Ubuntu (; stylized as ubuntu) is an open source operating system for computers. It is a Linux distribution based on the Debian architecture. It is usually run on personal computers, and is also popular on network servers, usually running the Ubuntu Server Ubuntu variants, with enterprise-class features. Ubuntu runs on the most popular architectures, including Intel, AMD, and ARM-based machines. Ubuntu is also available for tablet computers and , with the Ubuntu Touch edition.
Ubuntu is published by Canonical Ltd, who offer commercial support. It is based on free software and named after the Southern African philosophy of ubuntu (literally, 'human-ness'), which Canonical Ltd. suggests can be loosely translated as "humanity to others" or "I am what I am because of who we all are".
Ubuntu is the most popular operating system running in hosted environments, so-called "Cloud computing", as it is the most popular server Linux distribution.
Development of Ubuntu is led by UK-based Canonical Ltd., a company founded by South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth. Canonical generates revenue through the sale of technical support and other services related to Ubuntu. The Ubuntu project is publicly committed to the principles of open-source software development; people are encouraged to use free software, study how it works, improve upon and distribute it.
Starting with Ubuntu 6.06, every fourth release, one release every two years, receives long-term support (LTS). Long-term support includes updates for new hardware, security patches and updates to the 'Ubuntu stack' (cloud computing infrastructure). The first LTS releases were supported for three years on the desktop and five years on the server; since Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, desktop support for LTS releases was increased to five years as well. LTS releases get regular point releases with support for new hardware and integration of all the updates published in that series to date.
Ubuntu packages are based on packages from Debian's unstable branch. Both distributions use Debian's deb package format and package management tools (e.g. APT and Ubuntu Software). Debian and Ubuntu packages are not necessarily binary compatible with each other, however; packages may need to be rebuilt from Source code to be used in Ubuntu. Many Ubuntu developers are also maintainers of key packages within Debian. Ubuntu cooperates with Debian by pushing changes back to Debian, although there has been criticism that this does not happen often enough. Ian Murdock, the founder of Debian, had expressed concern about Ubuntu packages potentially diverging too far from Debian to remain compatible. Before release, packages are imported from Debian unstable continuously and merged with Ubuntu-specific modifications. One month before release, imports are Feature freeze, and packagers then work to ensure that the frozen features interoperate well together.
Ubuntu is currently funded by Canonical Ltd. On 8 July 2005, Mark Shuttleworth and Canonical announced the creation of the Ubuntu Foundation and provided an initial funding of US$10 million. The purpose of the foundation is to ensure the support and development for all future versions of Ubuntu. Mark Shuttleworth describes the foundation goal as to ensure the continuity of the Ubuntu project.
On 12 March 2009, Ubuntu announced developer support for third-party Cloud computing management platforms, such as those used at Amazon EC2.
Since Ubuntu 17.10, GNOME 3 is the default GUI for Ubuntu Desktop, while Unity is still the default in older versions, including all current LTS versions. However, a community-driven fork of Unity 8, called Yunit, has been created to continue the development of Unity. Shuttleworth wrote on 8 April 2017, "We will invest in Ubuntu GNOME with the intent of delivering a fantastic all-GNOME desktop. We're helping the Ubuntu GNOME team, not creating something different or competitive with that effort. While I am passionate about the design ideas in Unity, and hope GNOME may be more open to them now, I think we should respect the GNOME design leadership by delivering GNOME the way GNOME wants it delivered. Our role in that, as usual, will be to make sure that upgrades, integration, security, performance and the full experience are fantastic." Shuttleworth also mentioned that Canonical will cease development for Ubuntu Phone, Tablet, and convergence.
Ubuntu operates under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and all of the application software installed by default is free software. In addition, Ubuntu installs some hardware drivers that are available only in binary format, but such packages are clearly marked in the restricted component.
The system requirements vary among Ubuntu products. For the Ubuntu desktop release 16.04 LTS, a PC with at least 2 GHz dual-core processor, 2 gigabyte of RAM and 25 gigabyte of free disk space is recommended. For less powerful computers, there are other Ubuntu distributions such as Lubuntu and Xubuntu. Since version 12.04, Ubuntu supports the ARM architecture. Ubuntu is also available on Power, older PowerPC architecture was at one point unofficial supported, and now newer Power Architecture CPUs (POWER8) are supported.
are the typical way for users to assess and subsequently install Ubuntu. These can be downloaded as a disk image (ISO image) and subsequently burnt to a DVD and booted, or run via UNetbootin directly from a USB drive (making, respectively, a live DVD or live USB medium). Running Ubuntu in this way is typically slower than running it from a hard drive, but does not alter the computer unless specifically instructed by the user. If the user chooses to boot the live image rather than execute an installer at boot time, there is still the option to then use an installer called Ubiquity to install Ubuntu once booted into the live environment. of all current and past versions are available for download at the Ubuntu web site. Various third-party programs such as remastersys and Reconstructor are available to create customized copies of the Ubuntu Live DVDs (or CDs). "Minimal CDs" are available (for server use) that fit on a CD.
Additionally, USB flash drive installations can be used to boot Ubuntu and Kubuntu in a way that allows permanent saving of user settings and portability of the USB-installed system between physical machines (however, the computers' BIOS must support booting from USB). In newer versions of Ubuntu, the Ubuntu Live USB creator can be used to install Ubuntu on a USB drive (with or without a live CD or DVD). Creating a bootable USB drive with persistence is as simple as dragging a slider to determine how much space to reserve for persistence; for this, Ubuntu employs casper.
The desktop edition can also be installed using the Netboot image (a.k.a. netboot tarball) which uses the debian-installer and allows certain specialist installations of Ubuntu: setting up automated deployments, upgrading from older installations without network access, LVM or RAID partitioning, installs on systems with less than about 256 MB of RAM (although low-memory systems may not be able to run a full desktop environment reasonably).
Free software includes software that has met the Ubuntu licensing requirements, which roughly correspond to the Debian Free Software Guidelines. Exceptions, however, include firmware and Computer font, in the Main category, because although they are not allowed to be modified, their distribution is otherwise unencumbered.
Non-free software is usually unsupported (Multiverse), but some exceptions (Restricted) are made for important non-free software. Supported non-free software includes device drivers that can be used to run Ubuntu on some current hardware, such as binary-only graphics card Device driver. The level of support in the Restricted category is more limited than that of Main, because the developers may not have access to the source code. It is intended that Main and Restricted should contain all software needed for a complete desktop environment. Alternative programs for the same tasks and programs for specialized applications are placed in the Universe and Multiverse categories.
In addition to the above, in which the software Feature freeze after an initial release, Ubuntu Backports is an officially recognized repository for newer software from later versions of Ubuntu. The repository is not comprehensive; it consists primarily of user-requested packages, which are approved if they meet quality guidelines. Backports receives no support at all from Canonical, and is entirely community-maintained.
The -updates repository provides stable release updates (SRU) of Ubuntu and are generally installed through update-manager. Each release is given its own -updates repository (e.g. intrepid-updates). The repository is supported by Canonical Ltd. for packages in main and restricted, and by the community for packages in universe and multiverse. All updates to the repository must meet certain requirements and go through the -proposed repository before being made available to the public. Updates are scheduled to be available until the end of life for the release.
In addition to the -updates repository, the unstable -proposed repository contains uploads which must be confirmed before being copied into -updates. All updates must go through this process to ensure that the patch does truly fix the bug and there is no risk of regression. Updates in -proposed are confirmed by either Canonical or members of the community.
Canonical's partner repository lets vendors of proprietary software deliver their products to Ubuntu users at no cost through the same familiar tools for installing and upgrading software. The software in the partner repository is officially supported with security and other important updates by its respective vendors. Canonical supports the packaging of the software for Ubuntu and provides guidance to vendors. The partner repository is disabled by default and can be enabled by the user. Some popular products distributed via the partner repository are Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Acrobat, Skype and Wine are also able to be installed to run Windows software if the user desires.
Additionally, third-party application suites are available for purchase through Ubuntu Software, including many games such as Braid and Oil Rush, software for DVD playback and media codecs. More games are available through Steam.
|14.04 LTS||Trusty Tahr||2014-04-17|
|16.04 LTS||Xenial Xerus||2016-04-21|
|18.04 LTS||Bionic Beaver||2018-04-26||colspan="2"|
Each Ubuntu release has a version number that consists of the year and month number of the release. For example, the first release was Ubuntu 4.10 as it was released on 20 October 2004. Version numbers for future versions are provisional; if the release is delayed the version number changes accordingly.
Ubuntu releases are also given alliteration , using an adjective and an animal (e.g. "Xenial Xerus"). With the exception of the first two releases, code names are in alphabetical order, allowing a quick determination of which release is newer, at least until restarting the cycle with the release of Artful Aardvark in October 2017. Commonly, Ubuntu releases are referred to using only the adjective portion of the code name; for example, the 14.04 LTS release is commonly known as "Trusty".
Releases are timed to be approximately one month after GNOME releases (which in turn are about one month after releases of X.org). As a result, every Ubuntu release was introduced with an updated version of both GNOME and X. After major releases, the Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) is held, at which the Ubuntu community sets the development direction for the next cycle. The latest such event, was held 5–7 May 2015, after Ubuntu 15.04 and planning 15.10.
Upgrades from one LTS release to the next LTS release (e.g. Ubuntu 14.04 LTS to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS) are supported, while upgrades from non-LTS have only supported upgrade to the next release, regardless of its LTS status (e.g. Ubuntu 15.10 to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS).
Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat), was released on 10 October 2010 (10–10–10). This departed from the traditional schedule of releasing at the end of October in order to get "the perfect 10", and makes a playful reference to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books, since, in binary, 101010 equals decimal 42, the "Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything" within the series.
Besides Ubuntu Desktop, there are several other official Ubuntu editions, which are created and maintained by Canonical and the Ubuntu community and receive full support from Canonical, its partners and the Community. They included the following:
There are more Ubuntu variants (or derivatives) based on the official Ubuntu editions. These install a default set of packages that differ from the official Ubuntu distributions.
There are many more variants, created and maintained by individuals and organizations outside of Canonical, and they are self-governed projects that work more or less closely with the Ubuntu community.
Ubuntu has a server edition that uses the same APT repositories as the Ubuntu Desktop Edition. The differences between them are the absence of an X Window environment in a default installation of the server edition (although one can easily be installed, including Unity, GNOME, KDE or Xfce), and some alterations to the installation process. The server edition uses a screen-mode, character-based interface for the installation, instead of a graphical installation process. This enables installation on machines with a serial or "dumb terminal" interface without graphics support.
Since version 10.10, the server edition (like the desktop version) supports hardware virtualization and can be run in a virtual machine, either inside a host operating system or in a hypervisor, such as VMware ESXi, Oracle, Citrix Systems XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V, QEMU, a Kernel-based Virtual Machine, or any other IBM PC compatible emulator or virtualizer. Ubuntu 7.10 and later turn on the AppArmor security module for the Linux kernel by default on key software packages, and the firewall is extended to common services used by the operating system.
It has up-to-date versions of key server software pre-installed, including: Tomcat (v8), PostgreSQL (v9.5), Docker v(1.10), Puppet (v3.8.5), Qemu (v2.5), Libvirt (v1.3.1), LXC (v2.0), and MySQL (v5.6).
On 6 February 2015, the first smartphone running Ubuntu Touch pre-installed was announced. The BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition features a qHD display, a 1.3 Hertz quad-core Cortex-A7 processor, and 1 GB of RAM. It is currently priced at €169.90, while the 5-inch Aquaris E5 HD Ubuntu Edition is available for €199.90.
Ubuntu offers Ubuntu Cloud Images which are pre-installed disk images that have been customized by Ubuntu engineering to run on cloud-platforms such as Amazon EC2, OpenStack, Microsoft Windows and LXC. Ubuntu is also prevalent on VPS platforms such as DigitalOcean.
Ubuntu 11.04 added support for OpenStack, with Eucalyptus to OpenStack migration tools added by Canonical in Ubuntu Server 11.10. Ubuntu 11.10 added focus on OpenStack as the Ubuntu's preferred IaaS offering though Eucalyptus is also supported. Another major focus is Canonical Juju for provisioning, deploying, hosting, managing, and orchestrating enterprise data center infrastructure services, by, with, and for the Ubuntu Server.
W3Techs Web Technology Surveys estimated in September 2016 that:
W3Techs analyzes the top 10 million websites only. It considers Linux as a subcategory of Unix and estimated in the same month that 66.7% of the analyzed websites use Unix, under that broad definition.
Wikimedia Foundation data (based on user agent) for September 2013 shows that Ubuntu generated the most page requests to Wikimedia sites, including Wikipedia, among recognizable Linux distributions.
The city of Munich, Germany, has forked Kubuntu 10.04 LTS and created LiMux for use on the city's computers. After originally planning to migrate 12,000 desktop computers to LiMux, it was announced in December 2013 that the project had completed successfully with the migration of 14,800 out of 15,500 desktop computers, but still keeping about 5000 Windows clients for unported applications. In February 2017 the city decided to evaluate the migration back to Windowssome stated reasons were missing compatibility, bad user acceptance and complexity. In March 2012, the government of Iceland launched a project to get all public institutions using free and open-source software. Already, several government agencies and schools have adopted Ubuntu. The government cited cost savings as a big factor for the decision, and also stated that open source software avoids vendor lock-in. A 12-month project was launched to migrate the biggest public institutions in Iceland to using open-source software, and help ease the migration for others. US president Barack Obama's successful campaign for re-election in 2012 used Ubuntu in its IT department. In August 2014, the city of Turin, Italy, announced its migration from Windows XP to Ubuntu for the 8,300 desktop computers used by the municipality, becoming the first city in Italy to adopt Ubuntu.
In 2008, Jamie Hyneman, co-host of the American television series MythBusters, advocated Linux (giving the example of Ubuntu) as a solution to software bloat. Other celebrity users of Ubuntu include science fiction writer Cory Doctorow
In January 2014, the UK's authority for computer security, CESG, reported that Ubuntu 12.04 LTS was "the only operating system that passes as many as 9 out of 12 requirements without any significant risks".
From October 2012, it sent the user's queries through a secure HTTPS connection from the home lens to productsearch.ubuntu.com, which then polled Amazon.com to find relevant products; Amazon then sent product images directly to the user's computer through HTTP. If the user clicked on one of these results and then bought something, Canonical got a small fraction of the sale.
In 2012, many reviewers criticized it: as the home lens is the normal means to search for content on the local machine, reviewers were concerned about the disclosure of queries that were intended to be local, creating a privacy problem. As the feature is active by default instead of opt-in, many users could be unaware of it.
Some users chose to turn it off or to remove the feature using a patch. An April 2014 article by Scott Gilbertson stated that the online search components of Ubuntu could be turned off with a couple of clicks in version 14.04.
Dell sells computers (initially Inspiron 14R and 15R laptops) pre-loaded with Ubuntu in India and China, with 850 and 350 retail outlets respectively. Starting in 2013, Alienware began offering its X51 model gaming desktop pre-installed with Ubuntu at a lower price than if it were pre-installed with Windows.
While Linux already works in IBM's mainframe system (zLinux), IBM in collaboration with Canonical (and SUSE; "Linux Foundation will form a new Open Mainframe Project") announced Ubuntu support for their z/Architecture (IBM claims their latest system, IBM zEnterprise System, version z13 is the most powerful computer in the world; it is the largest computer by transistor count) for the first time, at the time of their "biggest code drop" ("LinuxOne") in Linux history.