From its Debian roots to its commercially available support to its overwhelming popularity, Ubuntu is the ultimate Linux distribution. For me, Ubuntu became a significant force within the Linux community with its 2006 releases: 6.04 and 6.10. From April 2006, I've installed and used every new version and anticipate each new one the way a child anticipates toys on Christmas morning. But, have you ever wondered why is Ubuntu the ultimate Linux distribution? Why is it so popular? Why did Canonical choose Debian as its distribution template? And, why did Mark Shuttleworth believe in Linux so much that he chose to create Canonical to support it?
Let's take a look at Ubuntu Linux and see if we can figure out why it is, in fact, the ultimate Linux distribution.
Debian GNU/Linux is Ubuntu's parent distribution which firmly places it at the top of any list of excellent distributions. Debian's apt-get (Advanced Packaging Tool) package maintenance system is absolutely the best available process for keeping your systems updated and secure.
Debian also uses the GPL for its licensing and only uses free software in its main distribution. The GPL and the use of free software is a major selling point for many would-be adopters because of the freedoms it bestows on the user. Free software is less restrictive than software licensed in other ways. The basic premises of free software are given below:
* You can install the software on as many machines as you want.
* Any number of people may use the software at one time.
* You can make as many copies of the software as you want and give them to whomever you want (free or open redistribution).
* There are no restrictions on modifying the software (except for keeping certain notices intact).
* There is no restriction on distributing, or even selling, the software.
The use of Debian for a distribution template is reason enough to love a Linux distribution but what sets Ubuntu apart from its parent that justifies its preferential use over Debian?
The answer lies with Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and Canonical, and his desire to take something great and make it even better. Mark's goals were to create a new Linux distribution that was free, easy to install, easy to maintain, has commercial support available as a choice and has world class performance on the desktop and at the server level. His vision was realized in Ubuntu's first public release in 2004.
You'd have to go all the way back to Ubuntu's early days (2004) to find it anywhere but at the top spot on Distrowatch's distribution list. It took the #1 spot in 2005 and has held it since that time. It holds a consistent 30 to 50 percent margin over the next most popular distribution (currently Fedora) on that list.
Ubuntu is the distribution most often recommended to users new to Linux or those switching from other distributions. Its ease of installation, quick boot times, GNOME user interface and twice yearly major updates keep it at the top of everyone's best distribution list. And, every two years, a new LTS (Long Term Support) version is released. The next one is due next month (April 2010).
On the server side, you can select the standard Ubuntu server or the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud.
It's no wonder that Ubuntu is the world's most popular Linux distribution with several choices for any purpose or application, an absolutely easy to install system, commercial support and a successful track record of security and popularity that speaks volumes since its inception.
If you haven't tried Ubuntu Linux for yourself, go to this link and download or order your bootable CDs or DVD today.