Ubuntu OS, first launched in the year 2004, completely changed the way we used Linux on our desktops and laptops. Since its advent, Ubuntu is being constantly developed and used by people around the world, and has become one of the best flavours of Linux.
Right now Ubuntu stands as one of the best alternatives to Windows or Mac in some cases such as coding and developing. However, these amazing developments didn’t happen overnight. It took years for the Ubuntu community to make Ubuntu what it is now, and they are working hard to improve the Ubuntu experience even more.
In this article, we will see how Ubuntu transformed from a simple OS to what it is now. Let’s have a look at the first release of Ubuntu OS.
PS: You may also be interested in our articles on evolution of storage devices, different console modifications or genius computer hackers who make computing interesting.
The Story of Ubuntu OS 2004-2013
Ubuntu 4.10 (Warty Warthog)
Ubuntu 4.10 was the first release of Ubuntu from a company named Canonical Ltd, and provided a good and fast OS with a small number of applications like Firefox, Evolution Mail, etc. The File Explorer was not very advanced compared with the Windows Explorer of Windows XP, but still one could do basic operations with this software.
Ubuntu 5.04 (Hoary Hedgehog)
Ubuntu 5.04, released in the year 2005 started to bring notable additions to the OS like Hibernate and Stand-by mode and better support for the powerful processors back then. This version of Ubuntu could be installed from a USB Flash drive apart from being installable from a CD/DVD, since flash drives were gaining popularity back then.
Ubuntu 5.10 (Breezy Badger)
Ubuntu 5.10 was released in the same year but brought a lot of changes to the operating system, such as a better and more advanced File Browser, as illustrated above. For the first time, Ubuntu had a graphical boot loader with the advent of this version. Users were now able to Add/Remove software with a few clicks, an old thing for Windows users, but still a new thing for Ubuntu fans.
Ubuntu 6.06 LTS (Dapper Drake)
Ubuntu 6.06, released in the year 2006 brought some notable changes to the core system as well as the user interface. This version of the OS featured a brand new network manager which enabled easy switching between active connections.
A new theme was added to make the OS look better and more modern, and the use of graphics could be seen almost everywhere, as of now Ubuntu featured a graphical installer and a graphical screen at the time of shutting the system. Now, we can say that Ubuntu was gearing up for being one of the best flavours of Linux available.
Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy Eft)
Ubuntu 6.10, another version of Ubuntu but not many changes to it. Some useful changes were the addition of an automatic crash reporting tool and a few productivity apps like Tomboy (note taking app) and F-Spot photo manager.
Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn)
Another year and another version of Ubuntu released to the public. Now Ubuntu users could easily install useful tools such as Adobe Flash, Java and update to the latest version of Nvidia and ATI graphics drivers. Another essential feature included in Ubuntu 7.04 was the support for MP3 playback. It looked like Ubuntu was preparing for all sorts of challenges.
Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon)
It seemed like adding Flash, Java and MP3 support wasn’t going to make Ubuntu very successful in a world where Windows and Mac had a ton of advanced features. So, to be in the race, Ubuntu added several features like NTFS support for storing large files, fast desktop search and direct export to PDF for easier handling of documents.
Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (Hardy Heron)
With the release of Ubuntu 8.04 in the year 2008, Windows fans could now have a taste of Ubuntu without even leaving Windows. The Wubi installer, could install and run Ubuntu on any Windows platform without having any separate partition just like any other Windows apps.
It looked like the Ubuntu team was taking up the extra edge for delivering the OS to a wide range of users.
Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex)
The Ubuntu team took a step further by introducing a special Guest Account, through which guest users could have limited access to the system and their history and data were cleared after use. There were more improvements like faster internet browsing with the addition of 3G and the provision of creating a live bootable USB drive for Ubuntu 8.10.
Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope)
Ubuntu 9.04 was released in 2009, but with a few enhancements shorter boot time, a whole new notifications system and a revamped boot screen. It seemed like the development of Ubuntu had slowed down suddenly.
Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala)
Later on in the year 2009, the Ubuntu team felt the need for a powerful feature that would set Ubuntu apart from the rest. Therefore, in Ubuntu 9.10 they added support for cloud computing with the name “Ubuntu One”.
This was a great leap for Ubuntu, as all the files, settings and other important things could be backed up on online servers, which can be accessed or recovered back at anytime and anywhere.
Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Lucid Lynx)
After the addition of cloud computing, Ubuntu got a whole new UI with the release of Ubuntu 10.04 in 2010. Social networking was deeply integrated into this version of Ubuntu so that users could remain connected with their friends and families without any hassle. It seemed as if the Ubuntu team got charged up to create something better.
Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat)
More and more portable devices like laptops and netbooks were being used at that time, and so Ubuntu, not willing to remain left behind, added a new interface called Unity, which appeared on small screens like that of a netbook.
Unity featured a clean look with a sidebar of apps for easy access, without consuming much of the screen space.
Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal)
Ubuntu 11.04 released in the year 2011 adopted the Unity interface for its desktop version as well, and sported a brand new look with a cool sidebar to serve apps whenever you need them easily and quickly.
However if any machine didn’t have the required specifications or if any user didn’t want to use the Unity desktop, he/she could still switch back to the class Ubuntu desktop.
Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot)
With the Ubuntu 11.10, Unity became the only choice of interface for Ubuntu users. However if any machine was unable to run the full-fledged Unity interface, then Ubuntu would display a 2D and lightweight version of the Unity interface on that system.
This version also had a powerful backup tool which could be used to back up all the files even the hidden ones, and could be restored anytime easily.
Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin)
After Unity, came a brand new addition to the Ubuntu OS in the year 2012, called HUD (Head-Up-Display), which replaced the menu system in the OS. One could just search for a feature or action and perform that action easily as illustrated above.
This new feature of Ubuntu made working with Ubuntu much easier and also made the OS much more attractive.
Ubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal)
One of the notable features of this version of Ubuntu was the Dash Preview, which showed up a preview of any desktop app upon right-clicking over it, as illustrated above.
Users could now easily customize and reorder their apps in the sidebar by just dragging and dropping an app icon in the desired position. The search was enhanced to show up music results from Ubuntu One, and allowed easy access to music.
Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtail)
Ubuntu 13.04, released in the year 2013 brought some changes to the OS. The OS was optimized for better speed and smoother performance.
This version featured WindowSnap, which is same as that of the Aero Snap featured in Windows 7, years ago. However, app and account management was made easier with the Online Accounts feature which is a centralized hub for keeping all accounts and can be accessed by various desktop apps which need those accounts.
Ubuntu 13.10 (Saucy Salamander)
Released recently, Ubuntu 13.10 has been termed as a boring update by users all over the internet, as it didn’t bring many improvements and features along with it. Still, there are some features like Smart Scopes, which makes the search much better and relevant by recognizing your search patterns and showing up the best results possible.
Ubuntu has improved a lot over all these years. But still there remains a question: Will Ubuntu ever be a powerful and complete replacement for operating systems like Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X? What do you think?