Chapter 17. Running Ubuntu Linux


  • Ubuntu bursts onto the Linux scene

  • Challenges facing Ubuntu

  • Installing Ubuntu

  • Using Ubuntu

Ubuntu Linux ( has experienced a meteoric rise in popularity since its first release at the end of 2004. Relying on a constantly expanding number of core developers and contributions from its growing legion of advocates and users, Ubuntu has become one of the leading Linux distributions in the world.

"Ubuntu" is an African word that means "humanity to others." The project pursues the meaning of its name by:

  • Making the distribution freely available; in fact, the project will even mail you pressed CDs without charge (

  • Providing support for many languages.

  • Offering features to make it usable by people with disabilities.

Ubuntu is based on Debian GNU/Linux but offers more focused goals than Debian. The primary goals of Ubuntu are to provide a tested, easy-to-use Linux distribution with a regular release schedule (every six months), to provide support and updates for those releases for an extended period of time, and to fit this easy-to-use desktop Linux on one installation CD. Ubuntu provides its own repositories of freely available software on the Internet, providing a huge assortment of software organized in the traditional licensing-oriented Debian fashion. These packages can be installed using the familiar apt-get, aptitude, and synaptic software management tools.

This chapter describes some of the major features ...

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