The beta release of Karmic Koala, the next version of Ubuntu Linux, just arrived on the net. Wondering what’s new inside the open-source operating system? We took a tour and brought back these screenshots.
In general, Ubuntu 9.10, or Karmic Koala, doesn’t have a whole ton of new-new features over what we saw in 9.04. That’s in part because Karmic is a “long term support” (LTS) release, one that will see updates and security fixes for a longer period of time (three years on desktop, five years on servers) than the 18 months given to standard releases. It’s also because a lot of the focus has been on more nuts-and-bolts areas, like boot-up management, application security and other bits.
That said, there is some new stuff worth checking out.
Faster, slicker boot-up
As previously noted, Ubuntu 9.10 uses GRUB 2 and its graphical boot loader if you’re using more than one OS, boots faster than 9.04 (purportedly), and doesn’t give you an antsy feeling by splashing a lot of kernel talk on your screen during startup.
Ubuntu’s partition editor better explains what’s happening when you’re choosing a spot for it. The installation dialog offers smarter picks of auto-login, password protection, or even encrypted home folder protection. While actually copying the files, Ubuntu’s installer shows a few of the OS’ features—shades of the very familiar Windows XP installation.
New IM client
The software store
We asked for it, it was already in the works, and now it’s here. The looks are a bit, well, My First Software Store, but it’s definitely a more simple, streamlined installation tool than the Synaptic or “Add/Remove Software” tool. Each app gets a screenshot and text description, along with a link to its official web site. You can queue up multiple apps for installation, and choosing or adding new software sources still allows you to browse while the repositories are being refreshed.
Disk display in Nautilus
Like what you see? Found something else new in Karmic Koala we didn’t see? Tell us in the comments.