher icon size and more.
# 17 new wallpapers – from various photographers around the world
# Improved default theme – the default Ambiance theme has been once again improved
# Reinvented scrollbar – No more scrollbars! A handle is displayed now, on mouse over, for the file manager
# LibreOffice replaced the old OpenOffice.org as the default office suite
# Banshee Media Player replaced Rhythmbox and it is now the default application for audio playback
# Revamped Ubuntu Software Center – offers user reviews, better support to buy apps, and other enhancements
# Revamped Indicator Applet – Volume control applet supports Banshee now, weather is now integrated, and much more
# Mozilla Firefox 4.0 is the default web browser and does a wonderful job
# Built-in support for installing proprietary software – automatically, straight from the file manager
# Ubuntu One Control Panel – integrated into Unity, the new Control Panel for Ubuntu One offers users a great control over their cloud account
# Improved installer – allows users to upgrade their existing Ubuntu installation
# Better support for iPhone – users can mount the iPhone’s documents directory now
# Support for multiarch – to install library packages of different architectures
Download Or Upgrade
If you’ve installed Ubuntu 11.04 alpha or beta and kept upgrading using the Update Manager, you already have the final Ubuntu 11.04 version.
It’s very easy to upgrade even if you don’t have an Internet connection, as long as you have an Ubuntu 11.04 CD – see the following post of mine: How To Upgrade To Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal (With Or Without An Internet Connection)