Ubuntu is the world’s most outstanding Linux distribution. Ubuntu and its developer, Canonical, has caught numerous flack over time, however the Linux world is a lot better off due to each.

So let’s cease and take a second to understand a few of what Canonical and Ubuntu have given the Linux group.

1. Ubuntu Placed a Focus on the Desktop

Ubuntu version 9.10 Karmic Koala
Image Credit: Wikipedia

At the time Ubuntu launched in 2004, Linux was usable on desktop computer systems and laptops, however it wasn’t precisely an awesome expertise. Canonical pushed Ubuntu as “Linux for human beings” and added options that made Linux simpler use as a main working system. Such options included simply put in {hardware} drivers and multimedia codecs.

You may additionally ask to have an Ubuntu CD shipped to your door.

Canonical went on to create many desktop-oriented initiatives. It tried integrating messaging instantly into the desktop, created the Ubuntu One file syncing service and music retailer, and ultimately designed its personal Unity interface. Canonical has since pulled the plug on all of those initiatives, however that willingness to experiment pumped pleasure into the Linux desktop.

Linux stays extra prevalent on servers than laptops, and Ubuntu arguably isn’t even the simplest or most intuitive possibility anymore. Plus many builders exterior of the Ubuntu group deserve a lot of the credit score for making desktop Linux extra secure and nice.

Yet the Linux desktop is in a a lot better place right this moment than a decade and a half in the past, and Canonical performed a serious position in making that occur.

2. Linux Is Now Available on More Hardware

Part of Canonical’s imaginative and prescient to offer a consumer-ready Linux desktop meant providing Ubuntu instead possibility in shops. The firm reached out to {hardware} producers to make this occur. Over time choices grew, each from small companies comparable to System76 and multinationals like Dell.

Are you prone to discover Ubuntu in an enormous field retailer right this moment? No. But Dell isn’t alone among the many huge company supporters. HP additionally sells Ubuntu machines. There at the moment are many Linux PCs you should purchase

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from varied corporations.

Canonical has lengthy flown the flag of shopper desktop Linux, even when the time has come for youthful gamers, comparable to System76 with Pop!_OS and Purism with PureOS, to hold the torch.

3. Ubuntu Brought in Millions of Users

Person using a laptop
Image Credit: Christian Hume/Unsplash

Canonical’s concentrate on the desktop and shopper {hardware} has paid off. People flocked to Ubuntu, and it now has hundreds of thousands extra customers than different variations of Linux.

Ubuntu’s identify recognition has gotten massive sufficient that you would be able to point out the distro to common pc fanatics and anticipate them to know what you’re speaking about.

Many of us started as Ubuntu customers however have moved on to different choices. This is true for me. I might not use Ubuntu anymore, however I’m grateful Ubuntu gave me a simple place to be taught Linux when I first made the swap. Many initiatives now have builders and contributors who most likely wouldn’t be a part of the group with out Ubuntu.

4. Ubuntu Powers Many of the Most Popular Distros

Ubuntu just isn’t solely some of the common Linux-based desktops, it’s a essential cog within the infrastructure that powers most of the alternate options

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When you run Ubuntu, you obtain apps from a software program repository, a server storing all of the applications and elements that energy your on-screen expertise. Developers create and keep this code, which organizations or corporations comparable to Canonical distribute through repositories.

Canonical doesn’t create many of the code in its repositories, however some elements, such because the Linux kernel, bear further testing and obtain added safety patches.

Linux Mint, elementaryOS, and Pop!_OS are three outstanding Ubuntu alternate options that every one depend on Ubuntu’s repositories. Canonical doesn’t cost them or anybody else cash for the service. Is the corporate alone or distinctive on this regard?

No. But that doesn’t diminish the time and cash Canonical workers and the Ubuntu group contribute to the broader Linux ecosystem on this means.

5. Canonical Created a New Universal Package Format

The means builders distribute software program on Linux is altering proper this second. Instead of turning to the software program repository mannequin, many new apps are coming to our desktops through common bundle codecs. One of them, the snap bundle format

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, comes from Canonical.

Before now, many builders created software program for Ubuntu and didn’t undergo the effort of making variations that additionally ran on different variations of Linux. If you used an RPM-based distro, quite than a DEB-based one like Ubuntu, you then couldn’t set up a program until you went by the trouble of constructing the app utilizing supply recordsdata.

Snaps are distro agnostic. After you’ve adopted the easy directions to allow snap help, you’ll be able to set up the snap model of an app no matter should you run Ubuntu.

Again, snaps are usually not the one common bundle format for Linux. But Canonical has gone out of its approach to entice developer curiosity and maintain their fingers by the method of bundling software program. This outreach has elevated snap adoption amongst folks or corporations who won’t have bothered determining one of many alternate options on their very own.

Speaking of which…

6. Ubuntu Attracts Third-Party Commercial Software

One of Ubuntu’s strengths, relative to different distros, is attracting third-party improvement. Specifically, Ubuntu brings in additional cross-platform, industrial, proprietary software program that already exists on Windows or macOS.

As I’ve talked about, this hasn’t all the time benefited the broader Linux ecosystem. But in some instances, comparable to with Steam

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, applications that come to Ubuntu rapidly unfold to different distros. This adjustments the panorama for avid gamers or professionals who’re tied into utilizing explicit apps. Now Linux is far more viable.

With the snap format, a program now hardly ever comes out only for Ubuntu. Apps obtainable within the snap retailer at the moment are extra accessible to us all.

7. Canonical Adapted GNU/Linux to Phones


Android telephones use the Linux kernel, however that’s about all that they’ve in frequent with the model of Linux that you would be able to set up in your pc. That’s as a result of many of the elements apart from the kernel are usually not the identical.

With Ubuntu Touch, Canonical sought to deliver a model of Linux akin to the Ubuntu desktop to cellular gadgets. And the corporate succeeded! Sure, these gadgets had limitations. Updates have been exhausting to distribute, and the handsets have been solely obtainable in a couple of markets.

Ultimately, Canonical didn’t see sufficient success to proceed investing within the venture.

Nonetheless, the Ubuntu Touch interface continues to dwell on through the UBports venture. Thanks to the open supply nature of Ubuntu Touch, group members have been capable of proceed the place Canonical left off. Ubuntu Touch is among the choices obtainable for the PinePhone, and it could be attainable to get it up and operating on the Librem 5 as nicely.

It’s additionally an aftermarket possibility on quite a lot of Android telephones.

8. Launchpad Has Been Home to Many Projects

Canonical's Launchpad service for open source software

Launchpad is a software program collaboration hub for 1000’s of free and open supply apps. It’s like Github, with out the ties to Microsoft.

Launchpad started as a proprietary venture to make income for Canonical, which the corporate may then use to help additional Ubuntu improvement. Following criticism, Canonical regularly launched variants elements of the positioning beneath open supply licenses till all of Launchpad turned open supply in 2009.

For the previous decade, Launchpad has served as open supply infrastructure initiatives can use to share supply code, monitor bugs, interact in dialogue, and ship out communications associated to their apps or different creations.

Linux Mint, elementaryOS, Inkscape, and Exaile have all discovered a house in Launchpad in some unspecified time in the future over their lives.

How Has Ubuntu Put a Smile on Your Face?

Ubuntu is a superb Linux-based working system. Absent different choices, I’d gladly use it over Windows and macOS. Canonical and the broader group have achieved such nice work over time. What are some contributions you like that I haven’t talked about above?

As for why Canonical catches numerous flack, nicely, should you’re new to the Linux panorama, listed below are among the extra frequent Ubuntu criticisms

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