Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala), released on 29 October 2009, was Canonical's 11th release of Ubuntu. It was supported until April 2011.
In an announcement to the community on 20 February 2009, Mark Shuttleworth explained that 9.10 would focus on improvements in cloud computing on the server using Eucalyptus, saying "... a Koala's favourite leaf is Eucalyptus", as well as further improvements in boot speed and development of the Netbook Remix.
The initial announcement of version 9.10 indicated that this release might include a new theme, but the project was delayed to version 10.04, and only minor revisions were made to the default theme. Other graphical improvements included a new set of boot up and shutdown splash screens, a new login screen that transitions seamlessly into the desktop and greatly improved performance on Intel graphics chip-sets.
In June 2009, Canonical created the One Hundred Paper Cuts project, focusing developers to fix minor usability issues. A "paper cut" was defined as, "a trivially fixable usability bug that the average user would encounter on his/her first day of using a brand new installation of the latest version of Ubuntu Desktop Edition."
The desktop installation of Ubuntu 9.10 replaced Pidgin with Empathy Instant Messenger as its default instant messaging client. The default filesystem is ext4, and the Ubuntu One client, which interfaces with Canonical's new online storage system, is installed by default. It introduced Grub 2 beta as default bootloader. It also debuted a new application called the Ubuntu Software Center that unifies package management. Canonical stated their intention for this application to replace Add/Remove Programs (gnome-app-install) in 9.10 and possibly Synaptic, Software Sources, Gdebi and Update Manager in Ubuntu 10.04. Karmic Koala also includes a slideshow during the installation process (through ubiquity-slideshow) that highlights applications and features in Ubuntu.