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The Official Ubuntu Book, 3e: Introducing Ubuntu

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This chapter introduces the Ubuntu project, its distribution, its development processes, and some of the history that made it all possible. If you are interested in learning about where Ubuntu comes from and where it is going, this chapter will provide a good introduction.
This chapter is from the book
  • A Wild Ride
  • Free Software, Open Source, and GNU/Linux
  • A Brief History of Ubuntu
  • What Is Ubuntu?
  • Ubuntu Promises and Goals
  • Canonical and the Ubuntu Foundation
  • Ubuntu Subprojects, Derivatives, and Spin-offs
  • Summary

THIS CHAPTER INTRODUCES the Ubuntu project, its distribution, its development processes, and some of the history that made it all possible. If you are looking to jump right in and get started with Ubuntu, turn right away to Chapter 2, Installing Ubuntu. If you are interested in first learning about where Ubuntu comes from and where it is going, this chapter provides a good introduction.

A Wild Ride

In April 2004 Mark Shuttleworth brought together a dozen developers from the Debian, GNOME, and GNU Arch projects to brainstorm. Shuttleworth asked the developers if a better type of operating system (OS) was possible. Their answer was “Yes.” He asked them what it would look like. He asked them to describe the community that would build such an OS. That group worked with Shuttleworth to come up with answers to these questions, and then they decided to try to make the answers a reality. The group named itself the Warthogs and gave itself a six-month deadline to build a proof-of-concept OS. The developers nicknamed their first release the Warty Warthog with the reasonable assumption that their first product would have its warts. Th