Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

The Ubuntu development team unleashed the fourth alpha version of the upcoming Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala), which is scheduled for release in late October this year. In this release, Firefox 3.5 replaced the old Firefox 3.0 as the default web browser! The actual version of Mozilla Firefox in Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) Alpha 4 is 3.5.2.

Another interesting addition in this release is the Palimpsest Disk Utility software, available under the Applications -> System Tools menu. The Disk Utility is a S.M.A.R.T. testing/monitoring tool, showing you the temperature and uptime of the driver, and also a partition management tool that allows you to mark as bootable, delete or label a hard disk partition. Palimpsest Disk Utility is created by Red Hat.

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The Ubuntu installer (Ubiquity) now has a "Quit" button during all the installation steps, a "Continue Testing" button on the 'installation finished' window, the time zone selection items have been changed a little and the menu entry contains the name of the distributions (e.g. Install Ubuntu 9.10). Moreover, the "About Ubuntu" entry is back in the System menu.

Starting with this alpha, the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC) was also introduced. With a preconfigured AMI, you can instantly try out the Karmic Koala Alpha 4 server instantly on Amazon EC2, but now, with Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud, you have the possibility to download an image and place it into your very own cloud!

Last but not least, the kernel packages are at version 2.6.31-5.24, based on Linux kernel 2.6.31 RC5, and the Kernel Mode Setting is now enabled by default for Intel graphics. The GNOME 2.27.5 is also present and the iSCSI installation has been improved (the iscsi=true boot parameter is no longer required).

The Karmic Koala Release Schedule:

May 14th, 2009 - Alpha 1 release
June 11th, 2009 - Alpha 2 release
July 23rd, 2009 - Alpha 3 release
August 13th, 2009 - Alpha 4 release
September 3rd, 2009 - Alpha 5 release
September 17th, 2009 - Alpha 6 release
October 1st, 2009 - Beta release
October 22nd, 2009 - Release Candidate
October 29th, 2009 - Final release of Ubuntu 9.10

[Image Credits: softpedia]