Wednesday, June 21, 2006

What is Ubuntu Linux?


Ubuntu is a Linux distribution for desktops and Servers. The current version is 6.06 LTS. It is distributed by Canonical Ltd.

The current Ubuntu release supports PC (Intel x86), 64-bit PC (AMD64) and PowerPC (Apple iBook and Powerbook, G4 and G5) architectures.

According to some estimates, it has some 16000 software built-in including word processors and spreadsheets from OpenOffice and Firefox. Also the server version has built-in web server, email server, database, file services and programming tools.

Below is a screen shot of Ubuntu:


The biggest user of this product is the Andalusian regional government in Spain which has hundreds of thousands of desktops running Ubuntu, according to Canonical’s Chief Operating Officer, Jane Silber.

Canonical releases a new version of Ubuntu every six months with the latest updates. Earlier, support was provided for each version for 18 months, which Canonical has increased to 3 years for desktop and 5 years for server releases. This change is effective from the release 6.06 as of 1st Jun 2006. Hence the name LTS which stands for Long Term Support.

There is almost no similarity between Windows and Ubuntu. Also the installation procedure is non-GUI and needs some Linux skills to handle. But once, Ubuntu is installed, the box is ready with the operating system and all the required software for productivity and fun.

There is some good news for someone who has a Windows computer and would like to try Ubuntu. He can simply run Ubuntu from the CD without impacting his Windows OS or any of the applications. Also Ubuntu can be dual-booted with Windows.

What is the cost of Ubuntu?

Since the meaning of the African word Ubuntu means ‘humanity towards others’, and also like most versions of Linux, Ubuntu is a free product. Ubuntu has a very friendly community of developers for online support. Canonical have lined up with some 200 partners who can also provide support for Ubuntu.

Ubuntu is available for download and can fit in a single CD. This CD is referred to as a Live CD and can be used to run Ubuntu from a desktop without having to copy files to the hard disk.

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