Ubuntu Intro

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What is Ubuntu?

Ubuntu is a popular Linux distribution with Desktop, Server, Cloud and Core (for embedded) editions.

The first official Ubuntu release — Version 4.10, codenamed the ‘Warty Warthog’ — was launched in October 2004, and sparked global interest as thousands of free software enthusiasts and experts joined the Ubuntu community.

Ubuntu today has many flavours and dozens of specialised derivatives. There are also special editions for servers, OpenStack clouds, and connected devices. All editions share common infrastructure and software, making Ubuntu a single platform that scales from consumer electronics to the desktop and up into the cloud for enterprise computing.

Release cycle

LTS releases

LTS or ‘Long Term Support’ releases are published every two years in April. LTS releases are the ‘enterprise grade’ releases of Ubuntu and are utilised the most. An estimated 95% of all Ubuntu installations are LTS releases.

Release Codename Supported until
Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Bionic Beaver April 2028
Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Xenial Xerus April 2024
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Trusty Tahr April 2022 (Extended Security Maintenance only)

Interim releases

Every six months between LTS versions, Canonical publishes an interim release of Ubuntu, with 19.10 being the latest example. These are production-quality releases and are supported for 9 months, with sufficient time provided for users to update, but these releases do not receive the long-term commitment of LTS releases.


Ubuntu Server for embedded systems

Ubuntu Core for embedded systems

Ubuntu Core is a container-based and transactionally updated OS tailored for development boards and embedded devices.