Ubuntu OS turns 20: the history of developers' influence on Linux

South African, by the way. This year marks an important milestone for Linux: the 20th anniversary of Canonical, the company behind the popular Ubuntu operating system. Canonical was founded in 2004 by South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth. Its mission was clear: to support free and open source software by creating a user-friendly Linux distribution. Discuss© Ubuntu

At that time, Linux was facing difficulties. Desktop systems were dominated by proprietary giants, and existing distributions often prioritized stability over usability. Ubuntu, based on Debian, was designed to bridge this gap. Regular six-month release cycles provided the latest software while maintaining a focus on ease of use—a stark contrast to the sometimes nebulous world of Linux.

Ubuntu's influence was undeniable. She fostered a vibrant community of developers and users who collaborated with each other through forums, wikis, and IRC channels. This community spirit became a hallmark of the project, allowing Ubuntu to become synonymous with “user-friendly and secure” Linux.

But Ubuntu's influence extended beyond the desktop. It has become a leading cloud operating system, demonstrating its versatility.

ZDNet's Jack Wallen summed up Canonical's journey: “Few suspected that Canonical would become one of the world's largest Linux companies.”