LINUX DISTRO VENDOR Ubuntu's crew of developers has just released the sixth and expected last alpha version of the next Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala version of its Linux OS.
Karmic Koala is expected to be available for free download in late October and it is not clear yet how much of the new alpha will end up in the final release.
The first thing that Ubuntu users will notice is that there is no more Usplash. The boot splash screen has disappeared as part of a cunning plan to speed up boot times.
Instead the machine will go from the BIOS POST to an X-based splash screen which looks like a blind brown cylon licking its lips. From there it goes to the optional log in screen to xsplash again.
The GNOME desktop environment has been updated to version 2.28 RC1 (2.27.92), the Linux kernel packages are now at version 2.6.31-10.34 and they are based on the final version of Linux kernel 2.6.31.
AppArmor has also been greatly improved and new profiles are available. The Ubuntu firewall now has egress filtering and support for filtering by interface. Libvirt contains AppArmor integration when the QEMU or KVM virtualization tools are used.
It looks a lot better than before and if the boot times have sped up then it will be a good free bit of software for those who do not want to drink the Apple or Microsoft proprietary KoolAid. µ