Sunday, September 04, 2011

Upgrading Ubuntu 10.10 to 11.04

So here we are. It's the upgrade to the latest stable release of Ubuntu. Things should proceed as smoothly as can be. Upgrading to Ubuntu 10.10 was mostly okay. There was just that small bump with the open source driver for nVidia hardware. Other than that things went as expected.

Update Manager performing the upgrade
Over time, the Ubuntu upgrade took longer and longer to complete. The total packages that needed upgrading more or less remained the same from Warty to Natty. It's all the extra checks and cleanup work that's causing the slowdown.

Firefox 4.0 in Natty; update Natty and you should get Firefox 6.0
With the Natty release, we're seeing version upgrades for Firefox post-release for the first time. Previously, users had to wait for the next Ubuntu release before they get a version bump. Mozilla moving to a faster release cycle tipped the balance. On the one hand, we get new stable versions faster than before. That's a good thing. On the other hand, some extensions may not be keeping up quite as fast as their users would like.

Unity also makes its debut as the default desktop experience on Natty for hardware that can handle the 3D effects. It's still rough though since it initially appeared only on the netbook edition of Ubuntu and the developers rushed it out for Natty. 6 months just isn't enough for a desktop to mature properly. Let's hope for a much improved experience in Oneiric.

LibreOffice and Banshee take over as the default installed office suite and music player respectively. Due to there being way too much change happening at once, we didn't get to see a transition to Gnome 3 in Natty but that's already happening in Oneiric.

That's up next - upgrading to Oneiric (development release)