Ubuntu is a basic computer operating system that is offered as free software. The name for the system is derived from the Zulu word ubuntu, meaning “humanity.” Produced by Canonical LTD, Ubuntu is one of the more user friendly and popular types of Linux distributions. Several slight variations on Ubuntu are currently offered on the market today. Among them are Kubuntu, Shubuntu, and Edubuntu. While sharing many characteristics, there are a few differences between each product.
Kubuntu is a subproject of Ubuntu that is aimed at a particular sector of the consumer market. Like Ubuntu, Kubuntu is a computer operating system. However, the configuration is intended for use in preschool and elementary school environments. Kubuntu is also great for use by children in a home environment. The systems are intentionally made to be fun and thus support the creation of enthusiasm for the learning process. New versions are released regularly, helping to keep the subproject fresh and interesting to the public.
Shubuntu is a common misspelling of another subproject of Ubuntu, more commonly known as Xubuntu. Shubuntu, or more properly, Xubuntu, is also a Linux distribution. Unlike Ubuntu, which makes used of a GNOME desktop environment, Xubuntu goes with an Xfce desktop configuration. Xfce makes use of less system resources to function, and will often be a better option for older computers with less hard drive available. Like Kubuntu, Xubuntu is intended for use with children.
Edubuntu is a also subproject of Ubuntu. Like Shubuntu and Kubuntu, Edubuntu is intended for use in schools and classrooms. However, it targets an older age range of children than the two other subprojects. Edubuntu includes a number of tools that can allow educators to function as the administrator for setting up learning modules in a computer lab environment. Educators do not have to possess extensive computer knowledge in order to use this operating system, although at least some technical know how is helpful. Edubuntu also requires less in the way of resources to operate, which is often helpful in classroom settings where older computer equipment is in use.