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Ubuntu (Linux distribution)

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Ubuntu is a distribution of the Linux operating system created by Canonical Ltd. It is based on the ideas of the Ubuntu philosophy ("humanity towards others"). Its slogan is "Linux for human beings", reflecting its focus on ease of use. The latest release is 7.10, codenamed "Gutsy Gibbon". A previous "Long Term Support" release, codenamed "Dapper Drake", is also still supported.

Development cycle

A new version of Ubuntu is released every six months i.e. every April and October. The version number is made up of the year and the month that it was released. For example, Ubuntu 7.10 means that it was released in October (from the "10") 2007 (from the "07"). After a release, development of the next release begins. Each development cycle has Alpha releases, a Beta release and a Release Candidate before the final release.

The Ubuntu developers take a snapshot of the Debian Unstable repositories. They then focus on ensuring that all of these packages work, and upload newer version of packages when necessary. The release dates are designed so that new versions of X and GNOME can be included.


There have been seven releases of Ubuntu, released at regular 6 month intervals since April 2004, other than Dapper Drake, which was delayed by two months and released in June 2006.

Most releases are supported for a year and a half. The exceptions to this rule are the LTS (Long Term Support) releases. The only LTS release so far is Dapper Drake, but the next release, 8.04 (Hardy Heron), will be one. LTS releases are supported for 3 years on the desktop and 5 years on servers.

Release Codename Release date Supported until
4.10 Hoary Hedgehog
5.04 Warty Warthog
5.10 Breezy Badger
6.06 LTS Dapper Drake
6.10 Edgy Eft
7.04 Feisty Fawn
7.10 Gutsy Gibbon
8.04 LTS Hardy Heron
8.10 Intrepid Ibex

User interface

Ubuntu uses the GNOME desktop environment. It includes graphical applications for most tasks, although it does still have a fully operational command line. The default look is the "Human" theme, which uses a caramel color in the active windows and menu items.