Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Is Ubuntu an Operating System?

Filed under
Ubuntu

Is Ubuntu an operating system? Last week at EuroOSCON, Mark Shuttleworth gave the closing keynote outlining what he believes are the major struggles faced by the open-source/free-software community. During his talk, it became clear that Ubuntu is trying to achieve a radical shift in the software world. Ubuntu isn’t trying to be a platform for mass-market application software: it is trying to be the primary provider of both the operating system and all the application software that a typical user would want to run on his machine. Most Linux distributions are like this, and I think it is a dangerous trend that will stifle innovation and usability, or even worse make the desktop irrelevant.

Mr. Shuttleworth’s initial point was one that few people disagree with: that software installers are bad for users and usability. Indeed, the typical method of installing Windows software (downloading a setup.exe file from a website or running it from a CD) manages the software very poorly. Each vendor must construct its own scheme for where to install, how to update, and most of all how to manage dependencies between pieces of software. Of course, Windows has guidelines about installing to C:\Program Files\Vendor\Application Name, but even Microsoft does not consistantly follow the rules. Everyone recognizes that installers are not good for users, even Microsoft, who in an effort to fix the mess invented the (complicated and poorly-tooled) MSI installer format. Apple uses disk images, application bundles, and relocatable software to avoid the problem. It is good to see a major Linux distribution thinking through the problems that installers present.

Full Story.

I guessed there was a catch

So now the truth is out. Canonical is building itself a captive market. Like guess who.

For seekers only

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

FOSS in Education

  • Open source is now ready to compete with Mathematica for use in the classroom
    When I think about what makes SageMath different, one of the most fundamental things is that it was created by people who use it every day. It was created by people doing research math, by people teaching math at universities, and by computer programmers and engineers using it for research. It was created by people who really understand computational problems because we live them. We understand the needs of math research, teaching courses, and managing an open source project that users can contribute to and customize to work for their own unique needs.
  • The scarcity of college graduates with FOSS experience
    In the education track at SCALE 14x in Pasadena, Gina Likins spoke about the surprisingly difficult task of getting information about open-source development practices into undergraduate college classrooms. That scarcity makes it hard to find new college graduates who have experience with open source. Although the conventional wisdom is that open source "is everywhere," the college computer-science (CS) or software-engineering (SE) classroom has proven to be a tough nut to crack—and may remain so for quite some time. Likins works on Red Hat's University Outreach team—a group that does not do recruiting, she emphasized. Rather, the team travels to campuses around the United States and engages with teachers, administrators, and students about open source in the classroom. The surprise is how little open source one finds, at least in CS and SE degrees. Employers expect graduates to be familiar with open-source projects and tools (e.g., using Git, bug trackers, and so forth), she said, and incoming students report expecting to find it in the curriculum, but it remains a rarity.
  • A Selection of Talks from FOSDEM 2016
    It's that time of the year where I go to FOSDEM (Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting). The keynotes and the maintracks are very good, with good presentations and contents.

Leftovers: Ubuntu and Debian

  • Ubuntu Studio 16.04 Wallpaper Contest
    This poll is for the selection of 16 desktop wallpapers for Ubuntu Studio 16.04.
  • Debian LTS Work January 2016
    This was my ninth month as a Freexian sponsored LTS contributor. I was assigned 8 hours for the month of January. My time this month was spent preparing updates for clamav and the associated libclamunrar for squeeze and wheezy. For wheezy, I’ve only helped a little, mostly I worked on squeeze.
  • Welcome to Parsix GNU/Linux 8.5r0 Release Notes
    Parsix GNU/Linux is a live and installation DVD based on Debian. Our goal is to provide a ready to use and easy to install desktop and laptop optimized operating system based on Debian's stable branch and the latest stable release of GNOME desktop environment. Users can easily install extra software packages from Parsix APT repositories. Our annual release cycle consists of two major and four minor versions. We have our own software repositories and build servers to build and provide all the necessary updates and missing features in Debian stable branch.

Raspberry Pi/Devices

  • Another new Raspbian release
  • How do geeks control their lights?
    We made this setup to test our capabilities to control Arduino with Raspberry Pi in our upcoming big project. We did not have spare keyboard and screen for RPi, so we ended up ssh-ing into the Pi via Wi-Fi router.
  • How To Start A Pirate FM Radio Station Using Your Raspberry Pi
    Continuing our Raspberry DIY series, we are here with a simple tutorial that tells you how to start your own pirate FM station using Raspberry Pi. Take a look and broadcast your tunes — anytime, anywhere.
  • Tizen 3.0 on the Raspberry Pi 2
    The Samsung Open Source Group is currently in the process of porting Tizen 3.0 to the Raspberry Pi 2 (RPi2). Our goal is to create a device capable of running a fully-functional Tizen 3.0 operating system, and we chose the RPi2 because it is the most popular single-board computer with more than 5 million sold. There are numerous Linux Distributions that run on the RPi2 including Raspbian, Pidora, Ubuntu, OSMC, and OpenElec , and we will add Tizen to this lineup. We face a number of obstacles in accomplishing this, but we hope this will serve as a model for bringing Tizen to a broader range of hardware platforms.
  • Embedded 14nm Atom x5-E8000 debuts on Congatec boards
    Intel released several new 14nm Atom SoCs, including an embedded, quad-core x5-E8000 part with 5W TDP, now available in four Congatec boards. Intel released the Atom x5-E8000, the first truly embedded system-on-chip using its 14nm Airmont architecture. Airmont is also the design that fuels Intel’s Celeron N3000 “Braswell” SoCs and its mobile-focused Atom x5 and x7 Z8000 “Cherry Trail” SoCs. The x5-E8000 is the heir to the 22nm Bay Trail generation Atom E3800 family.

Android Leftovers