Unofficial Ubuntu Guide

Peter Kitson

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About Ubuntu

Ubuntu is a free, open source operating system that starts with the breadth of Debian and adds regular releases (every six months), a clear focus on the user and usability (it should \'Just Work\', TM) and a commitment to security updates with 18 months of support for every release. Ubuntu ships with the latest Gnome release as well as a selection of server and desktop software that makes for a comfortable desktop experience off a single installation CD.

What makes Ubuntu special? Why do people choose Ubuntu as their favourite OS for work and play?

Regular and Predictable Releases

The Ubuntu team releases a fresh Ubuntu every six months. It includes the latest kernel, X, Gnome and other key applications, and is supported with security updates for 18 months. You can download the CD and burn it yourself or have us ship you a CD.

  • To download: Visit our download page.

  • To order a pressed CD: Fill in your shipping address in Shipit - the Ubuntu CD Distribution System. We won\'t give or sell your information to anyone or use it for anything other than sending you these CDs. If you are part of a library or other community system, you are welcome to request CDs for that group, such as a LUG or school.

Absolutely Free of Charge

Ubuntu is Free Software, and available to you free of charge. It\'s also Free in the sense of giving you rights of Software Freedom, but you probably knew that already! Unlike many of the other commercial distributions in the free and open source world (Libranet, Lindows, Xandros, Red Hat) the Ubuntu team really does believe that Free software should be free of software licencing charges.

Fast, Easy Install

Ubuntu doesn\'t have a pretty graphical installer, it has a FAST and EASY installer. OK, there are still a couple of places where you need to know what you are doing, but the defaults will work for most people. We have kept the distribution installation CD set down to one single CD, everything else is available online if you need it. On a typical computer, the Ubuntu installation should be done in less than 25 minutes.

The installer may not be GUI, but you only ever need to use it once, because we support ongoing upgrades via the network, from version to version. You never need to reinstall the operating system, just upgrade from each released version to the next when you want to.

Immediately Useful

When you finish your Ubuntu installation your system is immediately usable. You have a full set of business productivity applications, internet applications, drawing and graphics applications, and games. That one CD gives you a very good desktop environment out of the box, with many applications for business, home and personal computer users installed by default. There are thousands of additional pieces of software that are just a few clicks away, but we\'ve done the hard work to get the basics in place easily and effectively.