Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Happy 11th Birthday, Ubuntu!

It's hard to believe that 11 years have passed since the launch of Ubuntu 4.10 "The Warty Warthog". Yes, it’s now been eleven years, and some twenty-two releases of Ubuntu, since Mark Shuttleworth sat down to type up the first ever Ubuntu release announcement.

This first Ubuntu OS, was a rough and ready stab at bringing Linux to the masses.

Mark described his new Linux distribution as one bringing together:
 …the extraordinary breadth of Debian with a fast and easy install, regular releases (every six months), a tight selection of excellent packages installed by default and a commitment to security updates with 18 months of security and technical support for every release.
That commitment has barely budged since, save for the maintenance burden of non-LTS releases being reduced from 18 months to 9 months. Ubuntu would go on to become the most popular desktop Linux operating system in the world thanks to its emphasis on user-friendliness, ‘sane defaults’ , and attention to detail. And a lot more has happened since then. Canonical, the company that builds Ubuntu, has grown quite a lot, it expanded in lots of countries, and it's present on all kind of platforms. It started its life as a desktop flavor, but it's now difficult to turn around and not run into some sort of Ubuntu installation on servers, Raspberry Pis, Macs, phones, and so on.

A motive perfectly summed up in the old Ubuntu motto: “Linux for human beings.”

The new Ubuntu 15.10 (Willy Werewolf) is set to launch in just a couple of days, so the fact that Ubuntu now celebrates 11 years since its initial launch feels like it's rounding up just nicely. Some things have changed in the meantime. The OS is now using a different desktop environment and the support period for intermediary release has decreased to nine months. On the other hand, it's still based on Debian, the LTS versions come with five years of support, and it managed to remain free.