Is Ubuntu becoming the generic Linux distro?

Colin Watson cjwatson at
Fri May 30 02:15:35 BST 2008

On Wed, May 28, 2008 at 06:22:33AM -0400, Daniel Robitaille wrote:
> On Wed, May 28, 2008 at 3:15 AM, Jonathan Carter <jonathan at> wrote:
> > AFAIK, it's officially just Ubuntu, not Ubuntu Linux. Here in South
> > Africa, there are PLENTY of companies that are called Ubuntu, and they
> > existed long before the Linux distribution. I think it's already been a
> > generic trademark even before Canonical decided to use it.

Trademarks generally exist in a particular field; it's not just a matter
of "does anyone else use this name?". I'm not aware of other operating
system providers called Ubuntu, and even in the general software field
we'd probably have a pretty decent case.

> And if you use only "Ubuntu" instead of "Ubuntu Linux", then you don't
> have to decide which one to use,  "Ubuntu Linux" and "Ubuntu
> Gnu/Linux",  when writing documentation.

This was indeed precisely why we chose to call the system "Ubuntu"
rather than either "Ubuntu Linux" or "Ubuntu GNU/Linux". Unfortunately rather muddied the waters, and you'll still see bits of
documentation around that say "Ubuntu Linux", not to mention "Ubuntu:
Linux for Human Beings"; but its proper name is just "Ubuntu".

Colin Watson                                       [cjwatson at]

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