is a computer operating system originally based on the Debian GNU/Linux distribution and distributed as
free and open source software with additional proprietary software available.
It is named after the Southern
African philosophy of Ubuntu ("humanity towards others"). Ubuntu provides an up-to-date, stable operating
system for the average user, with a strong focus on usability and ease of installation. Web statistics suggest
that Ubuntu's share of Linux desktop usage is about 50%, and upward trending usage as a web server.
Ubuntu is composed of many software packages, of which the vast majority are distributed under a free
software license (also known as open source). The main license used is the GNU General Public License
(GNU GPL) which, along with the GNU Lesser General Public License
(GNU LGPL), explicitly declares
that users are free to run, copy,
distribute, study, change, develop and improve the software. Ubuntu is
sponsored by the UK-based company Canonical Ltd., owned by South African entrepreneur
By keeping Ubuntu free and open source, Canonical is able to utilize
of community developers in Ubuntu's constituent components.
Instead of selling Ubuntu for
profit, Canonical creates revenue by
selling technical support and from creating several services tied to