Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

The Ubuntu devs really like to push updates at night but luckily I'm usually awake when that happens so I can tell you what's new in Unity as soon as the updates are released.

A new Unity version was released a few minutes ago with some exciting new features. New for Ubuntu 11.04 I mean, because they are something that's always been around in Gnome but not available or removed in Ubuntu 11.04 / Unity.

The systray is back! But it's different.

The biggest change is the addition of a systray (notification area) to the Unity top panel:

Unity Ubuntu 11.04 screenshots

Even though the systray was supposed to be removed in Unity, it's back! But not back for all the applications: only Java and Wine applications can use the new systray. Besides these apps, Skype can also use it thanks to a request by Mark Shuttleworth.

But that's not all that's different in the new systray (I guess it's ok to call it a systray now that it's more of a Wine thing): unlike the previous systray, this area is not movable, manually resizable, or removable.

Unity top panel respects the GTK theme style

Another important change came to the Unity top panel which now respects the GTK theme style:

Unity Ubuntu 11.04 screenshots

Ubuntu 11.04 unity screenshots

Further more, you can now set the panel opacity:

Unity Ubuntu 11.04 screenshots


And there's also a new keyboard shortcut to open the first panel menu as well as a shortcut to put keyboard focus on the panel:

Unity Ubuntu 11.04 screenshot

The Unity launcher ("dock") was also updated, getting hide animations: fade and slide, slide only and fade only:

Unity Ubuntu 11.04 screenshots

Some other changes came in last week's Unity update but we didn't post about it because it wasn't much to talk about. I'll add the info to this post: Unity got the old autohide behavior back, as well as intellihide settings to either dodge windows or dodge the active window only:

Unity autohide settings

Unity video

You can see all these new changes in the video below:

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Check out all the Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal updates.