Logic behind the Linux version names

Logic behind the Linux code names.

Logic behind the Linux code names.
Today I came across the case of Linux code/version names. As a Android developer I know there are different version names for Android operating systems like Lollipop,Marshmallow,Nougat and latest Oreo.So that led me to write post on what’s the

Logic behind the Linux version names.

The question about the code-names is really trivial. It doesn’t make any difference to how a particular Linux distribution function.

One of the most popular Linux distribution, Ubuntu follows a biannual release cycle with one release coming in April and other in October.

Linux Ubuntu



The month and year of the release play a vital role in the version number of an Ubuntu release. An Ubuntu release has version number of the format XX.YY. The XX is the year of the release and YY is the month of the release. So, we get Ubuntu 17.10 in the 10th month (October) of the year 2017.You may have noticed that any Ubuntu release has a two worded code name that start with the same alphabet. For example, Ubuntu 17.10 is called Artful Aardvark (starting with a A).
Ubuntu code names are indeed made of two words, first being an adjective and the second being an endangered species (lately it also contains mythological creatures such as Unicorn or Werewolf).

Artful is an adjective which means to be skilful, clever or resourceful, often in a unconventional or unique manner.An Aardvark is “a nocturnal badger-sized burrowing mammal of Africa, with long ears, a tubular snout, and a long extensible tongue, feeding on ants and termites.“

Another interesting fact is that these code names are incremented alphabetically in each release (except the few in the beginning). So, we have Ubuntu 14.04 as Trusty Tahr, Ubuntu 14.10 as Utopic Unicorn, Ubuntu 15.04 as Vivid Vervet and so on.

If we have to summarize all of the releases, they go like:

Ubuntu 18.04Bionic Beaver
Ubuntu 17.10Artful Aardvark
Ubuntu 17.04Zesty Zapus
Ubuntu 16.10Yakkety Yak
Ubuntu 16.04Xenial Xerus
Ubuntu 15.10Wily Werewolf
Ubuntu 15.04Vivid Vervet
Ubuntu 14.10Utopic Unicorn
Ubuntu 14 .04Trusty Tahr
Ubuntu 13.10Saucy Salamander
Ubuntu 13.04Raring Ringtail
Ubuntu 12.10Quantal Quetzal
Ubuntu 12.04Precise Pangolin
Ubuntu 11.10Oneiric Ocelot
Ubuntu 11.04Natty Narwhal
Ubuntu 10.10Maverick Meerkat
Ubuntu 10.04Lucid Lynx
Ubuntu 9.10Karmic Koala
Ubuntu 9.04Jaunty Jackalope
Ubuntu 8.10Intrepid Ibex
Ubuntu 8.04Hardy Heron
Ubuntu 7.10Gutsy Gibbon
Ubuntu 7.04Feisty Fawn
Ubuntu 6.10Edgy Eft
Ubuntu 6.06Dapper Drake
Ubuntu 5.10Breezy Badger
Ubuntu 5.04Hoary Hedgehog
Ubuntu 4.10Warty Warthog

Linux Mint



Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu. So, a couple of months after an Ubuntu release, a Linux Mint releases comes up based on that Ubuntu release.

Unlike Ubuntu, Linux Mint versioning doesn’t follow the month and year. It is simply incremental. So, we have Linux Mint 15 then Linux Mint 16, Linux Mint 17 and so on. This is for major releases. The minor releases (loose analogy to service pack in Windows), are incremented in decimal points. So, that gives us Linux Mint 17.1, 17.2 etc.

Linux Mint codenames is that these female names ending with alphabet ‘a’ and the names have origin in the mythology of Abrahamic religion

Linux Mint 19Tara
Linux Mint 18.3Sylvia
Linux Mint 18.2Sonya
Linux Mint 18.1Serena
Linux Mint 18Sarah
Linux Mint 17.3Rosa
Linux Mint 17.2Rafaela
Linux Mint 17.1Rebecca
Linux Mint 17Qiana
Linux Mint 16Petra
Linux Mint 15Olivia
Linux Mint 14Nadia
Linux Mint 13Maya
Linux Mint 12Lisa
Linux Mint 11Katya
Linux Mint 10Julia
Linux Mint 9Isadora
Linux Mint 8Helena
Linux Mint 7Gloria
Linux Mint 6Felicia
Linux Mint 5Elyssa
Linux Mint 4Daryna
Linux Mint 3.1Celena
Linux Mint 3.0Cassandra
Linux Mint 2.2Bianca
Linux Mint 2.1Bea
Linux Mint 2.0Barbara
Linux Mint 1Ada

Linux Debian



Debian ,which can be called as father of the Ubuntu,from which the Ubuntu,Mint and elementary OS are designed had the most interesting naming case.

In fact, Debian itself was named after its founder Ian and his girlfriend Debra.

Debian version numbers are incremental. That’s not the interesting part. The interesting fact is that all Debian releases are codenamed after the characters of Toy Story movie.

And based on the villain of the movie,Sid who is a neighborhood boy loves to destroy the toys,so all the unstable version are codenamed as Debian Sid.

VersionNameToy Story Character
1.1BuzzBuzz Lightyear
1.2RexT REX
1.3BoBo Peep
2.1SlinkSlinky dog
2.2PotatoPotato Head
3.0WoodyWoody(Cow Boy)
3.1SargeSarge from Bucket Soldiers
4.0EtchEtch A Sketch
5.0LennyLenny a binocular
6.0SqueezeSqueeze toy alien
7WheezyWheezy Penguin
8JessieJessie the Cowgirl
9StretchRubber Octopus
BusterAndy's Pet dog
11BullseyeToy Horse From Toy Story 2

Linux OpenSUSE



The first OpenSUSE release in 2005 was OpenSUSE 10.1. I do not know why it started with 10 and why not 1. OpenSUSE has a green aura with it. This greenish touch is extended to the codenames as well. OpenSUSE codenames are actually a shade of green color. That explains the codenames like Emerald, Teal etc for OpenSUSE.


If you are a OpenSUSE lover then don’t worry that they will have shortage of names in future and hope to hear the new shades of green color that you have not heard yet.

Linux Fedora



The name of Fedora derives from Fedora Linux, a volunteer project that provided extra software for the Red Hat Linux distribution and sponsored by the Red Hat company.

As of February 2016, Fedora has an estimated 1.2 million users,including Linus Torvalds, creator of the Linux kernel.

Beginning with Fedora version 21, it is available as three distinct primary editions:

Fedora Workstation,Fedora Server and Fedora Cloud.


Similar to Debian blends, the Fedora Project also distributes custom variations of Fedora called Fedora spins or editions.[29] These are built with specific sets of software packages, offering alternative desktop environments or targeting specific interests such as gaming, security, design, education, robotics and scientific computing.


Debian uses the deb format, dpkg package manager, and apt-get dependency resolver. Fedora uses the RPM format, the RPM package manager, and dnf dependency resolver.

So with this we wrap up this post and yes you can share your views and tell us if you also know something more about Linux version names in the comment section.