Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal VMware image
The new Ubuntu distro Natty Narwhal comes with the Unity desktop. But if specific 3d graphic drivers are not found, the user is welcomed with the old and proven Gnome 2.x desktop. This "Ubuntu Classic" view doesn't seem to have changed much. Scrollbars look a bit different. The new Ubuntu has two different desktops and is fortunately still usable for those who have a strong opinion on one of them!
This is the basic VMware image without Tools and with the old desktop experience. If you prefer the one with VMware Tools or the new desktop Unity, see below.
If you want the new Unity desktop, you will need to install the package "Unity-2d" with "System - Administration - Synaptic". This will add a package for 2d drivers that are supported by the VMware Player out of the box.
To do so, first activate the missing two repositories in the Synaptic menu "Settings - Repositories - Other software" and hit the "Reload" button. This will bring the number of known packages from 1363 to above 33000.
After the installation activate in "System - Administration - Login Screen" the Unity 2D option. On restarting the system the new desktop appears.
Is the Unity desktop better than the simple and ergonomic Gnome 2.x? Both new desktops, Unity and Gnome 3.0 like to pop full screen views of everything directly into the user's face, instead of just silently raising the taskbar or menubar. The former may look cool, but it is clearly more distracting than having things simple, small, short and with less motion.
The Unity desktop of Ubuntu was developed to save screen space on netbooks, or to use it more efficiently. It is probably no coincidence that it arrives just now when Gnome switches to its new definition of workflow. The Ubuntu team may have disliked Gnome's new desktop paradigms, but have they invented better ones?
We have also the Ubuntu 11.04 image with VMware Tools available for download.
Applications: Firefox, Evolution, LibreOffice, Transmission, Shotwell, Simple Scan, Brasero, Pitivi, Banshee, Gwibber, Empathy and some other audio, CD, video and system tools.
Zip md5: 32f97155ead70fc47e3404799bf109ef