It is said Linux was named by Linus Torvalds who had created it.

And is reported Linux means 'Linux Is Not UniX.'

I am wondering who named Ubuntu and why, researching for a book.

Would you explain?

  • 8
    Regarding the Linux name, nope.
    – muru
    Mar 12, 2015 at 6:32
  • 4
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it has nothing to do with ubuntu OS support.
    – xangua
    Mar 12, 2015 at 6:52
  • 7
    The tour page says "we're working together to build a library of detailed answers to every question about Ubuntu." That clearly goes beyond OS support as I read it.
    – Brian Z
    Mar 12, 2015 at 7:03
  • 2
    @ElderGeek I disagree with your interpretation of the help. That page explicitly clarifies that the kinds of questions we don't want are those that are chatty or open-ended. This is neither. The "problem" is not knowing who named Ubuntu and why. This is objectively answerable (and answered) and in the scope of our site. We're not just for "help me with X" questions. We have plenty of questions like this. They can be found by searching for phrases like what is. Do you really think narrowly scoped questions asked to gain an understanding of a concept should be closed? Should I ask on meta? Aug 4, 2017 at 15:45
  • 1
    @EliahKagan After reviewing both meta.stackexchange.com/questions/157216/… as well as meta.askubuntu.com/questions/14831/… I've edited the post to use the appropriate tag and voted to reopen.
    – Elder Geek
    Aug 4, 2017 at 23:44

2 Answers 2


This is discussed at length in The Official Ubuntu Book. Basically, ubuntu is a South African word for confidence in cooperation and collaboration with others. Shuttleworth and other founders felt that it "was a term that encapsulated where the project came from, where the project was going, and how the project planned to get there."


Ubuntu is a South African ethical ideology focusing on people's allegiances and relations with each other. The word comes from the Zulu and Xhosa languages. Ubuntu is seen as a traditional African concept, is regarded as one of the founding principles of the new republic of South Africa and is connected to the idea of an African Renaissance.

A rough translation of the principle of Ubuntu is "humanity towards others". Another translation could be: "the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity".

"A person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed."

— Archbishop Desmond Tutu

As a platform based on Free software, the Ubuntu operating system brings the spirit of ubuntu to the software world.

  • 9
    This answer explains what and not who.
    – totymedli
    Mar 12, 2015 at 9:22

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