A journey to the center of Ubuntu 9.10

Are you ready for the change? Very soon the Canonicals are going to release the latest member of their most loved Ubuntu family, Ubuntu 9.10! The day is not far away…. already the developers have released the beta versions of the system, which we are going to use today to see through the future!

Ubuntu is known as the most user friendly Linux version we have on the market today. Not only the user friendliness but it also have many other features which were able to attract even more advanced users. Since 2004 it have released many versions of the system with more and more features…. and their latest release is Ubuntu 9.04, normally they release 2 versions per year “*.04″ on the 4th month of the year and “*.10″ on the 10th month of the year. This is October….. the 10th month of the year! This is the month which we will see Ubuntu 9.10…… actually not only Ubuntu, even Microsoft is about release their latest version called Windows 7 in this month….. so there’s competition!

This competition makes the release of the Karmic Koala (Ubuntu 9.10) a bit special. Because people want to know who is the best Windows 7 or Karmic Koala! Lets not jump into conclusions now…. first lets see what our new friend got!

(Source : Ubuntu, Screenshots : Earth Organization Main Lab)

New Installation Process

In earlier versions after we set everything up and click on install…. there’s nothing to see except that lonely progress bar struggling to reach the end! But when you install Ubuntu 9.10 you don’t have to stare at the progress bar… while he does the installation, Ubuntu gives us some articles about him for us to read :

install_1 install_2
install_3 install_4
install_5 install_6
install_7 install_8
install_9 install_10


Boot Experience

“We’ve done some work on improving the overall look and feel of booting the system.” Yes they have…. The new boot screen is totally different from the earlier versions…. specially on earlier versions the boot-screen didn’t had any background, but the latest one have…. can’t explain more… better see for yourself :

boot_1

boot_2

Software Center

“Ubuntu 9.10 Beta includes the Ubuntu Software Center, replacing ‘Add/Remove’ in the Applications menu. We kindly request users to try it out, and report any bugs they find.” A new way to get the software you want!

software_center

Latest Firefox (3.5.3)

In earlier versions of Ubuntu we had problems with installing the latest Firefox, so we had to use the Shiretoko browser or Ubuntuzilla script. But the new Ubuntu comes with the latest Firefox already installed!

ubuntu_firefox

Empathy (No Pidgin!)

Bad news for Pidgin lovers! Ubuntu have removed Pidgin and replaced with Empathy! (No Sympathy) Is Empathy better than Pidign? The choice is yours!

empathy

New set of Wallpapers

As I can remember there all the previous versions of Ubuntu came with 3 or 4 wallpapers, but our Karmic Koala comes with about 19 wallpapers….

ubuntu_new_wallpapers

GNOME

“Ubuntu 9.10 Beta includes the latest GNOME 2.28 desktop environment with a number of great new features:

  • Empathy has replaced Pidgin as the default instant messaging client, introducing the Telepathy framework.
  • The gdm 2.28 login manager is a complete rewrite compared to the version in earlier Ubuntu releases, permitting a more integrated login experience.”
gnome_1 gnome_2

Ubuntu One file sharing

“Ubuntu 9.10 Beta ships the Ubuntu One file sharing service by default, providing tightly-integrated file synchronization of your computer with other computers and the Ubuntu One network storage service.” I think most of you know about Dropbox? Well this is just like that…..

ubuntu-one

Linux kernel 2.6.31

“Ubuntu 9.10 Beta includes the 2.6.31-11.36 kernel based on 2.6.31.1. The kernel ships with Kernel Mode Setting enabled for Intel graphics . Linux-restricted-modules is deprecated in favour of DKMS packages.”

New Intel video driver architecture available for testing

“The Intel video driver has switched from the “EXA” acceleration method to the new “UXA”, solving major performance problems of Ubuntu 9.04. Ubuntu 9.10 Beta also features kernel mode setting by default on Intel hardware, which reduces boot-time flickering and dramatically speeds up suspend/resume.”

ext4 by default

“The new “ext4″ file-system is used by default for new installations with Ubuntu 9.10 Beta; of course, other file-systems are still available via the manual partitioner. Existing file-systems will not be upgraded.”

“If you have full backups and are confident, you can upgrade an existing ext3 file-system to ext4 by following directions in the Ext4 How to. (Note that the comments on that page at the time of writing about Ubuntu’s use of vol_id vs. blkid are out of date and are not applicable to Ubuntu 9.10 Beta.) Maximum performance will typically only be achieved on new file-systems, not on file-systems that have been upgraded from ext3.”

GRUB 2 by default

“GRUB 2 is the default boot loader for new installations with Ubuntu 9.10 Beta, replacing the previous GRUB “Legacy” boot loader. Existing systems will not be upgraded to GRUB 2 at this time, as automatically reinstalling the boot loader is an inherently risky operation.

Some features are still missing relative to GRUB Legacy. Notable among these are lock/password support, an equivalent of grub-reboot, and Xen handling.”

Well… if you have Ubuntu 9.04 and still want to use GRUB 2 you can follow this tutorial : How To Install GRUB 2 On Ubuntu 9.04

iSCSI installation

“The iSCSI installation process has been improved, and no longer requires iscsi=true as a boot parameter; the installer will offer you the option of logging into iSCSI targets if there are no local disks, or you can select “Configure iSCSI” in the manual partitioner.

Putting the root file-system on iSCSI is now supported.”

AppArmor

“AppArmor in Ubuntu 9.10 Beta features an improved parser that uses cache files, greatly speeding up AppArmor initialisation on boot. AppArmor also now supports ‘pux’ which, when specified, means a process can transition to an existing profile if one exists or simply run unconfined if one does not.”

New profiles

“In addition to the above changes to AppArmor itself, several profiles were added. Enforcing profiles for ntpd, the GNOME document viewer (evince), and libvirt are enabled by default. Complain mode profiles for Dovecot are now available in the apparmor-profiles package. A new profile is provided for Firefox as well, though it is disabled by default. Users can enable AppArmor sandboxing of their browser by running:

$ sudo aa-enforce /etc/apparmor.d/usr.bin.firefox-3.5

Please see the SecurityTeam/KnowledgeBase for a full listing of readily available profiles in Ubuntu.”

Libvirt

“Libvirt now contains AppArmor integration when using KVM or QEMU. Libvirtd is configured to launch virtual machines that are confined by uniquely restrictive AppArmor profiles. This feature significantly improves virtualization in Ubuntu by providing user-space host protection as well as guest isolation.”

Uncomplicated Firewall

“The Uncomplicated Firewall now has support for filtering by interface and egress filtering when using the ufw command. Documentation for ufw is also improved to help users better utilise the ufw framework and take full advantage of Linux netfilter’s power and flexibility.”

Non-eXecutable Emulation

“Non-eXecutable (NX) memory protection, also known as eXecute-Disable (XD), has always been available in Ubuntu for any systems that had the hardware to support it and ran the 64-bit kernel or the 32-bit server kernel. The 32-bit PAE desktop kernel (Linux-image-generic-pae) now also provides the PAE mode needed for hardware with the NX CPU feature.

For systems that lack NX hardware, the 32-bit kernels now provide an approximation of the NX CPU feature via software emulation that can help block many exploits an attacker might run from stack or heap memory.”


Learnt enough? Well… its better to learn about the devil first before facing him! Don’t wory you will face him very soon! People who can’t wait can get the beta version from their Karmic Beta page, (Do it only if your an experienced user! We do not recommend using beta versions…. its just to test…. beta means still testing, still un complete!)

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