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What is Ubuntu?   

Ubuntu is a complete Linux-based operating system, freely available with both community and professional support.

The Ubuntu Distribution aims to produce a single-CD installable operating system that includes everything needed to run a typical desktop or server machine, anywhere in the world. We emphasize three things:

1. Free of Charge. Ubuntu is absolutely free of charge, and will remain that way.

2. License Freedom. Ubuntu includes only Free Software applications. You are free to modify or change any aspect of your Ubuntu system.

3. Ease of Use. We aim to make Ubuntu the easiest version of Linux to install and use immediately. We put a lot of effort into making sure that the default configuration is comprehensive but sane, so that you will find your new desktop familiar but not overwhelming.

Ubuntu also includes more software than any other operating system, on its network of software repositories. Once your system is installed you can simply call up a list of all the existing tools out there and choose any of them for immediate installation over the Internet.

An advantage of open source is that it can deliver more reliability and flexibility, as well as faster updates and fixes, all at a lower cost. Plus, if you’re an expert, you can tweak and alter the code to completely customize the software to do exactly what you want.

What is an operating system?

An operating system is the software that allows other programs to run on a computer. Without an operating system, a computer can do nothing useful.

Are these really free operating systems?

Yes. Many people who value having more control over their software have worked together to create a variety of free operating systems. The most common of these is Linux, which comes in many forms. The most popular Linux variant recently is called Ubuntu, which was designed to be easy to learn, and easy to use for the everyday computer user. You can install it on your PC yourself, or you can get PC`s with Ubuntu installed on them already from several vendors, Including Dell and Emperor Linux.

Why is it free? Is the price representative of the software's quality?

In a word, no. Lack of cost is simply an effect of the liberty users have with Linux. It can be modified and redistributed at will-- you can't really put a price tag on something like that. Linux is open source software, meaning that making it better is a community effort that anyone can help with.

"Open source software by the community, for the community"

Is this software legal?

This software is created by people who understand the value of freedom, and consider it more important than money. There is nothing illegal about it. In the event that parts of open source projects are found to be infringing on the intellectual property of others, those parts are immediately removed. Open source software is not pirated- it is, again, a community effort, powered by volunteers, and by people who simply love to create good code.