An alpha version of Ubuntu 9.04 (codenamed Jaunty Jackalope) is now available for download from the official mirrors. This is the first test release in the usual Ubuntu development cycle for this next update to the popular Linux distribution, which usually comprises six alphas, one beta, and a final release candidate before the final edition is released to public.

As previously reported, this release should optimize the boot process at both a kernel level and a service level and bring some usability improvements too as Canonical attempts to push the platform into the mainstream. Ubuntu 9.04 is still at a very early stage of development so it goes without saying that you shouldn’t install this alpha on production machines. Testers, developers and beta users who want to take an early peak can download Jaunty Jackalope here, though.