Ubuntu 9.10 – Karmic Koala Released
Ubuntu 9.10, codenamed Karmic Koala, has been officially released. This version introduces Canonical’s new Ubuntu One synchronization service and a number of other compelling improvements.
The Ubuntu Linux distribution has received a major update today. The new version, Ubuntu 9.10, will introduce several significant new features and will deliver the latest version of the GNOME desktop environment and other applications.
This is the eleventh release of Ubuntu since the project’s inception five years ago. The distribution has achieved an unprecedented level of popularity in the Linux desktop ecosystem and has attracted a considerable audience. Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, touts the new release as its best yet and says that the latest improvements will take the Ubuntu user experience to the next level.
Ubuntu 9.10, codenamed Karmic Koala, is the first release to include Ubuntu One, Canonical’s new Web synchronization service. We first looked at Ubuntu One earlier this year during the beta testing stage. The service has gained several new features, including support for synchronizing contacts from the Evolution mail application and notes from Tomboy. Users can activate the Ubuntu One service by launching it from the Applications menu in the GNOME panel.
The new version of Ubuntu also offers an improved startup experience with new artwork and significantly improved boot performance. There are minor usability improvements throughout the entire distribution thanks to the Papercuts project, an initiative launched by Canonical to address user interface weaknesses in GNOME and other upstream projects. Ubuntu 9.10 has a new framework for programmers called Quickly that will automatically generate code templates to help get application development up and running faster.
GNOME 2.28, the latest version of the GNOME desktop environment, brings some nice enhancements to Ubuntu 9.10. This is the first version of Ubuntu to include GNOME’s Empathy instant messaging client and overhauled audio preferences tool. Empathy has support for voice and video chat, Adium themes, and a number of other features.
Other important upstream software shipped with Ubuntu 9.10 includes version 2.6.31 of the Linux kernel and Firefox 3.5, which adds new features like private browsing mode and support for the HTML 5 video element.
"Ubuntu 9.10 gives users more reasons than ever to seriously consider Linux at a time when many are thinking again about their operating system options. We are delivering a platform for users interested in an easy-to-use, great-looking, web-friendly operating system," said Canonical COO Jane Silber in a statement. "A faster, more beautiful boot and login sequence, file and contact synchronisation through online services and great experiences on the most popular notebook, desktop and netbook models continue to drive Ubuntu into the mainstream of computing choices."
The Ubuntu development community has also released updated versions of the Ubuntu server and netbook editions along with a number of other variants such as KDE-based Kubuntu. For more details, check out the feature tour and official release notes. Users can download the new version from the Ubuntu website.