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I see entries in /etc/apt/sources.list that say:

deb hardy universe

I am using Ubuntu 8.04, and I don't know what "hardy" means, though I suspect it has something to do with version?

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Hardy is the name of the 8.04 Release, "Hardy Heron".

Each Ubuntu Release follows the same pattern, year.month numbers for versioning, e.g 8.04 8.10, 10.04 (usually 2 releases every year) and a code name.

Ubuntu Releases are:

  • 4.10 - Warty Warthog
  • 5.04 - Hoary Hedgehog
  • 5.10 - Breezy Badger
  • 6.06 - Dapper Drake
  • 6.10 - Edgy Eft
  • 7.04 - Feisty Fawn
  • 7.10 - Gutsy Gibbon
  • 8.04 - Hardy Heron
  • 8.10 - Intrepid Ibex
  • 9.04 - Jaunty Jackalope
  • 9.10 - Karmic Koala
  • 10.04 - Lucid Lynx

They appear on your sources list to indicate which release(version) of the repository you are using.

PS: You must have also realized by now, that Ubuntu releases follow an alphabetical naming order, always using an adjective and an animal name. The next Ubuntu release (10.10) will be named Maverick Meerkat.

PS2: The oficial Ubuntu page with all codenames, plus some discarded alternatives names can be found here, if you are curious about it.

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I wonder what will happen when they ran out of letters ;-) – Decio Lira Aug 21 '10 at 13:56
Probably start over. They already reused the H. :) – Adam Aug 21 '10 at 15:24
It's useful wen searching for an issue online to include the version adjective. This narrows your search results to the version in question. e.g. google: hardy sound driver – Chris Nava Aug 21 '10 at 20:00
Decio, it would probably be worth linking to the release codenames wiki page. – mac9416 Aug 22 '10 at 1:29
good idea. done. ;) – Decio Lira Aug 22 '10 at 19:12

The Letter name is the "codename" during testing--when released it becomes the number release.

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