What is Ubuntu?

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Ubuntu is a computer operating system that is based on the Debian Linux distribution.

Linus Toralds , while attending University in Helsinki, Finland in the early 1990s, wanted to create a UNIX-like operating system for his 386 computer. He created the Linux operating system, but instead of charging for his product, he made Linux "open access" to allow others to see and modify his Linux kernel to meet their own needs. By making this operating system "open source", people worked together (collaborated) to make a better, more adaptable operating system. As a result of this collaboration (and thanks to Richard Stallman and the GNU Project), different versions of Linux have been created such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora, SuSE, Mandriva, Debian, and Ubuntu.

The term Ubuntu is an ancient African philosophy that helps to define people's allegiances and relations with each other (i.e. community). This name suits the free Linux distribution very well since "open source" is all about sharing and working together as a community. Over the years, Ubuntu has gained a reputation as an easy-to-use Linux operating system. In my opinion, this is the version of Linux that first-time Linux users (newbies) should use...

There have been many versions of Ubuntu for specialized reasons including:

  • Edubuntu (Education version - including LTSP for Computer Lab setup)
  • Kubuntu (KDE desktop environment default instead of Gnome - very "Windows-like")
  • Xubuntu (Xfce4 desktop environment default instead of Gnome - low overhead)
  • Ubuntu Studio (Music Recording, Video Recording, Graphical Studio - Realtime Kernel)
  • Mythbuntu (Runs complete TV / DVR / Multimedia Center - Mythtv)
  • Ubuntu - MID (Internet Devices Edition)
  • Ubuntu - Netbook Remix (Used for netbook computers)
  • Ubuntu - JeOS (Just Enough Operating System to run virtual appliances)