Ubuntu is a Linux distribution based on Debian. The Ubuntu project employs full-time developers from the Debian and Gnome environments and is funded by Canonical Ltd, a software company owned by South African Mark Shuttleworth.
The first version of Ubuntu dates from October 2004, and the word comes from the Zulu language meaning "humanity." Ubuntu can be downloaded for free and in over 40 languages from the Internet, and the installed base was reported at 20 million users in early 2013. Ubuntu emerged from the Linux distribution Debian, whose package format .deb was adopted. Ubuntu leaves modifications to the program code of the Debian software to the Debian project as patches.
For the development of a new release a part of the program code of Debian unstable is taken over, except however the Main range. A Software Center, which has been affiliated with the project since version 11.10, is intended to increase the range of applications for Ubuntu like the AppleApp Store or Google Play. At the beginning of 2013, the Software Center contained over 3,000 apps, including the gaming platform Steam. Since 2007, PC manufacturer Dell installed the Ubuntu system on individual computer models. According to its own information, Ubuntu also works compatibly with Microsoft Office file formats and recognizes external hardware such as printers or MP3 players.