What is Ubuntu Linux, and how can I get it?

Ubuntu is a predominantly desktop-oriented Linux distribution based on Debian GNU/Linux. Ubuntu aims to use only free software to provide a stable, modern operating system for the average user; it focuses on usability, regular releases, and ease of installation rather than platform diversity. Ubuntu is sponsored by Canonical Ltd. and includes over 16,000 pieces of software covering all standard desktop applications, such as word processors, spreadsheet applications, web server software, and programming tools.

Ubuntu is suitable for both desktop and server use. The current Ubuntu release supports PC (Intel x86), 64-bit PC (AMD64), and Sun UltraSPARC and T1 (Sun Fire T1000 and T2000) architectures.

Ubuntu releases new versions every 6 months, and supports releases for 18 months with daily security fixes and patches to critical bugs. Long Term Support (LTS) releases offer three years of support for the desktop version and five years for the server version.

For more information or to download Ubuntu, see the Ubuntu home page. You can also download the installation images from the local Indiana University mirror.

Updating software with the local Ubuntu apt-get mirror

To get Ubuntu software updates using the IU mirror, you will need to edit your Apt sources file:

  1. Click Applications, then Accessories, and then Terminal.
  2. Enter the following:
     sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list
  3. Enter your password.
  4. The first two lines should start with "deb" and "deb-src". Change the URLs that follow those words from http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ to ftp://ftp.ussg.indiana.edu/linux/ubuntu/.
    Note:
    Do not edit anything else on those lines unless you know what you're doing.

The next time you check for updates using apt-get, aptitude, or update-manager, you should be using the IU mirror.

Portions of this document were adapted from Wikipedia's article on Ubuntu.

At Indiana University, for personal or departmental Linux or Unix systems support, see At IU, how do I get support for Linux or Unix?

This is document awhr in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2017-08-15 14:14:04.

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