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Thread: What is ubuntu written in?

  1. #1
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    What is ubuntu written in?

    I was curious to find out what programming language has been used to write ubuntu.

    Is it a single language or a combination?

    Maybe a more tricky question. How is this language interpretted by hardware. Does Ubuntu come with som thing which reads the code and turns it into 1's and 0's?

  2. #2
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    Re: What is ubuntu written in?

    Ubuntu is made from a lot of programs, and they are typically written in different languages. The answer would be "a combination".

    The linux kernel is written mostly in C.
    GTK+ is written in C.
    Qt and KDE are written in C++.
    Most of the programs you run are written in either C or C++. There are quite a few things written in Python too.

  3. #3
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    Re: What is ubuntu written in?

    Ubuntu is a lot of different programs.

    Linux, the kernel, is written in C and a little bit of Assembly.

    C is used for many apps and libraries. C is compiled and is run on the processor.

    Many languages are used, Python, Perl, Java, and C++ are probably the most used. (I have no desire to take inventory)

    I know Ubuntu recommends Python. The Python interpreter used is written in C also.

  4. #4
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    Cool Re: What is ubuntu written in?

    Very interesting.

    I was wondering that recently myself.
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  5. #5
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    Re: What is ubuntu written in?

    There's also some assembly in the kernal, if I'm not mistaken.

  6. #6
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    Re: What is ubuntu written in?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yes View Post
    There's also some assembly in the kernal, if I'm not mistaken.
    Yep. I read somewhere that there are also tiny amounts of other languages in there (mostly build processes but still in there) like shell script and perl.

    A lot of the ubuntu native packages are written in Python like Ubiquity (the graphical installer) and update-manager etc.
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  7. #7
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    Re: What is ubuntu written in?

    This probably isn't helpful but here: http://www.ohloh.net/projects/4265/analyses/latest .

  8. #8
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    Re: What is ubuntu written in?

    I would also add that Ubuntu itself varies only slightly from all the other versions of Linux available such as Fedora, Suse, Gentoo, Arch etc. All of these distributions use a common foundation including the Kernel (C), standard libraries (glibc, posix stuff, etc), and some standard utilities such as mkfs, cat, more, wc, etc.

    Then, things start to change as you get more distribution specific and start dealing with things such as package management and configuration. Ubuntu is based almost entirely off of Debian. Standard tools such as apt and apt-get/aptitude are written in C. Synaptic is also written in C. Where things change is where there are Ubuntu-specific programs such more friendly printer and network configuration. I think Python is heavily used here along with gtk+ (which is written in C, but has bindings for many languages).

    Another common toolkit used on Linux is Qt, which is written in C++ and one of the main components of KDE.

    The main point is that Ubuntu (and any Linux distribution in general) is not a single unified whole. There are many components written by different people in different languages that work together.

  9. #9
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    Re: What is ubuntu written in?

    All the projects included in any Linux distro use any language they wish. Distro just packages code developed by "upstream" developers, with possibly small changes/patches, and some minimal custom development.

    Difference between distros are, what language(s) are used by distro developers to distro-specific tasks and applications. Ubuntu prefers Python, other distros might prefer other languages, I assume Perl, C, C++ would be rather popular, also depending of GUI toolkit used.

  10. #10
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    Re: What is ubuntu written in?

    Nobody else seems to have answered the second part...

    Some of the languages (C, C++) are compiled into binary machine code instructions and those "just run"

    Assembler has a one to one correspondence to the binary instructions that the processor uses, so that is "translated" at one point in time.

    Some languages (Perl, Python, Shell) are interpreted at run time by a compiled interpreter. (Although compilers for some of these languages are also available)...

    Some (Java) are a mixture... They are compiled into a byte code for a virtual machine and then interpreted at run time (at least that's the best way I can think of describing it).

    This is not an exhaustive list, but those are the three strategies... For all intents and purposes Assembler and compiled languages are the same, you end up with an OS specific, architecture specific binary that should just work. Interpreted languages require an interpreter but run the same on any OS/architecture combination that has an interpreter...

    And things like Java run their "compiled code" anywhere their virtual machine runs.

    Z.

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