Introduction to Ubuntu

Ubuntu is a free and open source operating system and Linux distribution based on Debian. Ubuntu is offered in three official editions: Ubuntu Desktop for personal computers, Ubuntu Server for servers and the cloud, and Ubuntu Core for Internet of things devices. New releases of Ubuntu occur every six months, while long-term support (LTS) releases occur every two years.

Ubuntu is built on Debian’s architecture and infrastructure, and comprises Linux server, desktop and discontinued phone and tablet operating system versions. Ubuntu releases updated versions predictably every six months, and each release receives free support for nine months (eighteen months prior to 13.04) with security fixes, high-impact bug fixes and conservative, substantially beneficial low-risk bug fixes. The first release was in October 2004.

Ubuntu is produced by Canonical and the community in a meritocratic governance model. Canonical provides free guaranteed security updates and support for each Ubuntu release, starting from the release date and until the release reaches its predesignated end-of-life (EOL) date. Canonical generates revenue through the sale of premium services related to Ubuntu.

Ubuntu is the most popular operating system for the cloud, and is the reference operating system for Open Stack.

A default installation of Ubuntu contains a wide range of software that includes LibreOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird, Transmission, and several lightweight games such as Sudoku and chess. Many additional software packages are accessible from the built in Ubuntu Software (previously Ubuntu Software Center) as well as any other APT-based package management tools. Many additional software packages that are no longer installed by default, such as Evolution, GIMP, Pidgin, and Synaptic, are still accessible in the repositories still install-able by the main tool or by any other APT-based package management tool. Cross-distribution snap packages and flatpaks are also available, that both allow installing software, such as some of Microsoft’s software, in most of the major Linux operating systems (such as any currently supported Ubuntu version and in Fedora).

Ubuntu operates under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and all of the application software installed by default is free software. In addition, Ubuntu installs some hardware drivers that are available only in binary format, but such packages are clearly marked in the restricted component.

Ubuntu’s goal is to be secure “out-of-the box”. By default, the user’s programs run with low privileges and cannot corrupt the operating system or other users’ files. For increased security, the sudo tool is used to assign temporary privileges for performing administrative tasks, which allows the root account to remain locked and helps prevent inexperienced users from inadvertently making catastrophic system changes or opening security holes. PolicyKit is also being widely implemented into the desktop. Most network ports are closed by default to prevent hacking. A built-in firewall allows end-users who install network servers to control access. A GUI (GUI for Uncomplicated Firewall) is available to configure it. Ubuntu compiles its packages using GCC features such as PIE and buffer overflow protection to harden its software. These extra features greatly increase security at the performance expense of 1% in 32-bit and 0.01% in 64-bit.

Ubuntu also supports full disk encryption as well as encryption of the home and Private directories.

The above is a brief about Ubuntu. Watch this space for more updates on the latest trends in Technology.

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