Editorial Feature - Ubuntu Linux

Part four of our editorial series on Linux features Ubuntu. Read all about it.
Published: Apr 23, 2007
Author: Michael E, Callahan
Related OS: Windows / Linux
Tucows Editorial Feature

Linux Distributions: Ubuntu

by Michael E. Callahan aka Dr. File Finder

Part of the editorial series on Linux

Brief History of Ubuntu

Ubuntu is a variation of Debian. To clarify, Debian Linux isfocused on the creation of a completely free operating system. Debian isfirmly grounded in the basic principles of Linux - free software createdthrough collaboration. As a variation of Debian, Ubuntu is alsofree in all respects. Unlike some distributions of Linux there aren'tdifferent versions of Ubuntu for those who want to pay.

Ubuntu has been aided by Mark Shuttleworth who created the UbuntuFoundation and a company called Canonical. Donating ten million dollarsMr. Shuttleworth is a powerful force behind the development of Ubuntu.The goal of the Ubuntu Foundation is to provide free software, supportopen source, and to make sure the software is supported. I really like aquote from Benjamin Mako Hill, of Ubuntu Community Relations, who said,"Free software is produced by expert volunteers who make their timeand work freely available - our goal is to ensure that anybody in theworld can make the best use of that work, at no charge."

Looking At Ubuntu

One of the first things I noticed upon installing Ubuntu was howclean it is. Uncluttered. No mass of icons cluttering thedesktop. An easily accessible, drop-down menu system at the top of thescreen. A peaceful background in shades of brown. Ubuntu comeswith an excellent set of programs. OpenOffice for doing word processing,spreadsheets, and more. Evolution, a very Outlook-like email program. Ahost of utilities that help you to work with graphics, sounds, video,and lots more.

Yesterday when I started Ubuntu I was informed that there were 108updates to various programs. There's also a new version available, 7.04.That's something that's really impressive about Ubuntu and other Linuxdistributions I've looked at. Frequent updates! Not four of fiveyears between new versions, but frequently. Programs updated, improved,and new features added. I'm downloading version 7.04 as I write thisarticle because it has lots of improvements. You can downloadUbuntu too. Or, if you don't have the download power or time, theUbuntu Foundation will send it to you on CD, for FREE.

Like the other distributions of Linux I've looked at during thiseditorial series, Ubuntu is fast! Things load quickly. Evenrunning it in a virtual machine and having multiple programs open itwas fast.

Everything You Need

Ubuntu also has a server distribution, but for our purposes I'mjust looking at the desktop versions. It comes with so much. You canmanipulate photos and music and video and documents and text files andyou get the idea. Lots of help is available to guide you through a widerange of tasks. Ubuntu is also very secure. You have full controlover security and can give or deny access to things as you see fit.

Ubuntu also gives you tons of configurable options. From enablingauto-login, or the desktop wallpaper, to handling users, printers, andlots more. You can truly configure Ubuntu to be just how you wantit to be.

Summing It Up!

Ubuntu is one of the "younger" Linux distributions, but also oneof the ones that is growing the fastest. It's fast, full-featured, andfree. It comes with a nice selection of software including officetools, utilities, games, and more. At the same time there are thousandsof other programs that you can install into Ubuntu. Customize it andmake it your own. The word "Ubuntu" means a number of things, butthe one I really like is: "I am what I am because of what we all are."That's true with Ubuntu, Linux in general, and life.

Take the time to try Ubuntu. It's truly an impressive Linuxdistribution that has much to offer.Once again, since I know Ican't adequately explore Ubuntu and the other distributions of Linux insuch a short time, I plan on coming back to it in a few months. At thattime I'll have extended reviews for you. For now the bottom line is thatUbuntu is impressive. Thinking about Linux? Then think aboutUbuntu. I recommend it.

Join me next week for a summary of my thoughts on Linux.

About Michael E, Callahan

Michael E. Callahan, known around the world by the trademarked name Dr. File Finder, is regarded as the world's leading expert on shareware. Dr. File Finder works with software programs and developers full-time, and in the average year he evaluates 10,000 programs. Since 1982 he has evaluated over 250,000 software and hardware products. Mr. Callahan began evaluating software online in 1982 and no one has been at it longer. He currently works doing online PR and marketing for software companies, and is the Senior Content Producer for Butterscotch.Com.

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