Ubuntu 8.10, the "Intrepid Ibex" release of the free, open-source Linux distribution, is officially out and available for download. This release doesn't bring much huge or startlingly new to Ubuntu, but does smooth out some rough edges and improves the Wi-Fi, 3G, and portability experience. Check out our full screenshot tour of Intrepid Ibex to see what's inside, and if your ISO downloads or upgrades are going slow today, read up on upgrading using BitTorrent or grabbing updates and ISOs from a mirror server. There's also one or two new tools we didn't catch earlier this month in the final release, which we'll peek at below. Ubuntu 8.10 is a free download; it can run as a live CD or install on most Intel-based systems.
Ubuntu 8.10 includes a simple, working tool that puts a bootable Ubuntu system on a memory stick and lets you use persistent space on it to store settings and documents—in other words, keep a real Home folder there. I really wish, however, that you didn't have to download an Ubuntu ISO to make the disk, or that it could at least point you to a list of mirrors to find one on. In a perfect world, it would just create your USB disk from your current system, removing any specific hardware references and the like. As it is, though, it's a pretty handy tool for any spare thumb drives you've got.
Also new in the release candidate and final versions of 8.10 is a "System Cleaner" applet. I couldn't dirty my brand-new desktop quick enough to give a good screenshot, but the Cleaner will apparently show any unneeded and abandoned software packages hanging around your system, and will also alert you to bad or leftover lines in your
/etc/fstab (drive configuration),
/etc/X11/xorg.conf (display and device manager), and all the other files you want to back up before messing with. If it works as promised, it's a pretty good step toward that "for humans" slogan the distro touts.
Tell us your impressions of the final Intrepid Ibex in the comments.