This specification is obsoleted by AboutThisDevice.


To make Ubuntu more polished and easier to support, it will have an About box that displays the Ubuntu derivative name (if any), the version number and basic information about the system.


The original AboutUbuntu specification was fine to be proposed and get accepted for inclusion for the start of the Breezy cycle, however the Ubuntu landscape has changed remarkably since then, and AboutUbuntu needs to cope with this change.

People are used to "About Name of Program" showing a window that gives the software version details, and copyright info. Since many people do not distinguish between the computer and the operating system, other operating systems also include in their About box basic info about the computer the system is running on. Ubuntu should also include this feature, as well as linking to more information about the computer, as well as more information about Ubuntu.

Use cases

  • Stephanie installed Ubuntu a couple of months ago, from a CD she picked up at an Internet cafe. Now she has found the Ubuntu Web site, sees that the latest version of Ubuntu is x.y, and wants to know whether she's running the latest version.

  • Jeff, a marketing hack and propagandist, wants to make sure people using Kubuntu can find more information about the system, as well as Kubuntu itself.


Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity.

  • Choosing the "About Ubuntu" menu item should open the About window, visually centered on the screen. It should behave properly with respect to startup notification and session saving. The window should be closable using either Ctrl+W or the close button.
  • The About window should include:
    • Derivative name, their logo and the version number (most prominent)
    • computer model, if available
    • CPU speed and amount of RAM on the system
    • a "Hardware Details" button that opens the Device Manager
    • a "More Information" button that opens the default browser pointing to the ubuntu-artwork page for the derivative
    • Linux kernel version number
    • Gnome or other session manager's version number.
  • Any of the informative text should be drag-and-droppable as plain text into another program.




  • In my opinion this is a good chance to rationalise the awkward distinction between the "About Ubuntu" and "About Gnome" items in the System menu. The way Ubuntu branding is done, the Ubuntu user is not introduced to different branding names when installing or starting up their system, and this is probably correct given the confusion that would ensue if the user had to grapple with Ubuntu, X.org, Linux and GNOME. As a result the presence of the "About Gnome" menu item is confusing. It should be merged with the About Ubuntu item, which could then be used to introduce the user to all the components of the free software ecosystem which are used in Ubuntu and which give it its strength. I understand that doing this will require some careful thought about how derivatives can implement the same system, but I think that's worth doing. FWIW I also don't really think it's particularly helpful to provide hardware information in an item dealing with "About Ubuntu", that's provided by the System Monitor anyway. -- mdke