Ubuntu 9.10 : Karmic Koala - Complete Overview

By Angsuman Chakraborty, Gaea News Network
Thursday, April 23, 2009

ubuntu-logo1Ubuntu community has been graphically the richest distro in the entire Linux community. When we actually talked about Ubuntu 8.10, Intrepid Ibex, people went ga ga over the desktop theme above anything else. This time too, after the announcement of Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope due for today), the community is buzzing up with the talks of the newest version of Ubuntu 9.10, Karmic Koala. If we are to start in one line then, the desktop side will focus on beautification and an improved boot-up experience; the server side will target cloud computing.

Mark Shuttleworth’s version of Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala will feature:

  1. better integration with cloud-computing environments, and the simplification of cloud creation using open-source tools on Ubuntu Server Edition.
  2. faster boot
  3. seamless netbook support
  4. taking advantage of kernel mode setting to make the boot process and virtual terminals shinier and snappier
  5. a pretty default theme for your desktop.

Server Version

Amazon EC-2 Integration

Ubuntu aims to keep free software at the forefront of cloud computing by embracing the API’s of Amazon EC2, and making it easy for anybody to setup their own cloud using entirely open tools. The plans is also to fix a set of standard Ubuntu server Amazon Machine Image (AMI) profiles that will provide a starting point for creating specialized images. This will help to simplify deployment of Ubuntu on Amazon’s EC2 platform.

Eucalyptus project

The Eucalyptus project, from UCSB, enables you to create an EC2-style cloud in your own data center, on your own hardware. And then Shuttleworth quite characteristically with his subtle sense added,

A savvy Koala knows that the best way to conserve energy is to go to sleep, and these days even servers can suspend and resume, so imagine if we could make it possible to build a cloud computing facility that drops its energy use virtually to zero by napping in the midday heat, and waking up when there’s work to be done. No need to drink at the energy fountain when there’s nothing going on. If we get all of this right, our Koala will help take the edge off the bear market.

So the bottom line is, this will enable organizations to get many of the advantages of elastic computing in their own data centers, including the ability to scale down power consumption when load is low.

Desktop & Netbook Version


As the saying goes, “There is never a second chance to the first impression”. And Karmic Koala believes in just that. The beautification is of prior importance, so much so that Shuttleworth is confident that the users will be impressed from the booting time only. Red Hat’s Plymouth (a new graphical boot process that is able to benefit from the latest Linux graphics capabilities) is something they are trying to integrate to this version of Ubuntu.

Usplash (a userspace application that uses the Linux framebuffer interface or direct vesa access to draw a splash screen at boot) is not into consideration.


Though its apparently obvious to us that any rich visual experience comes at the cost of the the speed of the computer but Karmic Koala may become an exception. The team plans to make it boot in less than 25 seconds on a netbook!

Ubuntu Netbook Remix (a ‘remix’ of the standard Ubuntu Desktop release to enable it to work better on devices with small screens, such as Netbooks (sub-notebooks)) will be installed pretty easily and will be working brilliantly on all the latest netbook hardware.

Ubuntu will import work from Intel’s Moblin project to better support Atom-based netbooks.


I will wish to see a lot of simple things done with finally.

  1. Can we see a change in the much controversial orange-brown theme that Ubuntu always comes up with in name of improvements! A different color combination will be a welcome change. Its not just like that silver and blue are preferred by companies like Microsoft, Apple et al. not to forget the sweet competitor Fedora.
  2. Moblin or Netbook Remix, it doesn’t matter. The next time I buy my netbook, I won’t be too happy to complain again in the Ubuntu community about a normal service I am not getting. There are enough of them lodged already.
  3. I will like a more themable GNome Panel. Better integration of Compiz Fusion, for those who use it. As is, it lacks all sorts of polish.




Ubuntu 9.10, Karmic Koala is going to have its first developers’ conference on May 29th, 2009. It will be too much of a prediction to appreciate/ criticize anything beforehand. For that matter, let’s hope that Ubuntu 9.10 will have some really cool featurs inside and not just looks ‘coz you have some big players scheduled right up (Windows 7 for e.g.). All beauty and all brains will just be a composition that Ubuntu will need to attract the elusive crowd.


January 31, 2010: 4:07 pm

My experience with Ubuntu 9.10 has been frustrating. It won’t install on my Toshiba Satellite A105-S2712:

Tried Wubi from the CD, it didn’t work.
Tried Wubi with the command
wubi ubuntu-9.10-desktop-i386.iso
having wubi in C: it didn’t work
Tried booting from LiveCD, didn’t work
Tried clean installation, didn’t work

No matter what I do I get the same result: it freezes when the Ubuntu logo dims, while loading.
I didn’t have problems installing Ubuntu 9.04, so I don’t understand why this new 9.10 version doesn’t install without problems.
It is a shame Ubuntu 9.10 is not an OS that I can use. Must likely the developers will have to work more on that version.

October 30, 2009: 2:35 pm

Great version of ubuntu
i’d try it and feel the “differences” with previous versions which commonly same

October 25, 2009: 2:38 am

First of all… Ubuntu is not the gui richest distro in linux! OpenSuse and Mandriva are… you still have to use the terminal from time to time with ubuntu…
2nd of all… the community went ga ga over the ibex theme? pffftt… are you kidding? the majority of users hate the default theme and wallpaper… thats why we change it as soon as ubuntu is installed.

August 29, 2009: 12:04 pm


Can you please tell me which software you used to create the schedule? It looks pretty cool to me, and I would like to know how you did it. (post here, post somewhere on my blog, send me an e-mail or send me twitter message (username: tux))


July 24, 2009: 1:03 pm

Beautification? In my opinion Gnome + GTK is plain ugly and looks outdated. First think I do is install emerald and compizconfig-settings-manager to do my own beautification.
But Don’t change the brown. It is Ubuntu.

May 20, 2009: 3:47 pm

I like karmic koala! Of course, yours is much more appealing.

April 23, 2009: 12:05 pm

do you think changing the default colors is really a good idea? i can’t wrap my head around it, because it’s the first and most noticable difference to all the other distros out there.
in my mind ubuntu should keep its colors, you can theme it after installation.

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