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Ubuntu Karmic Koala 9.10 Beta was released today and includes the previously mentioned:

-Updated Human GDM theme, Humanity icons and new log-out screen
-New wallpapers and GDM theme - The gdm 2.28 login manager is a complete rewrite compared to the version in earlier Ubuntu releases, permitting a more integrated login experience.
-The renamed Ubuntu Software Center (previously: Ubuntu Software Store).

Other than that, Ubuntu Karmic Koala beta comes with Gnome 2.28 (which includes a preview of Gnome Shell - but Karmic already had a preview in the repositories):

ubuntu software center karmicgnome 2.28 ubuntu karmic koala


As part of the boot performance work, Canonical has now transitioned to Upstart.

Also (via Softpedia):

A new security feature included in the 32-bit Linux kernel that Ubuntu uses is Non-eXecutable memory protection, which has been enabled by default for quite a while now on processors that support the NX feature, but it has been useless for systems that have lacked support. From now on, the kernel provides an emulation of the NX feature for all these other processors, potentially blocking many exploits targeting the stack or heap memory.

A lot of the applications in the repository have been compiled using compilation flags that create Position-Independent Executables, which enable them to take advantage of the Address Space Layout Randomization function that is available in the Ubuntu kernel. That way, when the programs load themselves into memory, they don't always use the same layout, so an attacker can't redirect the program's execution in the same way every time to run exploit code.

Not too many screenshots to post at this time because we already posted enough in our Karmic Koala (Almost) Final Artwok posts (links at the beginning of the post).

Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala is soon to be released. Next - the release candidate:

October 22nd, 2009 - Release Candidate
October 29th, 2009 - Final release of Ubuntu 9.10

Download Karmic Koala 9.10 Beta:

http://releases.ubuntu.com/releases/9.10/ (Ubuntu Desktop, Server, and Netbook Remix)
http://uec-images.ubuntu.com/releases/9.10/ (Ubuntu Server for UEC and EC2)
http://releases.ubuntu.com/kubuntu/9.10/ (Kubuntu Desktop and Netbook)
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/xubuntu/releases/9.10/beta/ (Xubuntu)
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/ubuntustudio/releases/9.10/beta/ (UbuntuStudio)
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/mythbuntu/releases/9.10/beta/ (Mythbuntu)
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/edubuntu/releases/9.10/beta/ (Edubuntu)

More info about Ubuntu Karmic Koala 9.10 we've previously written about:

-Ubuntu Karmic Koala Alpha 6
-Ubuntu Karmic Koala Alpha 5
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