Ubuntu is a desktop operating system (OS) for personal computers. Offered free of charge and designed to be user friendly, Ubuntu can be installed as a standalone OS or can run alongside Windows. 

Ubuntu is a complete OS and comes standard with the features most users expect.

– Firefox web browser. Users can easily add other modern browsers, such as Chrome and Opera, from the software center.
– Email. Mozilla Thunderbird is built in and ready to send mail in minutes.
– Libre Office. This productivity suite is at home in any environment and will work well with Microsoft Office documents.
– Photo editor. GIMP provides photo retouching and other professional tools for free.
– VLC player. Nearly all video formats are supported by this program, which is available in the software center.
– Backup and storage. Dropbox is immediately available for syncing important files and photos.
– Skype and Twitter. Being social is a central part of everyday life. These two programs make it simple to stay in touch.
– Gaming. Ubuntu supports games from the Steam and Unity platforms, plus thousands more.

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Advantages of Ubuntu
Aside from being a free OS, Ubuntu offers the advantage of being more secure than Windows. This is due to the built-in anti-virus protection and firewall and the requirement that a user have the root password to add or delete programs or make any other system changes. Ubuntu is lightweight and does not bog down disk space and memory. It also does not require the frequent defragging that Windows does in order to keep the system running smoothly. The OS will run well on older hardware, which extends the life of computers that might otherwise have to be retired. 

Open Source
The code used to power Ubuntu is open source. This means anyone is free to examine it and suggest changes to make it better. The development path is always transparent, which is helpful to the manufacturers and developers building applications for the OS. Ubuntu is for everybody.

Ubuntu is a free download from the official website. It is also available pre-installed on custom-built computers from Linux specialty websites such as System 76 or Linux Preloaded. For those who require Windows applications for some tasks, Ubuntu is flexible enough to run in its own partition on the same system and offer the best of both worlds.