It’s here! Rejoice! The 3rd and final alpha release of Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal has been released for your testing pleasure.

Significant changes are present from Alpha 2, including a revamped Dash, indicator improvements and the usual round of application updates.

The first Beta release of Ubuntu 11.04 is penciled in for the end of March with a second set to follow mid-April. As we recently reported on, there will be no official release candidate for Ubuntu 11.04.

New look Dash

Unity’s Dash, File Places and Application Places sport a redesigned look with better search filtering, the ability to go full screen and other visual improvements to the overall design.

Shortcut overlays

The Launch now sports some cool ‘Shortcut overlays’ to help you work quicker. Just hit the Super (Windows key) + relevant number/lettered key to zip through your work one-handed.

Panel theming

The top panel now adheres to your chosen GTK theme and can have translucency adjusted.

Launcher changes

Unity’s launcher has benefited from a whole raft of changes and enhancements since the last Alpha release. Some of these new options include: –

  • Drag and drop of files onto launcher to open in app
  • Quicklist support
  • Launcher API for displaying progress dialogues and counters (see image)
  • Launcher hiding options
  • Launcher backlight options

Indicator Datetime

Everyone’s favorite indicator-clock adds appointment support and neat new stack of customization options.

Call requests

Incoming calls are no longer alerted to users via the Ubuntu Messaging Menu, instead they are displayed using IDO (Indicator Display Objects). These look slick.

Yelp 3

It’s boring but now beautiful: Ubuntu’s built in help browser ‘Yelp’ has had a long overdue speed upgrade. More information on that can be read here.

Application updates

  • Firefox 4 has been updated to the GTK-theme-loving twelfth beta
  • Ubiquity benefits from some new wording and layout
  • Ubuntu one control panel continues to refine and adjust its new look


Head over to to grab a copy of the latest development release yourself

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