What's the point of Gobuntu?

Summary:Can someone explain to me the point of Gobuntu?

A couple of days ago Mark Shuttleworth (the founder of Ubuntu) announced the release of a new flavor of Ubuntu called Gobuntu. 

What's Gobuntu?  Here's how Shuttleworth describes it:

It is a flavour of Ubuntu (like Kubuntu or Xubuntu) that is basically the same desktop environment as Ubuntu (a GNOME desktop) and a very strict set of restrictions on the licences of code and content. This means that we try to strip out ANYTHING which is not modifiable and redistributable, including firmware, PDF’s, video footage, sounds etc. We are trying to apply the FSF “rights” definition to everything in the platform. Gobuntu will not correctly enable much hardware today - but it exists as a banner for the cause of software freedom and as a reference of what IS possible with a totally rigorous approach. The goal is to make it a real point of pride to be able to run Gobuntu on a laptop or desktop or server, because it means that all of the stars have aligned to ensure that you have complete freedom to use that hardware with free software.

OK, maybe I'm missing the point, but what's the point?  Even if I overlook the phrase "Gobuntu will not correctly enable much hardware today" I still can't get my head around "all of the stars have aligned to ensure that you have complete freedom to use that hardware with free software" bit either.  When people have difficulty running Ubuntu on notebooks now, this kind of project seems to me like it's going to make things harder and support for new hardware will always be severely lacking.  Am I wrong in thinking that the "complete freedom to use that hardware with free software" will only apply to older stuff?  I'm a big fan of Ubuntu but I don't understand the logic behind Gobuntu.

It all sounds too much like a religion to me ...


Topics: Hardware, Open Source


Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is an internationally published technology author who has devoted over a decade to helping users get the most from technology -- whether that be by learning to program, building a PC from a pile of parts, or helping them get the most from their new MP3 player or digital camera.Adrian has authored/co-authored technic... Full Bio

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