What’s New In Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

23rd April 2009 is the day when Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope will be released. I am sure many of you have already marked down the date and prepare yourselves for the launch.

I have been using Ubuntu 9.04 since the beta release and I must admit that I am really impressed with it. Not only is it faster, it is also more stable, user-friendly and definitely more elegant.

To better prepare all of you for Ubuntu Jaunty, I will be publishing a 5-part series, covering tips and tricks and some points to take note when dealing with Ubuntu Jaunty. This series will be published every day, for the next 5 days.

For the first part of the series, we are going to look at the new features of Ubuntu Jaunty and why is it a must-have for existing (and future) Ubuntu users.


The kernel is not a part of the system that we meddle with everyday, but it is the most important part that determines how well your system runs. In 9.04, the the 2.6.28-11.37 kernel based on was used. In simple term, this kernel supports Ext 4 filesystem, has a better memory management , provide better disk shock protection and many more useful features that you won’t see it in the frontend.

Desktop Manager

For Ubuntu, the latest Gnome 2.26 is included as the main desktop manager. Gnome 2.26 comes with plenty of improvements. The more notable ones include:

  • Brasero as the default disc burning utility in Nautilus
  • Improved handling of multiple monitors
  • Evolution now supports Microsoft Outlook Personal Folders (PST files) including E-mail, contacts, appointments, tasks and journal entries. It also added support for the Microsoft Exchange’s MAPI protocol, which makes Evolution’s integration with hosting Exchange servers a much easier task.
  • Movie player now comes with several more new plugins such as sutbitle downloader, video disc recorder and Jamendo

Ext4 Filesystem

Ubuntu 9.04 officially supports the Ext4 filesystem. In case you are not aware, Ext4 has a bigger files support (supports volume up to 1 exabytes and file of size 16 terabytes), backward compatible, making it possible to mount ext3 and ext2 filesystems as ext4 and a faster filesystem checking.

While the default filesystem in Ubuntu Jaunty is still ext3, there is an option to format your hard disk to ext4 during the installation process. Those who are adventurous enough can try it out. For your information, I have reformated my system to ext4 and it works great.



Open Office 3.0

Open Office 3.0 did not make it in time for the previous 8.10 release. This time, OpenOffice 3.0.1 was included as the default office suite in Ubuntu 9.04.

Session Manager renamed as Startup Applications

Previously, if you need to make changes to the startup applications, you need to go to the Session Manager and add/delete the entries. In Ubuntu 9.04, the Session Manager is renamed as Startup Applications, probably to avoid confusion and provide more clarity to new users.

Computer Janitor

This application is a new inclusion in Ubuntu. What it does is to help you find and remove software packages you might not need anymore. It also suggests configuration changes that might benefit you.


Look and Feel

There have been a lot of improvement on the look and feel in this version.

New usplash screen


New login screen

Ubuntu 9.04 new-login-screen

New notification style


New default wallpapers

Even though the background color is still the dull brown, they are definitely a radical change from the previous series of wallpapers.


New desktop themes

Dust theme


Dust Sand theme


New Wave theme



If there is anything that I am extremely impress with this new release, it must be the fast boot-up speed. The boot up (and shut down) speed is much faster. If you have installed Ubuntu 9.04 in ext4 format, enable automatic login and disable most startup applications, you should be able to boot up to your desktop in less than 18 seconds, as experimented by Matt Cutts. That is really fast!

Ubuntu 9.04 will be released on 23rd April 2009. You can download the LiveCD from the download site. To upgrade your current version of Ubuntu, simply run the following command in the terminal:

Even though the Ubuntu site stated that the beta and RC release are not meant to use on production machine, I have installed and tested them out and they both work fine on my computer. For those who can’t wait for the actual release, you might want to upgrade to the RC version. One thing though, do remember to run the Update Manager everyday to get the latest software update.

Image credit: notebooknotes


  1. You can also upgrade graphically via alt+f2, “update-manager -d”.

    Just a tip though – upgrading during the RC (now) or like a week after – otherwise, the servers will be very strained and you’ll be getting horrible download speeds.

    Ofc if you’re planning a reinstall, go for torrents. They’ll always max out your connection.

    1. I prefer to do things the command line way, but I guess the Alt+F2 could be an easier way for those who are not familiar with commandline. I usually upgrade my system during beta (or RC) to avoid the crowd

  2. I have upgraded to the RC client just like Vadim says. Will it now update automatically to the new version when it’s released on April 23?

    1. You just have to run the Update Manager regularly and it will automatically update to the newest version.

  3. very good article. I’m looking forward for the rest of the series. Can’t wait for the 23rd to install Jaunty!

  4. Nice article, It was only a week or two ago when I tried (being a windows user) 8.10 and a couple of days later removed it. I really really want to use ubuntu, just couldnt find the suport I needed to get it working properly on my system. For example I installed it on my Vaio laptop and managed to get the wireless working a day later for no reason it just stopped working, could’nt see my network at all. trying to find answers via google just got frustrating. If I was to try 9.04 I’d also need a good support network, I want to learn just don’t know where to start?


    1. Ubuntu has one of the best support networks I’ve ever seen but I agree it has frustrated me at times. Device support is still a stumbling block for ubuntu be it WiFi, Webcams or bluetooth et cetera. It’s improving but it’s not there yet.

    2. Nick, there is tons of support in the Ubuntu Forums. I almost always find that my question has already been answered.

  5. I update with “sudo update-manager -d” in the terminal and it worked like a charm.

    I think I’m going to have to go back to 8.10 because ATI have dropped my video card(X1200) from the fglrx driver and the open drivers are very choppy and can’t play videos without tearing… at least not on this card.

    So it looks like I’m stuck on 8.10 for a long time yet. Have fun with jaunty while I cry in a dark corner somewhere. :P

  6. Nice post once again Damien!

    I installed with ext4 and so far it’s been rock solid and I specifically like the growl like notification similar to OSX and find Firefox not being such a memory hog. Love it!

  7. You can set it to alert you as soon as new updates are available by setting gconf-editor > apps > update-notifer > regular_auto_launch_interval to 0.

  8. Hi Damien,

    thanks for the article, I love your page, I usually check it out on a weekly basis

    I have a doubt though, I am relatively new to ubuntu and I am currently running 8.10 which took me a long time and stress to configure as I wanted and make it work.

    Now, if I upgrade to the new distro with sudo apt-get dist-upgrade, would I loose all my config changes like conky, wallpapers, themes, etc? Or is this not deleted with the upgrade?

    I know I should upgrade because 8.10 wont be supported anyany longer…can you

    1. Version 8.10 will be supported until 10.04 is released.

  9. @srpayo: no, your changes would be kept. It might want to remove some programs during the update, but those will be core ubuntu programs that will be replaced by other ones.

    So you’re good to upgrade. Just either do it _today_, or wait like a week – it’s out tomorrow and servers will cry (really.)

  10. Vadim P. thanks for getting back to me. I gave the upgrade a try and you were right, everything has been kept as it was EXCEPT….Compiz Fusion now doesn’t work and I got back to default 2 desktops and missing all my CCSS settings…also my conky loads on rebooting but when the wallpaper is fully loaded it dissappears…so all in all, I don’t see many improvements with this release….

    Any help would be appreciated, Im sure Im not the only one that is having these issues??


  11. re, compiz: see in system – administration that hardware drivers are enabled.

    about conky though – I don’t use it myself, not sure. See if you can run it from the terminal though, it’ll tell you why it’s closing.

  12. Also had problems with the Compiz desktops. The tabs were there, but the desktops were black, and didn’t work right…

    What I had to do is change “System Settings” to one desktop, and set Compiz to the number I wanted (5). Everything worked fine after that.

  13. Take a glance at http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/releasenotes/904 where you can find some solution about graphics problems

  14. damm upgrades, honestly I´ve tried everything for the past 2 days, compiz would work but only for certain things and quite slow, it seems my Intel VGA card was one of the blacklisted ones…the graphics were too bad, had to create 2 scripts to run compiz and conky and xorg was taking up to 40% of my CPU without doing anything….so in the end I´ve decided to go back to stable 8.10 with a fresh install.

    Upgrades are supposed to be to something better…right? I dont recommend upgrading yet from my experience, thumbs down to Jaunty for me….

  15. Oh, they said that Intel broke their drivers in jaunty :

  16. Oh, they said that Intel broke their drivers in jaunty :\

  17. On my PC, the problem has been solved by installing latest version (2.7) of xserver-xorg-video-intel at https://launchpad.net/~xorg-edgers.
    However, some issues remain.

  18. hi,
    recently i have installed ubuntu 9.04 and i m using 22″ benq external monnitor. the reolution i needed 192×1080. but i m unable to set that resolution. any help will be appreciated.

  19. @Kumar: Install drivers for your card first via system – applications – hardware drivers

  20. Hello.
    Your article is really good. So I translated to Korean.
    If it makes any problem, please tell me. I’ll delete it immediately.

  21. good post!
    I upgraded from Intrepid Ibex to Jaunty Jackalope and now my system automatically shuts down at random times. I observed its happening quiet often when a lot of files r being downloaded or maybe when a CPU hog is running.
    Any suggestions are appreciated.

    1. Are you running on an old piece of hardware?

      You may want to use the System Monitor to find which application is hogging the CPU and cause the system to crash.

  22. Thx for all Tutorial.. can you make one for me?
    How to Install Ubuntu in Macbook 17 Intel core with BootCamp.

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