What is Ubuntu?
Ubuntu is a free computer operating system and a philosophy of human kindness and cooperation. It has produced a miracle in both areas that is worth understanding. It has the potential to help establish world peace as a model for human cooperation. Read this article and learn why!
Ubuntu as a Free Computer operating system (OS): Only 40 paid programmers work for Canonical Ltd., which is responsible for coordinating thousands of volunteer programmers and developers from around the world who create and maintain Ubuntu. Ubuntu is an operating system, like windows, but many consider it far better. Unlike Windows it is Free and most of the software you would ever need to install on it is Also Free! For 99% of my work, I have not used windows in years; I use Ubuntu! Just like your smartphone can download thousands of free apps for Ubuntu. Consider a few that I use that are totally free (but the equivalent for windows might cost thousands of dollars):
- Audacity – a full music / sound recording editing studio on your desktop
- GIMP – An image manipulation program that lets you create and modify pictures like Photoshop
- Browsers: Chrome, Opera or FireFox and many others
- Libreoffice – An office suite much like Microsoft Office but completely free
- Rhythmbox – an excellent music organizer and player
- BackUps – With BackUps you can copy your current computer’s music, images, programs and settings and in Re-Create it on ANY NEW COMPUTER effortlessly!
- Here are six things that Ubuntu does better than windows
How is it possible that thousands of brilliant programmers worldwide donate their time, skills and knowledge for free for you?
Ubuntu is sponsored by the UK-based company Canonical Ltd., owned by South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth. Canonical generates revenue by selling technical support and services related to Ubuntu, while the operating system itself is entirely free of charge. The Ubuntu project is entirely committed to the principles of free software development; people are encouraged to use free software, improve it, and pass it on (its code is available so anyone can modify and improve it and share it anew)! In other words, other than a small financially self sustaining leadership group, Canonical, Ubuntu is a miracle of human cooperation by thousands of gifted people across the world who work as a team to improve the quality of human life for all of us!
Pictured here to the right of this text is some of the team at a gathering for volunteer developers.
Ubuntu as a way of life — Archbishop Desmond Tutu offered a definition of Ubuntu in a 1999 book: A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, based from a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed.
One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu is the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can’t exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can’t be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality – Ubuntu – you are known for your generosity. We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole World. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity. The philosophy of Ubuntu has influenced many world wide. For example: The Peace Project, The Peace Education Project and there is more to come.
As human beings, the Judeo-Christian bible reminds us that we struggle with two forces. One is the physical desire to selfishly seek wealth and power that does not create value for society (such as might come from rebuilding a city or creating jobs) while the other side is the more spiritual side that recognizes the Creator’s plan for all of humanity to live in harmony and peace. From the Judeo-Christian viewpoint we recognize Abraham as the near “perfect man” who taught us how to live in harmony by example of the way he lived. Ubuntu like Abraham, does not deny the accumulation of wealth and power as long as it is used for the betterment of all. Could we ever achieve that goal? The stories of Ubuntu, as shared above, hint at this possibility.
It is always difficult to educate people while keeping them awake. Years of college has attuned me to identifying people who are sitting upright in chairs with open eyes and still in deep sleep.
It is far better to entertain, as Walt Disney said, with the hopes of educating then to educate with the hope of entertaining. Much of my Sci-fi, Sci-fantasy writings deal with questions of the potential for people living by the principles of Ubuntu. I explore, through adventure and imagination, what could happen if we learn to live in harmony (Ubuntu) and if not. I am constantly reminded as I write of the potential for human harmony as all my writing, research, social communication etc is done with the reliable results of the people who believe in Ubuntu, on an Ubuntu powered computer.