How does Ubuntu make Money?

Ubuntu is perhaps the best free and open-source OS that is getting more popular. Various software comes pre-installed on Ubuntu, but employees do all that requires development. Now, you may be curious if almost everything is free, then how does Canonical (Ubuntu’s parent company) get the money to pay their employees right?

This article will show how Ubuntu earns revenue while they’ve made everything accessible to everybody.

How Does Ubuntu Make Money?

Ubuntu is free and open-source software (FOSS), but it requires a fair amount of money to do its operations and make impressive new developments. Here is how they generate revenue, which is then used to subsidize the developers.

1. Tech Support

What happens when you face an issue with any of your Ubuntu devices? You call the tech support that solves your situation, and some of them are free while others are paid. Ubuntu also applies the same procedure by providing tech support services to several users or companies, which pay for their time and work and offer paid upgrades.

Ubuntu generates most of its revenue through Tech Support.

2. Work for other Tech Giants

You might hear of AWS and Microsoft Azure which are cloud platforms that have billions of users all across the world. They are managed by Canonical, and in return, the Tech Giants pay handsome revenue, which is then utilized across the fantastic world of Ubuntu.

Microsoft Azure and AWS use the services of Canonical because they can easily manage many requests, unlike any other platform, which is why they choose this over their servers.

In a recent update, Ubuntu added Amazon shopping results to the search tool, a partnership between the two giants.

3. Freemium Model

Freemium is a business model in which software is launched for free with basic features and support, but some premium features can be bought to be used. In Ubuntu, the developers get their revenue through support and selling infrastructure like hosting.

4. Ubuntu Advantage Program

There are some companies like eBay, Walmart, Bloomberg, and CISCO that are still using older versions of Ubuntu. This required them to invest and gave them extended security maintenance. Some updates are only made available for the companies registered with Ubuntu Advantage Program.

Ubuntu’s long-term support (LTS) has only five years of maintenance which can be extended by paying Canonical. It also helps companies keep their systems secure with the latest up-to-date security.

5. Donations

There is an official forum where users can donate. The Canonical Community Team reviews the requests, and if they are beneficial, the funds are released by the donors, and the work on that request starts.

All the funding and expenses are published, showing every penny spent so that every donor knows where the hard-earned money is used.

That’s all from this guide!


Every open-source software is something that all users crave because of privacy issues that are often violated in closed-source. It is a free and open-source project (FOSS), so it requires funding to maintain, which in Ubuntu’s case, comes from the five methods listed above. This post has provided a list of sources from where Ubuntu makes money and spends it on its services/employees.