Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Linux Business

Is Ubuntu Selling Out or Growing Up? 345

AlexGr notes an article by Jeff Gould where he says " Sometimes I wonder whether Ubuntu is really an open source software company any more. Yes, yes, I realize Ubuntu is not a company at all but a free Linux distribution, GPL'd and open source by definition. But still, the Ubuntu distro is sponsored by a traditional for-profit company. The answer that has recently emerged to this question is, "yes and no." Yes, of course, because Ubuntu's web site promises that the distro "will always be free of charge, including enterprise releases and security updates." But Ubuntu the enterprise ecosystem — understood as the collection of desktops and servers running Ubuntu in a given organization — is not."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Is Ubuntu Selling Out or Growing Up?

Comments Filter:
  • Re:brick (Score:4, Informative)

    by Dextrously ( 1086289 ) on Wednesday April 30, 2008 @04:25PM (#23255652)
    You may want to boot a Ubuntu disc and run ``sudo update-grub''.
  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn&gmail,com> on Wednesday April 30, 2008 @04:33PM (#23255780) Journal
    Software as a service style support []. There's their pricing. They also have a merchandise store. This is just like RedHat's model, what's so surprising? Also, Shuttleworth chucked a ton of change at them initially if my memory serves correctly.
  • by dave1791 ( 315728 ) on Wednesday April 30, 2008 @05:04PM (#23256294)
    Thank You.

    I got about 1/3 of the way through TFA, mentally tagged it as BS and came back to watch the fireforks. I never got to the quoted part and I missed the point of the article.

    And this is indeed an interesting debate for me as I'm in an GPL'd code project that could be monetized with an optional web service. /goes back to finish reading TFA with fresh eyes.
  • by lilomar ( 1072448 ) <> on Wednesday April 30, 2008 @05:14PM (#23256440) Homepage
    Sigh, no.
    SOCIALISM was the stepping stone between Capitalism and Communism.

    Neither Communism or Anarchism (one is an economic model, the other is a political model so it's apples to oranges anyways) says that every one is equal.

    Communism says that all property should be held in common, and Anarchism says that laws should be abolished.

    Neither one is the same as Totalitarianism, Fascism, or Dictatoriship(ism?) (which are all political models).

    Socialism is where a political party or a branch of the government (which is why it is often confused with a political model, when it is actually a economic one) holds the means of production and allocates property.

    Yes, most Open Source is very much like Communism, given that the code belongs to everyone who wants it and they are free to do with it as they will. This is a good thing, since software doesn't suffer from many of the pitfalls of Communism, like the tragedy of the commons, or of socialism, like tending to lead to those in charge of allocating resources taking over.
  • by theantipop ( 803016 ) on Wednesday April 30, 2008 @06:09PM (#23257064)

    If they start data-mining Ubuntu computers for profit or something just as devious - THAT's a problem.
    Well, Ubuntu does do this (to perform usability/popularity testing), but it asks nicely and is not the default option.
  • by slashdotlurker ( 1113853 ) on Wednesday April 30, 2008 @06:19PM (#23257176)
    That is false. There is no such thing as Debian. Its Debian Stable, or Debian Testing, or Debian Unstable (and even Debian Experimental if you count the repos).

    Many people who use Debian for a personal system, tend to run Debian Testing. A somewhat smaller number run Debian Unstable. Only servers and people with such mission critical needs use Debian Stable.

    Ubuntu is a six monthly freeze snapshot of Debian Unstable. They freeze it, fix bugs in it, put the bugfixes upstream and then release it.

    So, it isn't newer than Debian (since no such thing exists). If anything they are typically older than Debian Unstable the day after the release. Ubuntu does its own updates, which may or may not follow Debian Unstable updates, but in my experience, Debian Unstable updates faster than Ubuntu, even though both start from the same base.

    Not to be a nitpick or anything, but your statement was largely false and needed to be corrected.
  • by kjkeefe ( 581605 ) on Thursday May 01, 2008 @10:30AM (#23262988)

    Well thats really a nice way to shoot your own developers in the foot isn't it. Make it literally impossible to build a business model on selling software, like it was going out of style (its not), then scramble to find other ways to pay your own developers.

    That's the shift people need to catch. Business models that depend on revenue from selling software is on the way out. Business models that generate revenue from supporting software are the future.

    The internet is drastically changing many business models (e.g. news, movie, music, communication industries). Businesses will either adapt and flourish or drag their feet and die a slow painful death. This is a lesson that we can trivially derive from many times in human history.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 01, 2008 @01:15PM (#23265282)
    Just a quick note (which I'm sure your probably already aware, but a new reader/user might not be).

    Debian doesn't restrict you from 'selling out' or 'getting shit done' as you put it.

    You can use both the 'contrib' and 'non-free' package area's, as well as apt pinning to multiple debian distributions (stable, testing, unstable and experimental).

    Also the use of debian backports will also aid in getting what you need done.

    These technologies are the basis (more or less) for Ubuntu's restricted and multiverse repositories anyway.

    It can be done.

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen