Mark Shuttleworth: Wikis


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Mark Shuttleworth
Mark Shuttleworth by Martin Schmitt.jpg
Spaceflight Participant
Born 18 September 1973 (1973-09-18) (age 36)
Welkom, South Africa
Other occupation Entrepreneur
Time in space 9d 21h 25m
Selection 2001
Missions Soyuz TM-34, Soyuz TM-33

Mark Richard Shuttleworth (born 18 September 1973) is a South African entrepreneur who was the second self-funded space tourist.[1][2] Shuttleworth founded Canonical Ltd. and as of 2009, provides leadership for the Ubuntu operating system. He has a net worth of over $200 million.

He currently lives in London and holds dual citizenship of South Africa and the United Kingdom.


Early life

Shuttleworth was born in Welkom, Free State, South Africa as a son of a surgeon and a nursery teacher.[3] After attending school at Rondebosch Boys' High School[citation needed] and Diocesan College, Shuttleworth obtained a Business Science degree in Finance and Information Systems at the University of Cape Town. He lived in Smuts Hall, where he was involved in the installation of the first residential Internet connections at the university.


Shuttleworth founded Thawte in 1995, which specialised in digital certificates and Internet security and then sold it to VeriSign in December 1999, earning R 3.5 billion (about US$ 575 million at the time).

In September 2000, Shuttleworth formed HBD Venture Capital, a business incubator and venture capital provider.

In March 2004 he formed Canonical Ltd., for the promotion and commercial support of free software projects.

In December 2009, Shuttleworth stepped down as the C.E.O. of Canonical, Ltd.[4]


In the 1990s, Shuttleworth participated as one of the developers of the Debian operating system[citation needed].

In 2001 he formed the Shuttleworth Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to social innovation which also funds educational, free, and open source software projects in South Africa, such as the Freedom Toaster.

In 2004 he returned to the free software world by funding the development of Ubuntu, a Linux distribution based on Debian, through his company Canonical Ltd.

Mark Shuttleworth delivering a talk during the Ubuntu Party in Paris in Nov. 2009

In 2005 he founded the Ubuntu Foundation and made an initial investment of 10 million dollars. In the Ubuntu project, Shuttleworth is often referred to with the tongue-in-cheek title Self-Appointed Benevolent Dictator for Life, abbreviated SABDFL.[5] To come up with a list of names of people to hire for the project, Shuttleworth took six months of Debian mailing list archives with him while travelling to the Antarctic aboard the icebreaker Kapitan Khlebnikov in early 2004.[6] In September 2005, he purchased a 65% stake of Impi Linux.[7]

On 15 October 2006 it was announced that Mark Shuttleworth became the first patron of KDE, the highest level of sponsorship available.[8]

On 17 December 2009 Mark announced that, effective March of 2010, he would step down as CEO of Canonical to focus energy on product design, partnership and customers. Jane Silber, COO at Canonical since 2004, will take on the job of CEO at Canonical.[9]


Shuttleworth in the International Space Station

Shuttleworth gained worldwide fame on 25 April 2002 as the second self-funded spaceflight participant. Working with Space Adventures, he launched aboard the Russian Soyuz TM-34 mission, paying approximately US$ 20 million for the voyage. Two days later, the Soyuz spacecraft arrived at the International Space Station, where he spent eight days participating in experiments related to AIDS and genome research. On 5 May 2002, he returned to Earth on Soyuz TM-33. In order to participate on the flight, Shuttleworth had to undergo one year of training and preparation, including seven months spent in Star City, Russia.

While in space he had a radio conversation with Nelson Mandela and a 14 year old South African girl, Michelle Foster, who asked him to marry her. He politely dodged the question, stating that he was "very honoured at the question" before changing the subject.[10] The terminally ill Miss Foster was provided the opportunity to have a conversation with Mark Shuttleworth and Nelson Mandela by the Reach for a Dream foundation.[11][12]


He has a private jet, a Bombardier Global Express,[13] which is often referred to as Canonical One[14][15][16] but is in fact owned through his HBD Venture Capital company. The dragon depicted on the side of the plane is "Norman", the HBD Venture Capital mascot.


  1. ^ (2002). "First African in Space". HBD. Retrieved 2007-10-04. 
  2. ^ Shuttleworth is the first citizen of an independent African country to go into space. Patrick Baudry, an earlier astronaut, was also born in Africa; however, because Baudry's native Cameroon was a French colony at the time of his birth, he is considered a French citizen (although Shuttleworth also had British citizenship at the time of his flight).
  3. ^ Vance, Ashlee (2009-01-10). "A Software Populist Who Doesn't Do Windows". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-01-12. "charismatic 35-year-old billionaire from South Africa ... son of a surgeon and a kindergarten teacher" 
  4. ^ Mark Shuttleworth (2009-12-17). "My new focus at Canonical". Retrieved 2009-12-21. 
  5. ^ "Ubuntu carves niche in Linux landscape". CNET. 
  6. ^ Linux Format, Jeff Waugh (LXF 87).
  7. ^ "Shuttleworth bets on ImpiLinux". MyADSL. 29 September 2005. Retrieved 2006-08-28. 
  8. ^ "Mark Shuttleworth Becomes the First Patron of KDE". KDE. 15 October 2006. Retrieved 2006-10-16. 
  9. ^ "Mark Shuttleworth steps down as CEO of Canonical". Mark Shuttleworth. 17 December 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-17. 
  10. ^, Nelson Mandela Chats with Shuttleworth, 2002-05-02.
  11. ^ BBC News, Afronaut mourns his 'bride', 2002-05-28.
  12. ^ Dispatch online, Mark's biggest fan dies of cancer, 2002-05-28.
  13. ^ Bombardier BD-700-1A10 Global Express
  14. ^ Scott James Remnant: Canonical One
  15. ^ Ubuntu News #16: Akademy 2006
  16. ^ Ask Slashdot: Mark Shuttleworth "Canonical One doesn't *actually* belong to Canonical"

External links



Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Mark Shuttleworth (born 18 September 1973) is a South African entrepreneur. As an early space tourist, he was the first African in space. He's the founder and leader of the Ubuntu linux distribution.


Wikipedia has an article about:


  • There are many examples of companies and countries that have improved their competitiveness and efficiency by adopting open source strategies. The creation of skills through all levels is of fundamental importance to both companies and countries.
  • In the early days of the DCC I preferred to let the proponents do their thing and then see how it all worked out in the end. Now we are pretty close to the end.
  • I urge telecommunications regulators to develop a commercial strategy for delivering effective access to the continent.

Simple English

Mark Richard Shuttleworth (born 18 September 1973) is a South African business person. He was the first African in space. He bought himself his space travel. He is also the leader of the Ubuntu project.


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