From the “Warty, Hoary, Intrepid, Jaunty, Karmic, Lucid, Maverick, Natty, Oneiric‘ files:
I have to admit, I’m a latecomer to Ubuntu. My first Ubuntu story was in April of 2005 with the Hoary Hedgehog release. Hoary came some six months after Ubuntu Warty Warthog first debuted in October of 2004, 7 years ago today.
Ubuntu started off back then, with the promise of regular, predictable release cycles, which is a promise that has been kept without exception.
One thing that Ubuntu did, even back in 2005 though was to split the community, which is something that they also continue to do today. With the Hoary release, Debian backers, including Debian founder Ian Murdoch told me that Ubuntu’s popularity was more harmful than helpful.
Today, the split is over the desktop, with Ubuntu’s Unity stacked up against the mainline of GNOME 3 and Gnome Shell (which also has its’ fair share of criticisms too).
Ubuntu has never been afraid to try new things, whether it’s Unity, OpenStack, UbuntuOne, Juju or any of the other technologies that Ubuntu has brought to the market. That’s the strength of Ubuntu, fueled by the charisma and passion of founder Mark Shuttleworth.
Shuttleworth was the driving force beyond Ubuntu, 7 years ago and remains the driving force today. From the crazy names to the big claims – (remember when he said he wanted Ubuntu to be more beautiful than Mac?)
“Can we blow right past Apple in the user experience that we deliver to our end users?” Shuttleworth said in 2008.
Ubuntu is still focused on looks, but they’re also now focused on the cloud too. It’s a distribution that has changed over the last 7 years, but it’s also stayed very true to the elements that made it popular in the first place – namely predictable release cycles and an insatiable desire to innovate.