Five years ago today, the first ever Ubuntu (Warty Warthog) was released. Back then I was an Open Source Consultant working for the government-funded OpenAdvantage and had a (more) stupid beard. Five years later, I am working on my seventh release since I joined Canonical three years ago, and a more refined beard. :-)

I really believe Ubuntu has been a force for change, and I am hugely proud that I have had the chance to be involved in this rollercoaster of opportunity. When Warty was released, what excited me was not only it’s technically adventurous approach and it’s commitment to simplicity and usability, but also that the Ubuntu community was forged in a way that I felt got it right. At the time Linux was already in the sights of the industry but many organizations were merely tolerating community as opposed to embracing it. I admired that the Ubuntu community had an open governance model, a code of conduct and a real meritocratic approach complete with commercial sponsor. This was brave for a commercial sponsor, and credit Benjamin Mako Hill and Mark Shuttleworth for this commitment to community. Both have been an inspiration to me before I joined Canonical and since. Thankyou, guys.

We have made tremendous progress since Warty, but we are still only at the beginning of a long and fruitful journey for us all. As we work feverishly to add the finishing touches to Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala, everyone in our community, be it developers, translators, documentation writers, LoCo teams, governers or otherwise, should step back for a moment and breathe in what we have all accomplished. Karmic is shaping up to be a rocking release, and speaking personally, even though I am seven releases in, I have never been so passionate and committed to the journey. The future holds incredible promise, and I feel privilaged to work with such a devoted and inspiring community and so many wonderful people at Canonical. Tonight I will be grabbing a glass of something sparkling and toasting to another five years!

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