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Linux Business

New Ubuntu Foundation Announced 315

Posted by Zonk
from the ubuntu-brings-best-wishes-for-everybody! dept.
AccUser writes "Mark Shuttleworth and Canonical Ltd, founders of the popular Ubuntu Linux-based operating system, have today announced the creation of The Ubuntu Foundation with an initial funding commitment of US$10m. From the article: 'The Ubuntu Foundation will employ core Ubuntu community members to ensure that Ubuntu will remain fully supported for an extended period of time, and continue to produce new releases of the distribution. As a first step, the Foundation announces that Ubuntu version 6.04, due for release in April 2006, will be supported for three years on the desktop and five years on the server.'"
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New Ubuntu Foundation Announced

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  • by Manan Shah (808049) on Friday July 08, 2005 @09:04AM (#13013081)
    I am very impressed by Ubuntu ease of use, and even more, by their commitment. When you have such an active community and big money behind such a project, it has a very good chance to succeed. It is amazing how much the folks at Ubuntu pay attention to minor usability issues.

    If Linux ever becomes mainstream, it will be because of distributions like Ubuntu.
    • I see a problem (Score:3, Insightful)

      Ubuntu is limited by Debian's progress.

      They freeze a version of Sid. Then make it really stable, then release it. More Ubuntu developers != more Debian progress.

      Ubuntu is built of Debian and therefore if Debian continues to worsen it will be a bad thing for Ubuntu. This is why it is one reason all those thousand of Debian based distros are bad, too man developers doing the same thing - polishing a frozen Debian release for their own distro.

      Hopefully, Ubuntu and Debian can become closer linked and Ubuntu
      • Re:I see a problem (Score:4, Informative)

        by forlornhope (688722) on Friday July 08, 2005 @09:57AM (#13013496) Homepage
        You are wrong wrong wrong. Ubuntu doesn't freeze sid. They work on packages. In fact durring the Hoary dev cycle you could see packages that were in Ubuntu that were no where near in Debian. Ubuntu Main is developed by Ubuntu developers in colaboration with Debian developers. What you are thinking of is the Universe, and even that is becoming less as the Masters of the Universe get up and running.

        Ubuntu is a Debian derivative, but they are not mooching off of Debian. Ubuntu is providing value to its users and Debian. If you look at the Debian Gnome 2.10 packages, you see Ubuntu finger prints all over it.

        Also Debian is not worsening. Its changing. THe project has become too large for the old, informal ways to work. Debian is evolving and though there are growing pains, its getting better. With the rise of teams and more formalization, Debian is looking healthier and healthier every day. They finally released Sarge, and now it looks as though Etch will be out in a timely manner.

        Seriously, Debian isn't sick, its just changing. Ubuntu and Debian also already work very well together. Reference the Gnome 2.10 packages and the upcoming switch of debian to xorg. Both have Ubuntu Developers deeply involved because they are also Debian Developers and as Ubuntu Developers have already gone through it.
  • by Willeh (768540) * <rwillem@xs4all.nl> on Friday July 08, 2005 @09:05AM (#13013087)
    Ok, so now we have Ubuntu, Gentoo, Suse, Red hat, Mandriva, colinux, Yellow dog, Caldera and god knows who else vying for a slice of an ever so slowly growing pie, not even counting Brazilian, Chinese, Japanese or german national efforts.

    Isn't it time that some of those efforts were combined to get some kind of weight behind Linux as a whole, or are companies like IBM and Novell already moving into their respective trenches when linux on the {Desk, lap, floor}top takes off? While i can understand these companies having their own distro as has been traditionally the case, but do we REALLY need another non-profit foundation that thinks it can topple the 800 pound Red Gorilla on it's own while trying to reinvent the wheel and juggling a mix of community support and paid support? I'm not trying to be an anti-linux jerk, i'm just wondering what Ubuntu has to offer that isn't in another distro already.

    • by justforaday (560408) on Friday July 08, 2005 @09:07AM (#13013110)
      Yes, if we could just get them all working together on some sort of United Linux, all of our problems would be solved...
    • by AccUser (191555) <.mhg. .at. .taose.co.uk.> on Friday July 08, 2005 @09:13AM (#13013154) Homepage
      But isn't this a symptom of open source software, in that everybody is able to do it their way? With M$ and Apple, we get an operating system that works the way they want it to. With GNU/Linux, you get to choose a distribution which works the way you want it to. And if you can't find one that does that exactly, you have the opportunity to do it yourself.

      Obviously in the real-world (!) we all just want something that works the way we want it to, without having to scratch around every distribution. Personally, I think that Ubuntu [ubuntu.com] does it for me.
      • Yes having it "their way" is a nice option but who do you think gets more money the Resturant that makes great steaks or Fast food. If Linux wants a larger chunk of the market its going to have to reach more people. And that means simple.. not 47 different choices which none work the same. A standard base isn't even a solution we just flat out need less distro's IMO.
        • I think you've hit upon the difference (right now) between Linux users and Windows users. There are some people who are happy with going to whatever fast food restaurant is closest, ordering whatever the "combo" of the day is and driving home to eat it. There are those, however who would rather do a bit more research, drive a little bit further to get a nice juicy steak. Linux users will put in a bit more effort, a bit more time to get an operating system that works they way they want it. A Windows user
          • by bman08 (239376) on Friday July 08, 2005 @11:57AM (#13014571)
            Furthermore, the whole analogy is wrong. Running a successful steakhouse in a city or large town is going to net you, the owner, more dough than being a McDonalds franchisee, though obviously Ronald is pocketing more than anyone. The thing that's great about the restaurant analogy is that it really highlights the fundamental flaw in the whole 'what linux has to do to win' argument. Microsoft has us all thinking that it's a win-or-lose game. It's not. When I go out in my little town, I can choose three different pizza joints, 2 italian, 4 chinese, McD's and Burger King. The real winner in that situation is me. It's the same thing when I walk into my office... Win, Mac, Lin, BSD... Sometimes I want a quarter pounder with cheese and sometimes I want hand fed kobe beef. Whatever the situation, I'll have it my way thanks.
    • by Otter (3800) on Friday July 08, 2005 @09:15AM (#13013163) Journal
      On the contrary, what you're talking about was the situation in 2002.

      Today, things have basically contracted to Ubuntu, Gentoo, Novell/SuSe, Debian and Mandrake on the desktop and the Red Hat family and Debian on the server. The other desktop distros (Turbo, Caldera, Lycoris, Xandros, Lindows/Linwhatever, and the rest) have mostly faded. In the next few years Ubuntu will cannibalize the remaining Debian desktop share, and Mandrake has been spinning its wheels since version 7. The consolidation you're looking for has already happened -- remaining niche players like Yellow Dog don't affect the overall picture.

      • by The Warlock (701535) on Friday July 08, 2005 @09:18AM (#13013196)
        You forgot Fedora, which has a very large desktop share, and Slackware, which is still popular. And SuSe sees some popularity on servers. It's still pretty complicated. Not that this is nessessarily a bad thing, as others have said.
        • The point isn't the precise correctness of assertions that are mostly guesswork, anyway; it's that the overall trend is to consolidation and away from the free-for-all of the Finally, Linux Is Ready For The Desktop! days.
        • It's surprising we hear so little about MEPIS, given that it's more popular on DistroWatch than SUSE, Debian, Knoppix, Gentoo, and Slackware, and actually only beaten by Ubuntu, Mandriva and Fedora in popularity. For my experiences with it, it's a great "Ubuntu-like" distro on 1 CD that you may use as a Live CD or not, but designed for KDE (and not redesigned for it, like Kubuntu) instead of Gnome as the largest difference.
          • It's surprising we hear so little about MEPIS, given that it's more popular on DistroWatch than SUSE, Debian, Knoppix, Gentoo, and Slackware...

            I think the answer is that DistroWatch rankings are completely meaningless. KANOTIX is more popular than Red Hat? PHLAK is more popular than SuSe? Who the hell reads those pages at all? Is somebody getting up every morning and checking to see what version of Postfix is current on Mandows or AGNULA?

      • Well, I wouldn't really discount Xandros or Linspire yet - right now, they're actually two of the higher profile desktop Linux distros, from what I can tell. And, it's too early to tell what will be the result of the merger between Mandrake and Lycoris.

        I just wish somebody would bloody well advertise the stuff properly. I keep seeing ads for Windows on the TV set - where are the ads for Linux? Surely SOMEBODY has enough money to put out at least a couple of ads to raise awareness...
      • Just curious where you got your numbers from? Last I checked, Gentoo had no significant part of the Desktop market and the 4 largest players were Suse, Fedora, Mandrake, and Ubuntu in that order. RedHat+Fedora clearly has the lead in the server arena with over 2 million active servers according to Netcraft, Debain trailing in second with 750,000, and then Suse with around 450,000 (the other distros are all much less). Fedora has ridiculously high percentages in the desktop arena and server arena, it has som
    • Most of the distros you mentioned are designed to fill a particular niche. Ubuntu is designed as a user friendly Debian-based distro (meaning, it uses apt-get and not RPMs or some other scheme). Gentoo is for the ricers. Suse and Redhat are for the enterprise. Mandriva is an easy to use RPM based distro. Yellow Dog is a lame RPM based distro for PPC machines. The Brazilian, Chinese, Japanese, and German distros are for people who speak Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, and German, respectively. Caldera
      • Actualy apt-get can work with an RPM backend.
    • by sczimme (603413) on Friday July 08, 2005 @09:19AM (#13013199)

      Ok, so now we have Ubuntu, Gentoo, Suse, Red hat, Mandriva, colinux, Yellow dog, Caldera

      If they merged we could have UbunTuseYellowCoDrivaDeraDogHat.

      If nothing else the domains should be readily available.
      • If they merged we could have UbunTuseYellowCoDrivaDeraDogHat.

        If nothing else the domains should be readily available.


        Hah. I've been sitting on that one for a while. My pot of gold is so close I can feel it.
    • by Mad_Rain (674268) on Friday July 08, 2005 @09:19AM (#13013208) Journal
      Isn't it time that some of those efforts were combined to get some kind of weight behind Linux as a whole

      Mandriva was doing pretty good about your request, merging Mandrake, Connectiva, and Lycoris... It seems to be more aimed at the desktop than the server, although Mandrake has good server products too.

      However, after being a Mandrake user for 3 years, I switched to Ubuntu for its easy install and upgrade path, in addition to maintaining more recent software. I hope that Ubuntu abosorbs some Debian distrobutions (Knoppix, knoppmyth, etc.), while maintaining their simplicity.
    • What it is trying to do (from what I can see) is work with what is available now and turn it into a superior user experience from install through to every day use. This is where most distros fail. They assume the user will jump through hoops to get the benefits of a stable desktop.

      News flash: they wont.

      Most users only care that their desktop works for 1-3hrs some evenings and weekends, not weeks of uptime, so they don't always have the problems with stability that more demanding users encounter.

      They don'

      • While I understand your point, I don't think the distro has much to do with the way in which a given GUI toolkit is used. Gnome can be abused every bit as much as KDE. It all boils down to whether or not the contributors to open source software are willing to go the extra milw when it comes to how they set up their UI.
    • I agree. Mr. Money bags of Ubuntu would have been better off putting money behind Fedora (like helping to fund the fedora legacy project) It would not be a duplicate of work yet the OS have the same goals. Now he's in competition with a company that invests 20 fold what he does, have many of the top developers and most of the mind share. Eventually one man with one bank account wont be able to compete with a billion dollar company that continues to improve with each release.

      Why does every country and every
      • Why does every country and every idea _need_ to fork a distro?

        Some countries / or smalltows make their own distros because they prefer to support a "home made" project than a forein one. I know that at the end it is an International project, but it "feels" like made in X (where X is the country in question). Hardware compatibility is another issue. In Southamerica we have another hardware not found elsewhere. Sure, most top US brand hw are available, but mid/low-range hw are characteristic of a region. Lo
      • Debian stable, Gentoo, and fedora should be the only free distro

        Doesn't Ubuntu have its roots in Debian? Why should we ditch Mandrake or Slackware? I happen to like Mandrake a lot.
        • Doesn't Ubuntu have its roots in Debian? Why should we ditch Mandrake or Slackware? I happen to like Mandrake a lot.

          Yes Ubuntu has roots in debian but so does like 90 other distro's out there. Problem with this crowd is in 3-4 years when ppl are tired of ubuntu they'll switch to the next latest and greatest thing. This community changes too much. I would bet 50k (if i had it) that Ubuntu will be forked into a project that initially has some support then dies taking have of ubunto's users with it who even
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Isn't it time that some of those efforts were combined to get some kind of weight behind Linux as a whole

      Yeah, and isn't it about time that Mac OS X, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, Darwin, and NetBSD all consolidated their efforts? After all, they are all BSD.

      Yeah, and isn't it about time that Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris and SCO Server all consolidated their efforts? After all, they are all UNIX.

      Yeah, and isn't it about time that Linux, Mac OS X and Windows all consolidated their efforts? After all, they are al

    • See, you've got different markets listed there. Yellow Dog is pretty much redhat for PPC.

      Suse and Redhat are going after the enterprise market, and are out to profit by providing enterprise level support.

      Lycoris and Linspire seek to take over the desktop market.

      Ubuntu and Gentoo are free, open distros, and AFAIK Gentoo isn't really something that's commercially available....

      Caldera - isn't that SCO??? Do they even matter?

      It's all about choice my friend.
    • I'm not trying to be an anti-linux jerk, i'm just wondering what Ubuntu has to offer that isn't in another distro already.

      I haven't tried Ubuntu yet, but I think they must be doing something right, given they're the fastest growing Linux distro [distrowatch.com].

      It does seem unoptimal though to have so much fragmentation, so much reinventing of the wheel. OTOH, each new company that tries their hand at the market, potentially improves Linux in some way permanently. Development would probably be faster if companies/gover

    • Ok, so now we have Ubuntu, Gentoo, Suse, Red hat, Mandriva, colinux, Yellow dog, Caldera and god knows who else vying for a slice of an ever so slowly growing pie, not even counting Brazilian, Chinese, Japanese or german national efforts.

      Actually I think it's great to have so much to choose from. I don't know if Linux will ever rival Windows on the desktop, but it certainly won't die. Even if PCs as we know them pass away replaced by video game consoles and cell phones, Linux will still be there. Go Ubunt
  • Great News (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 08, 2005 @09:06AM (#13013095)
    IMO Ubuntu is the distro most likely to break out into the main stream. I recently switched from Gentoo and can personally attest to the simplicity and ease of use of Ubuntu. The typical non-nerd doesn't want a command line; doesn't want to compile a custom kernel; doesn't know what "compiling" means. Ubuntu is perfect for the mainstream, and a guarantee that the project will continue is great news.

    Long live Ubuntu! (And Kubuntu too)
    • Re:Great News (Score:2, Interesting)

      by KiroDude (853510)
      I can only agree.... I propose to install Kubuntu to any friends/relatives computer I can get my hands on .. none of them has ever come back to Windows .. I've recently installed kubuntu on my work laptop and detected everything, even the PCMCIA wireless card at the first try... Simply excellent. If it continues its path it'll be a serious contender to windows.
    • Re:Great News (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Tanaka (37812)
      I recently installed Ubuntu. I have been using Gentoo for a few years, mostly on server boxes. Sure it installed smoothly, but once it was up and running, finding all the applications I needed was not so easy. I like the fact that just about everything you need can be found in Portage, and you know that even though it may be a bit slow to install, it will work (mostly!). Gentoo's online community seem a lot more clued up on stuff too.
    • Developers, What?? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ciroknight (601098)
      My biggest critique of Ubuntu is that it seems to almost handicap anyone who wants to be a software developer.

      While yes, we can grep through apt-cache and try to find all of the development packages we need, why can't they just provide a pseudo-package "ubuntu-devel" that has everything (gcc, make and friends, gtk2 dev libraries and docs, etc) wrapped up into a neat little package? This is one of the things I loved about UserLinux that hasn't quite made it into Ubuntu yet.
      • The pseudo-package is called 'build-essential'. It doesn't have everything, but it has alot. From Synaptic:

        'informational list of build-essential packages
        If you do not plan to build Debian packages, you don't need this package. Moreover this package is not required for building Debian packages.

        This package contains an informational list of packages which are considered essential for building Debian packages. This package also depends on the packages on that list, to make it easy to have the build-e
      • > My biggest critique of Ubuntu is that it seems to almost handicap anyone who wants to be a software developer.

        And develop what kinds of software? Most developers know what tools they require and install their toolchain. You have your developers for C++, C, perl, python, ruby, java, haskell, ocaml ... you have people working on graphics, device drivers, compilers, browsers, servers, desktops, games ... I don't give a damn about gtk or autotools myself.

        Any developer that can't install their own toolc
    • Re:Great News (Score:3, Interesting)

      by IANAAC (692242)

      IMO Ubuntu is the distro most likely to break out into the main stream.

      For this to happen a couple of things need to be included in the distro. I took a look around the Ubuntu home page a couldn't tell if they were included or not, but:

      For the mainstream to accept a Linux desktop, it needs mpeg3 playability out of the box. And flash. And Java. To my knowledge, no Linux distro ships a decent video player (well, the player's are there, just not the codecs - you have to go download them).

      I'l

  • Happy to hear it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bad_outlook (868902) on Friday July 08, 2005 @09:06AM (#13013096) Homepage
    I'm very happy that Ubuntu has come out of the gate, and done everything right. Since I've been using linux (1998) I've never seen any company so behind Linux as Cannonical have been, and I have a good feeling about this. Funny thing is, yesterday I just recieved my free Ubuntu cds; I 'ordered' 15 x86 versions, and 6 powerpc versions. I'm giving them to friends to try the 'live' option, and dropping them off at coffee cafe's, music stores and colleges. It's a good time to be using free software, and I think it can only HELP the world in coming together.
  • by Laz10 (708792) on Friday July 08, 2005 @09:11AM (#13013134)
    $10m will make sound work out of the box :p
  • by hubie (108345) on Friday July 08, 2005 @09:11AM (#13013135)
    I am ignorant on this topic, and a quick look at the Ubuntu FAQ didn't help, but what exactly is the relationship between Debian and Ubuntu? Is Ubuntu a complete fork, or is it dependent on Debian for core functionality?

    I am a bit confused because I see some people here give high praise for Ubuntu over Debian, things like how Debian is way too slow to release while Ubuntu is up to date, while others have pointed out that Ubuntu has the advantage where they can cherry pick the best things out of the x86 code that have gone through the rigorous testing in Debian.

    From a support standpoint, when a security flaw is found, does Ubuntu fix it themselves (and thus make it available for Debian), or do they have to wait for the Debian packages to be fixed?

    • by rpsoucy (93944) <rps@soucy.org> on Friday July 08, 2005 @09:17AM (#13013176) Homepage
      They started out friendly, but now Ubuntu is distancing itself more and more from Debian, they're making no effort to even stay compatible for package installation, which I think is hurting Debian in the long run. I really wish people would just try and help Debian if they have a problem with it instead of starting up yet another dist to make GNU/Linux "OS of a thousand distributions."
      • by SassyDave (557868) on Friday July 08, 2005 @09:34AM (#13013305) Homepage

        I was going to mod you up so we could see a healthy discussion on this topic, but I'll reply instead.
        They started out friendly, but now Ubuntu is distancing itself more and more from Debian
        I have to respectfully disagree. I run Ubuntu on my laptop, and I have switched the /etc/apt/sources.list to use the Debian unstable sources. The two distros are binary compatible (meaning I can use Debian .deb files on Ubuntu), and it works great. I get the eye-candy of Ubuntu (a pretty good default setup) with the new packages of Debian unstable. I for one like the setup.
      • by wasabii (693236) on Friday July 08, 2005 @09:34AM (#13013308)
        That's impossible simply because of the organization of Debian. It is not designed to be a supported commercial quality distro. Each maintainer has pure authority over their own packages.

        Ubuntu strives to put together a cohesive distro without the infighting that happens so frequently. You must remember, time is money for these people. All the improvements on software that Ubuntu makes are available for Debian to pick up. Usually even submitted into Debian's bug system.
      • But I thought that was the whole point ?

        "I am the black O/S in the woods with 10,000 young... IA ft'agn..."

        and all that.
      • I think you have it backwards; Debian is distancing itself from all of its children.

        By keeping their incredibly slow support cycle, by not listening to other distributions that rely on Debian's apt system, they're really shooting themselves in the foot when it comes to keeping up.

        While Debian I'm sure will continue exist, desktop Debian is certainly dead, and Ubuntu will most definitely take its place, especially with their new endowment and resolve. If you really want to think about it, Ubuntu really i
  • by Amadaeus (526475) on Friday July 08, 2005 @09:12AM (#13013147) Homepage
    3 Years of desktop support and 5 years of server? The fact that Ubuntu is looking at long-term development for their OS instead of the usual 6-month fire-and-forget releases of many other Linux Distros subscribe to is an encouraging sign that Linux is coming of age.

    Longer lifespans for Linux provides a level of security that will allow many users wary of switching over from Windows to start looking at a Linux distro as a serious replacement for their current OS. Just think: there IS an alternative to warning users that they have to buy a new OS for new features and security updates.

    I'm only worried that theyll spend all $10m on pretzels and beer.
    • ``I'm only worried that theyll spend all $10m on pretzels and beer.''

      Pizza! You forgot pizza!

      Or am I splintering the Ubuntu Foundation in a bazillion different flavors now?
    • 3 Years of desktop support and 5 years of server?


      Let's see... Ubuntu is based on Debian, which takes about three years to put together a new release. Coincidence? ;-)
    • Red Hat Enterprise already has a 7 year life cycle, and SLES has 5 years.

      Asides from installing software, which is easier in Ubuntu, RHEL 4 or Fedora 4 should be easier than the current Ubuntu, as there's more system-config-* tools than Ubuntu GUI config apps.
  • by jd142 (129673) on Friday July 08, 2005 @09:17AM (#13013179) Homepage
    I just got a really cheap laptop and Mandriva(running on my desktop) didn't like it. Ubuntu just worked. And installing ndiswrapper for the wireless card was a piece of cake.

    I've used Ubuntu as a rescue cd at work very reliably.

    Can't wait until October for the next release.
  • by kebes (861706) on Friday July 08, 2005 @09:18AM (#13013185) Journal
    This type of (financial) commitment to linux will do great things to silence (corporate) critics of FLOSS who say that there is no "structure and support" for linux. That's alot of money, and a solid commitment behind Ubuntu now. I'm glad that there are linux distros out there that are putting such an emphasis on having a product that is long-term, stable, and that will be patched/supported for a long time.

    From my experience with Ubuntu (installed it with a friend on a brand-new powerbook), it is easy to use and works well. I really hope that the momentum Ubuntu is generating will continue... it is quickly becoming the best option for converting new users over to linux.
  • by _|()|\| (159991)
    Ubuntu looks promising, but it almost releases too often. A longer support period is welcome.

    One thing I'd like to see is a looser coupling of the apps. and the O/S. I'm happy with a five year-old version of Windows, because I can trivially install new applications. Linux distributions encourage one-stop shopping, which is nice at first, but I shouldn't have to upgrade the entire O/S to get a newer version of Emacs. You can upgrade components piece meal; however, you lose some of the benefits of a tested

    • Actually, Ubuntu was already committed to 18 months of support on each release. So while it releases every 6 months, you'd be supported by security updates etc, at least two releases back. So you're not abandoned simply because there's a new release every six months, you just simply won't be running the latest and greatest.
  • Shuttleworth coughed up the $10m himself if I haven't misread TFA. Not just a beau geste, I hope. This directly addresses the concern a lot of us lukewarm Linux wannabe users have: product life. Where and when do Shuttleworth and co. get back their $10m marketing investment? [RH's support is not free, is that where Ubuntu is going to get paid back?] They must think so to lay out that much cash.
  • Debian (Score:3, Insightful)

    by countach (534280) on Friday July 08, 2005 @09:24AM (#13013244)
    Why don't they just put the money into Debian? I guess I don't understand their motivation. Are they trying to become the next RedHat? Fair enough if they are I suppose, but the Debian/Ubuntu divide is a confusing one. I ended up installing Ubuntu just because the CD was free, and I didn't have to buy 20-something CDs.
    • Why don't people donate to the US Government instead of the United Way? They both do charitable activities.

      The reason is because they have a completely different structure and somewhat different goals. Same with Ubuntu vs. Debian. One is based off the other, but I'll bet if you compare the default package lists for both stable releases side by side, you'll see quite a few differences. Therein lies your answer.
  • about them bugs (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dmouritsendk (321667) on Friday July 08, 2005 @09:30AM (#13013274)
    First, let me say I really like ubuntu(it's edged out gentoo as my perfered linux distro) and have nothing but respect for its developers.

    But with that out of the way, I really think there's room for improvement in the bug-squashing/support department.

    For example, I reported a bug about three months ago that made it impossible to enable DMA support on devices connected to my ATA controller(i knew it wasn't a hardware problem, or bios misconfiguration since i had a gentoo install on another partition where everything worked fine).

    Several users promptly confirmed the issue, and a nice person linked to a thread on the forums where the issue was debated. The issue wasn't too complicated, and was bacially a hotplug bug that was fixed by blacklisting the ata controllers driver module and then adding it to /etc/modules.

    The "problem" is, that it seems this bug is relevant for most i875 based motherboards(when the distro is installed on a sata disk, its then impossible to enable dma on the ATA devs), and its still not fixed in the repositories. To this day you still need to fix it manually, eventhough the bug is confirmed and very easily fixed.

    Thats not very impressive if you ask me.
    • I think this bug actually affects all controllers other than the one the root drive is on (not just i875/ich6). The issue is the primary controller module is loaded in the initrd and then the generic ide driver is loaded, after that the other ide controllers are loaded. I have seen this happen months ago on my box which uses via sata for root and via pata for optical drives. Though I am pretty sure this bug has already been fixed. Do you know the bug number?
  • by HenrikOxUK (776979) on Friday July 08, 2005 @09:30AM (#13013276) Homepage
    It should be: http://www.canonical.com/ [canonical.com]
  • Ubuntu review (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Henry V .009 (518000) on Friday July 08, 2005 @09:31AM (#13013283) Journal
    I've been playing with Ubuntu lately, and I like it. There are some problems though:

    Sound. I have to kill -9 the ESD process to get some applications to work. A lot of applications had to be tweaked individually after install.

    Synaptic. Synaptic does its job, I can say that. But the user interface leaves a lot to be desired. I upgraded to Hoary yesterday. Why did that have to involve editing sources.list by hand?

    Applications. Why the hell do newly installed applications need to be added to the menus manually? This is Ubuntu's biggest flaw. When you install a new program, you'd better know how to invoke it from the command line -- and good luck finding that out from Synaptic's description, which disappears after install anyway.

    Firefox. Ubuntu's web browser of choice, Firefox, is unresponsive after opening new tabs. Firefox is much nicer in Windows. And IE for Windows is far more responsive than either.

    Menus. I like the start menu organization. The "Places" menu is great. I was beginning to think that Linux was congenitally incapable of setting up the most important bit of UI on the system. The menu is even better in Hoary.

    Folder Navigation. I don't like the fact that there is no back or up arrow when exploring file folders. This is massively stupid UI design.

    All in all, it's a nice system. It's a million years behind Windows in usability; there is clunkiness present everywhere. But there are lots of free applications. As usual with Linux, it is so impossible to install or change anything without expert knowledge that you can safely recommend the system to your grandmother without the slightest fear that she will be able to mess anything up.
    • Re:Ubuntu review (Score:2, Interesting)

      by tpwch (748980)
      sorry for duping this reply, but I messed up the formatting alot in the first one, and I really want to reply to this. *kicks self for not using preview*

      Sound. I have to kill -9 the ESD process to get some applications to work. A lot of applications had to be tweaked individually after install.

      Synaptic. Synaptic does its job, I can say that. But the user interface leaves a lot to be desired. I upgraded to Hoary yesterday. Why did that have to involve editing sources.list by hand?

      Applications. Why the
    • Re:Ubuntu review (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I've already moderated in this topic, so I'll have to log out and post as AC:

      Sound: That's a really crappy bug. I've not experienced it myself, but I can quite believe it. I believe that Desktop Linux is gradually converging on ALSA (I know at least that ARTS is dying off) as the "one true sound system", so hopefully this will be less of an issue as time goes by.

      Synaptic: Agreed, that's pretty lame. The unfortunate thing is that it would probably be just an evenings work to add a GUI for selecting r

    • Re:Ubuntu review (Score:4, Interesting)

      by greenguy (162630) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .odidnabetse.> on Friday July 08, 2005 @10:12AM (#13013633) Homepage Journal
      Synaptic. Synaptic does its job, I can say that. But the user interface leaves a lot to be desired. I upgraded to Hoary yesterday. Why did that have to involve editing sources.list by hand?

      Granted, this can be a little intimidating for newbies. But after the first time, it's not that hard. The only tricky part is remembering to sudo.

      Applications. Why the hell do newly installed applications need to be added to the menus manually?

      Er, they don't. Give it an hour or two, and they will magically appear on their own. I know this from repeated experience (I'm on Ubuntu right now).

      This is Ubuntu's biggest flaw. When you install a new program, you'd better know how to invoke it from the command line -- and good luck finding that out from Synaptic's description, which disappears after install anyway.

      You can uncheck that option.

      Firefox. Ubuntu's web browser of choice, Firefox, is unresponsive after opening new tabs. Firefox is much nicer in Windows. And IE for Windows is far more responsive than either.

      This is true. On the advice of another Ubuntu user, I installed Galeon, and I've been much happier since. I'm perplexed as to why Firefox chews up so much processor time.

      Folder Navigation. I don't like the fact that there is no back or up arrow when exploring file folders. This is massively stupid UI design.

      In the preferences, on the Behavior tab, click "Always open in browser windows."

      All in all, it's a nice system. It's a million years behind Windows in usability; there is clunkiness present everywhere.

      Gotta disagree with you there. Windows seems far clunkier to me. I work for a non-profit, so I don't have much experience with XP, but the versions I see look like they're held together with baling wire. Ubuntu is the picture of elegance in comparison.

      But there are lots of free applications. As usual with Linux, it is so impossible to install or change anything without expert knowledge that you can safely recommend the system to your grandmother without the slightest fear that she will be able to mess anything up.

      Er, I think this is the first time I've heard dificulty of use discussed as an advantage. I'd phrase it as "You don't need to learn all that much to make changes, and if you don't want to learn anything, it will still work fine as is."
      • Re:Ubuntu review (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Henry V .009 (518000) on Friday July 08, 2005 @10:33AM (#13013771) Journal
        Editing sources.list isn't tricky, you're right. But I shouldn't ever have to do it.

        I have had three applications total appear on the menu out of the many I've installed. Nvu, VLC, and Bittornado (but not Bittorrent which I installed first). Freecraft, which I installed yesterday, did not show up on the menu (and had the sound problem) even after an X restart. In fact, no game that I have installed from Synaptic has shown up on the menu.

        I agree that old versions of Windows are just as clunky as Ubuntu. But Windows XP came out years ago now. It's secure (keep it updated and don't be stupid), stable (on good hardware), and usable. Linux isn't competing with a monster with gaping flaws anymore. It's competing with a well-made product.
    • Re:Ubuntu review (Score:3, Informative)

      Ubuntu has a lot of hype. It's a nice distro but remember Fedora!

      Sound - fixed in FC4. ALSA dmix takes care of this for sound cards that can't do hardware mixing. It works for every ALSA app, which most programs now support. The "aoss" program can be used for apps which still use OSS (though it should be applied automatically ... expecting users to know this is silly)

      Synaptic was never designed to have a good UI, it was designed as a frontend to apt-get. Try autopackage [autopackage.org] if you want software installs wi

  • 10m$, huh? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anm (18575) on Friday July 08, 2005 @09:33AM (#13013301)
    I would have though they could do better than one cent.

    Oh... 10M$!!! Well then.
  • I am new to Linux, been around computers since the 80's, used to a functional system "out of the box" and don't have time to figure out how to get my network card to work. I installed Sarge on my laptop and couldn't get the NIC to work. I'm not saying it was impossible, just not worth it to me. In tried Ubuntu and, sure enough, it (to quote a phrase) just worked.

    Since then I've put Ubuntu on my main desktop as well, because my experience has been so positive. Did Ubuntu stop two potential installations o
    • My hangup was that the network card never got an ipv4 address no matter what I tried, yet ipv6 was there(which I didn't want).

      After a few reinstalls with 2 experienced friends(had problems with the ATA100 drive), it finally works.
  • The Age of Ubuntu (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Friday July 08, 2005 @09:58AM (#13013509) Homepage Journal
    I still don't understand why the Ubuntu project isn't just the upgrade to the Debian project.

    Debian's biggest problem, by far, is how long it takes to relase a new version (years). That's a packaging problem, because the new version is just a package of the packages already tested/debugged by the time the distro package is ready. Which means the bottleneck is testing the packages. Debugging is what consumes time, but testing and repackaging is what holds up the process.

    Ubuntu now has the most agressive developers and distro team. And now it has $10M to work with. That goes a long way towards project management, getting Ubuntu releases every 6 months (their promise), rather than Debian's 3 years. All on top of Debian's base work. Many of Ubuntu's founders came from Debian core team members; more will likely join the better-funded project with the sparkling new brand name. I expect Ubuntu's pitch to their funders went quite along these lines.

    The funders probably see a chance to take over as Debian's successor. They can get Debian's developers and userbase - that's practically all there is to Debian. Of course they won't get all users, because the Debian brand has loyalty, unless Debian terminates. And some users will leave a crippled Debian for a distro other than Ubuntu.

    So unless Ubuntu can generate more users than Debian has, their move will result in a Debian2 smaller than Debian1. Quicker releases and a new start give them a chance. But that will really just let them stay the course.

    Ubuntu needs a project that really takes off in their platform, the way APT did with Debian. I suggest an autoapt (easier)
    or closely hyperlinked documentation (harder, but consolidates value much better). The autoapt, installed during the OS install, would subscribe users to patches, which would send email with recommendations, a changelog and hyperlinks to the source and installer. Making upgrades a snap, and reducing the TCO of the distro. As well as making that sysadmin task so easy that any user can do it, even if they aren't even expert enough to install the OS. Which will expand manifold the market of users skilled enough to use it, while making it more valuable to them. And to package developers whose SW will be "marketed" better. And to everyone using the platform, as security patches are more up-to-date in the field.

    If Ubuntu replaces Debian, I want it to be better than Debian.

    It's been a long while since Deb and Ian were an item. I wonder how long Debian itself can hold it together.
  • OK, how did these guys get $10M? If I go to their web site, they're not selling anything. How are they paying the bills? Are they in startup mode prepping to be the next RedHat? Are they burning through VC funding?

    Just curious.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Mark Shuttleworth, patron of the project, is a multi (multi-multi!) billionaire, who has been in space. He has stated that he would like for Ubuntu to be able to support itself, but if it doesn't, he doesn't mind at all as he mainly considers Ubuntu to be a way of giving back to the community.
  • This is a sincere question. Please don't mod me to flame bait. I have been a gentoo user for quite sometime now and am not sure what the difference between ubuntu and debian are. Is there much? Why is ubuntu so hyped?
    • This is a sincere question. Please don't mod me to flame bait. I have been a gentoo user for quite sometime now and am not sure what the difference between ubuntu and debian are. Is there much? Why is ubuntu so hyped?

      Disclaimer: I know a pretty good bit about the project seeing as how I'm a moderator (and one of the largest posters) on the forum.

      For me personally Ubuntu just does a lot of the little things correctly. Its based off of Debian, so it has access to the what might be the biggest package repo

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I've seen several complaints about the name 'Ubuntu' here. If you haven't visited ubuntu.com, then you should know that the name means "humanity to others" and "I am what I am because of who we all are". Semantically, this has a lot more to do with what Linux is than coloured hats or dogs.

  • by ArmorFiend (151674) on Friday July 08, 2005 @11:10AM (#13014121) Homepage Journal
    The Ubuntu Foundation will employ core Ubuntu community members


    Great! I can't wait to "employ" the "core" of certain Ubuntu community [ktown.kde.cl] members [rospot.com]!
  • by Hosiah (849792) on Friday July 08, 2005 @12:46PM (#13015045)
    I just went ten rounds with the Missionaries of the church of Debian's Witnesses two days ago, and here we all go again!

    I'll just lay some points down once and for all, and I don't care what anybody says, these are the facts as I observe them with my own eyes and the common-sense that logically concludes from those observations:

    (a) More Linux = Big Win for everybody! I don't care what it is, how it works, how narrow it's market is, who funds it, who writes it, what they believe, or whether they make money. More Free/Open software enriches us all.

    (b) Bill Gates must surely be laughing his fat moneycat ass off watching all the Linux tribes bicker and flame each other. Just try to keep this in mind, when Linux fights Linux, Bill Gates wins.

    (c) Every distribution I've tried that was derived from/based on Debian worked for me. I've never heard the complaints about Debian-based distros that I've heard (and experienced) with Debian itself. It is indeed in Debian's best interest to take a backseat and continue maintaining the base packages, but leave assembling them into released operating systems up to other distros.

    (d) If the above statement makes your blood pressure pop your eyeballs out of your head and steam shoot out your ears, the person you are mad at is the Debian founder as I read in his own personal blog. And you have no right to be mad about that, it's his distro and he speaks much good sense about it and I am agreeing with him and emphasizing his point. If Debian is that precious to you, then just download it's packages and make your own system, because that's all anybody else has ever done, anyway! Isn't that the selling point, you can customize it?

    (e) Linux wouldn't be Linux if everybody doing something with Linux didn't have the right to do it. If you're mad at all the distros, there's nothing to stop you from downloading the tarballs and building it yourself. You can even call your arrangement the One True Linux, and say everybody else is a hypocrite and a poser and a lamer. I can download the exact same tarballs and say the same thing about my arrangement and about everybody else. The point being: The source and kernel are GNU/Linux. United! Completely! Steady as a rock! Everything else is what we make out of it, because Linux is and will always be a ball of clay. You can use that clay to build an idol to worship, or a toilet bowl, but you also can't stop anybody else from doing the same. Don't be surprised if somebody pisses on your idol or worships your toilet bowl.

    (f) This has been a Public Service Announcement. Flames will be printed out and shredded into hamster litter, because /dev/null is mailing me bounce messages.

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