Ubuntu from Canonical Systems has a tradition of releasing a new version of the Ubuntu operating system (as well as official derivatives like Xubuntu and Kubuntu) every six months. Back in April, Ubuntu 9.04 was released. Its been almost 6 months and that means, Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) is about to be released. The beta was released on October 1, 2009 and this is a first looks at whats new in Ubuntu 9.10 Beta.
I installed Ubuntu 9.10 Beta on VMware and the whole install from start to finish took around 7 minutes only, which is faster than the 13 minutes it took to install Ubuntu 9.04. During install, you will notice that this release uses a darker shade of brown rather than the regular orange-brown. Boot time feels a bit faster as well.
During installation, Ubuntu now displays some useful introductory info including information on pre-installed programs like Firefox and Evolution, similar to the installation of Windows XP.
The login screen got a makeover as well. There is now a list of users as well as an “Other” button to manually type in a username, which is the original method.
Because VMware refused to work after this because it kept going on an endless loop of going blank probably because of the known issue with Intel Video Chipsets and corrupting the Virtual Disk, the rest are tested through Live CD. After logging in, everything looks essentially the same. There are some new application icons.
For whatever unknown reason, Ubuntu seems to have removed Pidgin in favor of Empathy as the default IM client. Of course, you can always get Pidgin from the Ubuntu Software Center but Empathy is the new default. It works similarly to Pidgin, however long time users of Pidgin might not be very pleased with this change.
Ubuntu 9.10 Beta also features a new and improved software center where users can easily search for, download, and install hundreds of free software from the directory.
As mentioned earlier, if you prefer Pidgin over Empathy, you can easily install Pidgin in the Software Center under Internet.
Ubuntu 9.10 also ships with Ubuntu One, an online file sharing and synchronization between computers on the Ubuntu One network. The status of this is indicated by the Ubuntu One icon on the top application bar next to the volume control. This seems similar to Dropbox.
This release ships with some new default backgrounds.
In general, Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) doesn’t introduce a wide array of new features, however it does include small updates to many different smaller areas. As always, it includes updated versions of the pre-installed software. A full new feature list can be found here.
Want to give Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) Beta a try for yourself?
Keep in mind that this is Beta software and therefore, you may experience bugs. Be sure to look over the Known Issues.
Download Size: ~697 MB