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Ubuntu Linux--Would You Like Some Community With That?

Looking at Ubuntu

  • February 3, 2005
  • By Bill von Hagen

Ubuntu is a Debian-based distribution that is probably the most philosophical of all Linux distributions, which is saying a lot in the Open Source space.

The Ubuntu web site (http://www.ubuntu.com) identifies Ubuntu as an ancient African word that means "humanity to others" and "I am what I am because of who we all are." The choice of Ubuntu as the name for this distribution reflects a deep appreciation for the supportive, cooperative collaboration that is the basis of the Open Source Software movement, the global nature of the participants in the Ubuntu project, and the rich, helpful community that is growing up around the Ubuntu distribution.

Philosophy aside, the goal of the Ubuntu folks is to provide a more up-to-date Debian than Debian, while eliminating many of the potentially confusing installation options and permutations encountered when installing many Linux distributions. They accomplish these goals extremely well, with an easy-to-use installation process, a great system update and enhancement mechanism, and a distribution that makes a great starter--or permanent home--for Linux users who'd just like to use their computer to get work done.

This review discusses both Ubuntu 4.10 (AKA "Warty Warthog") and the upcoming 5.04 (AKA "Hoary Hedgehog") release, the latter of which is currently only available in live CD form as a preview but is slated for full release in April 2005 (hence the numbering convention--2005, fourth month). I'd suggest losing the cutesy names, but no one is asking me. Both of these are available and actively supported on the x86, AMD64, and G4 and G5 PowerPC platforms.

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