Ubuntu is a free and open-source operating system with millions of users around the world. Built on top of Linux – a huge project that gives millions of people free and free software. Linux has many versions and applications, of which Ubuntu is the most popular version on both laptops and desktops.
Why is Ubuntu free?
Windows and macOS dominate desktops around the world. Microsoft and Apple develop these systems and profit from selling the operating system or devices running it.
Open-source operating systems use a different model. It is developed by programmers worldwide, anyone is free to edit it, and no single company has complete control over this ecosystem.
When someone packages the Linux kernel with the software needed to provide functionality as an operating system, we call it a Linux distribution. In August 1993, Ian Murdock started a project called Debian, named after his girlfriend Debra. Soon Debian was quickly putting its name on the map with a large user community.
Nearly a decade later, in 2004, a company called Canonical created Ubuntu based on Debian’s source code. Because Debian is a free and open-source project, Canonical can totally do this. Nowadays, many projects are based on Ubuntu, such as Linux Mint or Elementary OS.
You can download Ubuntu for free at ubuntu.com
Canonical and the Ubuntu Community
Ubuntu is managed and sponsored by Canonical Ltd. Canonical was founded in 2004 by South African businessman Mark Shuttleworth.
Canonical provides technical support to companies using Ubuntu for a fee. The revenue from here will then go back to developing Ubuntu. Canonical’s head office is in London, with representative offices in Canada, Taiwan and the US.
Canonical holds the following roles:
- New Ubuntu release every 6 months
- Hosting server hosts data for the Ubuntu community.
Canonical also offers various cloud management tools and services. This does not affect the desktop version but benefits Ubuntu server users.
As mentioned, Canonical does not create or maintain most of the software on Ubuntu. Here are some of the ways Ubuntu benefits from its non-employees:
- Software Testing
- Write user documentation
- Design artwork
- Support and answer questions (like on Ask Ubuntu)
Ubuntu and Linux
Linux is the kernel, which is the core component of the operating system and allows the software to communicate with the hardware. Note, the kernel itself is not an operating system.
The Linux kernel is used by many open-source operating systems and, like Ubuntu, is released under the GNU General Public License. The name Linux comes from its founder Linus Torvalds – a Polish programmer who created it in 1991.
Why use Ubuntu?
There are many reasons to use Ubuntu, here are the most important ones:
- Free of charge.
- Easy to use, try and install: installing Ubuntu can take less than 15 minutes.
- Ubuntu has a nice and user-friendly interface: all thanks to the GNOME desktop.
- It is very stable and very fast.
- Ubuntu is immune to Windows viruses that crash computers.
- Continuous updates: Canonical releases a new version every 6 months. Also updated regularly and for free.
- Among the Linux operating systems, Ubuntu is the most supported.
Each operating system has its own way of naming the code name (code name) and version. It may seem strange to Ubuntu at first, but it actually has very clear rules.
Canonical brings a new version of Ubuntu every six months, in April and October every year. Each version of Ubuntu has a version that is the year + month it was released. For example, the latest version of Ubuntu is Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa, and the next version will be Ubuntu 20.10 Groovy Gorilla.
Along with the version number, Ubuntu is also codenamed using animal names. For example, Eoan Ermine is a short-tailed weasel and Focal Fossa is a leopard cat.
The first three versions of Ubuntu, Warty Warthog (4.10), Hoary Hedgehog (5.04) and Breezy Badger (5.10) are not in order. But since the next version, Dapper Drake (6.06), Ubuntu’s codenames are in alphabetical order.
Long Term Support (LTS)
Canonical’s normal version of Ubuntu will be released every six months and supported for 18 months after that. There is also an LTS version that comes out every 2 years. The current LTS version is 18.04 and will be 20.04 soon.
List of official Ubuntu distributions
Ubuntu GNOME (Default Edition)
Ubuntu Unity (Old Version)