You might or might not know about Ubuntu. Ubuntu is an African word meaning ‘Humanity to others’, or ‘I am what I am because of who we all are’. Ubuntu is the user friendly version of Linux, and has recently gained a lot of popularity amongst nerds and novice users alike, for good reasons. On May 11th, the Ubuntu team released Ubuntu Studio to the public.

A problem Linux is facing is that it doesn’t really appeal to creative hobbyists/semi-professionals as a serious option, because of a seeming lack of reliable, user friendly programs, either open source or crackable. In the high-end VFX market, many, if not most programs run on Linux. Free programs like Gimp (an ‘alternative’ to Photoshop), Inkscape (an alternative to Illustrator) and Blender (3D-animation) still have a long way to go to compete against the established commercial packages. However, the fight against Adobe and Autodesk isn’t really fair. Adobe and Autodesk are commercially motivated organizations which have the ability to hire the best of the best and market what they make massively. The open source programs can only rely on voluntary collaboration and word-of mouth evangelism. When looking at it this way, these programs have come a very long way and this deserves a round of applause. The progress they’ve made is incredible and development is always continuing.

The Ubuntu team has now made a really smart move: they’ve put together Ubuntu Studio, which bundles and (more importantly) brands all creative tools the open source community has to offer in one installable OS. What is so smart about this? Well, when a person wants to ‘get creative’ and do this legally, there’s now a clear open source choice to make. “Have you heard about Ubuntu Studio?” is a really good mouth-to-mouth strategy to bring Linux creativity to the masses. It takes away some of the fear of the somewhat chaotic image Linux has amongst Windows users. Let’s hope this will become very, very big. It has every potential to. Give it a try!