Interview: Mark Shuttleworth

In 1999, the South African-born Mark Shuttleworth sold his internet company, Thawte, which provided digital certificates for websites, for more than $500m (£254m). After spending $20m on a trip into space, he started the Ubuntu project - named after an African word meaning "Humanity to others", or "I am what I am because of who we all are" - which has since become the most popular GNU/Linux distribution.

Technology Guardian: To what extent did your space trip feed into Ubuntu?

Mark Shuttleworth Going to space and seeing the Earth from a distance makes it very clear just how interdependent we are. So I wanted to do something that was really global; free software is a phenomenon that is truly global.

TG: What are the implications of choosing that name?