Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
GNU is Not Unix Privacy Ubuntu Linux

RMS Speaks Out Against Ubuntu 597

An anonymous reader writes "In a post at the Free Software Foundation website, Richard Stallman has spoken out against Ubuntu because of Canonical's decision to integrate Amazon search results in the distribution's Dash search. He says, 'Ubuntu, a widely used and influential GNU/Linux distribution, has installed surveillance code. When the user searches her own local files for a string using the Ubuntu desktop, Ubuntu sends that string to one of Canonical's servers. (Canonical is the company that develops Ubuntu.) This is just like the first surveillance practice I learned about in Windows. ... What's at stake is whether our community can effectively use the argument based on proprietary spyware. If we can only say, "free software won't spy on you, unless it's Ubuntu," that's much less powerful than saying, "free software won't spy on you." It behooves us to give Canonical whatever rebuff is needed to make it stop this. ... If you ever recommend or redistribute GNU/Linux, please remove Ubuntu from the distros you recommend or redistribute.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

RMS Speaks Out Against Ubuntu

Comments Filter:
  • by Frankie70 ( 803801 ) on Friday December 07, 2012 @12:45PM (#42216447)

    Bruce Perens wrote this recently on slashdot.

    http://news.slashdot.org/story/12/11/05/0122238/bruce-perens-answers-your-questions [slashdot.org]

    Don't help Red Hat. Don't help Ubuntu. Only help community projects and non-profits. Unfortunately, Red Hat and Ubuntu aren't really taking the community where we need to be. We thought they would, but they didn't get us sufficient users, and didn't get us the users we need for the most part, and the negative effects they have (like isolating us from our own users, and being public representatives in their own interest instead of the community's) aren't worth the rest. We need to work on other ways of getting to users that aren't Ubuntu and Red Hat.

            And then there are the companies who feel that they are helping the community by paying for Red Hat or by joining the Linux Foundation. If you want to help Linux or Open Source, help a free software project directly. Red Hat exists for Red Hat's stockholders, and while the Linux Foundation is sometimes helpful, it represents large companies rather than the developer community, and only a fraction of its budget pays actual programmers.

    I fully agree with Bruce. Sometimes I feel the commercial opensource companies are worse than the commercial closed source companies in some ways. At the regular commercial companies are upfront about the fact they are in it just to make money.

    Try figuring licensing terms of different components of MySQL. For eg. try to figure out what components of MySQL Cluster you can also use free of charge without paying for support & what has to be purchased. Ask a question on some public forum where there are lots of MySQL employees active. They will never give the answer on the forum. They will always ask you to contact them offline.

    And what about Redhat who have built their product on back of lots of people who worked for free. And now Redhat tries to make sure Centos has a lot of trouble integrating patches made by Redhat.

  • by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Friday December 07, 2012 @12:53PM (#42216573) Journal

    The eternal causenik who still doesn't understand that the price of admission for using FOSS shouldn't be having to buy into his pet social movement.

    I love how people just make up random shit about RMS and it gets modded up every single time.

    He has never claimed that you have to buy in.


    He says you should because it's better for you and the world, but he never says you have to.

    You can't call it "freedom" if you only expect everyone else to just use it to agree with you and do what you want them to do.

    Don't be silly. You can call it freedom if you expect people to agree. You can't call it freedo if you _force_ people to agree. But he's never done that.

    TL;DR stop mking up stuff about RMS.

  • Stuck on 10.04 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Missing.Matter ( 1845576 ) on Friday December 07, 2012 @01:12PM (#42216845)
    I've been on 10.04 since it was released, and it seems like with every version there's more and more nonsense keeping me from upgrading. At this rate it seems, I'll be on 10.04 forever. However, the latest release of ROS doesn't officially support 10.04, so it seems like I might be forced to move on if I don't want to experience any unfortunate surprises... although now might be a better time than ever to find a new distro I'm comfortable enough with. Ubuntu is just going in the wrong direction.
  • Re:Sickening (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anrego ( 830717 ) * on Friday December 07, 2012 @01:16PM (#42216893)

    they reek of compromise

    Which makes sense...

    We are never going to have an RMS style "all software is completely free" world. Hell I wouldn't want one. I wouldn't want an Apple style "everything is locked down" world either.

    What we have now, the compromise solution, works great. There is lots of free software out there. There are still areas which lack serious free alternatives, but you can run a desktop or server on mostly open source. There is also decent sized and co-existing industry of closed source and propriatary software. Many of us (myself included) make a living in it.

    Would I love all the software on my desktop to be completely free, sure. Am I happy with most of my software being free, with say propriatary video card drivers... yup!

  • Stallman Forgets (Score:5, Interesting)

    by polyp2000 ( 444682 ) on Friday December 07, 2012 @01:23PM (#42217003) Homepage Journal

    I think that Stallman is forgetting that the open source / free software community has an awful lot to thank companies like canonical for investing time and development resources into making Linux so much more accessible to people. Not wanting to start a debate about unity or other recent changes in the direction of Ubuntu. I have nothing but respect for Canonical and Mark Shuttleworth for driving Linux on the desktop forward and contributing to the rich Linux ecosystem we have today.

    I would also like to mention that - if i recall correctly it is made clear to the user during the installation process about the Amazon feature and that it can easily be turned off. Its not like they are doing it by stealth or anything unlike the other example cited in the OP.

    As a long time Linux user (as my primary OS) I worked my way through various distributions. learning much about the core OS from things like Gentoo. A few years ago I settled on Ubuntu as a distro that Looks nice , is usable and just works (TM) I dont feel the need to tweak these days!. I feel spoiled by what Linux is today - everything just works out of the box (which is more than i can say for this new Mac Mini on my desk).

    I guess my point is that if every one in the community was as anal as Stallman I doubt we would be in such a great place as we are now - as far as Linux goes.

  • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 ) on Friday December 07, 2012 @01:43PM (#42217265)

    No, because he can't. But he does do everything he can.

    Some quotes:

    "The Adobe flash plug-in is non-free software, and people should not install it, or suggest installing it, or even tell people it exists."

    "Writing non-free software is not an ethically legitimate activity, so if people who do this run into trouble, that's good! All businesses based on non-free software ought to fail, and the sooner the better."

    Stallman believes non-free (as in non-Stallman approved) software is immoral and harms civilization. If he were made dictator of the world I have no doubt he'd outlaw it. I'm pretty sure if you asked him he'd say so too.

  • Re:Ugh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Friday December 07, 2012 @02:45PM (#42218145) Journal

    An idealist is merely a pragmatist who cares about the future.

    Do you disagree and if so, why?

    An Idealist is just another word for tyrant (benevolent or otherwise). Pragmatist (in this case) just want to get stuff done, and uses the best tool regardless of cost (beer / speech) and uses it until it becomes untenable and then uses another tool.

    Idealists are not satisfied with themselves being ideal, they want to make everyone else around them exactly the same, and often become the very people they abhor. Pragmatists use whatever tool is around.

    Think of it this way, you're starving on an island, and Idealist (vegan) is starving because they won't fish. Pragamtist likes the idea of being a vegan but is willing to fish to feed themselves.

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus