Chapter 1. What is Xubuntu?

Table of Contents

A short introduction
Learn more about what makes Xubuntu

A short introduction

Xubuntu is a community-developed, Ubuntu-based Linux operating system.

Xubuntu is an elegant and easy-to-use operating system. Xubuntu comes with Xfce, which is a stable, light and configurable desktop environment.

It is perfect for those who want to make the most of their desktops, laptops and netbooks, featuring a modern look and enough features for efficient, daily usage. It works well on older hardware too.

Find out more at the Xubuntu website.

About the name

The "X" in Xubuntu stands for Xfce, the desktop environment in Xubuntu. While the word "ubuntu" denotes the dependency on and usage of the Ubuntu core, it also represents the philosophical core of the operating system. A rough translation of the word ubuntu is "humanity towards others". To read more about the philosophy and ideals behind Ubuntu and Xubuntu, please refer to the Ubuntu Philosophy page.

In addition to using the Ubuntu core, Xubuntu also uses the infrastructure kindly provided and sponsored by Canonical Ltd., a company founded by Mark Shuttleworth.

Version numbering

The Xubuntu version numbering scheme is based on the distribution release date. The first part of the release denotes the year while the second part denotes the month. For example, the first official Xubuntu version was released in June, 2006, thus its version number was 6.06. The latest Long Term Support (LTS) version is 16.04, codenamed Xenial Xerus.

Learn more about what makes Xubuntu

Free Software

The Xubuntu project is entirely committed to the principles of free software development; people are encouraged to use free software, improve it, and pass it on. You can find out more about free software and the ideological and technical philosophy behind it at the GNU website.


Linux was brought to life in 1991 by a Finnish student named Linus Torvalds. The Linux kernel is the heart of the Xubuntu operating system. A kernel is an important part of any operating system, providing the communication bridge between hardware and software. Read more about Linux at the Linux kernel website.


Xfce is the lightweight desktop environment used in Xubuntu. It aims to be fast and low on system resources, while still being visually appealing and user friendly. Xfce embodies the traditional UNIX philosophy of modularity and re-usability. Read more about Xfce at the Xfce website.