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history and philosophy. Linux for humans.

27 mayo, 2021

This is the first installment of a special series of articles on Ubuntu, with which we will cover the most important aspects surrounding this operating system. In this first post we are going to know the history of the system, its ethical principles and the importance of the philosophy on which it is based.

Ubuntu is a Debian-based GNU / Linux distribution available for both user computers and servers completely free of charge. The term that gives it its name is a traditional african concept which means loyalty between people, which expresses the belief in a connection between all human beings … and which is usually translated as “humanity towards others”.

Ubuntu Logo

In the video that heads this article, an interview with Nelson Mandela in which he explains that concept. To the Pacifist Archbishop Desmond Tutu he is credited with the following quote, in which he tries to define Ubuntu:

A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, clarifying to others, does not feel threatened by the ability and goodness of others, has a security of its own that comes from knowing that he or she comes from a great whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed.

Ubuntu, as an operating system, has been based from the beginning on these African ideas and concepts to try to convey the objectives and ideas behind the project. The ideology behind the system comes from the same ethical premises that govern the free software community. This is how the one known as Ubuntu Manifesto, which is summarized in four key points:

  1. You will never have to pay for Ubuntu, not even for the Commercial Edition. All versions of Ubuntu will be developed with the same quality.
  2. The best translations and accessibility options available will be included to reach as many people as possible.
  3. New versions of Ubuntu will be distributed on a regular and predictable basis; a new version will be made available every six months. The user will have the freedom to choose between the stable version or the development version. Each version will have technical support for at least 18 months.
  4. Ubuntu is fully committed to the principles of free software development

In the summer of 2004, a group of free software developers from different GNU / Linux distributions, especially Debian, was definitely organized with the objective of create a new Debian variant not have the issues that had made them uncomfortable in their previous organizations, such as the restrictions of new release policies or the bureaucracy and effort required to make changes and income in the development team.

At first the project was called, in a display of originality, This is where the South African billionaire appears Mark Shuttleworth, who liked the idea, financed it and joined with all his previous successful business experience. The businessman founded the company “Canonical”: http: //, which is now the financial support that keeps distribution alive and your entire organization selling technical support and services to businesses. The initial budget for the creation of the Ubuntu Foundation it was 10 million dollars. The domain “”: is still active, and upon access it redirects to the Canonical home page.

Ubuntu Warty Announcement Mail

On October 20, 2004, Mark Shuttleworth himself “sent an email”: https: // to the mailing list where officially announced the first public version of Ubuntu, the one numbered 4.10. It was called “The Warty Warthog Release”, which translated into Spanish is “The version of the Warthog.” The Debian project named its different versions based on the dolls from the Toy Story movie, and Ubuntu also had to put something original around the names. They are all named after an animal and an adjective that begin with the same letter, and from the fourth version an alphabetical order is maintained:

  • 4.10 – Warty Warthog (Warthog), October 20, 2004.
  • 5.04 – Hoary Hedgehog (Gray Hedgehog), April 8, 2005.
  • 5.10 – Breezy Badger (Carefree Badger), “October 13, 2005”: https: //
  • 6.06 (LTS) – Dapper Drake (Elegant Duck), “June 1, 2006”: https: // -the street.
  • 6.10 – Edgy Eft (Impatient Merfolk), “Oct 26, 2006”: https: //
  • 7.04 – Feisty Fawn (Fighting fawn), “April 19, 2007”: https: //
  • 7.10 – Gutsy Gibbon (Brave Gibbon), “October 18, 2007”: https: //
  • 8.04 (LTS) – Hardy Heron (Hardy Heron), April 24, 2008.
Ubuntu - History Diagram

As can be seen, the version number indicates the year and month it was released. Ubuntu free a new version every 6 months, like “Gnome”: http: //, which is the default desktop on the system. This frequency has only been altered in the release of the first version with a long support period (Long Term Support, LTS), which was delayed for a couple of months.

Ubuntu It is a surprising GNU / Linux distribution, since it has only been with us for four years and is already “the most popular”: http: // resource = major among users. It does not stop growing, both in number of downloads and in functionalities that are being added version after version. And without a doubt it will continue to do so, it has managed to learn from previous distributions and their errors, improve as an operating system and create a huge community of users and developers.

It was October 20, 2004. That day it all started. And we will continue in the second part of the special.

Links | “Ubuntu Official Page”: http: //, “Canonical”: http: //, Wikipedia: Ubuntu, “Announcing Ubuntu 4.10”: https: //lists.ubuntu. com / archives / ubuntu-announce / 2004-October / 000003.html (announcement mail), “Ubuntu history explained”: http: // , “UbuntuParaTodos.Org: Ubuntu Philosophy”: http: // Q = node / 393, “DistroWatch: Ubuntu”: http: //