Today, Canonical Ltd released Ubuntu 9.10, “Karmic Koala.”
You can download the new version here, in a variety of different ways. Personally, I like the BitTorrent option. The main download links are going to be overloaded, but I was getting more than 1Mb/s on my torrent. In addition, you can update any beta ISOs you may have downloaded using zsync. (Check out Christer Edwards’ tutorial.)
Karmic includes a lot of new features. One that I am particularly happy about is the inclusion of the latest drivers for Intel video cards. The drivers included in 9.04 had serious regression issues, prompting me to avoid upgrading my laptop. We also get Upstart, a replacement for the old workhorse System V “init” system. The event-driven model of Upstart should make a smooth start much easier, and faster. XSplash is another boot time feature that should speed things up. EXT4 becomes the default file system, which offers some real speed enhancements over EXT2 and 3.
Security, already a strong point of Ubuntu and Linux in general, gets even tighter with 9.10. Non-executable memory blocks and kernel module load disabling make your system even harder to mangle.
On the desktop side of things, we get Gnome 2.28 (which has a host of improvements of its own), and improvements to the tray and notification systems. In addition, the popular shiki-colors desktop theme set is also available as one of the default options.
I’m pretty excited.