Ubuntu has redeemed itself with its latest version 9.10 (Karmic Koala). I took a look at Ubuntu 9.10 on October 1st and have been playing around with it for a few days. My first impression is that it is good stuff--seriously good stuff. From the new, updated installer to the faster boot times, I'm impressed. Way to go Ubuntu developers, you deserve applause for this one.
I didn't think that Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) was all that great. There weren't enough improvements over 8.10 to justify a whole new distribution or wasting a cute name on it.
Karmic Koala's installer is the best I've ever seen on any Linux distribution. It's fast, nice to look at and, most important of all, it's easy for people who might be new to Linux. Click through a few screens; enter your name, login name, password and computer name--and away you go toward having a new Ubuntu system. The more difficult part for most users will be the download, burning of the ISO image to a CD and changing their BIOS to boot from the CD/DVD drive.
Boot times are also much improved. This isn't necessarily limited to just Ubuntu as several Linux distribution developers have been working toward shortening your wait time in the boot department.
Once inside GNOME, you recognize all the familiar desktop items. Nothing new going on here although you might notice a few cosmetic changes with your startup screen and desktop background. I'd have to say though, that the improvements made are well worth the wait from older versions.
If you've been waiting to jump in to Ubuntu, Karmic Koala is the place to do it. And if you have an older versions, this is the one to upgrade to. Wait for the production-level release to come out later this month because right now the 9.10 distro is still in beta.
One word sums up this Karmic Koala Ubuntu incarnation: Super.
Have you tried Karmic Koala yet? Write back and tell me your first impressions.