happy birthday ubuntu graphic

Bionic Balloons! Cosmic Cake!

Bust out the bunting and start cooking a cake because it’s Ubuntu’s birthday!

Yes, fourteen feature-filled years have flown by since Mark Shuttleworth sat down to share news of the very first Ubuntu release.

Ubuntu 4.10 ‘Warty Warthog’ was thrust into the world on Wednesday October 20, 2004.

Explaining the USP of the (then newest) Linux distribution, Shuttleworth explained thus:

“Ubuntu is a new Linux distribution that brings together the extraordinary breadth of Debian with a fast and easy install, regular releases (every six months), a tight selection of excellent packages installed by default and a commitment to security updates with 18 months of security and technical support for every release.”

It’s interesting how most of that blurb applies to the latest Ubuntu 18.10 release as much as the first (although Ubuntu support was halved for regular releases in 2013, and support for Long Term Support releases increase).

Ubuntu 4.10 — A Different Era

Ubuntu 4.10 ‘Warty Warthog’ boasted a simple, straightforward install from a single CD. That may sound like a given now, but back then — nah. The distro was also famed for its efforts to “detect as much hardware as possible, simplifying the X install.”

Ubuntu then and now

Ubuntu then and now

If you were using Ubuntu back then you’d be sampling the very latest GNOME 2.8 desktop, browsing your favourite web 1.0 websites in Firefox 0.9, checking your AOL mail in Evolution 2.0, and typing up your documents in OpenOffice.org 1.1.2.

Other preinstalled apps included GAIM, gFTP, Xchat, GIMP, separate CD and music player tools, the Sound Juicer CD Ripper utility, and Synaptic for managing software.

Then, as now, Ubuntu serves up as a stellar showcase of the best open source software that open source software has to offer!

If you’re keen to hear more impressions there are still a few Ubuntu 4.10 review posts on the web.

Teenage Kicks

14 years on and Ubuntu is bigger than ever. Not content with being the world’s most popular Linux-based desktop operating system, it’s a heavyweight in the cloud, on servers, and in the IoT field.

No, I’m not tipsy on kool-aid! There’s even an epic Ubuntu infographic cheerleading those claims (and more)!

So, whatever you’re doing today, why not raise a glass of something to Ubuntu, its developers, and its users — happy birthday, you warty warthog!

¹If you get that reference, I love you