This new release comes with GIMP 2.6, GNOME 2.28/KDE 4.3.2, Mozilla Firefox 3.5, OpenOffice.org 3.1, Linux kernel 2.6.31, X.Org 7.5, and the Empathy Instant Messenger instead of Pidgin. The Ubuntu One client, which interfaces with Canonical’s new online storage system, is installed by default. It also debuts a new application called the Ubuntu Software Center that unifies package management.
The default filesystem is ext4, and Ubuntu 9.10 has transitioned to Upstart, improving boot performance. On top of that, GRUB 2 is now the default bootloader – however, if you are upgrading a system which still uses the old legacy GRUB, it won’t be updated to GRUB 2, as this is a risky operation. The Grub2Testing page explains how to upgrade to GRUB 2 if you wish to do so.
Ubuntu 9.10 offers a lot of improvements in terms of security. It enables a feature called “non-exec memory” in kernel, which means that Ubuntu is able to activate protections for non-executable memory regions such as heaps or stacks. This feature is generally referred to as Non-eXecute (NX) or eXecute-Disable (XD).
Now, you can download Ubuntu 9.10 on this link, or follow the official directions on how to upgrade to Ubuntu 9.10.