Ubuntu – The Distribution Has Become Synonymous with Linux


Ubuntu is a Linux based operating system built on Debian‘s architecture and infrastructure. For the last 10 years Ubuntu has become probably the most popular and widely used Linux distribution in the world.

The system is developed by a UK based company called Canonical Ltd. Canonical was founded (and funded) in 2004 by South African entrepreneur, Mark Shuttleworth. Canonical provides commercial support to companies using Ubuntu for a fee. The revenue from this support then goes towards the ongoing development of Ubuntu.

The history of Ubuntu

A South African internet mogul (who made his fortune selling his company to VeriSign for around $500 million) decided it was time for a more user friendly Linux. Shuttleworth, like many other technically inclined people, was a huge fan of the Debian project. However, there were many things about Debian that did not fit with Shuttleworth’s vision of an ideal OS. He took the Debian distribution and worked to make it a more human friendly distribution which he called Ubuntu.

The word “Ubuntu” is an ancient Zulu and Xhosa word which means “humanity to others”. Ubuntu also means “I am what I am because of who we all are”. It was chosen because these sentiments precisely describe the spirit of the Ubuntu Linux distribution.

Shuttleworth (born in Welkom, South Africa) liked the term Ubuntu as a name for the new project for several reasons. First, it is a South African concept. While the majority of the people who work on Ubuntu are not from South Africa, the roots of the project are, and Shuttleworth wanted to choose a name that represented this.

Ubuntu 20.04

Ubuntu releases

Ubuntu follows a strict development schedule. Canonical ships new versions of Ubuntu every six months, in April and October. The naming convention always leads with the year and trails whether it is an April or October release. For example, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS launches in April 2020. Each release receives free support for nine months.

So far, there is only one exception to the Ubuntu releases in April or October during the 17 years of development of this operating system, which is the case of Ubuntu 6.04. The release of this version has been delayed for 2 months (from April to June) and that’s why it was named Ubuntu 6.06 Drapper Drake, instead of XX.04 or XX.10 as usual.

In April, every two years, Ubuntu release a new Long-term support (LTS) releases where all of the developments from the previous two years accumulate into one up-to-date, feature-rich release. These releases focus on performance enhancement and stability. The LTS is what Ubuntu recommend to large scale enterprises, general users and businesses. LTS releases are supported for five years, and are released every two years.

Ubuntu code names

Every version of Ubuntu comes with unique and interesting code name. For Example Ubuntu 21.04 will have code name Hirsute Hippo. Here we are going to explain the logic behind every Ubuntu version’s code name and naming convention that is followed.

First thing to notice in Ubuntu code name is that they have two word names where starting letter of both the words are same. For example, Ubuntu 21.04 is called “Hirsute Hippo” where both first letters of the two words starting with an “H”.

Ubuntu version’s code names are made of two words, first being an adjective and the second one is an animal name with the same first letter. Another interesting fact to notice is that these code names are incremented alphabetically in each release.

Perhaps now you have a good understanding of the numbering and code naming of Ubuntu versions.

Software repositories in Ubuntu

Each Ubuntu version has its own official set of four repositories:

  • Main – Canonical-supported free and open-source software.
  • Universe – Community-maintained free and open-source software.
  • Restricted – Proprietary drivers for devices.
  • Multiverse – Software restricted by copyright or legal issues.

PPA stands for Personal Package Archive – software repositories designed for Ubuntu users and are easier to install than other third-party repositories. PPAs are provided by the community and you should be aware of the possible risks before just adding a PPA.

In reality, it’s no different from any other Ubuntu repository. When you add a PPA to your Ubuntu system, you’re adding another software repository for your package manager to pull from.

Canonical, the people behind Ubuntu, also created a service to host PPAs and other software projects called Launchpad. You can find literally thousands of projects on Launchpad, and while they aren’t all PPAs, a good chunk of the PPAs that you do find will be hosted on Launchpad.

Ubuntu based distributions

  • Elementary OS
  • Linux Lite
  • Linux Mint
  • Lubuntu
  • Kubuntu
  • Peppermint OS
  • Pop!_OS
  • Ubuntu Kylin
  • Ubuntu MATE
  • Ubuntu Studio
  • Xubuntu
  • Zorin OS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.