As scheduled, the first alpha of Ubuntu 11.10, codenamed Oneiric Ocelot, has been released today.
The biggest change in Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 1 from Ubuntu 11.04 is GNOME 3.0. Ubuntu 11.04 has GNOME 2.32. In Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 1, it has been upgraded to the new GNOME 3.0. The immediate effects of the upgrade will be visible with the theme since Radiance and Ambiance themes have not been ported to GTK3, the applications look ugly like Windows 95 for now.
Other then GNOME3, there are not much changes except for version upgrades of applications for example Firefox has been updated to Firefox 5 Beta.
The KDE derivative, Kubuntu 11.10 too has been released but it does not have much changes. The most notable change is that Muon Software Center has replaced KPackage Kit. KDE SC 4.4 beta 1 has not been included and Kubuntu 11.10 still uses KDE 4.6.3.
Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelotis not recommended for use, except for testing. In case you want to test it, you can either upgrade from Ubuntu 11.04 or do a clean install.
To upgrade from Ubuntu 11.04, open the Terminal and execute the command given below:
$ sudo do-release-upgrade d
To download the CD image of Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 1 and its derivatives, follow the link given below: