from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ubuntu logo
Screenshot desktop Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa 2160p.png
Ubuntu Desktop 20.04 LTS "Focal Fossa" with Gnome 3.36
developer Canonical Foundation, Ubuntu community
License (s) Open Source (including GNU GPL )
First publ. October 20, 2004
Current  version 04/20 LTS (April 23, 2020)
Kernel monolithic
ancestry GNU / Linux
↳ Debian GNU / Linux
↳ Ubuntu
Architecture (s) official: i686 + PAE (until 19.04 / 18.04 LTS), x64
unofficial: ppc , sparc64 , PA-RISC , ARM
timeline Warty Warthog (4.10)
Hoary Hedgehog (5.04)
Breezy Badger (5.10)
Dapper Drake (6.06 LTS)
Edgy Eft (6.10)
Feisty Fawn (7.04)
Gutsy Gibbon (7.10)
Hardy Heron (8.04 LTS)
Intrepid Ibex (8.10)
Jaunty Jackalope ( 9.04)
Karmic Koala (9.10)
Lucid Lynx (10.04 LTS)
Maverick Meerkat (10.10)
Natty Narwhal (11.04)
Oneiric Ocelot (11.10)
Precise Pangolin (12.04 LTS)
Quantal Quetzal (12.10)
Raring Ringtail (13.04)
Saucy Salamander (13.10)
Trusty Tahr (14.04 LTS)
Utopic Unicorn (14.10)
Vivid Vervet (15.04)
Wily Werewolf (15.10)
Xenial Xerus (16.04 LTS)
Yakkety Yak (16.10)
Zesty Zapus (17.04)
Artful Aardvark (17.10)
Bionic Beaver (18.04 LTS)
Cosmic Cuttlefish ( 18.10)
Disco Dingo (19.04)
Eoan Ermine (19.10)
Focal Fossa (20.04 LTS) (current version)
compatibility POSIX
Languages) available in more than 55 languages, including German

Ubuntu , also called Ubuntu Linux , is a Linux distribution based on Debian . The name Ubuntu means "humanity" in Zulu and describes an African philosophy . With the system, the developers are pursuing the goal of creating an operating system that is easy to install and easy to use with coordinated software. The project is sponsored by the software manufacturer Canonical , which was founded by the South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth .

Ubuntu has steadily increased its popularity since the first version was released in October 2004 and is now one of the most widely used Linux distributions. The number of users is estimated at around 25 million. In addition to Ubuntu itself, which from version 11.04 to 17.04 used the Unity desktop environment developed by the Ubuntu developer community as standard and is based on Gnome again from version 17.10 , there are various modifications . The official sub-projects include Kubuntu with KDE , Xubuntu with Xfce , Ubuntu MATE with MATE , Ubuntu Budgie with Budgie and Ubuntu Studio , which is specially designed for the requirements of audio, graphics and video editing. New Ubuntu versions appear every six months in April (04 versions) and in October (10 versions). The current version is 20.04 (Focal Fossa), the next version (20.10 "Groovy Gorilla") will be released in October 2020.


Initiator Mark Shuttleworth

The Ubuntu project was initiated in the early 2000s by the South African multimillionaire Mark Shuttleworth . His intention was to develop an operating system that would be available to as many people as possible. The term Ubuntu comes from the languages ​​of the African peoples Zulu and Xhosa and stands for “humanity” and “ public spirit ”, but also for the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects everything human. Further goals of the project are to improve internationalization and accessibility so that the software offered can be used by as many people as possible. Currently, the translations and tools for accessibility from the Gnome project are mainly used here .

Shuttleworth is funding a large part of the project, which means that it has far greater financial resources than most other distributions, and he is a developer himself. In addition to him, around 40 people work full-time on the further development of Ubuntu. These originate predominantly from the Debian and Gnome - Online Development Communities . The development is financed by the Canonical company founded by Shuttleworth, which also markets the system.

The first version of Ubuntu was released in October 2004 under the name Warty Warthog. Since then, a new version of the operating system has been released every six months. On July 1, 2005, Shuttleworth and Canonical launched the Ubuntu Foundation with seed capital of US $ 10 million . This should take care of the maintenance of the Ubuntu versions after their release and support the further development. In order to achieve its goals and to enable new versions, the Ubuntu Foundation should hire members of the core community.

Another source of funding comes from the search function built in since version 12.10, which sends anonymised search queries to the online retailer Amazon . This function, which was initially activated by default, was deactivated again in version 16.04.


Ubuntu 8.10 with DarkRoom standard theme

Shortly after the first version was published, Ubuntu received a lot of media attention, even beyond the professional world. On the site free Ubuntu and Kubuntu CDs from Canonical itself could order; nowadays this offer is chargeable. However, all Ubuntu versions can still be downloaded for free from the Internet. The downloaded installation file can be burned to a DVD or copied to a USB stick . This enables the installation from a running live system . In 2006 and 2007, Ubuntu received 30% of the votes in a poll conducted by the website desktoplinux.com on the distribution of various Linux distributions and thus achieved first place in both years. Ubuntu also took first place on the DistroWatch website from 2005 to 2010, after which it was replaced by Linux Mint . Linux Mint has been developed since 2006 and is based on Ubuntu. On web servers, Ubuntu ranks third among Linux distributions after Debian and CentOS .

Various Ubuntu CDs

Hardware provider Dell began offering Ubuntu preinstalled on some of its computer models in the USA in May 2007, and shortly afterwards also in Germany, France and Great Britain.

The French National Assembly in 2007 presented to the computers of the deputies and their assistants on Ubuntu. Parliament had already decided to promote free software at the end of 2006. This change affected 1154 computers. In January 2008, the French gendarmerie began converting 70,000 workstations from Windows to Ubuntu.

In 2016, the Macedonian government announced that it would procure 20,000 thin client systems based on Edubuntu for the country's schoolchildren  . Seven clients are to be connected to each server, so that theoretically up to 140,000 students can use these clients.

In Andalusia , 220,000 Ubuntu desktops are used in schools. AMTRON, an Indian telecommunications provider, handed over a PC with the Ubuntu Desktop Edition to every student with above-average final exams in the state of Assam , a total of 28,000 PCs were handed over. As part of the conversion of the Munich city administration to Linux ( LiMux project), the company switched to Ubuntu in 2010. The LVM insurance since April 2011 relies on about 10,000 laptops and desktops Ubuntu Desktop 10.04.2 LTS ( long-term support on).

Ubuntu is considered by numerous software providers in the test. The ELSTER control software also runs on Ubuntu Linux 17.04.

technical features

Ubuntu is based on Debian, whereby the package format ( .deb ) and various structures have been adopted. At the beginning of a development cycle, some of the packages are compared with those from Debian unstable , but those in the main area in particular are maintained entirely by themselves. This reduces the amount of work required to maintain the less important programs. All changes and improvements to Debian packages made in Ubuntu are available as patches to the Debian project . Theoretically, due to the strict package definitions, it is also possible to use program packages from Debian directly, but in practice there are often problems with system-related functions due to various differences in detail.

The Ubuntu Software Center 5.2.6 on Ubuntu 12.04.1

From version 11.10 the Software Center is integrated in Ubuntu. This program, based on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, is used to easily install software. The developers of Ubuntu aim to significantly increase the available applications for the operating system in the long term.

After the standard installation of Ubuntu, an administrator user account (“ root account ”) is available, but - as with macOS  - this is deactivated by an invalid password. It is therefore not possible in the standard configuration to log in directly as "root", which prevents programs from being started unintentionally with administrator rights and any disadvantageous changes to the system that this might cause. With the help of the sudo command , however, the user account with restricted rights can temporarily receive full system privileges, which is necessary for the installation of some programs, for example.

Ubuntu initially used Gnome as its desktop environment . With version 11.04 this was replaced by Unity up to and including version 17.04. The later additions Kubuntu, Xubuntu and Lubuntu use KDE, Xfce and LXDE respectively. The only difference between the various modifications is the preselection of the standard software packages installed and can therefore technically be viewed as different configurations of a distribution. Basically, all programs, including the configuration programs, come from the same desktop environment, which means that operation is kept consistent. The programs in other environments can, however, be installed later via the package management, as can others from a pool of over 30,000 packages.

Ubuntu is mainly available for the computer architecture IA-32 (also known as x86 32-bit ) including x64 (x86 64-bit , implemented by AMD64 or Intel 64 ) (the IA-32/32-bit compatibility was abolished with version 19.04) . Official support for PowerPC was discontinued with the release of version 7.04, since Apple computers have been supplied with Intel architecture since 2006 and adapting the distribution is no longer considered economical for the remaining PowerPC users. However, this task should continue to be carried out by the community. For the Sun SPARC architecture there was only one server version up to and including version 7.10.

Versions released before 2006 had separate installation CD and live CD so that Ubuntu could not be installed from the live CD. Version 6.06 LTS made it possible for the first time to install the system from the live CD (also known as the desktop CD). This makes it possible to surf the Internet, read e-mails or do other tasks during the installation. The special installation CD (now called Alternate CD ) is only required if special requirements, such as LVM setup, are to be implemented during installation or the system has little memory . From version 12.10 this is only available for the Lubuntu variant . In addition, there was temporarily a DVD version that included both a live mode and a direct installation and more packages. The Ubuntu Studio variant , on the other hand, is only ever offered as a DVD (installation).

Another special feature, especially compared to Windows , is that the system largely does not save the hardware configuration on the hard drive, but recognizes it automatically when the system starts; from version 8.10 this also applies to the graphics card. It is possible to replace the hardware or even install a hard drive with Ubuntu in a completely different PC, sometimes without any adjustment.

Ubuntu says it is focused on ease of use . The standard installation only provides one program for the usual areas of application - such as e-mail , browser or office packages  - which avoids the redundancies common with other Linux distributions . The selection is mainly based on the GUI toolkit used for programming the graphical user interface. Kubuntu uses Qt here , all other versions GTK + . An exception is LibreOffice , which, in the opinion of the developers, is characterized by more stable operation and better handling of Microsoft Office files compared to KOffice and the Gnome Office programs . Further criteria are the integration into the desktop environment and the development status of the programs.

Another aspect of ease of use is the automation of the configuration of the system. For example, when dealing with graphics card drivers, ideally the best device driver available under a free license is selected directly. If a proprietary driver is required - for example to support 3D acceleration - this can be installed using a graphic configuration program.

Rosetta also has its own online translation tool . The Debian Free Software Guidelines are used as a guideline for permitted licenses for the package sources main and universe (see the division of the program packages ), but non-free software packages - unlike Debian  , for example - are not categorically excluded. Such non-free packages are automatically installed where free software cannot yet guarantee the full range of functions, for example with device drivers . For this pragmatism , among other things , Ubuntu is criticized by the Free Software Foundation and other staunch advocates of free software; however, other users see this as one of the greatest advantages.

Division of the program packages

As with all Debian derivatives, the program packages are divided into several package sources . With Ubuntu, the assignment is based on two criteria. On the one hand, a distinction is made according to whether it is free software , and on the other hand, according to whether the program belongs to one of the variants of the basic configuration or whether it is basically optional. The package sources are looked after by the Ubuntu team to varying degrees. A limitation of the customer service to only a part of the packages is a specialty of Ubuntu and does not exist in Debian.

The main package source includes those packages that meet the Ubuntu license requirements ( Debian Free Software Guidelines ) and are directly supported by the Ubuntu team. The packages from this source are part of the standard installation in one of the Ubuntu variants and are usually coordinated with one another. The Ubuntu team provides commercial support and security fixes for all packages in this area.

The restricted area includes software that is supported by the Ubuntu developers because of its importance, but which cannot be integrated into main due to the lack of a suitable license . In particular, these are packages for graphics card drivers that are only available in binary format . The support is less than that for main as the developers do not have access to the source code.

The universe area includes a wide range of free software that is not directly supported by the Ubuntu team. Most of these packages come from Debian unstable, but are not updated in an Ubuntu version if a newer version of the package is available in Debian unstable. There is also a separate team called Masters of the Universe that looks after these packages, but no security updates are guaranteed.

To multiverse belongs optional software that either is not under a free license or because of software patents must not be freely distributed. These programs are only maintained to a limited extent. Security updates and corrections are - similar to restricted  - often not possible due to the lack of access to the source code.

The special commercial section contains software from commercial providers certified by Canonical. Software manufacturers can also have their programs certified if they are compatible with Ubuntu and can be completely removed. In addition to free software, non-free software can also be certified. However, proprietary applications cannot become part of the core Ubuntu distribution. At the moment this directory contains the Opera browser, RealPlayer , the anti-virus software Panda DesktopSecure and the VMware server.

Multimedia programs and proprietary codecs , which cannot be freely distributed in all countries due to patent or copyrights, were delivered in an unofficial package source called Medibuntu until November 2013. It included Google Earth , common codecs such as DivX and libdvdcss , Windows Media Video and QuickTime . Libdvdcss has since been provided by VideoLAN .org.

System requirements

Ubuntu is officially supported on the x86 and ARM architectures . Unofficially, you can get Ubuntu running on the PowerPC (ppc64el), SPARC (sparc64) and PA-RISC architectures. On the x86 architecture IA-32 (x86 from 32-bit), from Ubuntu 19.10 onwards, only the 64-bit variant x64 (amd64) is supported.

The minimum hardware requirements for 8.10 Ubuntu were 256 megabytes of RAM and a processor model with 500 megahertz from Ubuntu itself. A free storage space of around 5 gigabytes is recommended on the hard drive, around 2.5 gigabytes are occupied, and updates require around one gigabyte of additional space. These requirements changed only slightly with more recent versions.

Recommended system requirements for Ubuntu 18.04 (for x86 systems)
hardware Desktop Edition (with desktop environment ) Server edition (with CLI )
processor 2 GHz dual core processor 300 MHz
R.A.M. 2 GB 256 MB
GPU VGA from 1024 × 768 screen resolution Graphics card and monitor from 640 × 480 pixels
Data storage 25 GB 1.5 GB

Architectures that are no longer supported are the 32-bit x86 architecture IA-32 without PAE from 12.10 and the 32-bit x86 generally from 19.10. Because 18.10 and 19.04 are not LTS versions, no automatic upgrade to the 32-bit x86 architecture has been offered since April 18, but security updates for April 18 LTS are still available until April 2023. For very old x86 hardware without PAE, there are sometimes community kernels that can do without PAE. A special case are early Pentium M computers that can handle PAE but do not report this as an existing instruction set extension in the CPUID identifier . The forcepaeregular Ubuntu distribution can still be used on these processors from Ubuntu 14.04 LTS with the kernel parameter .

As of Ubuntu 17.04 powerpc32(32-bit, Big Endian ) is no longer part of the official Ubuntu distribution.

Development history

Each version has its own code name and version number based on the year and month of its release. For example, 5.10 stands for October 2005. The code names are animal species preceded by an adjective, creating an alliteration . From the “Dapper Drake” version, the alliterations are continued alphabetically ( Dapper, Edgy, Feisty , etc.). The project has set itself the goal of releasing a new version of the distribution every six months, with each version receiving security fixes for at least nine months . Furthermore, a version with long-term support (LTS for short) is offered every two years and is provided with updates for five years. LTS versions up to and including 10.04 were only supported in the server version for five years, in the desktop version, however, only for three years. In addition, non-LTS versions up to and including October 12th were maintained for 18 months. The first LTS version was released on June 1, 2006.

The release cycle of Ubuntu with new versions every six months is based on that of the Gnome desktop environment , so that a new Ubuntu version is always available shortly after the release of a new Gnome version that integrates it (exception: Ubuntu 13.04 with Gnome 3.6 instead 3.8). As a result, Ubuntu tries to be a particularly current distribution , at least in terms of the graphical user interface . Even when the Unity interface was still included in Ubuntu, Gnome still served as the basis for every Ubuntu version.


Version overview

Ubuntu 4.10

The first version 4.10 Warty Warthog (English for: warty warthog ) was essentially a largely fully configured Debian system. It was published on October 20, 2004. The system was available for installation on IA-32 , AMD64 and PowerPC systems, and there was also a live CD for IA-32 systems. The shipping service (see distribution ) was started with this version . Version 4.10 was supported until April 30, 2006.

Ubuntu 5.04

With version 5.04 Hoary Hedgehog (English for: graying hedgehog ) on April 8, 2005 a graphical update management was introduced. This version made a name for itself, especially because of its largely automatic hardware support, especially for laptops. Since this version, KDE is also supported in the form of the Kubuntu variant . This version was supported until October 31, 2006.

Ubuntu 5.10

The version 5.10 Breezy Badger (English for: confident badger ) was released on October 13, 2005 and added an installation mode for OEM systems in which user name and password do not have to be entered. In this version, a GCC 4.0 is used as the compiler for the first time , which enabled further optimization. In addition, the start of the system is shown graphically with a status bar called usplash . In addition, the online program Launchpad and the included translation program Rosetta were introduced to manage system development . Version 5.10 was supported until April 13, 2007.

Ubuntu 6.06 LTS

In the version 6.06 LTS Dapper Drake (English for: Dapper Drake ), which was published on 1 June 2006, was first deviated from the six-monthly intervals to the developers additional time to find and fix bugs , to test, to improve Asian language support and Linux Standard Base certification. It is the first so-called long-term support version: desktop users received updates and bug fixes until July 14, 2009, and server users until June 1, 2011. Other innovations in this version were the Ubiquity installer on the live CDs, which at the same time became standard. With this version there is the offshoot Xubuntu for the first time , which uses Xfce as a desktop environment.

Two months after the release of Ubuntu 6.06, the Ubuntu team decided to release an updated version (6.06.1) . This essentially contains over 300 security and error corrections as well as an updated translation. A large part of the Gnome desktop 2.14.3 has also been added. Errors in the graphical installation program on the desktop CD (Live CD) have also been eliminated and all programs supplied have been updated. In January 2008 there was another such update as 6.06.2 .

Ubuntu 6.10

Version 6.10 Edgy Eft (English for: nervous young newt ) from October 26, 2006 is the first regular release after 6.06 LTS . Due to the two-month delay in the completion of the previous version, the development time for Edgy was shortened to four months and was therefore intended as a trial release that did not specifically focus on stability. However, the visible improvements are minor; the Upstart initialization system and automated error reports are new . Various other improvements have been started. This version also integrates some applications based on the Mono project , which is not undisputed because of its proximity to Microsoft, such as Tomboy or F-Spot . Official support for this version ended on April 25, 2008.

Ubuntu 7.04

With version 7.04 Feisty Fawn (English for: cheeky fawn ) from April 19, 2007, many improvements to the more experimental Edgy Eft following the 6.06 LTS can be used in practice. Among other things, there is a migration assistant , KVM , an installation assistant for non-free codecs and drivers, desktop effects ( compiz ) and WPA support. The PowerPC version will only be unofficially further developed due to the conversion to IA-32 processors from Intel on Apple computers. Official support for this version ended on October 19, 2008.

Ubuntu 7.10

The version 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon (English for: brave Gibbon ) was released on October 18, 2007. New here are the free Flash plug-in Gnash , Mozilla Firefox Version 3 Alpha (in universe), partially automatically activated desktop effects via Compiz Fusion , a completely redesigned configuration program for the look of the desktop (themes, effects, background image), a graphical configuration program for the X Window System , whereby monitors are now recognized dynamically. Also AppArmor , the desktop search Meta Tracker and a new printer management system-config-printer , which comes from Fedora . There is now an automatic detection and setup for printers too. Hard disk encryption is now supported for conventional installation. Official support for this version ended on April 18, 2009.

Ubuntu 8.04 LTS

On April 24, 2008, version 8.04 LTS Hardy Heron (English for: keen heron ) was released again, a long-term release - until May 12, 2011 as a desktop system and until May 9, 2013 as a server system However, due to the appearance of KDE 4, the long-term support did not apply to the Kubuntu variant . The new functions were determined at the Ubuntu developer conference (October 28 to November 3, 2007). Various security functions are new, such as PolicyKit (which means that system programs only need certain special rights, but not a full root user), SELinux and extended memory protection. In terms of programs, the Brasero burning program was newly included, the version 3.0 Beta 5 of Mozilla Firefox originally served as the browser , as version 2.0.x could not be guaranteed to be maintained over the three years. The final version was delivered as an update package ("update") and is also included in 8.04.1. The outdated EsounD sound server was replaced by PulseAudio . There is also a simple, command line-based personal firewall now. Recently iSCSI (to be activated explicitly) and Active Directory are supported. In addition, the installation program Wubi has been added, which allows the installation of Ubuntu on a Windows partition. Some of the changes to the kernel came from the Linux distribution Kanotix , which in turn uses the Ubuntu kernel. This version supports an update from the immediately preceding version 7.10 as well as from the last LTS version 6.06.

As with all LTS releases, several updated versions have been made available for download in order not to have to download all improvements afterwards and to increase the stability as a live CD. Edubuntu is no longer an independent distribution since this version, but represents an expansion package for a standard Ubuntu system.

The server-optimized version of version 8.04 LTS Hardy Heron , which appeared on April 24, 2008, was provided with security and stability updates until the beginning of May 2013. Support for the desktop version ended on May 12, 2011.

Ubuntu 8.10

Version 8.10 with code name Intrepid Ibex (English for intrepid Capricorn ) was released on October 30, 2008 . Various improvements to the details can be found in this; For example, the roaming capabilities of mobile systems have been improved so that, for example, if there is sufficient network availability on the way from the office by train to home, you will never lose your Internet connection. The new version of NetworkManager can now also handle UMTS connections. Another innovation is a guest account without any access rights to the hard drive. The kernel modules not managed by the actual kernel team are now managed via Dynamic Kernel Module Support , which means that they are automatically adapted to the respective kernel version, instead of having to have countless separate packages. In addition, driver packages can be used across multiple Ubuntu versions. Furthermore, since this version , the X-Server does not need a configuration file, which means that the system automatically adapts to most hardware changes; Outside of the X server, older Ubuntu versions do not require any manual configuration. A completely new optical design was developed under the name DarkRoom , but is not activated by default in the finished version; a slightly modified version of the well-known human design is used here. The details of the new features were discussed at the Ubuntu developer conference from May 19 to 23, 2008 in Prague .

Ubuntu 9.04

Version 9.04 was released on April 23, 2009 under the name Jaunty Jackalope (English for lively Jackalope ). Most of the changes relate to less noticeable improvements to the substructure of the system; above all, the start time has been significantly improved compared to the previous versions. There are also a number of minor user interface improvements; in particular a new notification system. In addition, daily updated versions are to be made available for some packages in the future; a first step in this direction are current kernel versions.

Ubuntu 9.10

Version 9.10 was released on October 29, 2009 under the name Karmic Koala (English for karmic koala ). It supports the ext4 file system, which was withdrawn at the last moment in version 9.04, and contains the current versions of the Mozilla Firefox web browser and the free office suite OpenOffice.org . Various improvements that had already been started in the previous versions were continued here, so the boot system now relies entirely on Upstart .

Further changes, some of which are significant, concern the boot screen, the various themes, the wallpaper that is included in a larger number for the first time and the Ubuntu Software Center that is included for the first time . Support for this version ended on April 30, 2011.

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS

Version 10.04 LTS was released on April 29, 2010 under the name Lucid Lynx (English for clear lynx ). The most noticeable innovation is a new visual design with two new color options ( Ambiance with dark and Radiance with light accents) up to a revised Ubuntu logo. The window functions button is now arranged on the left-hand side as in Mac OS . Technically, there is above all a more extensive integration of functions for social networks and Ubuntu One . The boot time has been further optimized, in particular, HAL is now completely dispensed with and the splash screen functionality is newly implemented under the name plymouth . The GIMP image processing was replaced by the simpler F-Spot photo processing software for reasons of space and is no longer part of the standard scope of the distribution, but is still fully supported. On August 18, 2010, February 18, 2011, July 22, 2011 and February 16, 2012, updated CD images with all updates that have been released in the meantime were released as 04/10/1 , 04/10/2 , 04 / 10.3 and 04/10/4 . Support for the desktop version ended on May 9, 2013.

Ubuntu 10.10

Version 10.10 was published on October 10, 2010 under the name Maverick Meerkat (English for: idiosyncratic meerkat ). The few visible innovations include a font specially developed for Ubuntu called "Ubuntu" and a significantly expanded software center that now also offers commercial software. As is usual with the versions immediately after an LTS, there are some innovations in the structure (such as the departure from HAL ) and there are experimental functions, such as the btrfs file system . Support for this version ended on April 11, 2012.

Ubuntu 04/11

Version 11.04 with the name " Natty Narwhal " (English for "Schicker Narwhal ") was released on April 28, 2011. With this version, the main version no longer relied on the Gnome interface by default , but on the Unity interface developed by Canonical itself . Support for this version ended on October 28, 2012.

Ubuntu 11.10

Version 11.10 with the name “ Oneiric Ocelot ” (English for “dreamlike ocelot ”) was released on October 13, 2011. The Linux kernel 3.0 was also installed. LightDM also replaced the Gnome Display Manager . Unity has been ported to Gnome 3. It also replaced the Gnome 2.32 desktop environment on computers without graphics acceleration through OpenGL . Support for this version ended on May 9, 2013.

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

The version 4.12 LTS (LTS = long term support, English for long-term support) was published on 26 April 2012 and is named Precise Pangolin (English for error-free or conscientious pangolin ). For the first time, the LTS desktop version will also be supported for 5 years instead of just the LTS server versions as before. Ubuntu 12.04 is the first LTS release with the Unity desktop user interface .

Ubuntu 10/12

Version 12.10 was published on October 18, 2012 and is called Quantal Quetzal (English for Quantum Quetzal ). In addition to updates to various packages, improvements have been made to the Unity interface, which now enables a preview of file content, for example. At the same time, the display of product advertisements from the Amazon Internet platform was inserted into the search, which was met with very divided opinions (see also the legal section ). Unity 2D has also been removed due to the introduction of LLVMpipe .

Ubuntu 04/13

Version 13.04 was released on April 25, 2013 and is called Raring Ringtail (English for Enthusiastic Katzenfrett ). Cristian Parrino, Canonical's vice president for online services, has announced a further deepening of the shopping function for version 13.04. The Linux distribution is expanding the online search and is in addition to the own offers and Amazon, other online retailers and sources such as YouTube and Last.fm involve. According to Parrino, the search term is first analyzed in order to filter out relevant providers. As a result, the search function then delivers a mix of local and external sources. The other suggestions are also to be extended to other online retailers. A web browser is no longer required for instant purchasing . Instead, purchases in the in-house software center and music store are made directly from the desktop. Support for this version ended on January 27, 2014.

Ubuntu 10/13

Version 13.10 was released on October 17, 2013 and is called Saucy Salamander (English for nosy salamander ). Compared to the previous version, the code has been optimized for use on mobile devices. Support for this version ended on July 17, 2014.

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

Version 14.04 LTS was released on April 17, 2014 and is called Trusty Tahr (English for Treuer Tahr ).

Ubuntu 10/14

Version 14.10 has been released on October 23, 2014 and bears the name Utopic Unicorn (English for utopian Unicorn ). Support for this version ended in July 2015.

Ubuntu 04/15

Version 15.04 was released on April 23, 2015 and is called Vivid Vervet (English for lively green monkey ). Support for this version ended in January 2016.

Ubuntu 10/15

Version 15.10 was released on October 22nd, 2015 under the name Wily Werewolf (English for insidious werewolf ). Support for this version ended in July 2016.

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

Version 16.04 was released on April 21, 2016 under the name Xenial Xerus (English for hospitable bristle cone ). On August 6, 2020, the last update version was released 16.04.7 (amd64).

The standard support ends in April 2021, "End of Life" is in April 2024.

Ubuntu 10/16

Version 16.10 was renamed Yakkety Yak on April 21, 2016 by Mark Shuttleworth and was released on October 13, 2016. Support for this version ended on July 20, 2017.

Ubuntu 04/17

Version 17.04 was released on April 13, 2017 and is called Zesty Zapus (English for enthusiastic bouncy mouse ). This was the last release with the Unity desktop. Support for this version ended on January 13, 2018.

Ubuntu 10/17

Version 17.10 has been released on 19 October 2017 and bears the name Artful Aardvark (English for Artful aardvark ). This version switches back from the Unity desktop to the Gnome desktop. Support for this version ended in July 2018.

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

Version 18.04 was released on April 27, 2018 and is called Bionic Beaver (English for Bionic Beaver ). Since this is an LTS version, it will be supported until 2023 for private home users and until 2028 for professional users as part of the Extended Security Maintenance (ESM), which is subject to a fee. This version includes a new text-based installer for the server version, as well as the Minimal Installation option in the desktop installer, which installs only basic tools. For stability reasons, X-Server is used again by default in this version, but Wayland is still part of the standard installation and can be used instead of X-Server. The first update version 18.04.1 was released on July 26, 2018 and the second update version 18.04.2 was released on February 15, 2019.

Ubuntu 10/18

Version 18.10 was released on October 18, 2018 and is called Cosmic Cuttlefish (English for cosmic squid ). It has a new standard theme with a new starting melody. The new symbols appear more modern and are two-dimensional ( material design ) and warmer . The version was supported until July 18, 2019.

Ubuntu 04/19

Version 19.04 was released on April 18, 2019 and is called Disco Dingo . 19.04 uses the kernel 5.0, now also supports AMD Freesync and Raspberry PI touchscreens, and it contains improvements for virtual machines (open-vm-tools).

Ubuntu 10/19

Version 19.10 was published on October 17, 2019 and is called Eoan Ermine (English for rising / ascending ermine ). 19.10 uses the 5.3 kernel, which now also supports the third generation of AMD Ryzen motherboards. (Experimental) support for the ZFS file system (file system) as the root file system has also been added.

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

Version 20.04 was published on April 23, 2020 and is called Focal Fossa (English for " Focal Fossa"). It uses the 5.4 kernel. It's an LTS release with five years of support. Compared to the last LTS release, installing the operating system is much faster.

Ubuntu 10/20

Not yet published, it will be called Groovy Gorilla and is planned for October 22, 2020.

Further development

Mark Shuttleworth and his team planned to port Ubuntu to smartphones, tablets and smart TVs as a full-fledged platform. Ubuntu 14.04 was named as the time horizon for this. As part of this realignment, Canonical appeared for the first time on January 9, 2012 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas and presented Ubuntu TV . On January 2, 2013, a video presentation for Ubuntu was released on smartphones . From April 2015, the BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition, the first smartphone with Ubuntu Touch, was available on the EU market, and since June 2015 the BQ Aquaris E5 Ubuntu Edition and the Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition

At the beginning of 2013, among other things at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in March, there was a discussion about converting Ubuntu to rolling releases . The idea was to only publish an LTS version with long-term support every two years and to constantly update the program packages between two LTS versions . Shuttleworth, however, spoke out against rolling releases and referred users who constantly wanted up-to-date program packages to the daily development versions (so-called daily builds ). Finally, the technical management of Ubuntu voted against the introduction of rolling releases. At the same time, it was decided that LTS versions should receive not only patches but also new program versions in the first two years of the five-year support period .

As another larger project, Shuttleworth announced in November 2010 that the Wayland display server would replace the previously used X.Org server . The declared aim was to implement a principle called convergence , in which a smartphone connected to a screen forms a full-fledged PC system. Since the X.Org server appeared to be technically incompatible, Canonical planned and developed its own display server Mir from 2013 . This met with rejection from parts of the Linux community and led to fierce controversy, as it was feared that the Linux ecosystem would be fragmented. It also made the future of Ubuntu derivatives uncertain.

On April 5, 2017, Mark Shuttleworth announced that work on Unity and the new display server Mir would be discontinued in favor of cloud solutions and the Internet of Things . Since Ubuntu 17.10, Gnome is again the default Ubuntu desktop. Ubuntu Touch has also been discontinued.

Ubuntu gallery

Each version is graphically designed to match the code name:

Version table

version Code name publication Support up Kernel annotation
Older version; no longer supported: 4.10 Warty Warthog Oct 20, 2004 Apr 30, 2006 2.6.8 first version
Older version; no longer supported: 5.04 Hoary Hedgehog 0Apr 8, 2005 Oct 31, 2006 2.6.10 first time Kubuntu
Older version; no longer supported: 5.10 Breezy Badger Oct 13, 2005 Apr 13, 2007 2.6.12 first time Edubuntu
Older version; no longer supported: 6.06 LTS Dapper Drake 0June 1, 2006 Desktop: July 14, 2009
Server: June 1, 2011 0
2.6.15 LTS version (only Ubuntu, Ubuntu Server, Kubuntu, Edubuntu), Xubuntu for the first time
Older version; no longer supported: 6.06.1 LTS Aug 10, 2006 first update of the 6.06 LTS branch
Older version; no longer supported: 6.06.2 LTS Jan. 21, 2008 second update of the 6.06 LTS branch
Older version; no longer supported: 6.10 Edgy Eft Oct 26, 2006 Apr 25, 2008 2.6.17 experimental version
Older version; no longer supported: 7.04 Feisty Fawn Apr 19, 2007 Oct 19, 2008 2.6.20 first time Ubuntu Studio
Older version; no longer supported: 7.10 Gutsy gibbon Oct 18, 2007 Apr 18, 2009 2.6.22 first Gobuntu , last version for Sun UltraSPARC
Older version; no longer supported: 8.04 LTS Hardy Heron Apr 24, 2008 Desktop: May 12, 2011
Server: May 9, 2013 0
2.6.24 LTS version (only Ubuntu, Ubuntu Server and Edubuntu)
Older version; no longer supported: 8.04.1 LTS 0July 3, 2008 first update of the 8.04 LTS branch
Older version; no longer supported: 8.04.2 LTS Jan. 23, 2009 second update of the 8.04 LTS branch
Older version; no longer supported: 8.04.3 LTS July 16, 2009 third update of the 8.04 LTS branch
Older version; no longer supported: 8.04.4 LTS Jan. 29, 2010 fourth update of the 8.04 LTS branch
Older version; no longer supported: 8.10 Intrepid Ibex Oct 30, 2008 Apr 30, 2010 2.6.27 New features of the desktop version: Ubuntu can now be of removable media launch, supporting UMTS modems, guest accounts, Gnome 2.24, Totem and Rhythmbox BBC - plug-in ; New features of the server variant: Improvement of the server virtualization , improvements in support of RAID , improved and more secure package management , encryption of private directories, daemon-bound firewall rules , Apache Tomcat 6.0, Java OpenJDK 1.6, ClamAV , SpamAssassin
Older version; no longer supported: April 9 Jaunty Jackalope Apr 23, 2009 Oct 23, 2010 2.6.28 Faster system start, X.Org server version 1.6 and ext4 file system as installation option, new notification system
Older version; no longer supported: 9.10 Karmic Koala Oct 29, 2009 Apr 30, 2011 2.6.31 Innovations: Start time should be shortened to 10 seconds on some systems, Gnome Shell available in the sources, Firefox 3.5 as the standard browser, ext4 as the standard file system, Empathy replaces Pidgin as the standard instant messenger, all users can use the home directory encrypt, Ubuntu One can be installed optionally, improvement of the notification system. Furthermore, Grub 2 is now used by default as the boot manager.
Older version; no longer supported: 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx Apr 29, 2010 Desktop: May 9, 2013 0 2.6.32 Innovations: Changes to the standard programs (for example F-Spot and Eye of GNOME instead of GIMP ), HAL is replaced by the flexible DeviceKit. In addition, a new theme is included, which should represent the new paradigm of Ubuntu ("Light": precision, reliability, collaboration and freedom).
Older version; no longer supported: 10.04.1 LTS Aug 18, 2010 first update of the 10.04 LTS branch
Older version; no longer supported: 10.04.2 LTS Feb. 18, 2011 second update of the 10.04 LTS branch
Server: Apr 29, 2015
Older version; no longer supported: 10.04.3 LTS July 22, 2011 Third update of the 10.04 LTS branch
Older version; no longer supported: 10.04.4 LTS Feb 16, 2012 fourth update of the 10.04 LTS branch
Older version; no longer supported: 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Oct 10, 2010 Apr 10, 2012 2.6.35 Innovations (many, but less on the desktop): KDE SC 4.5, Ubuntu font (new system font), WLAN during installation, easier partitioning, uTouch (multitouch framework), the photo manager "Shotwell" replaces F-Spot , the music manager allows Rhythmbox can now be controlled directly from the volume control in the panel, netbook version with the new Unity interface
Older version; no longer supported: 04/11 Natty Narwhal Apr 28, 2011 Oct 28, 2012 2.6.38 optical changes to the surface (integration of the Unity user interface, which is already known from the netbook version 10.10) + support for ARM processors, Unity is now the standard interface in the desktop version, the netbook edition no longer exists, LibreOffice replaces OpenOffice.org, Banshee replaces Rhythmbox
Older version; no longer supported: 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot Oct 13, 2011 0May 9, 2013 3.0 Direct integration of the Qt framework , LightDM replaces GDM , if hardware acceleration is not available, Unity-2D instead of Gnome 2.32, Gnome-3 shell in the package sources, Thunderbird replaces Evolution , Software Center replaces Synaptic , Déjà Dup as a data backup tool ; in Kubuntu KPackageKit will be replaced by Muon
Older version; no longer supported: 12.04 LTS Precise pangolin Apr 26, 2012 Desktop and Server:
Apr 28, 2017
3.2 Improved scroll bars, Tomboy, Mono and gbrainy removed, Rhythmbox replaces Banshee, 64-bit version is officially recommended (server only), shorter boot time, improved multi-monitor support, Gnome components mostly in version 3.4 (others in version 3.0 / 3.2). In addition, the head-up display (HUD) will be introduced, which will later be used to replace conventional menus. HUD should also be able to be controlled later by voice input.
Older version; no longer supported: 12.04.1 LTS 23 Aug 2012 Precise stack with updates to the 12.04 LTS branch
Older version; no longer supported: 12.04.2 LTS Feb. 14, 2013 3.5 Quantal stack with updates to the 12.04 LTS branch.
Older version; no longer supported: 12.04.3 LTS 22 Aug 2013 3.8 Raring stack with updates to the 12.04 LTS branch.
Older version; no longer supported: 12.04.4 LTS 0Feb 6, 2014 3.11 Saucy stack with updates to the 12.04 LTS branch.
Older version; no longer supported: 12.04.5 LTS 0Aug 8, 2014 3.13 Trusty stack with updates to the 12.04 LTS branch.
Older version; no longer supported: 12.10 Quantal Quetzal Oct 18, 2012 May 16, 2014 3.5 Unity 2D has been removed, remote desktop login function in the login screen, Unity dash shows search results from Amazon and Ubuntu One Cloud Service
Older version; no longer supported: April 13th Raring ringtail Apr 25, 2013 Jan. 27, 2014 3.8 Optimization for use on mobile platforms (e.g. TV, mobile phone, tablet PC) etc. a. by reducing the number of processes, memory consumption and power consumption; Compression of software packages with XZ ; Optimization of the compositing manager Compiz
Older version; no longer supported: 13.10 Saucy salamander Oct 17, 2013 17th July 2014 3.11 Further optimization of the code for use on mobile hardware (mobile phone, tablet PC) e.g. B. using Ubuntu Touch
Older version; no longer supported: 14.04 LTS Trusty Tahr Apr 17, 2014  Apr. 2019 3.13 New configuration interface as a fork of the GNOME3 system settings. Ubuntu One will be discontinued on June 1, 2014, which is why the integration of the client service is not included in this release. Locally Integrated Menus (LIM) is now officially used in place of the global menu.
Older version; no longer supported: 14.04.1 LTS July 25, 2014 Trusty stack with updates to the 14.04 LTS branch.
Older version; no longer supported: 14.04.2 LTS 19th Feb. 2015  Aug 2016 3.16 Utopic stack with updates to the 14.04 LTS branch.
Older version; no longer supported: 14.04.3 LTS 0Aug 6, 2015 3.19 Vivid stack with updates to the 14.04 LTS branch.
Older version; no longer supported: 14.04.4 LTS Feb. 18, 2016 4.2 Wily stack with updates to the 14.04 LTS branch.
Older version; no longer supported: 14.04.5 LTS 04th June 2016  Apr. 2019 4.4 Xenial stack with updates to the 14.04 LTS branch.
Older version; no longer supported: 14.10 Utopic Unicorn Oct 23, 2014 23rd July 2015 3.16 upstart still uses the init system, but systemd can be installed later . Ubuntu MATE possible as a flavor.
Older version; no longer supported: April 15 Vivid Vervet 23 Apr 2015 0Feb. 4, 2016 3.19 systemd as the default init system. Slightly improved surface.
Older version; no longer supported: 15.10 Wily Werewolf Oct 22, 2015 July 28, 2016 4.2 Revision of the Dash search function; Gnome counterparts replace Unity scroll bars ; last time Unity 7 was used in version 7.3.2; Increase of the Gnome stack to Gnome 3.16; persistent network interface names; GCC 5.2.1, Xorg 7.7, Systemd 225, LibreOffice 5.0.2 are also included
Older version; still supported: 16.04 LTS Xenial Xerus Apr 21, 2016  Apr. 2021 4.4 (GA) ZFS is offered as a binary package (see legal ), introduction of snap as an alternative to conventional Debian packages , Ubuntu Software Center is replaced by a GNOME alternative, no proprietary AMD driver, update etc. a. on PHP 7 and GNOME 3.18 (with a few exceptions)
Older version; still supported: 16.04.1 LTS July 21, 2016 Xenial stack with first updates to the 16.04 LTS branch.
Older version; no longer supported: 16.04.2 LTS 16 Feb 2017  Aug 2017 4.8 Yakkety stack with Kernel 4.8 (from Ubuntu 16.10) and updates to the "Low Graphics" mode of the 16.04 LTS branch.
Older version; no longer supported: 16.04.3 LTS 03rd Aug 2017  March 2018 4.10 Zesty-Stack with Kernel 4.10 (from Ubuntu 17.04)
Older version; no longer supported: 04/16/4 LTS 01st Mar 2018  Aug 2018 4.13 Artful stack with kernel 4.13 (from Ubuntu 17.10), Mesa stack 17.2 and Unity 7.4.5
Older version; no longer supported: 16.04.5 LTS 0Aug 2, 2018  Apr. 2021 4.15 Bionic-Stack with Kernel 4.15 (from Ubuntu 18.04)
Older version; still supported: 04/16/6 LTS 28 Feb 2019 Update of a critical security vulnerability in APT , further security updates
Older version; no longer supported: 16.10 Yakkety yak Oct 13, 2016 20th July 2017 4.8 Revised Low Graphics mode, Kernel 4.8, technical preview of the display server Mir and Unity 8, LibreOffice 5.2, GTK 3.20, Gnome 3.20 and some Gnome 3.22 applications
Older version; no longer supported: 04/17 Zesty Zapus 13 Apr 2017 Jan. 13, 2018 4.10 Last version with Unity as desktop, Kernel 4.10, LibreOffice 5.3, many Gnome 3.24, some Gnome 3.22 and Gnome 3.20 applications, gconf replaced by gsettings, support for 32-bit PowerPC discontinued
Older version; no longer supported: 17.10 Artful Aardvark 19th Oct 2017 19th July 2018 4.13 Gnome back to standard desktop, Wayland as standard display server, Gnome applications in version 3.26, support for 32-bit desktop computers only via upgrade or via the text-based netinst installation medium.
Older version; still supported: 18.04 LTS Bionic Beaver Apr. 27, 2018  Apr. 2023 4.15 (GA) Change from Wayland back to X-Server (stability for LTS). Gnome applications in version 3.28 (Nautilus remains at 3.26 due to Desktopicon support), LibreOffice 6.0.
Older version; still supported: 04/18/1 LTS July 26, 2018 Bionic stack with first updates to the 18.04 LTS branch.
Older version; no longer supported: 04/18/2 LTS Feb 15, 2019  Aug 2019 4.18 Cosmic stack with further updates to the 18.04 LTS branch (from Ubuntu 18.10).
Older version; no longer supported: 04/18/3 LTS 0Aug 1, 2019  Feb 2020 5.0 Dingo stack and kernel 5.0 (from Ubuntu 19.04)
Older version; still supported: 04/18/4 LTS 0Feb 6, 2020  Aug 2020 5.3 Eoan stack and kernel 5.3 (from Ubuntu 19.10)
Future version: 04/18/5 LTS 13 Aug 2020  Apr. 2023 5.4 Kernel 5.4 (from Ubuntu 20.04)
Older version; no longer supported: 18.10 Cosmic Cuttlefish Oct 18, 2018 18th July 2019 4.18 New standard theme ("Yaru"), fingerprint scanner support. Kernel improves the cooperation with GPUs from AMD and Nvidia as well as USB Type-C and Thunderbolt connections, support from FUSE , which allows users without administrator rights to integrate file systems. Gnome applications in version 3.30, Mozilla Firefox 63, LibreOffice 6.1.2.
Older version; no longer supported: April 19 Disco dingo April 18, 2019 Jan. 23, 2020 5.0 System settings have been revised so that authorizations for Snap and Flatpak packages can now be managed. If Ubuntu Desktop is installed in VMware , Ubuntu will automatically set up the VMware tools. Gnome applications in version 3.32, Python 3.7.3 and GCC 8.3 are preinstalled by default, but GCC 9 is available in the package sources. Mozilla Firefox 66, LibreOffice 6.2.2.
Older version; no longer supported: 19.10 Eoan Ermine 17th Oct 2019  July 2020 5.3 Proprietary Nvidia drivers are supplied on the ISO image and can now be installed immediately. Furthermore, after a revision of Canonical, 32-bit applications are still partially supported. The ZFS file system can be used experimentally as the root file system. Gnome applications in version 3.34, Snap 2.42, Chromium 77, Firefox 69
Older version; still supported: 04/20 LTS Focal fossa 23 Apr 2020 April 2025 5.4 (GA) The new VPN software WireGuard was introduced and backported to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. The authentication method U2F / FIDO was introduced to counteract social engineering . GDM receives multi-monitor support. The Amazon web launcher has been removed from the dock bar. The Yaru theme has been revised and now also contains a darker mode ("Dark Mode"). The file manager Nautilus is renamed to file (for example to the respective language translation). Gnome applications in version 3.36. Mozilla Firefox 75, Thunderbird 68.7, LibreOffice 6.4.22
Current version: 04/20/1 LTS August 6, 2020 April 2025 (first "Point Release" - for upgrades from version family 18.04.xx LTS)
Future version: 20.10 Groovy gorilla Oct 22, 2020  July 2021 tbd tbd
Older version; no longer supported
Older version; still supported
Current version
Current preliminary version
Future version


The concept of Ubuntu is to contain as little redundant software as possible . As a result, the Ubuntu developers created several Ubuntu derivatives that differ only in the selection of the software in the standard installation. These compilations differ only in the packages included in the initial installation. The base system, installation program and repositories , however, are the same. This means that it is also possible to expand a distribution by installing the functionality of another derivative. The different variants therefore only express preferences of the user, which he would like to commit himself to during the basic installation; they can be viewed as "configuration variants" of the same Linux distribution. Versions with a different desktop environment (such as Kubuntu), however, have a sometimes enormous difference in appearance and operation. There are also a number of specialized, unofficial Ubuntu derivatives published by outside developers .

Ubuntu Server Edition

Ubuntu without a graphical user interface

The Ubuntu Server Edition is a compilation with more server services instead of a graphical user interface . Before version 12.04, the Server Edition had a different kernel than the normal Ubuntu, which up until then had received two years less long time support than the Server Edition. Since then, installations of the two combinations have led to the same result when choosing the minimum equipment, which can be retrofitted with all of the two combinations.

Ubuntu Core (formerly JeOS)

Under the name JeOS (Just Enough Operating System) there is a minimalist sub-variant of the server from version 8.04.x, optimized for use in virtual environments such as VMware . As of Ubuntu 8.10, this version was integrated as an option in the normal server version.

With the increasing importance of cloud computing and application containers such as Docker or LXC , this variant was renamed Ubuntu Core in 2014 . It is currently receiving a new type of package manager called Snappy , which supports transactional updates and rollback .

Minimally Ubuntu

Canonical has also been offering Ubuntu in the minimal version since July 2018. Minimal Ubuntu is a significantly smaller version compared to Ubuntu Core. This is achieved, among other things, by only preinstalling the minimum necessary packages. It is therefore even better suited as a basis for containers in the cloud.


Kubuntu logo and wordmark.svg
Kubuntu 20.04 LTS desktop

Kubuntu is a variant of Ubuntu with the KDE desktop environment , which was first released with version 5.04 . The preceding "K" stands as a common abbreviation for "KDE".


Compared to Gnome, KDE applications can be configured more extensively, which some users see as an advantage, others - due to the lack of clarity - as a disadvantage. Kubuntu always comes with the current version of the KDE Plasma Workspace together with other KDE applications, such as the Amarok audio player or the K3b burning program . LibreOffice is used as the office package - the only program not based on KDE libraries.


In the first Ubuntu version (4.10), KDE was only contained in universe , which contained programs that were simply taken over from Debian . In addition, universe had to be explicitly activated at this time. Due to the strong demand for KDE, a variant was started with version 5.04 that does not differ from Ubuntu except for the other desktop. This is the first variant of this type and is a compromise between the goal of avoiding redundancy and serving different interests. At first glance, Kubuntu and Ubuntu are completely different systems, even the boot messages speak of kubuntu . Nevertheless, they are based on the same package sources. This procedure does not exist in any other Linux distribution.

At first, Kubuntu was developed almost entirely by a team of volunteers, only Jonathan Riddell was directly employed by Canonical, which caused some displeasure. After the first LTS release it was announced that KDE support would have the same status as that for Gnome. This is reflected, among other things, in the fact that Kubuntu has commercial customer service through Canonical.

Version 8.04 is not an LTS version. Sufficient stability could not be guaranteed for KDE version 4, and no support for three years for KDE 3.5. Kubuntu 8.04 therefore also exists in two variants, the normal kubuntu with KDE 3.5.9 and kubuntu-kde4 with KDE 4.0.3. Commercial customer service for 18 months and shipping service are only available for the KDE 3 version.

Version 8.10 is only available with KDE 4.1. The automatic “upgrade” to this version was therefore deactivated by default for version 8.04, as it would result in a complete deinstallation of KDE 3. However, the update can still be carried out via the command line.


Desktop from Xubuntu 20.04 LTS
Xubuntu logo and wordmark.svg

Xubuntu is a modification of Ubuntu with the resource-saving desktop environment Xfce . Therefore, Xubuntu is suitable for older computers with little RAM, where installing the standard version is problematic. Xubuntu's own installation and live CDs were first published with Ubuntu version 6.06 LTS. This version is developed exclusively by volunteers. The scope here includes the word processor AbiWord , the spreadsheet program Gnumeric , Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird , but also a version of LibreOffice.org or OpenOffice.org reduced to pure word processing, if the functionality of the much more economical Abiword is insufficient. In addition, there are various auxiliary programs from the normal Ubuntu version, such as the update management, the NetworkManager or the Synaptic package management . The hardware requirements are 128 MB of RAM (256 MB is recommended) and 1.5 GB of free hard disk space. However, in contrast to the information for the other Ubuntu variants, this information is based on what is technically feasible and not on an actually usable system. The German localizations occupy almost two GB on the hard drive , while updates still require space in the order of the CD.


Desktop of Lubuntu 20.04 LTS
Lubuntu logo.svg

Lubuntu is a derivative that is designed for use on less powerful hardware. Its desktop environment was the particularly resource-saving LXDE ; with Openbox as the window manager, only about half as much memory is required as with Xubuntu. Lubuntu 11.10 became an official derivative of Ubuntu when it was released in October 2011. From version 18.10 LXQt is used as the desktop environment.


Edubuntu Desktop 04/12

Edubuntu is an extension to Ubuntu that was developed for use in schools and is based on the Ubuntu Linux Terminal Server Project . The name is composed of "education" (English for education) and "Ubuntu". Some functions of the discontinued Skubuntu project have been integrated into Edubuntu. Core components of Edubuntu are the learning programs GCompris , calcium (KDE) , Tux4Kids and the School Calendar tool.

In versions 5.10 to 7.10, Edubuntu was an independent Ubuntu version, in which the normal range of functions was limited in favor of the educational programs for reasons of space. From version 8.04 LTS, Edubuntu is an extension that is based on an installed Ubuntu system. This can be installed via the package manager . From version 11.10 onwards, Edubuntu is also available again as an independent version.

On March 21, 2016, project manager Stéphane Graber stated that no Edubuntu version based on Ubuntu 16.04 will be released. At the same time, he assured regular maintenance of the LTS version Edubuntu 14.04 until the end of support in 2019.

Ubuntu Studio

Ubuntustudio v3 logo-alt.svg
Ubuntu Studio 20.04 LTS desktop

Ubuntu Studio is specifically designed to meet the needs of audio, graphics, and video editing. For such purposes, a kernel with real-time functions was added to the Ubuntu sources, which does not support any energy-saving functions. The JACK program serves as the audio backend . Various multimedia programs are also part of the scope, including CinePaint , the video editing software OpenShot , the audio sequencer Rosegarden , the audio editor Ardor and the DTP program Scribus . The first stable version was released on May 10, 2007 and is based on Ubuntu 7.04. This was the only Ubuntu version to be delivered as a DVD image with almost 900 MB. Ubuntu Studio is also available for x64 from version 7.10 . Ubuntu Studio is listed as "Recognized Derivative" on the Ubuntu website.

Ubuntu GNOME

Ubuntu GNOME logo.svg
Ubuntu Gnome desktop 16.04

The variant Ubuntu GNOME (previously: Ubuntu Gnome Remix) used the Gnome Shell instead of Unity and some Gnome applications that were not installed by default in Ubuntu. From version 13.04 to version 18.04, Ubuntu GNOME was an officially recognized variant by Canonical. The Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 version is an LTS version with a support period of 3 years. Ubuntu uses LTS Gnome as the standard desktop again from version 18.04 onwards, so Ubuntu GNOME is no longer a separate spin. The developers have been working on Ubuntu since then with the Canonical team.

Ubuntu Kylin

Ubuntu Kylin logo.png

Ubuntu Kylin is another variant that is officially recognized by Canonical from version 13.04. It is said to be better adapted to the needs of Chinese users than Ubuntu itself. Some components of Ubuntu Kylin are based on Kylin . Ubuntu Kylin has been an official Ubuntu variant since March 2013 and is maintained by Canonical.

In an official notification on May 20, 2014 , the Chinese government announced that it wanted to convert 200 million computers that were still working with Windows XP to Ubuntu Kylin . The aim of this large-scale migration is to reduce the dependence on foreign manufacturers of operating systems. A migration to Windows 8 was prohibited for security reasons .

Ubuntu MATE

Ubuntu MATE logo.svg
Ubuntu MATE 20.04 with MATE desktop

The variant Ubuntu MATE has the desktop environment MATE instead of GNOME. As of version 15.04, Ubuntu MATE is an officially recognized variant by Canonical. The included tool MATE Tweak offers preconfigured panel / dock variants with different start menus to choose from. System applications such as file manager, text editor and document viewer are available as separate applications derived from GNOME, whose names in MATE are mainly occupied by Spanish terms such as caja , pluma and atril .

Ubuntu Budgie

Budgie Remix 16.04 based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

Budgie is a desktop environment with various Gnome applications that is based on GTK + (> 3.x). It was developed by the developers of the Solus Project. Ubuntu Budgie began as Budgie Remix and is officially Canonical approved as of version 17.04. A special feature is the slide menu Raven , which can be opened as standard on the right and which allows notifications and applets such as B. houses a calendar or settings for the sound output.

Former variants

Some variants are now only extensions for an existing Ubuntu system or integrated into it.

Ubuntu netbook systems

As of version 7.10, Ubuntu variants are mentioned under changing names, which are specially designed for rather sparsely equipped computers, for example ultra-mobile PCs or netbooks .

A first version of this, developed together with Intel, appeared with Ubuntu 8.04 under the name “Ubuntu MID Edition”; sometimes simply “Ubuntu Mobile”. The slimmed-down version of the Linux distribution contains software such as a web browser and various multimedia applications, some of which are not included in the normal desktop version. The surface was adapted to small displays of 4 to 8 inches in size. This version is used in the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 netbook and the Toshiba NB100.

Desktop of the Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition with the standard Unity interface

The published with Ubuntu 9.04 "Ubuntu Netbook Remix" is a version that is designed for netbooks with screen sizes up to 10 inches and from a USB - live system can be installed from.

With the Netbook Remix there is an alternative desktop that shows all important programs at a glance. (see image)

In Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, the Netbook Remix was renamed “Ubuntu Netbook Edition” and Ubuntu 10.10 appeared for the first time with the specially developed Unity interface .

As of Ubuntu 11.04, there is no longer a Netbook Edition, as the desktop version now uses Unity as the standard shell.


Gobuntu logo.svg

Gobuntu was a variant of Ubuntu with no proprietary content. This contained almost exclusively programs, drivers and files that were published under a free license, with the exception of, for example, logos and icons from the Firefox web browser. Gobuntu was only available in versions 7.10 and 8.04 (including update release 8.04.1).

With this project Canonical tried to counter the accusation that Ubuntu is no longer free software because it uses or at least offers many proprietary drivers and programs. The developers should use Gobuntu to determine the limits of free code and other free works and, if necessary, also work on expanding them. According to chief developer Mark Shuttleworth, Gobuntu did not work properly with a lot of hardware , but existed as a sign of the need for free software and as an example of what is already possible today.

There were first plans for such a project in November 2005, then under the name Gnubuntu . This was initially changed to Ubuntu-libre after protests by Richard Stallman . The development of Gobuntu then happened in cooperation with the developers of gNewSense , which was approved by Stallman, with the aim of becoming its basis in the future. From version 3 gNewSense is no longer based on Ubuntu, but on Debian.

Further Gobuntu versions after 8.04.1 were no longer published. One of the reasons given was the inactivity of the Gobuntu community. Since Ubuntu 8.04 it is also possible to select only free software during the installation. As long as you don't install packages from restricted or multiverse , you have a purely free system, as Gobuntu intended. Shuttleworth also pointed out that he would rather focus on gNewSense because working on the gNewSense project also helps the Ubuntu community.


Mythbuntu logo and wordmark.png
Mythbuntu 12.10 control center

Mythbuntu was a variant to use the PC as an HTPC . An Xfce reduced to a minimum (see Xubuntu ) was used and the HTPC software MythTV was installed. In addition, there was its own control center with which MythTV could be configured and through which its various plug-ins could be installed.

Mythbuntu was created with the development of Ubuntu 7.10. It was recognized by Canonical as a community- supported project, the packages were part of the Ubuntu package sources. However, there was no commercial customer service or extended support for LTS versions. In November 2016, the developers announced that Mythbuntu would be discontinued, as there were only two (out of ten previously) developers who were actively working on the further development of Mythbuntu. The last version was 04/16/6 LTS (Xenial Xerus).

Unofficial Ubuntu derivatives

Unlike the official modifications, unofficial Ubuntu derivatives are not offered by Canonical Ltd. published, but by external software developers or developer groups.

Mobile devices and consumer electronics

Since Ubuntu 10.04, most programs for accessing mobile devices are automatically installed. The live system also supports iPhones .

Ubuntu Touch

Ubuntu Touch on a smartphone

Ubuntu Touch is the mobile version of Ubuntu for smartphones . It is based on the version for desktop and Ubuntu TV and should support all options and tools of the desktop variant: With the concept of Convergence , a smartphone connected to a screen should offer the functions of a desktop computer. Applications are installed via the Ubuntu Software Center. The same tools are available for application development as for the desktop version. This makes it easier to develop an application for several Ubuntu variants at the same time. In February 2013 a guide was published on how to test a pre-release version of Ubuntu Touch on the Android devices Nexus 4 , Nexus 7 , Nexus 10 and the Galaxy Nexus . At the beginning of 2016, four smartphones with pre-installed Ubuntu Touch were offered: the BQ Aquaris E5 HD , the BQ Aquaris E4.5 , the Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition and the Meizu Pro 5 Ubuntu Edition.

In January 2017 it was announced that Canonical will stop developing Ubuntu Touch, will no longer deliver updates from the end of June 2017 and will close the app store at the end of 2017. In June 2017, most smartphone models preinstalled with Ubuntu Touch were sold out.

The UBports community has taken over the further development of Ubuntu Touch .

Ubuntu TV

Ubuntu TV is a modification of Ubuntu and is designed for smart TV . It was introduced by Canonical at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show . Like Ubuntu, it works with Unity as the standard interface and can be used free of charge by manufacturers of television sets. The development was stopped.

Ubuntu for Android

Ubuntu for Android is a version of Ubuntu that is designed to run on Android smartphones. Ubuntu can run simultaneously with Android, as both are based on the Linux kernel. It should also be possible to connect the mobile phone to a monitor to get a fully functional Ubuntu desktop system. The system has not been actively further developed since April 2014.

Ubuntu on tablets

"Ubuntu on Tablets" is based on the version for smartphones, it will have a similar operation and menu structure. As a special feature, it will be possible to dock an Ubuntu smartphone to the tablet and let open apps continue to run on the tablet. Since the tablet is based on the desktop version, it will be possible to use the tablet like a normal PC with the mouse and keyboard connected.

Ubuntu Edge

Canonical announced that it is working on the development of its own smartphone under the name Ubuntu Edge , which will also be equipped with the Ubuntu operating system and should appear in spring 2014. In August 2013 it was announced that although the crowdfunding to finance the smartphone had provided the highest amount ever achieved, only approximately 40 percent of the 32 million US dollars that would have been needed to realize it could be raised. Therefore, the project was stopped and the investors got their money back.

Ubuntu in Germany

Ubuntu is available with a full German user interface, also as a live system .

The German airline Contact Air , which was discontinued in 2012, used Ubuntu on its 120 laptops for pilots.

On November 12, 2005, the “Ubuntu Germany” association was founded in Nuremberg to support the Ubuntu Foundation in Germany. As a legal entity and donation recipient, the association supports the various activities of the German community. On October 20 and 21, 2007 he organized a user conference under the name UbuCon , which took place at the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences in Krefeld and could be attended free of charge. Subsequently, further ubucons took place annually until 2016; Ubucon in November 2016, as Ubucon Europe, is aimed at a pan-European audience for the first time:


In 2005, SPIEGEL wrote about user support: "The tone is very friendly, which is clearly different from what was sometimes common in certain Linux forums ..."


Ubuntu has been criticized by some supporters of the Debian project. It is criticized that Ubuntu is technically not completely compatible with Debian. One of the demands made by Ian Murdock, among others , is to continue to use the current Debian version as a basis. At the Debian developer conference debconf 6 in May 2006 there was a discussion between some leading Debian developers and Mark Shuttleworth. Also, some Debian developers are unhappy with the quality of the patches returned by Ubuntu. These contained too many Ubuntu-specific changes that were useless for Debian. In addition, the idea as such of copying packages from Debian is often criticized as it weakens Debian itself.

In 2006 a Mozilla developer criticized Ubuntu's concept of not acting as a platform for application programs, but primarily offering them integrated into the operating system. This blurring of the boundaries between applications and operating system through the integrated management with the distribution is also described as the cause of some desktop user experience problems, e.g. B. the difficulty of installing several application program versions in parallel. Even the actually banal case that a user just wants to update a user program is often easier to solve by installing a newer Ubuntu version. 2010, this behavior has been a problem in Ubuntu's Launchpad - Bugtracker accepted because the existing PPA - and backport approaches do not completely solve this problem.

Participation in the development of the Linux kernel

In 2008, Ubuntu was accused of insufficient involvement in the development of the Linux kernel by kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman , who was then working for competitor Novell . He based his criticism on the small number of patches returned to the kernel, which was less than 1% during this period. Ubuntu developer Matt Zimmerman responded to this allegation that Kroah-Hartmann's view of the Linux ecosystem was "strange" because he left out all applications such as Gnome , KDE and all server services. Greg Kroah-Hartman examined a larger Linux ecosystem with the core components GCC , ALSA , X.Org-Server and found again that the contributions from Canonical were also low (<1%) or nonexistent.

In July 2010 a post statistic for Gnome was published. Canonical's share in the development was 1%. Only the program symbols and a calculator program were looked after by Canonical employees. Jono Bacon countered that Canonicals programs were developed within Launchpad and rejected by the Gnome Project. Mark Shuttleworth said that this form of tribalism was counterproductive. Contributions beyond the work on source texts such as B. the Ubuntu code of conduct would be adapted by many open source projects.


Lack ends Privacy criticized for example, the Electronic Frontier Foundation because of the integration of the online stores of Amazon in the fall of 2012. The accusation adware to include came, because the previously directed only to installed programs and local files search function of the desktop is extended to the shop Amazon to display suitable offers. Turning this off was soon made possible and Amazon's commissions defended as helpful for free software development, but Richard Stallman called Ubuntu spyware . In October 2013 Shuttleworth received a Big Brother Award in Austria for this role . In November 2013, Micah Lee received a warning because of his website to shut down the extension , which was first confirmed and then withdrawn. In August 2014, the British Information Commissioner 's Office responded to a complaint that it did not violate European law because of references to Amazon and the fact that the extension could be switched off. From version 16.04 the function was deactivated by default.

With Ubuntu 16.04, the ZFS file system was integrated into the distribution. However, the Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL) used for ZFS is described by the Free Software Foundation as incompatible with the GPL . The organization Software Freedom Conservancy speaks of a license violation in this context.


In the July 2006 issue, Ubuntu received the PC World 2006 World Class Award from PC World magazine, making it one of the 100 best products of the year. Also in July 2006, IT Reviews recognized Ubuntu 6.06 LTS with its “Recommended” award .


  • Marcus Fischer: Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. The comprehensive manual . 9th, updated and expanded edition. Rheinwerk Verlag (formerly Galileo Computing), Bonn 2016, ISBN 978-3-8362-4299-8 , p. 1147 (currently on Ubuntu 16.04 "Xenial Xerus").
  • Michael Kofler : Ubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal". Installation, application, tips & tricks . 1st edition. Addison-Wesley, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-8273-3071-0 .
  • Michael Kofler: Ubuntu Server. Installation, configuration, application . Addison-Wesley, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-89721-759-1 .
  • Ute Hertzog: From Zero2Hero: Ubuntu . 1st edition. Markt + Technik Verlag, 2010, ISBN 978-3-8272-4580-9 .
  • Andreas Bildstein: Ubuntu for Linux beginners . 1st edition. O'Reilly Verlag, 2010, ISBN 978-3-89721-910-6 .
  • Klaus H. Schmidt: Ubuntu Desktop and Server . 1st edition. Carl Hanser Verlag, 2011, ISBN 978-3-446-42792-1 .

Web links

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Related Links

Individual evidence

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This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on June 21, 2016 .