Ubuntu Desktop 16.04 "Xenial Xerus"
Company / developerCanonical Ltd., Ubuntu community
OS familyUnix-like
Working stateCurrent
Source modelOpen source
Initial release20 October 2004 (2004-10-20)
Latest stable releaseDisco Dingo (19.04) / 18 April 2019 (2019-04-18)[1]
Marketing targetPersonal computing
Smart TVs (Ubuntu TV)
Smartphones /
Tablet computers (Ubuntu Touch)
Available language(s)Multi-lingual (more than 55)
Update methodAPT / Software Updater
Ubuntu Software Center
Package managerdpkg, Click
Supported platformsIA-32, X86-64,[2] ARM[2][3][4][5][6]
Kernel typeMonolithic (Linux kernel)
Default user interface4.10–11.04: GNOME Panel
11.04 and later: Unity
LicenseFree software licenses
(mainly GPL)
Official websitewww.ubuntu.com

Ubuntu is a free operating system that uses the Linux kernel. The word "ubuntu" is an old African word meaning "humanity." [7] It is pronounced "oo-boon-too".[8]

It is one of the most popular Linux distributions and it is based on Debian Linux computer operating system. The goal with Ubuntu is to make it easy to use and install onto a computer. Ubuntu can be used on all types of personal computers. Ubuntu is downloaded as a DVD, which is free to download on the Ubuntu website. It can be installed or tested by running the DVD.

Started in 2004, Ubuntu has been developed very fast by Canonical Ltd., a company owned by a rich South African man named Mark Shuttleworth.

Packages and software support

Ubuntu 8.04 CD
Ubuntu touch running on the Nexus 5 smartphone

Ubuntu splits all software into four different categories to show differences in licensing and the amount of support available.[9] They are:

free software non-free software
supported Main Restricted
unsupported Universe Multiverse

Free software here includes only software that meets the Ubuntu licensing requirements,[10] which almost are the same as the Debian Free Software Guidelines. There is one difference for the Main category, however — it has firmware and fonts which cannot be changed, but are included if Ubuntu will not work right.[11]

Non-free software is usually unsupported (Multiverse), but some exceptions (Restricted) are given for very important non-free software. Supported non-free software include device drivers that are needed to run Ubuntu on current hardware. The level of support in the Restricted category is less than that of Main, since the developers may not be able to get to the source code. It is wanted that Main and Restricted should contain all the software needed for a general-use Linux system.

Besides the official repositories is Ubuntu Backports,[12] which is an officially known project to backport newer software from later versions of Ubuntu. The repository is not comprehensive (meaning that it has parts missing from it); it is mostly made up of user-requested packages, which are accepted if they meet quality guidelines.


Two new releases of Ubuntu are released each year, normally in April and October.

The number of the Ubuntu release is 'X.YY', with 'X' being the year of release (minus 2000) and 'Y' being the month of release. For example, Ubuntu 4.10 was released in October (the tenth month of the year), 2004. The name of the release (for example, Breezy Badger) is an adjective (a describing word) followed by the name of an animal.[13]

Version Release date Name More information
4.10 20 October 2004 Warty Warthog First version
5.04 8 April 2005 Hoary Hedgehog First "Kubuntu" created
5.10 13 October 2005[14][15] Breezy Badger First "Edubuntu"
6.06 1 June 2006[16][17] Dapper Drake LTS-version, First "Xubuntu" created
6.06.1 August 2006 Dapper Drake Point One LTS-version, 1st update
6.06.2 January 2008 Dapper Drake Point Two LTS-version, 2nd update
6.10 26 October 2006[18][19] Edgy Eft experimental version
7.04 19 April 2007[20] Feisty Fawn
7.10 18 October 2007 Gutsy Gibbon First "Gobuntu" created
8.04 24 April 2008 Hardy Heron LTS-version
8.04.1 June 2008 Hardy Heron Point One LTS-version, 1st update
8.10 27 October 2008[21] Intrepid Ibex
9.04 23 April 2009 Jaunty Jackalope
9.10 29 October 2009 Karmic Koala
10.04 29 April 2010 Lucid Lynx LTS-version
10.10 10 October 2010 Maverick Meerkat
11.04 28 April 2011 Natty Narwhal
11.10 13 October 2011 Oneiric Ocelot
12.04 26 April 2012 Precise Pangolin LTS-version
12.10 18 October 2012 Quantal Quetzel
13.04 25 April 2013 Raring Ringtail
13.10 17 October 2013[22] Saucy Salamander Server release
14.04 17 April 2014[23] Trusty Tahr LTS-version
14.10 20 October 2014 Utopic Unicorn
15.04 23 April 2015 Vivid Vervet
15.10 22 October 2015 Wily Werewolf
16.04 21 April 2016[24] Xenial Xerus LTS-version
16.10 13 October 2016 Yakkety Yak
17.04 13 April 2017 Zesty Zapus
17.10 19 October 2017 Artful Aardvark
18.04 26 April 2018 Bionic Beaver LTS-version
18.10 18 October 2018 Cosmic Cuttlefish
19.04 18 April 2019 Disco Dingo

LTS indicates Long Term Support.


Ubuntu's official software package repository[25] includes, for example, UNetbootin.[26]


Kubuntu is an official variant of the Ubuntu distribution which uses KDE rather than GNOME.

Because there are several options for which desktop environment to use, Ubuntu is available in many different variants.

The official sister distributions which are fully supported by Canonical are:[27]

Derivatives that are recognized but not supported by Canonical are:[28]

  • Xubuntu, a "lightweight" distribution based on the Xfce desktop environment instead of GNOME, designed to run better on low-specification computers
  • Mythbuntu, a multimedia platform based on MythTV
  • Ubuntu Studio, a multimedia-creation form of Ubuntu
  • Ubuntu Gnome, a desktop using the GNOME desktop environment, obsolete as of Ubuntu 17.10
  • Ubuntu Budgie, a desktop using the Budgie desktop environment
  • Lubuntu, a desktop using the LXDE desktop environment
  • Lubuntu Next, a desktop using the LXQT desktop environment

Related pages


  1. Adam Conrad (18 April 2019). "Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo) released". Retrieved 2019-04-18.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Supported Hardware". Official Ubuntu Documentation. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  3. "Ubuntu 11.10 will support ARM processors to take on Red Hat". The Inquirer. 10 October 2011. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
  4. Paul, Ryan (26 April 2012). "Precise Pangolin rolls out: Ubuntu 12.04 released, introduces Unity HUD". Ars Technica. Condé Nast. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  5. Larabel, Michael (23 January 2012). "Ubuntu's Already Making Plans For ARM In 2014, 2015". Phoronix. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  6. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols (22 August 2011). "Ubuntu Linux bets on the ARM server". ZDNet. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
  7. "uBuntu - Its Meaning". Ubuntu Peace Project. Retrieved 2008-12-14.
  8. Daniel Miessler (23 October 2007). "This is How You Pronounce Ubuntu". danielmiessler.com. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  9. "ubuntu/components". Retrieved 2006-03-16.
  10. "ubuntu/licensing". Retrieved 2006-06-29.
  11. "ubuntu/components". Retrieved 2008-02-19.
  12. "UbuntuBackports". Retrieved 2008-08-18.
  13. "Ubuntu naming system". Retrieved 2013-08-27.
  14. "Ubuntu 5.10 announcement". Retrieved 2008-08-18.
  15. "Ubuntu 5.10 release notes". Retrieved 2006-12-21.
  16. "Ubuntu 6.06 announcement". Retrieved 2008-08-18.
  17. "Ubuntu 6.06 release notes". Retrieved 2006-12-21.
  18. "Ubuntu 6.10 announcement". Retrieved 2008-08-18.
  19. "Ubuntu 6.10 release notes". Retrieved 2006-12-21.
  20. "Ubuntu 7.04 announcement". Retrieved 2008-08-18.
  21. "Ubuntu 8.10 Desktop Edition enables mobile, flexible computing for a changing digital world"
  22. "Ubuntu 13.10 (Saucy Salamander) released"
  23. Adam Conrad (17 April 2014). "Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) released". Ubuntu Mailing Lists. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  24. "Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) released"
  25. ArchLinux.org, "Official repositories," excerpt, "A software repository is a storage location from which software packages may be retrieved and installed on a computer"; retrieved 2012-06-07.
  26. Unbuntu, Package unetbootin; retrieved 2012-06-07.
  27. "Derivatives". Retrieved 2009-01-13.
  28. "Derivatives". Retrieved 2009-07-19.

Other websites