Canonical, the commercial sponsor of the Ubuntu, today announced that version 7.10 of the popular desktop Linux distribution in both its desktop and server editions will be available for download this Thursday, October 18.

"Gutsy Gibbon" Ubuntu 7.10 Desktop Edition includes improvements in advanced plug-and-play printing, improved hardware support, multiple monitor support, Native support for WPA, NTFS support, and more. One notable new addition in this release is the production version of "Compiz," a compositing window manager that uses 3D graphics acceleration via OpenGL. It provides various new graphical effects and features, some of which mimic those of competitors, such as Exposé in Apple's Mac OS X and an Alt-Tab application-switcher that uses live previews, instead of just icons.

On the server front, Ubuntu 7.10 features enhanced security through "AppArmor," which allows administrators to lock down programs and resources and to add policies for specific needs. It also features a smaller and simpler kernel optimized for use in virtualized environments and three new quick-start profiles to allow typical services such as e-mail and Web serving to be more easily deployed.

While Ubuntu 7.10 isn't a major release, it has enough new features to make this upgrade a compelling one. You can find additional information for both the desktop and server editions at Ubuntu's website.