Ubuntu (operating system)
Ubuntu Desktop 13.10 "Saucy Salamander" with Unity 7.1
|Company / developer||Canonical Ltd., Ubuntu community|
|Source model||Free and open source software with proprietary components|
|Initial release||20 October 2004|
|Latest stable release||13.10 Saucy Salamander / 17 October 2013|
|Marketing target||Personal computers, Servers, Tablet computers (Ubuntu Touch), Smart TVs (Ubuntu TV), Smartphones|
|Available language(s)||More than 55 by LoCos|
|Update method||APT (Software Updater, Ubuntu Software Center)|
|Package manager||dpkg, Click packages|
|Supported platforms||IA-32, x86-64, ARM|
|Kernel type||Monolithic (Linux)|
|Default user interface|
|License||Mainly the GPL and various other free software licenses|
Ubuntu (// uu-BUUN-too) is a Debian-based Linux operating system, with Unity as its default desktop environment (formerly GNOME). It is based on free software and named after the Southern African philosophy of ubuntu (literally, "human-ness"), which often is translated as "humanity towards others" or "the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity".
According to some metrics, Ubuntu is the most popular desktop Linux distribution. See Installed base section.
Development of Ubuntu is led by Canonical Ltd., a company based in the Isle of Man and owned by South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth. Canonical generates revenue through the sale of technical support and other services related to Ubuntu. The Ubuntu project is publicly committed to the principles of open source development; people are encouraged to use free software, study how it works, improve upon it, and distribute it.
- 1 Features
- 2 History and development process
- 3 Package classification and support
- 4 Releases
- 5 Variants
- 6 Development
- 7 Adoption and reception
- 8 Local communities (LoCos)
- 9 Vendor support
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 Bibliography
- 13 External links
Ubuntu is composed of many software packages, the majority of which are free software. Free software gives users the freedom to study, adapt/modify, and distribute it. Ubuntu can also run proprietary software. Ubuntu Desktop is built around Unity, a graphical desktop environment.
Ubuntu comes installed with a wide range of software that includes LibreOffice, Firefox, Empathy, Transmission, and several lightweight games (such as Sudoku and chess). Additional software that is not installed by default (including software that used to be in the default installation such as Evolution, GIMP, Pidgin, and Synaptic) can be downloaded and installed using the Ubuntu Software Center or other APT-based package management tools. Programs in the Software Center are mostly free, but there are also priced products, including applications and magazines. Ubuntu can also run many programs designed for Microsoft Windows (such as Microsoft Office), through Wine or using a Virtual Machine (such as VirtualBox or VMware Workstation).
For increased security, the sudo tool is used to assign temporary privileges for performing administrative tasks, allowing the root account to remain locked, and preventing inexperienced users from inadvertently making catastrophic system changes or opening security holes. PolicyKit is also being widely implemented into the desktop to further harden the system through the principle of least privilege.
Ubuntu compiles its packages using GCC features such as PIE and Buffer overflow protection to harden its software. These extra features greatly increase security at the performance expense of 1% in 32 bit and 0.01% in 64 bit.
History and development process
Ubuntu is built on Debian's architecture and infrastructure, to provide Linux server, desktop, phone, tablet and TV operating systems. Ubuntu releases updated versions predictably - every six months - and that each release would receive free support for nine months (eighteen months prior to 13.04) with security fixes, other high-impact bug fixes and very conservative, substantially beneficial low-risk bug fixes. The first release was on October 2004.
It was decided that every fourth release, issued on a two-year basis, would receive long-term support (LTS). Long term support includes updates for new hardware, security patches and updates to the 'Ubuntu stack' (cloud computing infrastructure). The first LTS releases were supported for three years on the desktop and five years on the server; since Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, desktop support for LTS releases was increased to five years as well. LTS releases get regular point releases with support for new hardware and integration of all the updates published in that series to date.
Ubuntu packages are based on packages from Debian's unstable branch: both distributions use Debian's deb package format and package management tools (APT and Ubuntu Software Center). Debian and Ubuntu packages are not necessarily binary compatible with each other, however, and sometimes .deb packages may need to be rebuilt from source to be used in Ubuntu. Many Ubuntu developers are also maintainers of key packages within Debian. Ubuntu cooperates with Debian by pushing changes back to Debian, although there has been criticism that this does not happen often enough. In the past, Ian Murdock, the founder of Debian, has expressed concern about Ubuntu packages potentially diverging too far from Debian to remain compatible. Before release, packages are imported from Debian Unstable continuously and merged with Ubuntu-specific modifications. A month before release, imports are frozen, and packagers then work to ensure that the frozen features interoperate well together.
Ubuntu is currently funded by Canonical Ltd. On 8 July 2005, Mark Shuttleworth and Canonical Ltd. announced the creation of the Ubuntu Foundation and provided an initial funding of US$10 million. The purpose of the foundation is to ensure the support and development for all future versions of Ubuntu. Mark Shuttleworth describes the foundation as an "emergency fund" (in case Canonical's involvement ends).
Beginning with version 10.10, Ubuntu Netbook Edition used the Unity desktop as its desktop interface. Starting with Ubuntu 11.04, the netbook edition has been merged into the desktop edition and Unity became the default GUI for Ubuntu Desktop.
Mark Shuttleworth announced on 31 October 2011 that Ubuntu's support for smartphones, tablets, TVs and smart screens is scheduled to be added by Ubuntu 14.04. On 9 January 2012, Canonical announced Ubuntu TV at the Consumer Electronics Show.
The system requirements vary among Ubuntu products. For the main Ubuntu desktop product, the official Ubuntu Documentation recommends a 1 GHz Pentium 4 processor with 1 GB of RAM and 5.9 gigabytes of hard drive space, or better. For less powerful computers, there are other Ubuntu distributions such as Lubuntu and Xubuntu.
Installation of Ubuntu is generally performed with the Live CD or a Live USB drive. The Ubuntu OS can run directly from the CD (although this is usually slower than running Ubuntu from an HDD), allowing a user to "test-drive" the OS for hardware compatibility and driver support. The CD also contains the Ubiquity installer, which can then guide the user through the permanent installation process. CD images of all current and past versions are available for download at the Ubuntu web site. Installing from the CD requires a minimum of 384 MB of RAM [as of ubuntu 12.10].
Users can download a disk image (.iso) of the CD, which can then either be written to a physical medium (CD or DVD), or optionally run directly from a hard drive (via UNetbootin or GRUB). Ubuntu is also available on PowerPC, SPARC, and IA-64 platforms, although none are officially supported.
Canonical offered Ubuntu and Kubuntu Live installation CDs at no cost including paid postage for most destinations around the world via a service called ShipIt. This service closed in April 2011. The Canonical Store offers five CDs for £5.00. Various third-party programs such as remastersys and Reconstructor are available to create customized copies of the Ubuntu Live CDs.
Ubuntu and Kubuntu can be booted and run from a USB Flash drive (as long as the BIOS supports booting from USB), with the option of saving settings to the flashdrive. This allows a portable installation that can be run on any PC which is capable of booting from a USB drive. In newer versions of Ubuntu, the USB creator program is available to install Ubuntu on a USB drive (with or without a LiveCD disc).
The desktop edition can be also installed using the Netboot image which uses the debian-installer and allows certain specialist installations of Ubuntu: setting up automated deployments, upgrading from older installations without network access, LVM and/or RAID partitioning, installs on systems with less than about 256 MB of RAM (although low-memory systems may not be able to run a full desktop environment reasonably).
Package classification and support
Ubuntu divides most software into four domains to reflect differences in licensing and the degree of support available. Some unsupported applications receive updates from community members, but not from Canonical Ltd.
|Free software||Non-free software|
Free software includes software that has met the Ubuntu licensing requirements, which roughly correspond to the Debian Free Software Guidelines. Exceptions, however, include firmware and fonts, in the Main category, because although they are not allowed to be modified, their distribution is otherwise unencumbered.
Non-free software is usually unsupported (Multiverse), but some exceptions (Restricted) are made for important non-free software. Supported non-free software includes device drivers that can be used to run Ubuntu on some current hardware, such as binary-only graphics card drivers. The level of support in the Restricted category is more limited than that of Main, because the developers may not have access to the source code. It is intended that Main and Restricted should contain all software needed for a complete desktop environment. Alternative programs for the same tasks and programs for specialized applications are placed in the Universe and Multiverse categories.
In addition to the above, in which the software does not receive new features after an initial release, Ubuntu Backports is an officially recognized repository for backporting newer software from later versions of Ubuntu. The repository is not comprehensive; it consists primarily of user-requested packages, which are approved if they meet quality guidelines. Backports receives no support at all from Canonical, and is entirely community-maintained.
The -updates repository provides stable release updates (SRU) of Ubuntu and are generally installed through update-manager. Each release is given its own -updates repository (e.g. intrepid-updates). The repository is supported by Canonical Ltd. for packages in main and restricted, and by the community for packages in universe and multiverse. All updates to the repository must meet certain requirements and go through the -proposed repository before being made available to the public. Updates are scheduled to be available until the end of life for the release.
In addition to the -updates repository, the unstable -proposed repository contains uploads which must be confirmed before being copied into -updates. All updates must go through this process to ensure that the patch does truly fix the bug and there is no risk of regression. Updates in -proposed are confirmed by either Canonical or members of the community.
Canonical's partner repository lets vendors of proprietary software deliver their products to Ubuntu users at no cost through the same familiar tools for installing and upgrading software. The software in the partner repository is officially supported with security and other important updates by its respective vendors. Canonical supports the packaging of the software for Ubuntu and provides guidance to vendors. The partner repository is disabled by default and can be enabled by the user. Some popular products distributed via the partner repository as of 28 April 2013[update] are Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Reader and Skype.
Availability of third-party software
Ubuntu has a certification system for third party software. Some third-party software that does not limit distribution is included in Ubuntu's multiverse component. The package ubuntu-restricted-extras additionally contains software that may be legally restricted, including support for MP3 and DVD playback, Microsoft TrueType core fonts, Sun's Java runtime environment, Adobe's Flash Player plugin, many common audio/video codecs, and unrar, an unarchiver for files compressed in the RAR file format.
Additionally, third party application suites are available for purchase through Ubuntu Software Center, including many high-quality games such as Braid and Oil Rush, software for DVD playback and media codecs.
|Version||Code name||Release date||Supported until|
|4.10||Warty Warthog||2004-10-20||Old version, no longer supported: 2006-04-30|
|5.04||Hoary Hedgehog||2005-04-08||Old version, no longer supported: 2006-10-31|
|5.10||Breezy Badger||2005-10-13||Old version, no longer supported: 2007-04-13|
|6.06 LTS||Dapper Drake||2006-06-01||Old version, no longer supported: 2009-07-14||Old version, no longer supported: 2011-06-01|
|6.10||Edgy Eft||2006-10-26||Old version, no longer supported: 2008-04-25|
|7.04||Feisty Fawn||2007-04-19||Old version, no longer supported: 2008-10-19|
|7.10||Gutsy Gibbon||2007-10-18||Old version, no longer supported: 2009-04-18|
|8.04 LTS||Hardy Heron||2008-04-24||Old version, no longer supported: 2011-05-12||Old version, no longer supported: 2013-05-09|
|8.10||Intrepid Ibex||2008-10-30||Old version, no longer supported: 2010-04-30|
|9.04||Jaunty Jackalope||2009-04-23||Old version, no longer supported: 2010-10-23|
|9.10||Karmic Koala||2009-10-29||Old version, no longer supported: 2011-04-30|
|10.04 LTS||Lucid Lynx||2010-04-29||Old version, no longer supported: 2013-05-09||Older version, yet still supported: 2015-04|
|10.10||Maverick Meerkat||2010-10-10||Old version, no longer supported: 2012-04-10|
|11.04||Natty Narwhal||2011-04-28||Old version, no longer supported: 2012-10-28|
|11.10||Oneiric Ocelot||2011-10-13||Old version, no longer supported: 2013-05-09|
|12.04 LTS||Precise Pangolin||2012-04-26||Older version, yet still supported: 2017-04|
|12.10||Quantal Quetzal||2012-10-18||Older version, yet still supported: 2014-04|
|13.04||Raring Ringtail||2013-04-25||Old version, no longer supported: 2014-01|
|13.10||Saucy Salamander||2013-10-17||Current stable version: 2014-07|
|14.04 LTS||Trusty Tahr||2014-04-17||Future release: 2019-04|
Each Ubuntu release has a version number that consists of the year and month number of the release. For example, the first release was Ubuntu 4.10 as it was released on 20 October 2004. Version numbers for future versions are provisional; if the release is delayed the version number changes accordingly.
Ubuntu releases are also given alliterative code names, using an adjective and an animal (e.g., "Dapper Drake" and "Intrepid Ibex"). With the exception of the first two releases, code names are in alphabetical order, allowing a quick determination of which release is newer. "We might skip a few letters, and we'll have to wrap eventually." says Mark Shuttleworth while describing the naming scheme. Commonly, Ubuntu releases are referred to using only the adjective portion of the code name; for example, the 12.04 LTS release is commonly known as "Precise".
Releases are timed to be approximately one month after GNOME releases (which in turn are about one month after releases of X.org). As a result, every Ubuntu release was introduced with an updated version of both GNOME and X.
Upgrades between releases have to be done from one release to the next release (e.g. Ubuntu 10.04 to Ubuntu 10.10) or from one LTS release to the next LTS release (e.g. Ubuntu 8.04 LTS to Ubuntu 10.04 LTS).
Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat), was released on 10 October 2010 (10-10-10). This departed from the traditional schedule of releasing at the end of October in order to get "the perfect 10", and makes a playful reference to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books, since, in binary, 101010 equals decimal 42, the "Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything" within the series.
With the release of Ubuntu 12.10, the desktop disc image no longer fits on a standard (700 MB) CD, requiring a DVD or bootable flash drive of 1 GB or more. An unofficial recompressed version does fit on a CD, but does not boot in some circumstances.
12.10 becomes unsupported in April 2014 while 13.04 becomes unsupported in January 2014. This is because the support duration for non-LTS versions was reduced from 18 months to 9 months beginning in 13.04.
- Ubuntu Desktop (formally named as Ubuntu Desktop Edition, and simply called Ubuntu), designed for desktop and laptop PCs using Unity Desktop interface.
- Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix, a release meant for business users that comes with special enterprise software including Adobe Flash, Canonical Landscape, OpenJDK 6 and VMware View, while removing social networking and file sharing applications, games and development/sysadmin tools. The goal of the Business Desktop Remix is not to copy other enterprise-oriented distributions, such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux, but to make it, according to Mark Shuttleworth's blog, "easier for institutional users to evaluate Ubuntu Desktop for their specific needs."
- Ubuntu Server, made for use in servers. The server install CD allows the user to install Ubuntu permanently on a computer for use as a server. It does not install a graphical user interface.
- Ubuntu TV, labeled "TV for human beings" by Canonical, was introduced at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show by Canonical's marketing executive John D. Bernard. Created for SmartTVs, Ubuntu TV provides access to popular Internet services and stream content to mobile devices running Android, iOS and Ubuntu.
- Ubuntu Touch is a variant of Ubuntu for smartphones and tablets which was announced in January 2013 and is expected to be released in Q4 2013 or Q1 2014. The first version available to consumers will only be able to run on the Galaxy Nexus. Higher-end Ubuntu smartphones will be able to run a full Ubuntu desktop when connected to a monitor and keyboard, a feature pioneered in Ubuntu for Android. A concept for one phone with Ubuntu for Phones was published on Ubuntu's official channel on YouTube: the Welcome Screen is shown to have the standard Ubuntu background image, with digital clock on top, and small-to-big circles in the centre, circulating Unread/Notifications/Talk Time. Each of these parts appear and fade each after the other, while changing the colour of the circles in the background and the placement of the little ones. From the Welcome screen, the user could swipe to any of the four directions: up for notifications, left for the app menu, swipe from the right to launch the previous app, and swipe from the bottom to display the operations menu. Also, the user would be able to launch Voice Control by touching the bottom-right corner outside the interface, where the soft buttons would be on other smartphones. Demos will be released and shown at the CES in January 2013. Developers will be able to create one app with two interfaces: a smartphone UI, and, when docked, a desktop UI. Ubuntu for Tablets was previewed at 19 February 2013. The Ubuntu Touch Preview is listed by the Ubuntu Wiki as "running fine" on the Nexus 10 and Nexus 7 tablets. According to the keynote video, an Ubuntu Phone will be able to connect to a tablet, which will then utilize a tablet interface; plugging a keyboard and mouse into the tablet will transform the phone into a desktop; and plugging a television monitor into the phone will bring up the Ubuntu TV interface.
- Ubuntu for Android, variant of Ubuntu designed to run on Android phones. Which provides a windowing application environment and desktop environment of the Ubuntu when the phone is docked to Lapdock. It is expected to come pre-loaded on several phones. Ubuntu for Android was revealed at Mobile World Congress 2012 by John D. Bernard and Mark Shuttleworth.
There are many Ubuntu variants (or derivatives) based on the official Ubuntu editions. These Ubuntu variants install a default set of packages that differ from the official Ubuntu distributions.
The variants recognized by Canonical as contributing significantly towards the Ubuntu project are the following:
- Edubuntu, a subproject and add-on for Ubuntu, designed for school environments and home users.
- Ubuntu GNOME, a desktop distribution using the GNOME desktop environment.
- Kubuntu, a desktop distribution using the KDE Plasma Workspaces desktop environment.
- Lubuntu, a lightweight distribution using the LXDE desktop environment.
- Mythbuntu, designed for creating a home theater PC with MythTV and uses the Xfce desktop environment.
- UbuntuKylin (formerly "Ubuntu Chinese Edition"), a Chinese specific version of Ubuntu Desktop.
- Ubuntu Studio, a distribution made for professional video and audio editing, comes with higher-end free editing software.
- Xubuntu, a distribution based on the Xfce desktop environment, designed to run more efficiently on low-specification computers.
Edubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Mythbuntu, UbuntuKylin, Ubuntu Studio, and Xubuntu are not commercially supported by Canonical.
Other variants are created and maintained by individuals and organizations outside of Canonical, and they are self-governed projects that work more or less closely with the Ubuntu community.
Ubuntu has a server edition that uses the same APT repositories as the Ubuntu Desktop Edition. The differences between them are the absence of an X Window environment in a default installation of the server edition (although one can easily be installed including Unity, GNOME, KDE or XFCE) and the installation process. The server edition uses a screen mode character-based interface for the installation, instead of a graphical installation process.
Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Server supports three major architectures: IA-32, X86-64 and ARM.
Ubuntu 10.04 Server Edition[dated info] can also run on VMware ESX Server, Oracle's VirtualBox and VM, Citrix Systems XenServer hypervisors, Microsoft Hyper-V, QEMU, Kernel-based Virtual Machine, or any other IBM PC compatible emulator or virtualizer. Ubuntu 10.04 turns on AppArmor (security module for the Linux kernel) by default on key software packages, and the firewall is extended to common services used by the operating system. The home and Private directories can also be encrypted. It includes MySQL 5.1, Tomcat 6, OpenJDK 6, Samba 3.4, Nagios 3, PHP 5.3, Python 2.6. Many of its services only take 30 minutes to configure.
Ubuntu offers Ubuntu Cloud Images which are pre-installed disk images that have been customized by Ubuntu engineering to run on cloud-platforms such as Amazon EC2, Openstack, Windows and LXC. Ubuntu is also prevalent in the VPS provider Digital Ocean.
Ubuntu 11.04 added support for OpenStack, with Eucalyptus to OpenStack migration tools added by Canonical in Ubuntu Server 11.10. Ubuntu 11.10 added focus on OpenStack as the Ubuntu's preferred IaaS offering though Eucalyptus is also supported. Another major focus is Canonical Juju for provisioning, deploying, hosting, managing, and orchestrating enterprise data center infrastructure services, by, with, and for the Ubuntu Server.
The Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) is a gathering of software developers which occurs prior to the release of a new public version of Ubuntu.
At the beginning of a new development cycle, Ubuntu developers from around the world gather to help shape and scope the next release of Ubuntu. The summit is open to the public, but it is not a conference, exhibition or other audience-oriented event. Rather, it is an opportunity for Ubuntu developers, who usually collaborate online, to work together in person on specific tasks. From 2013 February, Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) is organized online through Google+ Hangouts, any number of participants and viewers can participate. Online UDS is held on two different days instead of two consecutive days. The Online UDS video is archived and is available on the website.
Adoption and reception
Chris Kenyon, vice president for OEM at Canonical Ltd., said that because of a lack of registration, any number provided for Ubuntu usage is a "guesstimate". In fall 2011 Canonical estimated that Ubuntu had more than 20 million users worldwide.
W3Techs estimated in October 2013 that:
- Ubuntu is used by 26.1% of all Linux websites, behind only Debian (on which Ubuntu is based), which is used by 32.7% of all Linux websites.
- Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distribution among the top 1000 sites and gains around 500 of the top 10 million websites per day.
- Ubuntu is used by 8.2% of all websites analyzed, growing from less than 7% in October 2012.
According to thecloudmarket.com, Ubuntu is on at least 54% of the images it scanned on Amazon EC2.
Publicized large-scale deployments
The public sector has also adopted Ubuntu. As of January 2009[update], the Ministry of Education and Science of Republic of Macedonia deployed more than 180,000 Ubuntu-based classroom desktops, and has encouraged every student in the country to use Ubuntu-powered computer workstations; the Spanish school system has 195,000 Ubuntu desktops. The French police, having already started using open source software in 2005 by replacing Microsoft Office with OpenOffice.org, decided to transition to Ubuntu from Windows XP after the release of Windows Vista in 2006. By March 2009, the Gendarmerie Nationale had already switched 5000 workstations to Ubuntu. Based on the success of that transition, it planned to switch 15,000 more over by the end of 2009 and to have switched all 90,000 workstations over by 2015 (GendBuntu project). Lt. Colonel Guimard announced that the move was very easy and allowed for a 70% saving on the IT budget without having to reduce its capabilities.
In 2011, Ubuntu 10.04 was adopted by the Indian Justice system.
In March 2012, the government of Iceland launched a project to get all public institutions using free and open-source software. Already several government agencies and schools have adopted Ubuntu. The government cited cost savings as a big factor for the decision, and also stated that open source software avoids vendor lock-in. A 12-month project has launched to migrate the biggest public institutions in Iceland to open-source, and help ease the migration for others.
Ubuntu was awarded the Reader Award for best Linux distribution at the 2005 LinuxWorld Conference and Expo in London, received favorable reviews in online and print publications, and has won InfoWorld's 2007 Bossie Award for Best Open Source Client OS. In early 2008 PC World named Ubuntu the "best all-around Linux distribution available today", though it criticized the lack of an integrated desktop effects manager. Chris DiBona, the program manager for open-source software at Google, said “I think Ubuntu has captured people’s imaginations around the Linux desktop,” and “If there is a hope for the Linux desktop, it would be them”. As of January 2009[update], almost half of Google’s 20,000 employees used a slightly modified version of Ubuntu.
Ubuntu 10.04 LTS had also been criticized for its poor battery life on laptops and netbooks, even as OEM on devices such as Asus's eeePC, when compared to Microsoft Windows 7, with Ubuntu having been shown to use between 14% and 56% more power. Ubuntu's developers have acknowledged and sought to solve the issues of power consumption in the 12.04 LTS release.
In 2008, Jamie Hyneman, co-host of the American television series Mythbusters, advocated Linux (giving the example of Ubuntu) as a solution to software bloat. Other celebrity users of Ubuntu include:
In January 2014, the UK's authority for computer security, CESG, reported that Ubuntu 12.04 LTS was "the only operating system that passes as many as 9 out of 12 requirements without any significant risks".
One of the new features of Unity in Ubuntu 12.10 was the shopping lens. As of October 2012[update], it sent (through a secure HTTPS connection) the user's queries from the home lens to productsearch.ubuntu.com, which then polled Amazon.com to find relevant products; Amazon then sent product images directly to the user's computer through HTTP (this changed in September 2013). If the user clicked in one of these results and then bought something, Canonical got a small fraction of the sale.
In 2012 many reviewers criticized it: as the home lens is the natural means to search for content on the local machine, reviewers were concerned about the disclosure of queries that were intended to be local, creating a privacy problem. As the feature is active by default (instead of opt-in), many users could be unaware of it. See Unity privacy controversy.
In March 2013, Canonical announced that it had decided to develop Mir, reversing an earlier plan to move to Wayland as the primary Ubuntu display server and causing widespread objection from the open source desktop community. X.Org contributor Daniel Stone opined: "I'm just irritated that this means more work for us, more work for upstream developers, more work for toolkits, more work for hardware vendors...."
In 2013, Canonical reached an agreement with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People's Republic of China to make Ubuntu the new basis of the Kylin operating system starting with Raring Ringtail (version 13.04). The first version of UbuntuKylin was released on 25 April 2013.
Local communities (LoCos)
In an effort to reach out to users who are less technical, and to foster a sense of community around the distribution, Local Communities, better known as "LoCos", have been established throughout the world. Originally, each country had one LoCo Team. However, in some areas, most notably the United States, each state or province may establish a team. A LoCo Council approves teams based upon their efforts to aid in either the development or the promotion of Ubuntu.
A number of vendors offer computers with Ubuntu pre-installed, including Dell, Gliese IT, Hasee, Lotus Computers, Ohava Computers, Sharp Corporation, System76, WeWi and Tesco. System76 PCs are sold exclusively with Ubuntu. Dell and System76 customers are able to choose between 30-day, three-month, and yearly Ubuntu support plans through Canonical. Dell computers (running Ubuntu 10.04) include extra support for ATI Video Graphics, Dell Wireless, Fingerprint Readers, HDMI, Bluetooth, DVD playback (using LinDVD), and MP3/WMA/WMV. Asus is also selling some Asus Eee PCs with Ubuntu pre-installed and announced that "many more" Eee PC models running Ubuntu for 2011. Vodafone has made available a notebook for the South-African market called "Webbook".
Dell sells computers (initially Inspiron 14R and 15R laptops) pre-loaded with Ubuntu in India and China, with 850 and 350 retail outlets respectively. Starting in 2013 Alienware began offering its X51 model gaming desktop pre-installed with Ubuntu at a lower price than if it were pre-installed with Windows.
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