Ubuntu 9.10 Release Candidate Review

Today I read a blog on the BBC website by Rory Cellan-Jones. He had been comparing Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) to Microsoft Windows 7.

Personally I have been running Windows 7 on my notebook for quite some time now. I was impressed by it right from the beginning. It feels fast, stable and way better than Vista ever was. I think that is actually quite a compliment considering I would class myself and a Linux and Ubuntu evangelist. This has prompted me to update my netbook to the latest version of Karmic that is available.

Look and Feel

Included with the beta release of Karmic is all the graphics and eye candy that is to ship with the full release. It really appears that Canonical has spent a great deal of time working on the look and feel of Ubuntu. This was also confirmed when I randomly bumped into one of the graphics designers from Canonical while cycling through central London.

It really does feel that Canonical has put its all into this release. They have even removed all the beta logos from Ubuntu One and given it a brand new white interface as well as including a collection of different desktop wallpapers if you don’t like brown (slightly more yellow this time).

The netbook remix interface has also had an overhaul. Now it has moved from being a three column interface to a two column interface. This really feels a lot nicer an definitely less cramped.

Software Centre

With this release of Karmic and new package managment tool has been added. “Ubuntu Software Centre”. This is quite a nice tool and does aid package management. I did note that Adobe Reader is buried in a Canonical partner repositry that is not enabled by default. Adobe flash was easier to find, so it didn’t take long to get the BBC iPlayer to work. I even tried the iPlayer Desktop and was prompted to install Adobe Air.

Intel Video Driver Architecture

I am very happy to see that the Intel video drivers included have been updated. This now means that the additional visual effects (Compiz) work properly on my Asus Netbook. This meant that visual effects were unusable for me in 9.04.


Ubuntu 9.10 has come on leaps and bounds since 9.04. It is a release that is really worth looking at. It is very easy to use and looks amazing. Rory Cellan-Jone from the BBC tried it for a day. I say, try it for a week, at least. It is different from Windows, but it is more than capable of delivering everything you require.

For further information on what is new in the latest release of Ubuntu. Have a read through the release notes.