The new distribution secured its name, "Ubuntu Linux," from a Zulu word that essentially means "a person is a person through other persons," release manager for the project sponsor, Isle of Man-headquartered company Canonical, Jeff Waugh, told ZDNet Australia .
Waugh made his comments this morning after working through the night on the release, which was unveiled in Australia at last night's meeting of the Sydney Linux Users' Group (SLUG) at a pub on King St Wharf in the city centre.
The distribution -- a "Gold" or stable version of which is due for release on 13 October -- is scheduled to be updated every six months in both development and stable versions. The next development release, code-named Hoary Hedgehog, is due to be unveiled in March 2005 and the Gold version the following April.
A release will be supported for 18 months.
Waugh said the Ubuntu Linux project came from a realisation that there was "no fantastic professional services company" built around Debian and Canonical could help provide the support required to push the GNU/Linux operating system further into the corporate arena.
The current Ubuntu release -- Ubuntu 4.10 Preview (which had been codenamed "the Warty Warthog") -- supports Intel x86 (IBM-compatible PC), AMD64 (Hammer) and PowerPC (Apple iBook and Powerbook, G4 and G5) architectures.
Ubuntu includes more than 1,000 pieces of software, starting with the Linux kernel version 2.6 and Gnome 2.8, and covering every standard desktop application from word processing and spreadsheet applications to Internet access applications, Web server software, e-mail software and games.
Canonical, though headquartered in the Isle of Man, has operations throughout Europe, North and South America and Australia. According to its Web site, its team members include leaders from the Gnome, Debian, Morphix and Arch open source projects.
Mark Shuttleworth -- a South African entrepreneur who broke into the tech sector with his e-commerce security company Thawte Consulting before selling it to Verisign in 1999 -- owns Canonical and has been heavily involved in development and naming of Ubuntu Linux.