Succeeding Ubuntu 9.04 come October will be Ubuntu 9.10, which has been codenamed the Karmic Koala. With Ubuntu 9,10, Mark hopes the Karmic Koala further enhances Ubuntu's position on servers with cloud computing improvements and on the desktop through a number of emerging technologies.
Ubuntu 9.10 will contain cloud computing enhancements for those using the Amazon EC2 service or for those looking to build their own computing cloud. There will be new utilities and other improvements in the free software stack to better position Ubuntu in the cloud.
When it comes to the desktop, Ubuntu 9.10 will likely integrate Plymouth. Plymouth is the wonderful project developed by Red Hat to replace RHGB as the boot splash program. Plymouth was introduced with Fedora 10 and uses kernel mode-setting (on supported drivers/hardware) to provide a clean and flicker-free experience. Plymouth also has a number of plug-ins and other capabilities that makes it an excellent replacement for USplash. More information on this project can be found in A closer look at Red Hat's Plymouth. We previously reported on plans for Plymouth integration in Ubuntu 9.10.
Beyond finally having an Ubuntu release with kernel mode-setting support (since Ubuntu 9.04 will not ship with Linux 2.6.29 that brings forth KMS), on the desktop front the Karmic Koala will also focus on netbook improvements.
In the Ubuntu 9.10 announcement, Mark wants Ubuntu to be able to boot on netbooks in under 25 seconds with Jaunty and even faster with the Koala. Well, with our Ubuntu 9.04 benchmarks on a Samsung NC10 we already hit 21 seconds. Starting with Ubuntu 9.04, it's also a lot easier to benchmark Ubuntu now that the Phoronix Test Suite has been integrated. Beyond that, more improvements will come in the Ubuntu Netbook Edition spin of the Karmic Koala.
As part of announcing Ubuntu 9.10, Mark Shuttleworth has also stated the next Ubuntu Developer Summit will take place at the end of May in Barcelona, Spain. We might deliver Phoronix coverage of this event.
The Ubuntu 9.10 "Karmic Koala" announcement can be found on the Ubuntu developer mailing list.