Ubuntu is composed of multiple software packages of which the vast majority is 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 declare 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 Mark Shuttleworth. By keeping Ubuntu free and open source, Canonical is able to utilize the talents 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 Ubuntu.
Canonical endorses and provides support for three additional Ubuntu-derived operating systems: Kubuntu, Edubuntu and Ubuntu Server Edition. There are several other derivative operating systems including local language and hardware-specific versions.
Andrew Keith Paul Morton (born 1959 in England) is an Australiansoftware engineer, best known as one of the lead developers of the Linux kernel. He currently maintains a patchset known as the mm tree, which contains not yet sufficiently tested patches that might later be accepted into the official Linux tree maintained by Linus Torvalds.
Since August 2006, Morton has been employed by Google but will continue his current work in maintaining the kernel.
Andrew Morton delivered the keynote speech at the 2004 Ottawa Linux Symposium. He is also a featured speaker at MontaVista Software's Vision 2007 Conference.