Sticking tightly to its six-month development cycle, Canonical has released the latest version of its Ubuntu Linux distribution. Ubuntu 9.04 brings a pretty broad cross-section of improvements, from shorter boot times to better out-of-the-box support for AMD graphics processors.
According to the official release notes, Ubuntu 9.04 includes the latest GNOME desktop environment, version 2.26, together with a new integrated disc burning application, Brasero, and a new configuration tool for multi-monitor setups. Canonical has also added the freshest version of X.Org, and it says the updated non-proprietary driver for AMD GPUs now has fewer bugs, potentially improved performance, and better hardware support.
Additionally, the release notes claim "significantly improved boot performance," a new notification system, Ext4 file system support, an "easy-to-deploy mail server stack," and Eucalyptus, an open-source cloud-computing technology that "enables you to use your own servers to deploy, experiment and test your own private cloud that matches the Amazon EC2 API."
You can download Ubuntu 9.04 here in desktop, "Netbook Remix," and server flavors. If you don't feel like partitioning your hard drive to try the new OS, you don't have to. The Ubuntu installation disc doubles as a live CD, and you can also install Ubuntu from Windows like a simple application. You're free to use your virtual machine, too.