A default installation of Ubuntu contains a wide range of software that includes LibreOffice, Firefox, Empathy, Transmission, and several lightweight games such as Sudoku and chess. Many additional software packages, including titles no longer in the default installation such as Evolution, GIMP, Pidgin, and Synaptic, are accessible from the built in Ubuntu Software Center as well as any other APT based package management tool. Execution of Microsoft Office and other Microsoft Windows applications can be facilitated via the Wine compatibility package or through the use of a virtual machine such as VirtualBox or VMware Workstation.
The Ubiquity installer allows Ubuntu to be installed to the hard disk from within the Live CD environment.
For increased security, the sudo tool is used to assign temporary privileges for performing administrative tasks, allowing the root account to remain locked, and preventing inexperienced users from inadvertently making catastrophic system changes or opening security holes. PolicyKit is also being widely implemented into the desktop to furtherharden the system through the principle of least privilege.
Ubuntu can close its own network ports using its own firewall software. End-users can install Gufw (GUI for Uncomplicated Firewall) and keep it enabled.
Ubuntu compiles its packages using GCC features such as PIE and buffer overflow protection to harden its software. These extra features greatly increase security at the performance expense of 1% in 32 bit and 0.01% in 64 bit.
However, Ubuntu's developers acknowledged battery life problems from version 10.04 and sought to solve the issues of power consumption in the 12.04 LTS release. The 14.04 release improved the situation, but still lagged other operating systems in the battery life metric.
Beginning with Ubuntu 5.04, UTF-8 became the default character encoding, which