Shuttleworth: Don't blow a gasket over enterprise Ubuntu remix

Shuttleworth: Don't blow a gasket over enterprise Ubuntu remix

Summary: Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth posted a blog defending the decision to release an enterprise remix of Ubuntu Business Desktop for enterprise users that contains VMware View

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TOPICS: Browser, Open Source
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Anticipating some sort of of outcry, Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth posted a blog Friday that detailed the thinking behind the Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix.

The Linux distro, based on Ubuntu 11.10, was released on Friday. The remix, which was first discussed at the Ubuntu Developer's Summit last October, strips some of the more consumerish items in favor of enterprise features and business tools such as VMware View, which is incorporated in the distro along with a proprietary license.    

Gulp?

"Deployment teams have long been modifying their Ubuntu installs to remove features like music players or games and add components that are a standard part of their business workflow. This remix takes the most common changes we’ve observed among institutional users and bundles them into one CD which can be installed directly or used as a basis for further customization," Shuttleworth wrote.

Noting that the remix has the approval of the Ubuntu Technical Board, Shuttleworth said all standards have been met.

"Before anyone gets all worked up and conspiratorial: everything in the remix is available from the standard Software Centre.  Packages out, packages in. No secret sauce for customers only; we’re not creating a RHEL, we already have an enterprise-quality release cadence called LTS and we like it just the way it is. This is a convenience for anyone who wants it. Having a common starting point, or booting straight into a business-oriented image makes it easier for institutional users to evaluate Ubuntu Desktop for their specific needs.

Later in this post, Shuttleworth identifies a change that may raise a ruckus.

"<blink>Registration required</blink> ;-) Some applications like VMWare View are included in this release under a proprietary license so download is covered by an EULA, and this image can’t be mirrored unless you make prior arrangements with the relevant ISVs. Boring, but better to do it once than for every individual app."

Why do it? For enterprise users, he noted in his blog.

"Doing so resulted in a commitment to enable community participation in the packaging of some of the pieces that are important to enterprise users,:he wrote. "Ubuntu makes a point of openness to heterogeneous environments. We celebrate the point that the Ubuntu desktop can be highly useful, beautiful, functional and complete without any proprietary applications at all, while recognising that some people need to work with proprietary software on occasion, making sure that software is available and certified for Ubuntu, and making it easy to install. Remixes can include non-free software and still retain the Ubuntu name, as long as they can be brought back to the standard Ubuntu experience with straightforward package management tools and no risk of divergence on the hardware and security front."

Topics: Browser, Open Source

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  • RE: Shuttleworth: Don't blow a gasket over enterprise Ubuntu remix

    Heaven forbid that Linux fans who use proprietary drivers, Adobe's proprietary Flash Player, Adobe's proprietary Reader and Oracle's proprietary JRE/JDK would blow a gasket over proprietary software in Canonical's Ubuntu remix for the enterprise. The bottom line is that Canonical needs to find a way to make a profit with Ubuntu and, more likely than not, that will be through their enterprise customers. If they don't ultimately become profitable, say goodbye to Ubuntu, Linux Mint (not Debian Mint) and other derivatives.

    Sadly, Oracle pulled the plug on allowing Linux distro repositories to manage their proprietary JRE/JDK software. How are Linux-based, enterprise users of Java dealing with this? Is there a mechanism in the Ubuntu remix for the enterprise to push Java updates to users/developers desktops (and to servers)?
    Rabid Howler Monkey
    • RE: Shuttleworth: Don't blow a gasket over enterprise Ubuntu remix

      @Rabid Howler Monkey for the record (and I'm not someone making a fuss about this move), most Linux people don't use Adobe Reader or Sun JRE anymore as the alternatives are now up to scratch. And Canonical doesn't need to make a profit, it's a privately owned business with a very rich, very moral guy underwriting it who's quite capable of continuing to do so for say as long as most major IT companies have existed.
      putt1ck
      • RE: Shuttleworth: Don't blow a gasket over enterprise Ubuntu remix

        @putt1ck wrote:<br>"most Linux people don't use Adobe Reader or Sun JRE anymore as the alternatives are now up to scratch<br><br>You didn't mention proprietary drivers or Adobe's proprietary Flash Player (I guess that the alternatives are not quite up to scratch yet). Thanks for making my point: most Linux fans do use some proprietary software on their systems. I, personally, do use a proprietary driver for my laptop's wireless card as well as Oracle's proprietary JRE/JDK as it's the standard for most Java app devs, especially in the enterprise. However, I use neither Adobe's Flash Player nor Reader on my Linux systems.<br><br>Canonical indeed is a privately-owned business and Mark Shuttleworth is a businessman. Privately-owned businesses strive to make profits too. Mr. Shuttleworth may have more staying power than most, but *eventually* Canonical must become profitable. Otherwise it will follow in the footsteps of Corel Linux, Linspire and Xandros (all Debian-based derivatives).
        Rabid Howler Monkey
  • Shuttleworth is a dolt

    Shuttleworth is the clown of Comical. Amusing and misguided.
    bitrate
    • RE: Shuttleworth: Don't blow a gasket over enterprise Ubuntu remix

      @bitrate Is Clem any better?
      james.vandamme
    • RE: Shuttleworth: Don't blow a gasket over enterprise Ubuntu remix

      @bitrate Is a personal attack on the subject of an article appropriate? Given the history of the person comcerned, your comment serves to reduce any credibility you might have.
      LeMike
  • RE: Shuttleworth: Don't blow a gasket over enterprise Ubuntu remix

    I think I approve of a company that will move to accomodate user blocks and also take the time to publicise the reasons for the move. Obviously it's connected with commercial necessities (see the recent dropping of Kubuntu development), but there's a big difference between introducing something nicely and in a blunt, "take it or leave it" manner. NetFlix found out that the hard way!
    LeMike
    • RE: Shuttleworth: Don't blow a gasket over enterprise Ubuntu remix

      @LeMike :<br>but there's a big difference between introducing something nicely and in a blunt, "take it or leave it" manner.<br><br>Riiiight, because when they pushed Unity, they didnt say take it or leave it?<br><br>Dont drink all the kool-aid at once. User doesnt get to say squat with most OS and Canonical is putting everything into the 'my way or the highway' mentality. I remember when Shuttleworth was doing his charm tour of devs about 6years ago, it was all about offering the user choice. Eventually, we all grow up and become our fathers, a bit more conservative and we decide to make decision without offering choice. Its not like this wasnt predictable and I understand the reasons why. But that Mark who talked 6yrs ago is NOT the same one now. I dont blame him but I dont appreciate the fanboi apologists about 'the greater good' or 'knowing whats best'. Only ONE person knows whats best for them: the USER. And even my 80yr old mom can look at my two laptops and tell me which dekstop she would like to use to surf the web and Skype with her grandkids. No matter how technically inept, people have opinions and thoughts that matter to them. Giving someone a choice always makes it feel more personal: 'that's my desktop because I chose it (even though yuo can game that choice easily)<br>
      <br>Because we all know that switching the buttons on the left side (which at least you can still switch back) even though 95% of the planet that has used a computer has been using it on the right side was because it was 'better'. There is no better in that case, just wanting to be different and getting everyone to switch paradigms isnt a big deal to their usability experts.<br>hey, Im used to this BS. I still remember the discussions with my fruit loving friend telling me that right click a garbage can is a PERFECTLY normal way to eject a CD, its 'intuitive'. Scary part is one of the people who used this word at me was a teacher. (I asked her to look up the word and she still insisted that anyone 'normal' would think of it right away. Then I slowly backed away like you would any brainwashed crazy person.)
      zeke123