With the Ubuntu 11.10 User Interface and Beta freeze happening on the same day it was inevitable that a lot of updates would be rolling down down the update shute thick and fast.

Rather than bore you with too much exposition let’s dive right on in and take a gander and some of the most notable changes Ubuntu 11.10 is snow sporting…

New Software Centre, New Software Centre Icon

The “new look” Ubuntu Software Centre 5 is now default in Ubuntu 11.10. To accompany the instore revamp comes an outside one too: a new Software Centre icon!

The icon up close:

software center new icon

Window Button Behaviour

Window button for maximised apps in Ubuntu 11.10 Unity have a new behaviour: they hide by default. A quick mouse over reveals them. This is a tidy and logical change – you only need the buttons when your mouse is in their vicinity anyway.


The Unity Dash now has some Window Controls of its own. Hitting ‘Maximise’ extends the Dash fullscreen; ‘Minimize’ reduces the Dash to half screen; and ‘Close’, well… you can guess!

Dash Button

Whilst we’re on the subject of Unity’s Dash – check out its new icon.

new dash button in Ubuntu 11.10 unity

It reminds me of those old curved-screen CRT monitors…


The filter buttons for refining a search in the File, Music and Application lenses have been touched up, and a ‘ratings’ filter has been also been added.

Thunderbird Slick

The default mail client – Mozilla Thunderbird – has received a visual polish, benefiting from an Ambiance-themed makeover: –

User Menu

Ubuntu 11.10 user menu adds avatars

Changing theme made easy

If you were worried that changing GTK theme would be difficult in Oneiric, think again: the theme can be changed using the drop down box at the bottom of the wallpaper dialog.

changing themes in Ubuntu 11.10

Alt+` = Multi-window switching

Daniel Holbach mentioned the Alt+` (Alt plus grave) switching in his development update earlier today. I can attest that it’s as slick in use as it is in looks.

alt + grave in Ubuntu 11.10

Before you begin to panic because your keyboard has the ‘`’ key in a strange location, the switcher short-cuts are all customizable via the ‘Switcher’ tab in the Unity plugin in Compiz Configuration Settings Manager.

Power Menu: Now with more Power and less cog

Ubuntu power cog icon changes again

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