A Brief History of the Ubuntu Forums
The Ubuntu Forums were created in October 2004 by Ryan Troy, aka ubuntu-geek (we talk more about forum usernames later in the chapter). The forums were started as a personal project, an unofficial resource provided by one man who was having fun and trying to help people at the same time. Quickly the forums became known as a wonderful place to find other Ubuntu users who are knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly. The forums caught the eye of Canonical very early on, and in November 2004, in recognition of the solid foundation and great atmosphere that had already been established, the forums became the Official Ubuntu Forums. The forums hosting continued to be paid for by Ryan and the occasional donations of forum community members until March 2006, when Canonical graciously offered to host the forums on its own servers. In June 2007, the forums' domain name, license, and assets were all transferred to Canonical, which now maintains sole ownership.
Over the years, the forums have changed their look and feel several times, but one thing has always remained: the feeling of community. The Ubuntu Forums began as a small group of playful geeks (meant in the best of ways) who gathered to have some fun and help one another with a new and interesting Linux distribution in a lighthearted and welcoming atmosphere. As of this writing, the forums have well over one million members, with an average of between eight and fifteen thousand online at any given time, and yet the friendliness and helpful community feeling remains.