Introduction to Ubuntu

Ubuntu is a free and open source Linux distribution, with six months release cycle. If you want something that has long-term support, then do try their LTS releases. The latest Ubuntu release is Ubuntu 22.10 (“Kinetic Kudu”). Ubuntu is largely based on Debian. Ubuntu was first released on October 20, 2004. It is built on Debian’s architecture. And, Ubuntu packages are based on unstable distribution of Debian.

Meaning of Ubuntu?

Xhosa, Zulu, Swati, Lala are few of the Nguni languages that are spoken by the Nguni People of South Africa. Moreover, the languages are a part of Bantu languages group. The term “Ubuntu” means humanity and has its origins in Nguni Bantu language family. It represents a South African philosophy which believes in sharing and that helps in connecting all of humanity.

Ubuntu distribution

An Ubuntu distribution is a collection of software applications from various sources that are packaged together. Earlier, it GNU/Linux based Operating systems weren’t as user-friendly as they are now. Even one had to make quite an effort to install packages. So, for most part of history not so tech-savvy users stayed away. The biggest challenge was to make the GNU/Linux distributions accessible to a larger group. Eventually, various organizations/communities started distributing GNU/Linux with software packages. The basic configuration was done to assist those who couldn’t install packages themselves.

RedHat, Debian, Ubuntu, Gentoo, SUSE are few of the popular Linux distributions. Most of the Linux distributions are supplied with similar packages. They only differ when it comes to support and package management system is different as well. Like, Debian and other related distributions support .deb extension packages while, RedHat supports .rpm.

Symbiotic relationship between Debian and Ubuntu

There is a symbiotic relationship that exists between Debian and Ubuntu. That is because, Ubuntu tries to incorporate the best of Debian and then modifies it to make the distribution accessible to a regular user.

Flavors of Ubuntu

There are eight existing flavors of Ubuntu – Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Ubuntu Unity, Ubuntu Studio, Lubuntu, Ubuntu Kylin, Ubuntu Mate and Ubuntu Budgie. Each of these flavors differ in their desktop environments. But, the basic underlying Linux distribution is the same. For instance, Lubuntu comes with LXQt desktop environment installed, whereas Xubuntu has XFCE dekstop environment. So, for people who are still using Hardware that don’t support modern operating systems. For them, Lubuntu is the best choice available. It is specifically tailored to consume less resources. Similarly, each of the above mentioned Ubuntu flavors have got a unique identity.

Variants of Ubuntu

The Ubuntu operating system is available for – Desktop, Server, Cloud and IOT.

The Desktop edition is aimed at regular users who would use Ubuntu OS on a PC or Laptop. On the other hand, Server edition is for those who deploy Ubuntu for server management and other related activities. Lastly, Ubuntu IOT is for Internet of Things (IOTs). Supported platforms for Ubuntu Core are Raspberry Pi, Intel NUC, Intel IEI Tank, Qualcomm Dragonboard 410C etc.


Ubuntu comes with different flavors, each suited for a specific user. It is available for Desktop, Server, Cloud and IOTs. So, there are wide range of options available. If you want the latest packages then, try releases which are updated every six months. Or, you opt for LTS releases for long-term support as well.

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