Version naming

Mark Ellse mde at
Mon Jan 11 10:08:16 UTC 2010

In theory, the name of current release of Ubuntu is 9.10. But in practice it
is referred to as both karmic and koala. Even the Help menu states "You are
using Ubuntu 9.10 the Karmic Koala".

See below for the reviews, which show that the press intermingles the names.

Here are the numbers of returns for the different searches in Launchpad, our
bug reporting place. So if you search for "ubuntu 9.10" you get less than 5%
of the bugs. Even if you search for "ubuntu karmic" you only get two thirds
of the bugs.

"ubuntu 9.10"            795
"ubuntu karmic"    10,813
"ubuntu koala"        5,137

"ubuntu 9.04"            131
"ubuntu jaunty"       6,438
"ubuntu jackalope"     666

"ubutu 8.10"               842
"ubuntu intrepid"      3,717
"ubuntu ibex"             588

1. There is no unanimity in what the versions are called.
2. This wastes time with searching and reporting
3. The version number is not sticking and only the ardent or well-informed
use it.
4. The adjective, being the most familiar, is the most often used.
5. Popular animal names (koala) are a real distraction. (Less problem with
the unfamiliar ibex and jackalope)

Drop the animal name (no loss). Release the version with the adjective
(easier to remember than the number).

Yours ever,


2010/1/10 Mark Ellse <mde at>

> Each version of Ubuntu has, effectively, three names.
> For instance, the latest release is:
> Ubuntu Karmic          or is it Ubuntu 9.10?        or is it Ubuntu Koala?
> The presence of these three names makes it difficult to know how to search
> for issues with a particular version.
> It would be much better if each version of Ubuntu was always referred to by
> a single name and if two of these three ways of referring to a version were
> dropped.
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