Ubuntu 9.10 “Karmic Koala” (Review)!!!

A a new Ubuntu release definitely requires a post! Ubuntu 9.10 “Karmic Koala” has been released. There have been some significant changes since that release in April, so read on to find out what they are and why you might want to consider upgrading to Ubuntu Linux 9.10.

What’s new in this Release

There’s some juicy stuff in this upgrade and here’s some of what you’ll find:

  • Gnome 2.28
  • Upstart (faster booting)
  • Empathy IM (replaces Pidgin) It has the built in facility to have voice chat with google talk users.
  • New login manager
  • Quickly (easier application development)
  • Ubuntu One (cloud-based sharing and storage)
  • Linux Kernel 2.6.31
  • Changes to power management
  • New Intel video driver architecture
  • Ext4 file system default
  • Grub 2 default

When I booted into my Ubuntu Linux 9.10 desktop, I heard the Ubuntu theme play. So sound worked fine right from the start. No need to fiddle with any settings to get it working. Ditto with networking.

The new Ubuntu Software Center has an excellent selection of software. Even if you feel that your computing needs are fine with the default software included with Ubuntu 9.10, it’s still worth browsing around the Software Center to check out some additional stuff.

The new desktop sports the typical Ubuntu browns and oranges and, for the most part, looks the same as previous releases (aside from the wallpaper and the addition of a new set of icons with a pop-down menu:

I like this new option and think it adds some uniqueness to the panel with the quick and easy dropdown access to messaging options. One advantage that Empathy has over Pidgin is it’s clean integration with the panel. For instance, you’ll notice that once you sign in to an account within Empathy, you can adjust your status and settings from the user menu in the Ubuntu panel

The new Human theme and Humanity icons are still brown, but look fantastic. The Dust theme, as well as a few nice wallpapers are installed by default.


What are the best new changes to this release?

  • Faster boot times.
  • Improved visual appeal and cleaner/crisper artwork.
  • Integration of Empathy (hardcore Pidgin fans will argue this point but I like it).
  • Drop down messaging addition.
  • New “Computer Janitor” option in the administration panel that allows for cleaning up of old leftover files.
  • Improved Add/Remove programs look and feel.


  • Integration of Ubuntu One which, in comparison to Dropbox (a similar cloud storage service) is quite poor and not well integrated or very user friendly.
  • This release will be less appealing for those who like the console as with every release, Ubuntu gets more and more gui dependent.

Conclusion Ubuntu Linux 9.10 is well worth upgrading to if you’re running an earlier version of Ubuntu. I look forward to seeing the various remastered versions of Ubuntu switch to it.

After installing Ubuntu 9.10 have a look at this post : Top things to do after installing Ubuntu Linux 9.10 Karmic Koala