In This Chapter
Discovering what Ubuntu means
Introducing Ubuntu Linux and its versions
Considering the source (and its philosophy)
Knowing where to go from here
The Ubuntu Linux distribution is the fastest‐growing Linux distribution on the planet. It's designed to provide powerful functionality, and yet it's easy to use, no matter where in the world you live.
One of the most difficult balancing acts in the Linux world is deciding how much stuff (applications such as the Firefox Web browser and the Openoffice.org office productivity suite) to provide users. Some Linux distributions provide too little, and most provide too much. Ubuntu, however, has learned how to balance both sides very well.
Ubuntu is well supported by its user community, as well as commercially. This is important because different people and organizations need different levels and types of support.
All these factors add up to its exploding popularity, which is based on its ease of use, usefulness, and support.