Ubuntu Past (Warty), Present (Utopic) and Future (Vivid)
1) Ubuntu Past: 10 years of Warty Warthog
The Ubuntu 4.10 release debuted on October 20, 2004. At the time the goal of the project was to succeed where Debian was failing, namely offering users the promise of a steady release cadence.
Back in 2004, Debian releases were not quite as regular as they should be, though the Debian community and process was and still is very strong. Ubuntu in its simplest essence was about making a better Debian, while still supporting upstream Debian.
"Ubuntu is a new Linux distribution that brings 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," Mark Shuttleworth wrote in his original release message for Ubuntu 4.10.
Ubuntu has long since evolved beyond being 'just' a Debian derivative, but it still honors its roots, still pulls from and contributes back, as it has now for a decade.
2) Ubuntu Present: Utopic Unicorn
The Ubuntu 14.10 release known as the Utopic Unicorn is set to debut this week. The official release notes and as has been the case for the last 10 years, Debian is the core.
"As with every new release, packages--applications and software of all kinds--are being updated at a rapid pace," the Ubuntu 14.10 release notes state. "Many of these packages came from an automatic sync from Debian's unstable branch; others have been explicitly pulled in for Ubuntu 14.10. "
3) Ubuntu Future: Vivid Vervet
The next major release of Ubuntu after Utopic will be the 15.04 release in April of 2015 and it too now has an interesting name.
"In my favourite places, the smartest thing around is a particular kind of monkey," Ubuntu founder, Mark Shuttleworth wrote. "Vexatious at times, volant and vogie at others, a vervet gets in anywhere and delights in teasing cats and dogs alike. As the upstart monkey in this business I can think of no better mascot. And so let’s launch our vicenary cycle, our verist varlet, the Vivid Vervet!"
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at LinuxPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist