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Ubuntu 9.04: The Linux OS You've Been Waiting For?

Ubuntu is arguably the most popular Linux OS on the planet, so when a new version hits the streets, it's fairly big news. And here it is: Ubuntu 9.04, also known as Jaunty Jackalope, made its official debut today.

If you're an Ubuntu and/or Linux fan, that may be all you need to hear, in which case feel free to hit the Ubuntu site and start downloading. (Just keep in mind that the servers will likely be swamped for at least a day or two.) For everyone else, here's a rundown of what's new in Jaunty Jackalope (love the alliterative nicknames):

  • Faster boot times Ubuntu 9.04 can load in as little as 25 seconds.
  • Enhanced suspend-and-resume features The OS promises "immediate access" after hibernation.
  • GNOME 2.26.1 The latest version of this desktop environment sports new icons and artwork and a new, unified notification system.
  • Improved support for wireless devices and 3G cards, resulting in smoother switching between 3G and Wi-Fi networks.
  • ext4 filesystem support
  • Wacom tablet support
  • Netbook support
Nothing earth-shattering, to be sure, but we're still talking about a seriously powerful OS that comes packed with applications (including OpenOffice 3.0) and costs nothing. That's already the earth-shattering part.

I'm particularly intrigued by Ubuntu 9.04 Netbook Remix edition, a netbook-optimized version of the OS that, among other things, can be downloaded directly to a USB flash drive.

Okay, show of hands: Who's using Ubuntu (or any other form of Linux), either as a primary OS or on a secondary system? Personally, I love tinkering with the OS -- particularly easy-to-deploy variants like Presto -- but I haven't jumped ship from Windows just yet. That's because a small handful of apps are holding me back, most notably Outlook and iTunes.

Oh, but there are days, there are days when I'm ready to chuck Windows and never look back. You feel me?

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