Ubuntu (/ʊˈbuːntʊ/ uu-boon-tuu) is a Debian-based Linux operating system for personal computers, tablets and smartphones, where Ubuntu Touch edition is used; and also runs network servers, usually with the Ubuntu Server edition, either on physical or virtual servers (such as on mainframes) and/or with containers, that is with enterprise-class features; runs on the most popular architectures, including server-class ARM-based.
Ubuntu is published by Canonical Ltd, who offer commercial support. It is based on free software and named after the Southern African philosophy of ubuntu (literally, ‘human-ness’), which Canonical Ltd. suggests can be loosely translated as “humanity to others” or “I am what I am because of who we all are”. It uses Unity as its default user interface for the desktop.
Ubuntu is the most popular operating system running in hosted environments, so–called “clouds”, as it is the most popular server Linux distribution.
Development of Ubuntu is led by UK-based Canonical Ltd., a company of 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 software development; people are encouraged to use free software, study how it works, improve upon it, and distribute it.
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