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Old 10-23-2014, 08:32 AM   #1
jeremy
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Ten years of Ubuntu: How Linux’s beloved newcomer became its criticized king


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Starting right from its launch, Ubuntu took a different approach to Linux, one that was perhaps best defined by its slogan at the time: "Linux for human beings." The word Ubuntu itself recalls the same idea, coming from the South African philosophy where it means, literally, "humanness." More broadly translated, it's "humanity toward others."

This distinction is more than simple semantics. It's what makes Ubuntu unique in the annals of Linux history.

The name, combined with the slogan, set Ubuntu apart from other Linux distros of the day. Its competitors tended to focus more narrowly on what developers and enterprise users wanted rather than what "ordinary" desktop users might need. Fedora, for example, takes a very different approach, aiming for users who are also developers and will contribute back to open source.

The focus on "Linux for human beings" set the tone and direction of the Ubuntu project from the beginning. Ubuntu never chased developers. It also did not seem interested in the server market. Instead, this distribution was aimed squarely at desktop users (of whom there were significantly fewer in October 2004) and Linux newcomers. The idea was to win over "ordinary" users from Windows.

Ubuntu was started by Mark Shuttleworth, who sold his company Thawte to VeriSign in December 1999 for $575 million. After a short vacation in space, he founded Canonical Ltd and started work on Ubuntu. Shuttleworth's announcement of the very first Ubuntu release defines the fledgling project as a "new Linux distribution that brings together the extraordinary breadth of Debian with a fast and easy install, regular releases... (and) a tight selection of excellent packages."

Those goals—fast and easy to install, regular releases with support, and a wide range of applications available—are the basis of what powered Ubuntu to the top of the Linux charts. Perhaps the most significant of these three goals, though, especially in terms of Ubuntu's focus on new, beginning Linux users is the first one: making Linux easy to install.

This chasm between Ubuntu and the rest of the Linux world will only be widening in the next few years as Ubuntu builds its own Mir display server and moves into the mobile space with Ubuntu Touch running on phones and tablets. No matter how that ends up there's one very safe prediction: Ubuntu will continue to blaze its own path through the Linux woods.
More at Ars...

What are your thoughts on how Ubuntu has progressed over the last 10 years and where it's heading from here?

--jeremy
 
Old 10-23-2014, 12:36 PM   #2
rinaldij
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Registered: May 2011
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What does it have to offer the long time user? And what is its retention rate once the users pass the n00b status? I've been a slack whore for years and can't see any benefit to changing to another distro. Although I do have friends that love playing with the distro de jour, I've never felt the need.
 
  


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