Ubuntu Linux is one of the most popular and user-friendly distributions of the Linux operating system. It’s known for its ease of use, community support, and versatility. Here are some fun facts about Ubuntu that might surprise you and deepen your appreciation for this powerful OS.

1. The Name Ubuntu

The word “Ubuntu” is derived from an African philosophy meaning “humanity to others” or “I am because we are.” This philosophy underscores the open-source spirit of collaboration and community that Ubuntu represents. It emphasizes the interconnectedness of all people and aligns perfectly with the principles of open-source software, where the community works together to improve the software for everyone.

2. Canonical Ltd.

Ubuntu is developed by Canonical Ltd., a UK-based company founded by South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth. Canonical provides commercial support and services for Ubuntu, ensuring its stability and growth while keeping it free for personal use. Shuttleworth’s vision was to create a Linux distribution that was as easy to use as Windows or macOS, and accessible to everyone.

3. Ubuntu’s Release Cycle

Ubuntu follows a strict release cycle, with new versions released every six months. These releases are timed in April and October, and are denoted by the year and month of release. For example, Ubuntu 20.04 was released in April 2020. Additionally, every two years, Canonical releases a Long Term Support (LTS) version, which receives five years of support and updates, making it ideal for businesses and servers.

4. Codenames and Themes

Each Ubuntu release has a codename composed of an adjective and an animal, both starting with the same letter. These codenames are not only fun but also memorable. For example, Ubuntu 16.04 LTS was named “Xenial Xerus,” and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS was “Bionic Beaver.” This tradition adds a touch of whimsy to the otherwise serious business of operating system development.

5. User-Friendly Interface

One of Ubuntu’s key features is its user-friendly interface. The default desktop environment, GNOME, provides a sleek and modern experience with easy navigation and accessibility. Ubuntu’s Unity desktop, which was used from version 11.04 to 17.04, was designed to maximize screen space and make multitasking easier. The switch back to GNOME was made to provide a more consistent experience across different devices.

6. Free and Open Source

Ubuntu is free to download, use, and share. It’s built on the principles of open-source software, meaning anyone can access its source code, modify it, and contribute to its development. This has fostered a large and active community of developers and users who collaborate to improve the OS, ensuring it stays at the cutting edge of technology.

7. Diverse Flavors

Ubuntu offers several “flavors” with different desktop environments and features to cater to various user preferences. Some popular flavors include:

  • Kubuntu: Uses the KDE Plasma desktop environment, known for its customization options.
  • Xubuntu: Lightweight and uses the Xfce desktop, making it ideal for older hardware.
  • Lubuntu: Uses the LXQt desktop environment, also lightweight and resource-efficient.
  • Ubuntu MATE: Features the MATE desktop, which is traditional and highly customizable.
  • Ubuntu Studio: Designed for creative professionals, with tools for audio, video, and graphic design.

8. Robust Security

Security is a major strength of Ubuntu. It includes built-in firewalls and encryption tools, and its user privilege model reduces the risk of malware and unauthorized access. Canonical provides regular security updates and patches, and the open-source nature of Ubuntu means that vulnerabilities are often identified and fixed quickly by the community.

9. Widely Used in Education and Research

Ubuntu is a favorite in educational institutions and research environments due to its cost-effectiveness, stability, and wide range of available software. Schools, universities, and research labs use Ubuntu for various applications, from basic computing to complex simulations and data analysis.

10. Compatibility with a Wide Range of Hardware

Ubuntu supports a wide array of hardware, from the latest PCs to older machines, making it a versatile choice for different users. Its System76 and Dell partnerships ensure that Ubuntu runs seamlessly on their hardware, providing users with a smooth and optimized experience.

11. Ubuntu for Servers and Cloud

Ubuntu is not just for desktops; it’s also a powerhouse in the server and cloud computing space. Ubuntu Server is a popular choice for many organizations due to its reliability, security, and performance. It’s the leading OS for cloud platforms like AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. Additionally, Canonical’s MAAS (Metal as a Service) and Juju orchestration tools make managing data centers and cloud infrastructure more efficient.

12. Snap Packages

Ubuntu introduced Snap packages, a universal packaging format that works across different Linux distributions. Snaps are self-contained, meaning they include all necessary dependencies, reducing conflicts and simplifying installation. This makes software distribution and updates more straightforward and reliable, benefiting both developers and users.

13. Gaming on Ubuntu

While Linux has traditionally lagged behind Windows in gaming, Ubuntu has made significant strides in this area. The inclusion of Steam for Linux, advancements in Proton (a compatibility layer for running Windows games), and support from game developers have made gaming on Ubuntu more accessible. Tools like Lutris and PlayOnLinux further enhance the gaming experience by managing and optimizing game installations.

14. Ubuntu Touch

Canonical ventured into the mobile OS market with Ubuntu Touch, designed for smartphones and tablets. Although Canonical ended its development, the project was picked up by the UBports community, which continues to develop and maintain Ubuntu Touch. The vision of convergence, where a single device can provide both desktop and mobile experiences, lives on through this project.

15. Ubuntu in the IoT World

Ubuntu Core is a version of Ubuntu designed for Internet of Things (IoT) devices. It uses Snaps for package management, ensuring transactional updates and security. This lightweight and secure version of Ubuntu is ideal for connected devices, from smart home appliances to industrial IoT systems.

16. Customizability

One of the joys of using Ubuntu is its high degree of customizability. Users can tweak almost every aspect of the operating system, from the desktop environment and window manager to system behavior and themes. This flexibility allows users to create a personalized computing experience tailored to their needs and preferences.

17. Strong Community Support

The Ubuntu community is one of the OS’s greatest assets. There are countless forums, wikis, and tutorials available to help users troubleshoot issues, learn new skills, and make the most of their system. The Ubuntu Forums, Ask Ubuntu, and numerous subreddits provide platforms for users to seek help and share knowledge.

18. Ubuntu’s Role in the Development of Linux

Ubuntu has played a significant role in the popularization and development of Linux. By making Linux more accessible and user-friendly, it has attracted a broad audience and contributed to the overall growth of the Linux ecosystem. Many users who start with Ubuntu go on to explore other distributions, enriching the Linux community.

19. Corporate Adoption

Many corporations use Ubuntu for various applications, from desktop environments to server infrastructure. Companies like Google, IBM, and Wikipedia rely on Ubuntu for its stability, security, and cost-effectiveness. Its use in enterprise environments underscores its robustness and reliability.

20. Continuous Innovation

Ubuntu continues to innovate and evolve with the times. Canonical invests in new technologies, such as AI and machine learning, integrating them into the Ubuntu ecosystem. Ubuntu’s support for the latest hardware and software standards ensures it remains at the forefront of technology.


Ubuntu Linux is more than just an operating system; it’s a community-driven project that embodies the principles of open-source development, collaboration, and innovation. Its user-friendly interface, robust security, and versatility make it a favorite among users of all kinds, from beginners to seasoned professionals. Whether you’re a gamer, developer, researcher, or just someone looking for a reliable and customizable OS, Ubuntu has something to offer. Its rich history, continuous development, and vibrant community ensure that Ubuntu will remain a cornerstone of the Linux world for years to come.


An amateur radio operator, military veteran, jack of all trades and master of none.

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