Ubuntu is a popular Linux variant based off of the Debian/GNU release. First released in October 2004 as a Debian offshoot, it is now a major Linux distribution with a strong release and support model. Major companies such as Dell are now offering Ubuntu OS options for their products.
Ubuntu has been hailed as one of the best Linux distributions due to the strong community aspects of the OS. It was built and maintained as a platform that is designed to be easy to install, use and evolve due in part to the robust community. Ubuntu has the largest workstation installed base of any Linux distribution.
Ubuntu's success is due to the model its creators, Canonical Ltd, have formed. UK based Canonical Ltd allow anyone to download and use Ubuntu variants for free but charge for professional support. Ubuntu has new mainstream releases every six months and Long Term Support releases every two years.