Canonical is holding their word when it comes on the strict release schedule of Ubuntu releases. Ubuntu 9.10, with the codename Karmic Koala, has been released yesterday 29 October, a week after the release of Microsoft’s Windows 7.
The Requirements for Ubuntu 9.10 are the same as the previously release 9.04, a memory over 256 MB RAM and a minimum disk space of 4 GB. Be carefull if your computer is echiped with an integrated graphics card which share the RAM memory, for running the installation process from the Live CD you need at least 384 MB RAM.
Karmic Koala is focused more on making Ubuntu more accessible for common users, but also has some new features that might boost the number of Linux users. If you are wondering why Karmic Koala, here is Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth explaining why:
“A savvy Koala knows that the best way to conserve energy is to go to sleep, and these days even servers can suspend and resume, so imagine if we could make it possible to build a cloud computing facility that drops its energy use virtually to zero by napping in the midday heat, and waking up when there’s work to be done. No need to drink at the energy fountain when there’s nothing going on. If we get all of this right, our Koala will help take the edge off the bear market.”
Several months ago, Canonical launched its service Ubuntu One with which every user would get 2 GB of free space to store files, Evolution contacts, notes, Firefox bookmarks and screensharing. At this point not all features are supported, the service is still in its beta phase. Ubuntu 9.10 comes with a client for this service which lets you synchronize all the above files automatically, simple and easy.
The new boot splash screen in Koala is slicker and uses a X-based splash screen. Ubuntu 9.10 had to reach a boot time of 25 seconds, but reports show that it can boot in under 15 seconds, depending on the machine.
Pidgin is no longer the default IM client, it has been replaced with the new Empathy that uses Telepathy for protocol support and has a user interface based on Gossip. Ekiga, a VoIP software, has also been removed from the default installation.
Another feature is the Ubuntu Store which is not actually a store, but a place from where you can install almost any application with just one click, similar to Synaptic, but user friendlier.
The controversial Janitor (an application used to clean your computer) gets a new look and feel and all the other applications are up to date like Firefox, Open Office 3, Evolution, Gimp.
Notifications are improved in this new release and are better integrated with other applications like Empathy, Pidgin or even Xchat.
If you are using the default partitioning recipe from Ubuntu, hibernation might not be available because the installer will, in some cases, allocate a swap partition that is smaller than the physical memory in the system.
Users who wish to run Wubi from a USB disk that has persistent storage enabled will need to run it with the --force-wubi option from the Windows command line.
A bug in the apt package included in the Ubuntu 9.10 Beta prevents automatic notification of available package updates. Users who have installed or upgraded to Ubuntu 9.10 prior to the Release Candidate should ensure that updates are being made available by running update-manager manually, clicking Check, and installing the presented updates.
A list of complete issues is found here.
The next release, Ubuntu 10.04, will be somewhere around 6 months after Karmic Koala and it promises big changes, one of them a stunning boot speed time of 10 seconds.
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