Ubuntu-icon.png Ubuntu
October 20, 2004 (edit)
Version: 20.04 Focal Fossa (edit)
Release Date: April 23, 2020 (edit)
Next Release: 20.10 Groovy Gorilla (edit)
Platform(s): x86-64, ARM, PPC (edit)
Packaging: DEB (edit)
Interface(s): GNOME (default), Unity (secondary default), KDE, Xfce, LXDE, Budgie, MATE (edit)
Derivative of: Debian (edit)
Home Page: (edit)

Ubuntu is a derivative of Debian with a focus on the human touch, especially on usability and functionality even by non-technical users. It's created and funded by entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth through his company Canonical Ltd.


Name Etymology

Ubuntu's idiosyncratic name is derived from a South African word which roughly translates to "humanity towards others" or "solidarity among people." This philosophy is reflected in its logo, a highly stylized suggestion of three people of different complexions embracing, arm-in-arm in a circle.

History and Development

Ubuntu is built on Debian's architecture and infrastructure, to provide Linux server, desktop, phone, tablet and TV operating systems. Ubuntu releases updated versions predictably – every six months – and each release receives free support for nine months (eighteen months prior to 13.04) with security fixes, high-impact bug fixes and conservative, substantially beneficial low-risk bug fixes. The first release was in October 2004.

It was decided that every fourth release, issued on a two-year basis, would receive long-term support (LTS). Long-term support includes updates for new hardware, security patches and updates to the 'Ubuntu stack' (cloud computing infrastructure). The first LTS releases were supported for three years on the desktop and five years on the server; since Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, desktop support for LTS releases was increased to five years as well. LTS releases get regular point releases with support for new hardware and integration of all the updates published in that series to date.


Ubuntu is currently supporting four releases;

Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver is the previous LTS, released on April 26, 2018. It will receive updates for five years until April 2023.

Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa is the most recent LTS, released on April 24, 2020. It will receive updates for five years until April 2025.

Ubuntu 19.04 Disco Dingo was the previous stable non-LTS Ubuntu, released on April 18, 2019. It received updates for nine months until January 2020.

Ubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine was the most recent non-LTS Ubuntu, released on October 17, 2019. It received updates for nine months until July 2020.

CPU Support

Ubuntu is officially available on two platforms:

  • 32-bit x86 (for default Ubuntu not supported)
  • 64-bit x86-64
  • ARM64 (As Ubuntu Touch for Nexus Devices)

The community has developed Ubuntu on other platforms such as ARM (Other than Nexus) or PowerPC which are not officially supported.

Ubuntu & Canonical

Canonical is a company run by Mark Shuttleworth that provides funding and development for the Ubuntu project. There was a lot of controversy about Canonical making Ubuntu profitable and the decisions began to be more Canonical and profit focused rather than community-friendly. Canonical also may change any part of the Ubuntu system, as part of the contract.

System Requirements

  • 1000 MHz processor (Intel Celeron or better)
  • 512MiB RAM for x86, recommended 1024MiB, 1500MiB for x86_64, recommended 2048MiB
  • 7 GB of hard-drive space for Recommended Install, 4GB for Minimal Install
  • GPU with 3D Acceleration (For Desktop) and at least 512MiB of shared or dedicated memory.
  • Either a CD/DVD drive or a USB port for the installer media (Unofficial WUBI is also supported by community)

Packaging Infrastructure

Although Ubuntu is a derivative of Debian, Ubuntu maintains its own packaging infrastructure that is periodically synchronized with the main Debian repositories.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.