Sunday, November 18, 2007

Ubuntu (official IPA pronunciation /ùbúntú/(OO-BOON-TOO), often incorrectly pronounced /u'bʊntu/ in North America) is a predominantly desktop-oriented Linux distribution, based on Debian GNU/Linux but with a stronger focus on usability, regular releases, and ease of installation. Ubuntu is sponsored by Canonical Ltd, owned by South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth; the name of the distribution comes from the African concept of ubuntu which may be rendered roughly as "humanity toward others", though other meanings have been suggested.

Ubuntu divides all software into four sections, called components, which is an officially recognised project to backport newer versions of certain software that are available only in unstable versions of Ubuntu. The repository is not comprehensive; it mostly consists of user-requested packages, which are approved if they meet quality guidelines.

Ubuntu (Linux distribution) Package classification and support
Further information: Linux distribution#Proprietary software
Ubuntu has a certification system for third party software. Ubuntu certified proprietary software should work well in Ubuntu. However, many programs familiar to users of non-free operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows, are incompatible and are not Ubuntu certified. Some proprietary software that does not limit distribution is included in Ubuntu's multiverse component.
Some examples of software not distributed by Ubuntu include:

Software that enables the playback of region-locked video DVDs, due to the questionable legal status of the DeCSS open-source DVD-decoding library in some parts of the world. (Note: the library is needed even when watching a DVD in the target region.)
Encoding and decoding libraries for many proprietary media formats such as Windows Media.
Some popular proprietary web-browser plugins, such as Adobe's (formerly Macromedia's) Shockwave (there is no Linux version) and Flash. (One workaround to the specific prohibition against redistribution in the Flash EULA is the multiverse package "flashplugin-nonfree" which automatically downloads the Linux Flash plugin directly from Adobe's site and then installs it.) Availability of proprietary software
Each release has both a code name and a version number. The version number is based on the year and month of release. For example, the very first release of Ubuntu, 4.10, was released on October 20, 2004.

There are several variants besides Ubuntu, both official and unofficial. Official ones such as Kubuntu, Edubuntu and Xubuntu are all free by mail order from ShipIt except Xubuntu. Variants
The Ubuntu page on has been the most frequently accessed of their comprehensive list of Linux distributions for more than a year,

See also

:Ubuntu addon CD ...Include codecs, plugins, java, xgl, games, brasero.

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