Ubuntu 10.10 vs. Ubuntu 11.04

What's the Difference?

Ubuntu 10.10 and Ubuntu 11.04 are two different versions of the popular Linux-based operating system. Ubuntu 10.10, also known as Maverick Meerkat, was released in October 2010, while Ubuntu 11.04, also known as Natty Narwhal, was released in April 2011. One major difference between the two versions is the user interface. Ubuntu 10.10 used the classic GNOME 2 desktop environment, while Ubuntu 11.04 introduced the Unity desktop environment. Unity brought a more modern and streamlined interface, with a dock on the left side of the screen and a global menu bar. Additionally, Ubuntu 11.04 included updated versions of various software packages and introduced new features like the Ubuntu Software Center. Overall, Ubuntu 11.04 represented a significant shift in the user experience compared to Ubuntu 10.10.


AttributeUbuntu 10.10Ubuntu 11.04
Release NameMaverick MeerkatNatty Narwhal
Release DateOctober 10, 2010April 28, 2011
Kernel Version2.6.352.6.38
Default Desktop EnvironmentGNOME 2.32Unity 3D
Default File ManagerNautilusNautilus
Default Web BrowserMozilla Firefox 3.6Mozilla Firefox 4.0
Default Office SuiteOpenOffice.org 3.2LibreOffice 3.3
Default Music PlayerRhythmboxBanshee
Default Video PlayerTotemTotem
Package Managerapt-getapt-get

Further Detail


Ubuntu, one of the most popular Linux distributions, has undergone several updates over the years, each bringing new features and improvements. In this article, we will compare two significant releases: Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) and Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal). While both versions share the same foundation, they differ in terms of user interface, software availability, and overall performance.

User Interface

Ubuntu 10.10 introduced the Unity interface, a departure from the traditional GNOME desktop environment. Unity aimed to provide a more streamlined and user-friendly experience, especially for netbooks and smaller screens. It featured a left-side launcher, global menu, and a simplified application switcher. However, this change was met with mixed reactions from the Ubuntu community, as some users found it less intuitive and preferred the classic GNOME interface.

On the other hand, Ubuntu 11.04 further refined the Unity interface, addressing many of the concerns raised by users. It introduced a new Dash menu, improved launcher behavior, and enhanced workspace management. The Unity interface in Ubuntu 11.04 offered a more polished and cohesive experience, making it easier for users to navigate and access their applications. This update marked a significant step forward in the evolution of Ubuntu's user interface.

Software Availability

Ubuntu 10.10 shipped with a wide range of software applications, including the LibreOffice suite, Firefox web browser, and the Shotwell photo manager. It also included popular multimedia codecs, allowing users to play various audio and video formats out of the box. Additionally, the Ubuntu Software Center provided a convenient way to discover and install additional software, with thousands of applications available for free.

In Ubuntu 11.04, the software availability remained robust, with updated versions of popular applications. The Ubuntu Software Center received improvements, making it even easier to find and install software. Furthermore, Ubuntu 11.04 introduced the Ubuntu One cloud storage service, allowing users to synchronize files across multiple devices seamlessly. This addition expanded the software ecosystem and provided users with more options for managing their data.


Ubuntu 10.10 was praised for its stability and performance improvements over previous releases. It featured a faster boot time, improved power management, and better hardware compatibility. The overall system responsiveness was enhanced, providing a smoother experience for everyday tasks. Users reported fewer crashes and improved performance on both older and newer hardware configurations.

Building upon the performance gains of its predecessor, Ubuntu 11.04 continued to refine system performance. It introduced the Linux kernel version 2.6.38, which brought further optimizations and hardware support. The Unity interface in Ubuntu 11.04 also benefited from performance enhancements, resulting in smoother animations and reduced resource usage. These improvements made Ubuntu 11.04 a compelling choice for users seeking a fast and efficient operating system.


Ubuntu 10.10 and Ubuntu 11.04 were both significant releases in the Ubuntu ecosystem. While Ubuntu 10.10 introduced the Unity interface, Ubuntu 11.04 refined it further, addressing user concerns and providing a more polished experience. Both versions offered a wide range of software applications, with Ubuntu 11.04 introducing the Ubuntu One cloud storage service. In terms of performance, both releases showcased improvements, with Ubuntu 11.04 building upon the gains of its predecessor.

Ultimately, the choice between Ubuntu 10.10 and Ubuntu 11.04 depends on individual preferences and requirements. Users who prefer a more traditional desktop environment may find Ubuntu 10.10 more suitable, while those seeking a modern and streamlined experience may opt for Ubuntu 11.04. Regardless of the version, Ubuntu continues to be a reliable and user-friendly operating system, empowering users to explore the world of open-source software.

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