Ubuntu 11.04 to be a Natty Narwhal
Mark Shuttleworth has announced that the code name for the April 2011 release of Ubuntu, 11.04, will be Natty Narwhal. Shuttleworth said the nature of Ubuntu's regular releases meant that something was needed to refer to the release which comes after the in-development "Maverick Meerkat", 10.10, that was "nicer than 'Maverick+1'".
He says he selected the Narwhal as a reminder of "the fact we have only one spaceship that can host all of humanity"; the Narwhal is an endangered Arctic whale, recognisable by its single long helical tusk. Calling it the "closest thing to a real live unicorn", Shuttleworth said the "N" release will be "sleeker and more stylish" and that there was a lot of work going on with ARM chips and Ubuntu to "help keep the planet cool".
Ubuntu code names have traditionally been comprised of an adjective and an animal, starting with Warty Warthog (4.10) and Hoary Hedgehog (5.04). The naming then moved to an alphabetical ordering with Breezy Badger (5.10), Dapper Drake (6.06), Edgy Eft (6.10), Feisty Fawn (7.04), Gutsy Gibbon (7.10), Hardy Heron (8.04), Intrepid Ibex (8.10), Jaunty Jackalope (9.04), Karmic Koala (9.10), and the current long term support (LTS) release, Lucid Lynx, 10.04. A wiki page on the ubuntu.com site details the history of Ubuntu code names and contains suggestions for future code names, up to the end of this decade.