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A popular Linux distribution that is noted for its ease of installation and use. Based on the Debian version of Linux and introduced in 2004, Ubuntu is sponsored by Canonical Ltd., London and Montreal (www.canonical.com). Packaged with a variety of open source applications, including Firefox and Apache OpenOffice, Ubuntu also comes pre-installed on laptops, desktops and servers. For example, System76 (www.system76.com) has been selling Ubuntu machines since 2005, and Dell introduced Ubuntu laptops in 2007.

Ubuntu can also be run from a CD, which enables the OS and applications to be tested in a particular computer before being installed (see LiveCD).

Kubuntu, Edubuntu and Xubuntu Variations
Ubuntu comes with the GNOME desktop, but "Kubuntu" is Ubuntu with the KDE desktop. "Edubuntu" includes extra applications for setting up a classroom, and "Xubuntu" is a more efficient version for low-powered machines. Xubuntu uses the Xfce desktop rather than GNOME or KDE.

From the Zulu and Xhosa Philosophy
The name Ubuntu comes from the African Zulu and Xhosa cultures, which espouse the concept that we derive our individuality from all people: "We are what we are because of everyone else." Nelson Mandela's father was a Xhosa chief. For more information, visit www.ubuntu.com. See Linux, Debian and Linspire.

A Ubuntu Laptop
In 2005, System76 was the first hardware vendor to offer packaged Ubuntu laptops, desktops and servers. This laptop came with a variety of applications that people use all the time. (Image courtesy of System76, www.system76.com)
References in periodicals archive ?
7) One Linux distribution dedicated for educational use is Edubuntu, http://www.
Userful Linux MultiSeat 2010 (preview) is available now for pilots and customer trials as an Edubuntu 10.
That has changed in recent years, however, as FOSS education-oriented programs such as Moodle, a learning management system, and Edubuntu, an operating system, have demonstrated a high level of functionality and stability.
It includes brand new content on Edubuntu (specially tailored for use in primary and secondary education) and the new Kubuntu Remix including KDE 4 (Kubuntu places an emphasis on graphical tools and making Linux easy to customize).
This third edition covers the new Edubuntu and the new Kubuntu Remix including KDE 4.
For example, the Edubuntu version of Linux, targeted to classrooms, installs with several tools including an office suite and a Web browser, and provides access to a large library of additional programs that are also free.
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Edubuntu and their associated logos are all registered trademarks of Canonical Ltd.
The authors outline installation, configuration, desktop productivity, games, management, support, desktop applications, customization, troubleshooting, and new topics such as its expanded multimedia functionality and Edubuntu offerings for schools and educational settings.