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UbuntuUbuntu Desktop is a Linux distribution derived from Debian. It is one of the most popular (Desktop) Linux distributions available, and many other distributions are derived from it. Development is sponsored by Canonical.

There are two editions of Ubuntu Desktop – Ubuntu Desktop and Ubuntu Desktop Alternate Installer. The only difference lies in the installation programs. Ubuntu Desktop has a simple, graphical installer, while Ubuntu Desktop Alternate Installer has an ncurses installation program. It is suitable for use on low-resource computers.

Installation Program and Installation Process: The graphical installation program of Ubuntu Desktop is very basic, and lacks support for disk encryption, LVM, the Linux Logical Volume Manager, and RAID. There is an option to encrypt the home directory, but that is the lone, physical security feature it has.

The alternate installer edition, with the ncurses interface, has support for LVM, disk encryption and RAID. It also has the option to encrypt the home directory.

Desktop Environments: Starting from the 11.04 release, Ubuntu ships with the Unity as the default desktop, with a fallback to GNOME 2 for machines that do not meet the minimum hardware requirements for running Unity.

Installed Applications and Software Management Out of the box, Ubuntu comes with most of the software that the vast majority of users would need for their daily computing needs. Those that are not pre-installed, like non-free applications and codecs, can be installed if the appropriate repository is enabled. Like on any other Linux distribution, the software repository contains thousands of free applications that you can install.

Debian’s Advanced Packaging Tool, APT, is the application management framework on Ubuntu. The most common command line utility for managing applications is apt-get, with Synaptic and Software Center as the user-friendly, graphical frontends. Both graphical applications are installed out of the box, but Synaptic offers a lot more features than the newer Software Center. The Software Center offers paid applications from Canonical’s software partners, but those are few, compared to the free applications in the default repository.

Graphical Administrative Applications: If you are running Unity, the graphical administrative applications are in the System Settings. In Fallback mode, that is, if you are running GNOME 2, they are accessible from System > Preferences and System > Administration menus.

Physical and Network Security Posture: Per physical security, Ubuntu Desktop with the graphical installer has a very bad physical security posture. For starters, the installer does not support disk encryption, and it does not provide the option to password-protect the boot loader. These are two features that are used to enhance the physical security posture of a system.

Because the Alternate Installer version of supports full disk encryption, it is possible to present a better physical security profile, and, therefore, achieve a higher security rating than if you use the graphical installer edition.

A new installation of Ubuntu 11.04 has only one open port – 631, the Internet Printing Protocol port. The firewall is not configured, and Gufw, one of 3 graphical clients for managing ufw, the command line frontend to IPTables, is not installed. AppArmor, the mandatory access control program is loaded, in enforcing mode. Ten (10) profiles are loaded by default.

Hardware Requirements and Resources: Ubuntu is supported on both 32-bit and 64-bit Intel-compatible platforms. To run the Unity desktop, a computer with 3D-accelerated graphics is required. Recommended minimum memory requirement is 512 MB. However, 1 GB or more, will make your computing life a little bit less stressful. The minimum disk space required to install the latest edition is 4.4 GB.

Download links for the latest stable editions of Ubuntu are available here. Official documentation and other support links are available here and at Questions and Answers.

Recent Reviews and Tutorials: The most recent reviews and tutorials on Ubuntu Desktop published on this website are listed below. You may peruse the full list of reviews and tutorials here:

  • How to reset user password on Ubuntu 14.10 After publishing How to reset passwords on Fedora 21 and 22, I thought it was appropriate to do the same for Ubuntu 14.10. So this tutorial will show how to reset a password on Ubuntu Desktop 14.10. It should also work on earlier editions, like Ubuntu 14.04, and even on the upcoming Ubuntu 15.04. The obvious reason ...
  • How to test-drive Ubuntu Core on Fedora 21 Workstation Ubuntu Core is a containerized edition of Ubuntu for Cloud deployments. A beta release was announced yesterday. (See Ubuntu Core to bring Snappy and transactional updates to the Cloud). Though there’s a similar effort from Fedora/Red Hat called Project Atomic, nothing stops you from playing with Ubuntu Core on any release of Fedora, including the ...
  • Can your computer run Ubuntu Core? Ubuntu Core beta, a version of Ubuntu for Cloud deployment that comes with snappy a system and application management utility with support for transaction updates, was released just a few hours ago. Though it was made available for testing on Microsoft’s Azure Cloud platform, Mark Shuttleworth said in a blog post that you can download a ...
  • Ubuntu Core to bring Snappy and transactional updates to the Cloud Mark Shuttleworth has announced a beta release of Ubuntu Core, a version of Ubuntu server for the Cloud that does not use debs or apt-get for system and software management. What, then, does it use? The new utility that replaces debs and apt-get is called Snappy, which, according to Mark Shuttleworth, introduces a “bullet-proof mechanism for app ...
  • How to upgrade Ubuntu 14.10 kernel to version 3.17.1 Upgrading a distribution’s kernel is something I tend to shy away from. There was a time, though, when recompiling the Linux kernel was fun. But that was years ago. Now, I just use the version that’s installed and let the system take care of upgrading to the latest stable version. But after I found out that ...
  • Opera 26 released. Install it on Linux Mint 17.1 and Ubuntu 14.10 I don’t quite remember the last time I used Opera browser, but it’s been a very long time ago. I didn’t even think that the company is still developing a Linux version. So, surprised I was when I read that Opera 26 has been released for Windows, Mac and Linux. Even more surprising is this line ...
  • Ubuntu 14.10 review I haven’t done a review of Ubuntu in a while, so the release of Ubuntu 14.10 last week game me a good excuse to do just that. Code-named Utopic Unicorn, Ubuntu 14.10 is the last Ubuntu release this year. There are two releases per year and Ubuntu 14.04, code-named Trusty Tahr, was the first 2014 release ...
  • Solutions for low screen resolution in Ubuntu 14.04/14.10 and VirtualBox This article was originally posted on the forum. On my test installations of Ubuntu 14.04 in VirtualBox, I had to figure out how to deal with a situation where the highest screen resolution I could get was 640 x 480. And it was not just with Ubuntu 14.04, but also with Kubuntu 14.04. UPDATE: This also applies ...
  • Dual-boot Ubuntu 14.10 and Window 8 on a Toshiba Satellite C55-A The Toshiba Satellite C55-A is a Toshiba laptop with Intel Core i3 processor inside, a 750 GB hard disk drive (HDD) and Windows 8 factory installed. That means UEFI firmware and Windows 8 installed using a GPT partitioning scheme. Also, Restricted Boot (or Secure Boot) is enabled. This article offers guidance on how to install Ubuntu ...
  • Install Unity Tweak Tool on Ubuntu 14.10 For both new and experienced users, most especially for new users, System Settings, Ubuntu‘s graphical management application, offers a simple, point-and-click interface for managing most aspects of the desktop. But there are other aspects of the desktop for which Systems Settings has no modules for. That’s where Unity Tweak Tool comes in. It provides the same ...

Screenshots: More screenshots from the latest edition of Ubuntu Desktop.

Installed and available Educational applications on Ubuntu 11.04.

Installed and available games.

Installed and available Internet applications.

Installed and available multimedia applications.

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