Introducing Ubuntu

IN THIS CHAPTER

• Ubuntu for Business

• Ubuntu on the PPC Platform

• Ubuntu on Dual-Core Machines

• Getting the Most from Ubuntu and Linux Documentation

• Ubuntu Developers and Documentation

Welcome to Ubuntu Unleashed! Ubuntu is the fastest-growing Linux distribution in the world today, being developed and maintained by the Ubuntu Foundation, with backing from multimillionaire Mark Shuttleworth and Canonical Software. Ubuntu is an African word that encompasses many different meanings, but can be interpreted as "through one, we are many," reflecting the collaboration that takes place to bring a Linux distribution such as Ubuntu through development and release.

Ubuntu is extremely popular, having occupied the top spot at Distrowatch.com for many months, but it is also built upon one of the most stable and secure distributions, Debian. Described as Ubuntu's rock on which it is founded, Debian offers a number of key benefits that the Ubuntu distribution can make use of. However, Ubuntu is also quite different from Debian, as you will find out in this book.

Ubuntu is a free distribution and is supported mainly by the lively and helpful community that occupies the forums and mailing lists. However, a number of business partners can provide commercial support for Ubuntu, and even some OEMs provide Ubuntu preinstalled on computers. Despite being a relative newcomer to the Linux distribution world, having launched their first version in October 2004, Ubuntu has made huge waves throughout the Linux community. Acclaimed for its ease of use and the way that things "just work," Ubuntu has won many awards across the continents of the world.

Initially released just by itself, Ubuntu now has a number of stable-mates that fall under the Ubuntu banner. Ubuntu itself ships with the GNOME window manager by default, but there is also Kubuntu, which uses the KDE window manager, Xubuntu, which uses the Xfce window manager, and even Edubuntu, a version of Ubuntu specifically designed for educational and academic institutions. All of them share a common code base, and each version comes on a single install CD, making it easy to redistribute copies of Ubuntu. In fact, Ubuntu actually ship CDs for free if you want extra copies. At the moment, you can only receive the Ubuntu distribution, but you can request either x86 or PPC versions, and each pack comes with an install CD and a live CD. Work is afoot to offer the Kubuntu distribution through the same CD distribution program.

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