Ubuntu 9.10 due on October 29

A new version of one of the most popular Linux distributions, Ubuntu, is due in less than a month's time. The final stable version of Ubuntu 9.10 will be released on 29 October, according to their website. However, a beta for version 9.10 is available for those interested.

The new version features several changes, one of which is the use of the faster ext4 file system by default for new installations (although existing file systems will not be upgraded). In addition, the latest version of GNOME, version 2.28, is included with the beta. The "look and feel" of booting the system has also been improved.

GRUB 2 is now the default bootloader, however it does lack support for a few things such as password support. You can find the main improvements in Ubuntu 9.10 here. Naturally there are some issues with the beta, which you can find at the bottom of that page.

Whilst new versions are not usually special, the switch to the ext4 file system is a major step forward for Ubuntu's aim to have a ten second boot time for 2010's release, as the file system offers improved performance compared to its predecessor.

For those who want a look before the final release on 29 October, the beta can be downloaded through the usual ways from here, however the beta is recommended for testing purposes only, and, of course, always make a full backup if you do use it.

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I converted one of my older partitions from ext3 to ext4 and didn't notice much difference. I plan to do a "clean install" at the end of the month, though. From what I understand, it's a journaling [sic] FS similar to Reiser. But I haven't researched anything, I've only heard from others.

Ansuza said,
I converted one of my older partitions from ext3 to ext4 and didn't notice much difference.

You'll only notice the goodness from a clean install.

"for Ubuntu's aim to have a ten second boot time for 2010's release,"

Nothing special. I won't keep turning on and off my computer. Nowadays hardware are designed to keep it on. + I download stuff overnight. Not a big achievement from my point of view. I can bear having a little more seconds.

I wouldn't shrug off fast boot times so easily. Considering people are even talking about the electricity used by leaving a phone charger plugged in without the phone, it's hard to convince most people that putting a computer in sleep mode is just as energy efficient as turning it off.

Also, just like you should unplug appliances when being away from home for a significant amount of time, we should unplug our computers if they'd just otherwise be idling.

What's more, IF a computer can cold boot in under 10 seconds, the usefulness of sleep mode shrinks. After all, sleep was nothing more than a solution to slow boot times.

I've actually started using the beta and it is pretty good so far. I like some of the changes they've made.

They have some previews of possible new boot screens on the site/forums (right now it's just a glowing white Ubuntu logo), and I must say they are pretty interesting.

Yeah I agree with you. I have been using it since Alpha 4 and so far it has been the best Ubuntu release ever for me.