Ubuntu sounds like some word from a native African language or an alien spaceship. If you think the first, then you would be correct! Ubuntu means “humanity towards others” in southern Africa and that is precisely what the creators of the award winning and very much favoured Ubuntu computer operating system tries to do. This is a basic introduction into what Ubuntu is and how it is used. Sponsored and managed by UK based IT company, Canonical Ltd., owned by Mark Shuttleworth, it is based closely on Debian Linux distribution.

What makes Ubuntu special is that it happens to be free open source software and one that is actually very good! Most of the time open source software programs are limited and come with many bugs. Believing in and living the “pass it on” stance, users of this operating system are encouraged to use this software, improve it, make changes and the refloat them for others to benefit from.

Ubuntu Features

Ubuntu comes jam packed with many great features, most of which are also under that same free software banner. The license claims that users are free to use, break down, improve, add to, contribute to, study and even distribute the software. Priding itself on being secure, stable and user friendly, it focuses on accessibility and internalization and the immediate implementation. What you see once you install the program is a general desktop environment employing Unity, which is a graphic interface also developed and held by Canonical Ltd. which came into being with the launch of the Netbook edition of Ubuntu.

As a package you get programs like Firefox, Thunderbird, Libreoffice, Transmission and Empathy plus some simple lightweight games to help you pass your time. Other fun and interesting applications can then be downloaded, some of which are also freeware. Other features that one might find useful include customized port selection options that allow you to manipulate the firewall.

There are certain requirements that your PC or machine should have to install and successfully run Ubuntu which include: a processor (server 300 Mhz, Desktop 700Mhz) Memory Ram (120 Mib or 384Mib), the free space on your hard drive needs to be 1GB for server or 5GB for desktop and lastly the monitor resolution respectively needs to be 640x480 and 1024x768.

Ubuntu Today

Ubuntu first came out in 2004 and since then there have been continuous improvements in it. This is interesting as almost no other operating system sees this much work put into its maintenance. Variants available today include: the classic Ubuntu Desktop, Ubuntu Server, Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix, Ubuntu TV and even Ubuntu for Android.

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