A Closer Look: Ubuntu 11.04

The New Ubuntu 11.04 Release

Canonical on Thursday launched the production version of Ubuntu 11.04, which presents itself with a brand new look and feel from previous versions. Incorporating the Unity application launcher on the left, this version has a clean, visually appealing UI different from Windows, Mac OS X or previous versions of Ubuntu.

Libre Office

Libre Office, the breakaway version of the productivity software from the OpenOffice.org open source community, is now the default suite in Ubuntu 11.04. While Libre Office has the same look and feel as OpenOffice.org, that could change in coming years as a new development community pushes it into a unique direction.

Ubuntu One

Ubuntu’s desktop cloud service, Ubuntu One, is built right into the desktop experience in this version of the Linux operating system. Ubuntu one provides a free, 2 GB of online storage for files and data, and sells 20 GB of additional storage for $29.99 per year or $2.99 per month.

Cloud File System

As part of Ubuntu One, files created in a PC running Ubuntu 11.04 can be saved right into the cloud service just like any other storage drive that’s part of a file system. Here, it brings an ease of use that outflanks services from both Microsoft and Apple in basic, cloud-based storage.

Mobile Devices

Our PC running Ubuntu 11.04 recognized an iPhone 4 and allowed access to photos and even some music on the device. The OS does not support iTunes, though, and its integration with iPhone looked kludgy. It wouldn’t allow integration with a Droid X when we tried a device with that OS, however.


Ubuntu has spruced up its shortcut and search functionality, including it into a new ’dashboard.’ Clicking an icon on the upper left of the screen launches the dashboard, which permits a range of action including search and shortcut creation.