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With XP's End of Life, Munich Will Distribute Ubuntu CDs 426

Posted by timothy
from the that's-trading-up dept.
SmartAboutThings writes "Windows XP is going to officially die and stop receiving support from Microsoft in April, 2014. After that very moment, it is said to become a gold mine for hackers all over the world who will exploit 'zero-day' vulnerabilities. The municipality of the German city of Munich wants to stop that from happening [and] has decided to distribute free CDs with Ubuntu 12.04 to users of the almost extinct XP. Munich, through its Gasteig Library, will prepare around 2000 CDs with Ubuntu 12.04 to offer to city residents affected by Windows XP's end of support. Previously, it was believed that Munich city's authorities were going to offer Lubuntu 12.04, which would have required lower system requirements with the same support period."
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With XP's End of Life, Munich Will Distribute Ubuntu CDs

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  • by techprophet (1281752) <emallson.archlinux@us> on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @08:57AM (#44871989) Journal
    On the upside, Linux is being given away by a government as the successor to Windows xp. On the downside, how many kids/grandkids are there that will know how to fix their parents/grandparents Linux machines? I guess you could say I'm cautiously optimistic
    • On the downside, how many kids/grandkids are there that will know how to fix their parents/grandparents Linux machines?

      If not, this gives them a great learning opportunity.

      • by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @10:05AM (#44872665) Homepage Journal
        How are you going to google for instructions when your network card is a cheap belkin that won't work?
        • Go to your own computer and look it up.

        • by 1u3hr (530656) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @10:44AM (#44873005)

          How are you going to google for instructions when your network card is a cheap belkin that won't work?

          On your phone. Laptop. Smart TV. I have the same problem when my PC is in pieces for any reason; I use a laptop to look up stuff to get it working. Do many households have one and only one way to access the net? And how ancient a PC is it that doesn't have ethernet on board? If worst comes to worst, spend $5 on a supported card.

          The only time we had a problem with Ubuntu and hardware was when we were waiting for broadband to be connected for a few days and had to use dialup. Ubuntu didn't recognise the modem port on the Dell laptop. Never needed to before or since though; I believe there are proprietary drivers but didn't bother to chase them up.

          • by drcagn (715012) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @12:35PM (#44874207) Homepage

            If these people are still running Windows XP, do you think they have smartphones and smart TVs?

            I do remote support for a fortune 500 company whose product is targeted at the general public, and every day I work on Windows XP machines with 512MB of RAM, etc. and these clients don't have any other machine in their house. In reality it's time to buy a new computer, but that's not an option for everyone sadly.

    • by inking (2869053)
      They could learn to fix Ubuntu the same way we learnt how to fix Windows. Necessity is the cause of invention.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by jellomizer (103300)

      We are from the government! We want you to have this OS, we guarantee it is better then your old one, because we are the government.

      Perhaps I am just being a skeptical American. But anything with the Government Seal of Approval, makes me feel a bit scared. Not that I am a big fan of Microsoft or the Corporate entities are to be trusted. But at least with Corporations you know they are in it to make money. But Government and other organizations often have a lot of agenda's. Not always to your favor.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @09:52AM (#44872529)

        In some countries in Europe, I live in the Netherlands, we see the government as a service organisation.
        We know we pay taxes because in return we get good quality roads, social security (which keeps crime rate low), police to help us (we and the police are still on friendly terms), schooling (increases profit and reduces crime). And although we might bitch a bit about our taxes, most of us gladly pay it.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @10:40AM (#44872967)

          I envy you. I live in the US, and if I want decent roads, a safety net in case of job loss, funding so police can do their jobs, actual functioning schools that teach something other than consume, working fire departments, and emergency medical teams who don't care more about valid health insurance cards than patient signs, I get called "socialist".

          European prisons have a better quality of life than most people here in the US.

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @10:03AM (#44872643) Homepage Journal

        But at least with Corporations you know they are in it to make money. But Government and other organizations often have a lot of agenda's.

        If you don't believe corporations have "a lot of agendas" I would suggest that you go look at a list of the sponsors of the American Legislative Exchange Council and then take a look at some of the laws ALEC is pushing in state legislatures around the country.

        The notion that Corporations=Good and Government=Bad is pretty naive.

      • It's not like it's locking them in, or even costing them anything. Most people just need a secure platform to run a web browser.

        I think you're right to be scared of your government, and have been saying for a long time that the PATRIOT act was bad news. I actually don't have that much of a problem with governments trying to collect data, etc, but the PATRIOT act was very obviously unconstitutional, and therefore there should have been a HUGE shitstorm surrounding it, until it was rejected/repealed/whatever.

    • by JackieBrown (987087) <dbroome@gmail.com> on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @09:13AM (#44872153)

      On the downside, how many kids/grandkids are there that will know how to fix their parents/grandparents Linux machines?

      Probably close to the same amount that will know how to fix their Windows 8 machine.

    • At least it is posslble to fix Linux. Windows is not fixable (IME).
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        I've known people to fix Windows when it breaks, but I've never known anyone to fix windows when it's seriously broken faster than it can be reimaged. That's the real metric, right? I have confidence that I could fix most Windows problems, but I'm even more sure that it's not worth doing in most cases.

        • by fisted (2295862)
          you can't even observe most of windows' problems, how could you possibly fix them?
    • by 1u3hr (530656)

      On the downside, how many kids/grandkids are there that will know how to fix their parents/grandparents Linux machines?

      Not many now; a few weeks after its rolled out, a lot. They will learn. Also, Android is Linux, and there is already a lot of knowledge about that that transfers both ways.

      I got a used laptop for my daughter with a locked down version of Vista on it that wouldn't let me install anything. So I nuked it and put Ubuntu on it. She's been using it for two years. Complained of course, but it works and I can basically let her install whatever she likes, for free, with no fear. She had an XP laptop before that w

    • by gravis777 (123605)

      How many people do you think will actually be able to figure out how to install Linux? If the city the size of Munich is only preparing 2,000 CDs for the public, obviously they are expecting that this won't be that popular of a program. I actually had to read the summery several times before I realized that they were making this for the public, not for the city itself.

      When it dies, XP will be, what, 14 years old (Yeah, too lazy to google this morning). Who supports anything for 14 years? Microsoft has relea

    • by kamapuaa (555446)

      I don't use Linux myself, but set my parents up with a Linux machine running Ubuntu. 95% of what they do is web browsing or running a basic word processor, there's no issues with viruses. Basically it's zero maintenance, and it runs perfectly and at reasonable speed on their older machine.

  • Well... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by larpon (974081) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @09:00AM (#44872023)
    Ubuntu can be kept up to date and the latest with an internet connection - that's easier than buying a new version and re-install every time a new OS comes out. Question is if people know what it is and what to do with it.
    • Question is if people know what it is and what to do with it.

      It's not the end of the world if some don't. The XP will be EOL'd anyway and their computers become an unsupported can of malware, which would be even worse. Let's bravely just hand the installation DVD and see what happens. It's a good challenge for Ubuntu.

    • by Frankie70 (803801)

      re-install every time a new OS comes out

      XP released more than 12 years ago. Upgrading from XP to a newer version of Windows cannot be called 'reinstall every time a new OS comes out'.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      It is kind of annoying that there's no good way to keep it updated without an internet connection. You've got to go out one day and get the Packages, Release etc, then go out the next day and get the debs. Or you've got to take home a mirror of the repo.

  • Why not offer it to everyone, regardless of their current OS, if they want it?

    • Baby steps. Offering it to everyone is more expensive than offering just to those upgrading. While the OS itself is free, the CDs are not.
    • by cbope (130292)

      Ever heard of the internet? I hear you can search for things and actually download them! /sarcasm off

      Totally agree, they should mass produce these and make them available at multiple touch points for anyone to pick up, train stations, kiosks, shops, etc.

      • by leonbev (111395)

        You are assuming that most people still using XP at this point actually know how to burn a DVD from an .ISO image or make a bootable USB thumb drive to install Ubuntu themselves. That's kind of a dangerous thing to assume.

        • And you think someone who uses Windows 7 will know any better? They're only users, not "experts"*.

          * yes, I once had someone tell me I was an "expert in computers" for knowing how to burn an ISO file to a DVD.

          • I had someone tell me I was an expert with computers because I discovered their USB mouse wasn't plugged in. It's funny what people consider an expert these days. I certainly wouldn't want a doctor doing surgery on me because I know he can pick up a scalpel.
    • by westlake (615356)

      Why not offer it to everyone, regardless of their current OS, if they want it?

      Because --- when stripped to its essentials --- this is just another publicity stunt.

      If you have been running XP for twelve years, you have twelve years of experience with your XP compatible programs. Programs which may have been heavily customized for your business.

  • Mint would have been better.
  • XP rules! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by smooth wombat (796938)

    Going from a Windows 7 to an XP system is like night and day. Everything just works and works more smoothly. No hunting and having to search (why the fuck should I have to search for something on my own system?) for what I need. No buried menus to turn crap off.

    With XP I never have to wait for the system to tell me, a minute or so later, that I mistyped a network resource, the whole time preventing me from retyping the correct path.

    To use the tired phrase, "You can have my XP when you pry it from cold, de

    • Re:XP rules! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by cbope (130292) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @09:13AM (#44872151)

      Sounds to me like you're just lazy. XP is missing all of the usability improvement that came in later versions (not necessarily counting 8). How do you snap two windows side by side in XP? Oh wait, you can't. How do you utilize more than 3GB of your memory in XP? You don't, unless you use the bastard child that was XP 64-bit, which almost nobody supports by the way. For me, 8GB is a good starting point for RAM for what I use a PC for.

      There are LOTS of usability tweaks in later versions. Please, just let XP die, it's had a good run but it's time to bury it. It's also ugly as hell next to a modern OS.

      I won't hesitate to guess that a majority of people are hanging on to XP only because they've got a cracked copy and don't want to buy a legitimate newer version.

      • How do you snap two windows side by side in XP?

        I move them side-by-side. How hard is that?

        How do you utilize more than 3GB of your memory in XP?

        XP supports up to 4GB of memory

        There are LOTS of usability tweaks in later versions.

        I'm still waiting to find them. I did multiple tests comparing how easy it is to get to places in XP or make configuration changes and the extra steps involved in W7. In some cases it takes twice as many steps to accomplish the same thing.

        Then there
        • XP supports up to 4GB of memory

          One gig is still allocated to kernel space
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by drinkypoo (153816)

          XP supports up to 4GB of memory

          Yes, but your video card is mapped into that space. If you have a 1GB video card, you're right back to 3GB max. Or you could use the abortion which is XP64, which has shit driver support and compatibility issues.

          I like Win7's interface much better, hit windows and type, that sort of thing. But I'm with you on the lack of polish as compared to XP. XP may look like fisher price, but it runs like a Deere. or something.

          • "Or you could use the abortion which is XP64, which has shit driver support and compatibility issues."

            XP64 wasn't quite as bad as an abortion. You wanna talk about abortive messes? Say hello to Windows ME. Nah, XP x64 was.....misunderstood.

            It really was Server 2003 rebadged without the server bits. So driver support was easy....pull the drivers for Server 2003, and everything just worked. Sure, it would bitch that the driver wasn't signed right, but let it complain. I had half a dozen systems in my ca

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Lonewolf666 (259450)

        After using Win7 for almost two years, I find it a marginal improvement.

        Good:
        -UAC is a good feature for those who understand the concept of "administrator" vs. "normal user".
        -A lot of minor things (like "ejecting" USB sticks) that I found unreliable in XP work well now.
        -64 bit support that deserves the name (Windows XP 64 never really took off).

        Bad:
        -Low level system settings are hidden deeper than in any previous version. You can still find them with a bit of Google help, but for people who are need to mana

      • The auto resize feature was one of the first things I turned off in Windows 7. I really don't care much for the search feature in the start menu either. After a few years its gotten unreasonably slow. Tons of people go about their daily activities and don't need 8GB of memory. Chances are if you're running XP era hardware you won't be able to fit over 4GB physically on the motherboard.

        Can you elaborate on the "buggy as hell next to a modern OS" statement?

    • by MightyYar (622222)

      It's kind of hilarious to read people singing the praises of XP, which most geeks regarded as a bloated "Fisher Price" version of 2000.

    • by Shompol (1690084)
      Needed to start XP in virtualbox yesterday... Ah, green meadow, blue sky. Suddenly, a series of alerts:

      "Your computer might be at risk"

      "You need to get latest Java"

      "You need to get latest flash"

      "You computer is still might be at risk?"

      "You Must Construct Additional Pylons!"

    • by GeekDork (194851)
      Who wants a fish?
  • Welcome to Unity! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RDW (41497) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @09:05AM (#44872081)

    Nice idea, but Ubuntu is, by default, about the least XP-like common Linux distro they could have chosen. Mint-MATE or something would be less of a culture shock.

    • by jedidiah (1196) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @09:11AM (#44872129) Homepage

      That's not necessarily a bad thing. The problem with work-alikes is that people are prone to think that they actually work alike. The fact that something is different and actually looks it is really not such a bad thing.

      The whole problem with the GNOME3 interfaces was never so much that those interfaces suck but that they sabotaged the GNOME2 one in the process.

    • by MightyYar (622222)

      That's OK, Windows-8 isn't very XP-like either.

  • by Lonewolf666 (259450) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @09:07AM (#44872095)

    By April 2014, Ubuntu 14.04 should arrive as the next LTS version.

    I would certainly want that (or a derived distribution) rather than Ubuntu 12.04, especially in a PC with AMD graphics. The open source drivers for ATI/AMD are still catching up in features and performance, and 14.04 vs. 12.04 should make a significant difference.

    • I believe the idea is to get people off XP before EOL, and that means 12.04. Once 14.04 drops, they'll as likely as not start handing that out instead.
    • by Burz (138833)

      Wikipedia says 12.04 is supported until 2017.

      • by Nimey (114278)

        On the server side. The desktop stuff is supported until April 2015. I've got a 10.04 VM that I keep for old time's sake and the desktop stuff no longer gets updated, but backend stuff does.

        • by Patch86 (1465427)

          Incorrect. You would be right about earlier LTS releases (where it was 5 years support for server, 3 years for desktop), but 12.04 is 5 years for both. The implication was that this would be true for all LTS releases in the future, but I can't find a link for that at the moment in respect of 14.04.

  • by Virtucon (127420) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @09:19AM (#44872217)

    AOL CDs and Floppy Disks. Great for leveling that kitchen table that has one leg shorter than the rest.

  • And who's going to support the people who are being introduced to an entirely new operating system and applications installed on an ancient computer? Assuming they can get it installed.

  • by rvw (755107) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @09:42AM (#44872425)

    Previously, it was believed that Munich city's authorities were going to offer Lubuntu 12.04, which would have required lower system requirements with the same support period.

    I have Ubuntu 12.04 LTS running on a nine year old P4. I won't say it's fast, but it works and is usable and probably works as fast as XP. I would only recommend using Gnome Classic (Gnome 2 like) as standard desktop, as it's much more intuitive than Unity. If Munich really wants this to work, they should create some kind of social work project that employs a bunch of people who can help Munich citizens to migrate. Just putting that CD in your computer will definitely result in data loss for many people I'm afraid.

  • by luckytroll (68214) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @09:43AM (#44872437) Homepage

    This is a nice sentiment by Munich, but the many of the folks who are running XP and try and install Ubuntu 12 will be in for a nasty surprise -

    32 bit machines without PAE will not load with most newer Linuxes. Most, including Ubuntu, no longer include 32 bit non-PAE kernels in their installers.

    I found this out when I tried putting a modern albeit tiny Linux onto my FitPC 1 and an older EPIA motherboard - XP runs fine on these, but finding a linux is probably beyond the skill of most XP users. Jury rigging a different kernel in is definitely out.

    A lot of older XP installs are also running on older hardware. Just giving away an OS will not magically fix this. And if these folks upgrade the hardware, it probably comes with a newer windows anyway.

    • by Average (648)

      Seriously... lacking PAE is really, really rare. The only chips released in the even semi-modern era that didn't have PAE it were a handful of Pentium M laptops (and why Intel did that, I'll never know). I do have one laptop that qualifies. It should probably be retired, but when the Ubuntus wouldn't support it, it was an excuse to play with BSD for old-times'-sake.

  • Zero day?
    How old is XP ?
    If hackers haven't found holes in Win XP by now, they never will

    And theres also 3rd party antivirus and firewall software, I presume that the commercial security software will be continue for subscribers.

    Ask someone why they are still running XP and yo9u will probably get the answer that they have legacy software that doesn't work on newer versions of the OS, or they like the old interface. They are not likely to want to go to a completely different OS that looks different and won't

  • by wjcofkc (964165) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @09:55AM (#44872563)
    I wonder if there will be legal consequences when some people inevitably wipe their hard drive clean of 10 years of data they never bothered backing up. I can imagine a lot of people who simply have absolutely no idea what they are doing with a computer in this fashion may brave it anyway only find themselves in this position after thinking it is some sort of direct upgrade. I can see a mindset of 'Well, the city endorses it!'
  • It makes sense. Cannonical has been working for years to make Linux just as bad as Windows. By now Ubuntu should be pretty good as a drop in replacement for Microsoft products.

  • We are still stuck on WinXP and most of my coworkers have fairly outdated laptops (think core2duo with 2gb of RAM). Right now with XP by the time it is started along with all the other mess our IT wants running I'm sitting at 1GB utilization. Open up a few of my apps I use for data analysis and I'm pushing the limit of what I've got. Usually have a 15-20 minute startup time as well just due to being slow.

    I asked about upgrade plans and they were wanting to switch to us using a term server and logging into i

    • by Greyfox (87712)
      From what I can tell, Citrix is just a tool you use to see if your CIO is a dumbass and needs to be fired. (Hint: If he says you need to install it, the answer is "yes".) I'd be happy to retract this statement if anyone can point me to an actually usable installation of Citrix.
  • by ggraham412 (1492023) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @10:10AM (#44872731)

    This had Unity on by default, doesn't it? Epic fail.

    We can almost hear one of one Redmond’s richest residents rubbing his hands together with glee. [linuxuser.co.uk]

    Unity is almost as relevant to Ubuntu 12.04 as ASIMO is to Honda’s latest hatchback. [linuxuser.co.uk]

    I had Ubuntu 12.04 installed for a short time and HATED it as well. The overall look and feel of the default Unity desktop manager is like it is trying to be a hybrid desktop/tablet OS and doing a half assed job at both. It managed to combine annoying, confusing and pandering on a level almost up there with Microsoft Bob. One wonders if this is a surreptitious reverse advertisement for Windows 8.

    • by Greyfox (87712)
      You know you don't need to use that window manager, right? Just rip that shit out and install IceWM or Enlightenment or something. Configure them to launch the programs you use on a regular basis (Terminal, EMACS, Web Browser, IRC!) and you're set!
  • by Larry_Dillon (20347) <dillon,larry&gmail,com> on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @11:04AM (#44873187) Homepage

    There's just something fundamentally wrong with a company abandoning a product with such a huge install base. It's a huge Internet public health issue. Microsoft has a social responsibility by virtue of their success to act. I see four reasonable possibilities here.

    1. Microsoft keeps releasing security patches for XP.
    2. Microsoft ships a version of Windows 8 that will run on XP grade hardware.
    3. Microsoft spins off XP into a company that will continue to support it.
    4. Microsoft releases XP source code so that others can (at least have a chance to) patch it.

    Eventually, all XP grade hardware will die, but with the advent of low power/low cost hardware XP could see a second coming if Microsoft would just support it. It's not like there isn't a huge amount of reasonably good software for the platform.

    Imagine if a company in India bought XP and started releasing XP SP4 for like $10 or $20. So cheap that the 1st world wouldn't both to pirate it and still affordable to many in the 3d world.

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