Ubuntu 11.10 launched today at 2pm. If you want to download and install the free Linux operating system, it's live now at www.ubuntu.com.

Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot follows six months after Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal and is focused heavily on ease of use.

The Unity interface installed in Natty Narwhal has been refined in line with - sometimes negative - user feedback, after its stormy reception last time out.

Unity is a shell interface developed by Ubuntu developer Canonical that first debuted in Ubuntu Netbook Edition. It's somewhat akin to a mobile or tablet interface, with a vertical application switcher called the Launcher, for instance.

Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot comes with Mozilla Thunderbird as the default email software, and offers Ubuntu One, a personal cloud service giving access to data from Ubuntu and, now, Windows PCs and laptops, as well as Android phones and tablets, and iPhones and iPads.

With Ubuntu One you can stream your music collection to all your devices, or access and share files, documents, and photos. Subscribe to Ubuntu One and you get 5GB of free storage.

Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot contains a backup facility called Deja Dup. This allows business and individual users to back up locally, or in the cloud via Ubuntu One. You can schedule backups and restore from a backup, too.

If you're interested in Ubuntu Linux and would like to know more, there's a virtual tour of Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot at www.ubuntu.com/tour.