Quantal, raring, saucy…

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Before I launch into the tongue-twisting topic of t-series terminology I would like to say a few thank-you’s.

Saucy, now officially known as Ubuntu 13.10, is a wonderful achievement by a very large and diverse collection of teams and individuals. Each of us is motivated by something different – in fact, we might have very different visions of what the ideal desktop looks like or what the default set of applications should be. But we manage, in the spirit of ubuntu, to work together to make something wonderful like 13.10, which serves the needs and goals of a very large number of people and communities.

This release had plenty to put it under pressure. It’s the preview-LTS, in a sense, which means we need to get a lot of the “big rocks” in. That means a willingness to lead change, and doing so in such a complex inter-dependent environment is very challenging. I would like to thank all the teams who have done their part to shape that change into something that worked for them. To the KDE, XFCE and GNOME-focused communities in Ubuntu, thank you for bringing your perspective and I’m delighted that you are all making such great releases now as well.

13.10 is a very special release for me because I think we are leading the GNU/Linux world into a very important arena, which is mobile personal computing. Canonical has its fair share of competitors and detractors who love to undermine the work it does, but I think that wiser heads appreciate the magnitude of the effort required to break this ice, and the extent to which it has taken courage and grace under fire for this team to deliver such a sharp 1.0 of the mobile experience for Ubuntu. It is a reflection of the widespread interest and enthusiasm for that work that we had such diverse participation in the core applications that make up this 1.0 of Ubuntu-for-phones. Multiple teams formed spontaneously to explore new territory: a new mobile design paradigm, new SDK, new visual language. And wow, you guys pulled it off beautifully.  So many contributions from a fresh free software community is testament to the work and style of guys like Michael Hall, who epitomise collaborative development and friendly exchanges of views, motivating guys like me and a hundred others to make sure we deliver something great.

Designers, shell engineers, browser engineers, app engineers, people who built app review and publication mechanisms, security experts… I could not be more proud of what these teams have achieved together.

For the technologists there are some very significant milestones, what Rick Spencer calls “the big rocks”, that made it into 13.10.

Image based updates is really important work. For the first time we can guarantee the integrity of a device running Ubuntu, knowing exactly what version of the OS is installed. I can’t wait to get that on my laptop. Yes, it will be a big change, but I can already see how it’s going to make things easier for me. And I’ll still have the full power of raw Ubuntu inside for all my cloud development needs. Well done to the guys who conceived and delivered the mechanism and the machinery that make it possible. Image 100 is, as they say, the cake.

Mir is really important work. When lots of competitors attack a project on purely political grounds, you have to wonder what THEIR agenda is. At least we know now who belongs to the Open Source Tea Party 😉 And to put all the hue and cry into context: Mir is relevant for approximately 1% of all developers, just those who think about shell development. Every app developer will consume Mir through their toolkit. By contrast, those same outraged individuals have NIH’d just about every important piece of the stack they can get their hands on… most notably SystemD, which is hugely invasive and hardly justified. Watch closely to see how competitors to Canonical torture the English language in their efforts to justify how those toolkits should support Windows but not Mir. But we’ll get it done, and it will be amazing.

I can tell you what the agenda of the Mir team is: speed, quality, reliability, efficiency. That’s it. From what I’ve seen on the smartphone, Mir is going to be a huge leap forward for gaming performance, battery life and next-generation display capabilities. So thank you for the many contributions we had to Mir, and to everyone who is testing it in more challenging environments than the smartphone. I’m enjoying it on my laptop and loving the gaming benchmarks for native Mir. So to that team, and the broader community who are helping test and refine Mir, thank you.

App containers and the associated mechanisms for application update are hugely important too. We now have a much better way for app developers to deliver an app to Ubuntu users, giving them much more control of the libraries and dependencies and updates that will affect them. We also make it much easier for developers to deliver newer versions of their app on older versions of the OS. I know that’s a top ask for many of our users, and we’ve done it for the smartphone. It will be available for the desktop as soon as we converge the two. I love seeing those app updates flow onto the phone, and I’m told the developer review and publication process is really sweet. Well done.

So yes, I am very proud to be, as the Register puts it, the Ubuntu Daddy. My affection for this community in its broadest sense – from Mint to our cloud developer audience, and all the teams at Canonical and in each of our derivatives, is very tangible today. It’s had its ups and downs this cycle :) but I feel we’ve pulled together. What the Register misses in that description is that so many of you are in fact the progenitors of Ubuntu’s goodness. Its a privilege to provide the conduit, but the generosity of all of you in making something wonderful to share through that conduit is what’s most touching.

So – saucy is in the can, and it’s time to turn our tactical talk to 14.04, which will of course be an LTS.

As such, our focus is going to be on performance, refinement, maintainability, technical debt. It would be entirely appropriate for us to make conservative choices in this upcoming vUDS, so please join us in those discussions as we shape 14.04 as a platform for long-term deployments on the PC and the cloud and the server. In particular, we will be providing OpenStack I, J and K on 14.04 for LTS deployments, so we need to make sure we meet the needs of that community for a solid core. On the desktop, 13.10 has benefited greatly from the fact that it has a team just focused on improving quality. We’ll do the same again and more for 14.04. On the mobile front, we’re going to keep racing forward, the platform is too new for an LTS and we’re excited to complete the journey of full convergence. We won’t get there in one cycle but given the pace of improvement of the phone and tablet in the last month I think it’s going to be a fantastic cycle there.

vUDS is where those core decisions are made. We’ve broken new ground on public consultation and discussion: anyone can participate by voice or video, discussions are fast and open-minded, results are communicated in the same week. It’s worth taking time out from work, play or sleep to bring your perspective to bear on what 14.04 needs to deliver, and what commitments you want to make to achieve that.

But… what will we call it? As TS Eliot put it, “the naming of cats is a difficult matter, it isn’t just one of your everyday games…”

It’s no trifling matter to tap the well of tempting tautological taxa in search of just the right mascot for something like 14.04. So many bad options! There’s the “tasty tailless tenrec” (wait for the letters from PETA), the “toxic taipan” (hello again my Aussie mates), and the  “tantric tarantula” (hold very still…). The “trigamous tayra” (bendy!) and “trippy tegu” just won’t do. We need something a bit more serious than the “twinkle-toed tamarin”, something a bit more transcendent than the the “toric terrapin”, a bit more thematic than the “thermic tamandua” (though I do like the reference to HEAT, something new in the OpenStack world) and a bit cooler than the “thermobaric thornytail”. There are quite a few good options too… Consider the “timely testudo”, that famous winning tortoise, or the “tenacious tapir” who always gets the job done, those might do. And who could resist the “telegenic tamias” other than, perhaps, the developers who have to type “telegenic” every time they make an upload!

Themes therianthropic seem a touch tub-thumping, and tigers Tasman a touch extinct. That tarsier is tactile but titchy too, the toad a bit witchy the the tree shrew, too-too. For a tip-top release nothing tepid will do.

So our titular totem, our tamper-proof taboo, our tranquil memento of mission and dues, our topical target of both cry and hue, the name for our LTS thoughtful and true: I give you, as Seuss would, with hullabaloo, the temperate and thrifty, the talented and tactful but ultimately, and tellingly, trusty tahr.

The tahr navigates Himalayan heights, shaggily suited, sure-footed and steady. A small tourist tahr population lived on my favourite Table Mountain, and while they’ve made way for indigenous animals, for a long time they symbolised hardiness and fearlessness, perched as they were against the cliffs. We’ll do well together. Let’s get cracking!

99 Responses to “Quantal, raring, saucy…”

  1. Lestibournes Says:

    I don’t appreciate that reference to the tea party, but I am sick and tired of all the Ubuntu-haters. I’m also sick and tired of Canonical not having a direct point-to-point debate with anyone, so please take Aaron Seigo up on his suggestions and just have a proper, open, on-the-record, direct discussion of all the reasons why you decided against going with Wayland and the differences between Wayland and Mir and all that. Just a be-all-end-all technical discussion thread that covers everything on the topic without shying away from confrontation and without name-calling.

    I’m in favor of Mir. I just want to end the ambiguity and feeling like I’m not getting real answers. If people continue hating on Mir after its all been explained then I will be able to dismiss them as idiots, but until then I keep getting a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that there may be something to what they are saying.

  2. Lestibournes Says:

    There’s a story of a man who complained to his Rabbi that his house is too small, so the Rabbi told him to add a goat into his house. A week later the Rabbi told him to take the goat out, and suddenly the house seemed so spacious. In Israeli politics it is said that politicians put goats into the budget so that the people’s anger will focus on that spending, then they take it out so it will seem by comparison like the budget is small and responsible.

  3. Samium Gromoff Says:

    Mark, it would be rather helpful, if you’d elaborate on this a bit more — because I’m sure many people would find that a contentious issue:

    “Mir’s reason for existence is that I see Wayland ending up with the same set of problems that X had – it promises that everyone can get what they want, which just leaves everyone slightly incompatible with everyone else.”

    While we’re at it, another separate statement of yours draws (I’d even say grabs) attention:

    “In addition, I am concerned that the people funding Mir Wayland have a very specific agenda and no intention of letting Canonical succeed if they can help it.” (correction mine)

    People are throwing FUD at Canonical. Now, it appears, you throw FUD at Intel? What is this, corporate politics? Why not fight them in the open? Call Intel out on their grip on Wayland, if there is such a thing, as you seem to imply?

  4. Lestibournes Says:

    I was under the impression that games use SDL as an abstraction layer, so they never interact directly with the display server, which means games don’t need to care whether the display server is Mir, Wayland, Xorg, or anything else. I see no reason why the same can’t be true for all other types of applications you mentioned.

  5. Albert Says:

    Many people is forgetting Canonical is a company.

    It’s not about changing the Linux world only. It’s something beyond.

    My feeling is that many of the seen controversies on what’s Canonical doing in Ubuntu’s development would be the same if instead of Debian based the project would have been BSD based. But at the same time it would be much more easy for everyone to understand what’s going on. And easier for Canonical to develop their own model.

    I can be wrong. But these are my 5 cents.

    And by the way. Thanks to you Mark. Thanks a lot.

  6. Iwe Tawded Says:

    I LOVE YOU MARK! Ubuntu is the BEST distribution for Linux ever. I can’t believe those stupid tea party people don’t like what you’re doing for the open source world. Everyone should follow you as their leader, you obviously have the most insight and best ideas.

  7. FHF Says:

    Hi Mark.
    I have been using Ubuntu for 3 years now and I must say that Ubuntu is going in right direction!
    I appreciate your effort as leader of this wonderful project.
    And about this post: Well said! But in slightly wrong words. But after all this is your PERSONAL blog and you can write your own point of view. That is free speech so non-ubuntu folks:
    Please stop this flamewar. We have will Mir you will have Wayland, Thanks.

    Mark: Keep up with this wonderful project you are the best leader we can ever have. 😉

  8. Jose Says:

    Hello Mark

    I understand that you decided to take a different path than Wayland with Mir, and also understand the Wayland guys here.

    Healthy competition is good for anybody. It makes people to stay alert and improve.

    What I can’t understand is your position of feeding the confrontation. You are devoting energy to go against other open source projects. Hearing you talk about “THEIR agendas” makes you closer to conspiracy theorists, the US government(talking of people and allied governments as “adversaries”) and yes, the Tea Party(*), than you think.

    What is wrong with having a different opinion and just following your intuition?. You are rich because your intuition about the future was probably right in the past.

    You are probably right in this, who knows? But if you continue disrespecting and adding bad emotional tone against different options, you will make integration of those people you are disrespecting impossible in the future, even if you are right. It will become something personal, ego wars, like the Unity issue(**).

    For you(us) to win, we don’t need everybody else to fail.

    You need to be a leader, and remember that there is people on the other side. If you sow confrontation, you will reap confrontation, but multiplied. It is a huge temptation to feed it.

    There are lots of things we could do if we focus our energies in what we do, and not on what other people is doing.

    Now, keep the good work. Bye.

    (*) Tea Party has the right to exist. It has become fashion to ridicule them as expending more than what you have, taxing people to death and giving the money to crony capitalists has become the new normal.

    (**)Most of the people that criticize so hard Unity only tested Unity once, when it was forced down throat on them and was buggy and incomplete. Now they couldn’t care less about the real technical merits of Unity because it has become personal as they remember how bad they felt, the fact of having the computer broken and nobody listening to them.

  9. Samium Gromoff Says:

    Jose, just wonderful!

  10. Mark Says:

    As a professional Ubuntu user, I’m not sure why you think Mir is important; it doesn’t solve any problem I have ever had.

    Even if it were important, pushing a new display server technology as part of regular desktop upgrades is unacceptable to me as a user. Ubuntu upgrades are becoming more and more of a hassle, because things top working every six months (and I need the latest versions for the C++ and Fortran compilers).

    At some point, I’m just going to switch to another distro. It’s been a nice half dozen years with Ubuntu, but you are clearly taking it into a different direction from the one I need.

  11. Steffen Says:

    Mark: regarding “open source Tea Party”…
    I mean, honestly, you are right with what you say. But I mean, just leave them. Leave them away. If you explain to them, why MIR is there, what issues you have with Wayland, all this… its like talking to a wall. They don’t get it anyway.

    In their opinion, everything, you do and and everything Canonical does, follows an evil Masterplan which will drive the world into darkness and a kind of Mad Max atmosphere. So what.

    Their Bugtrackers are full and if they really would care about their projects and their users, they wouldn’t have time to care about you, your goals, what you do. But they do. Because that’s all they have. But they don’t get it, how successful projects are driven and managed.

    But all these complaints and all the noise, caused by something you say and do… is it really worth it? Isn’t it much more productive to just leave them digging their sh*t and to just work on your things and while doing that paveing your and Canonicals road to success?

    Just my 2 cents…

  12. Darran Kelinske Says:

    Keep up the good work Mark! Thank you!

  13. Greg S Says:

    You don’t deserve all this negative feed back I apologize that us content people don’t squeak like the rest. The Tea Party comment was probably poorly thought out but I get it and I agree with you I don’t see why Ubuntu can’t develop what it wants. I have confidence in the quality of Canonical’s work and appreciate the extra work they put in for MIR.

    I’d really like to see another video by you explaining the advantages MIR represents for Ubuntu and what separates it from other display servers.

    An appearance in the Linux action show would also be really neat the Hosts there seem to be able to conduct themselves without forcing bias on their viewers.

  14. Jocala Says:

    Show me Ubuntu Phone running on a mainstream device, oh perhaps the SGS2 :) I’d be on it like white on rice :)

  15. Lesley Says:

    There are still trusty tahrs in Cape Town! Committed and holding ground no matter what pooh comes our way:)

  16. Munawar Says:

    Thanks for another great release

  17. cmyster Says:

    Interesting read.
    I find myself experimenting with Ubuntu every blue moon and I have to say that it has become a very clean and pleasant ‘distro’ to use. The UI is intuitive enough and in my opinion does it right. It is taking users, albeit kicking and screaming, to a point where they work faster and better even if they don’t realize it. Not a bad thing as users can simple switch to some other DE.
    Also, the more development done on MIR the better, as it is set to replace X, which has been around for ages and is working very well. I hope that when MIR will indeed replace X, then it will be stable enough to switch.
    For the moment there are still many other issues with Ubuntu that prevents me from using it, but that’s personal taste.
    – sips a cup of hot Slackware tea…

  18. John Cockroft Says:

    As with others here Mark, time to say thanks for Canonical’s wonderful distribution. I tend to stick with LTS releases and all my machines have rock stable 12.04 LTS on them. My ageing parents were using Windows XP and tried Windows 7 and hated it. I suggested that they tried Ubuntu 12.04 and although they were sceptical they now love it. It just works.

    Why oh why does the existing forced Microsoft monopoly have to continue in the UK (or USA for that matter) – i.e. being forced to buy a Microsoft OS preloaded on a generic PC? Edubuntu would be a much better bet for schools.

    As for Mir, I do think it is a good idea and Xorg/X-Windows needs to be retired. There must be a way though that Mir and the Wayland could be unified – as with XMir as a wrapper.

    One suggestion – make LDAP/Samba integration much easier on Ubuntu for 14.04 – either to Microsoft’s Active Directory or to OpenLDAP (e.g. Zentyal Server) or Apache LDAP Server. That would make migration to Ubuntu much easier.

  19. Dietmar Says:

    I use Ubuntu since end of 2009. I agree with the article 100%.
    I am very curious regarding MIR and cant wait to see things converge. Good Luck !

  20. sekar Says:

    Thanks for Ubuntu, mark. Whatever your intentions, there is no doubt canonical has made a big impact on the have of Linux and many lives.

    As a friendly suggestion just stop talking about mir and move on. So much negative energy from everyone involved on what is just another technology bit. You don’t nteed to justify or explain yourself. Its all been said.

  21. glenn Says:

    Great post and great release. Thanks

  22. Tony Says:

    @Peter “I don’t know know who is wrong, I don’t much care about API’s but I see the result. 13.10′s xorg on sandy bridge has graphics hangs every few minutes playing minecraft, and has done so for months.”

    This is the problem of intel developers not using sandy bridge as their test machines.

    “We will move to the new stuff, while ignoring the old ones”.

    This has happened to me twice. It was around ubuntu 10.10 my computer completely gave up on graphics. After 2012, intel developers realized, they needed to fix the incompatibility they had introduced then, and it started to work again. Same thing has happened to sandy bridge computers now. At least, it is perfectly capable of gaming, in windows. Even on Linux, it had no problems around ubuntu 12.04. Since, I stayed with ubuntu 12.04, and only upgraded around 13.04, I don’t know when it happened, but since ubuntu backports graphics drivers (in this case xserver-xorg-video-intel), it now has problems in ubuntu 12.04 and onwards.

    Also, this is not sole problem of ubuntu, because the scenario in non-debian distros (specially Arch) is even worse. At least in ubuntu, it slows down, heats and at worse crashes the application. However, in arch it abruptly turns off the computer (yes this is overheating issue). I don’t know if it is systemd, governer, or something else, but this problem has put me off of using Arch for sometimes (at least when gaming is on mind).

    Yes, the performance in sandy bridge has increased with newer drivers, but what good a computer is, if it keeps on hanging while playing games. This issue, has been raised countless times, and everyone knows about this, but there is no solution yet.

  23. Darrell Says:

    As a long-time Ubuntu user, I thank you and your team sincerely for all you do.

    As far as the never-ending Ubuntu-v-everyone-else thing that seems to be happening, all I can say is: there is room for both in this world. I’m glad Ubuntu is pushing the envelope, and I’m also glad that there is another community pushing an alternate vision. We all ultimately benefit from the competition. May the strongest solution win!

  24. Daniel Aleksandersen Says:

    Thank you for your continued dedication.

    Ps: the copyright copy at the bottom of your site might need an update.

  25. Witch Lady Says:

    I’ve been using Ubuntu since 9.10, almost four years now. I’m planning to use it for years to come. Thank you (to “all that contributed”) for the good work. I like 13.10 and the changes you’ve done in the past years, especially the dash. But, why on Earth, Ubuntu still doesn’t have the RAW photos preview natively (in Nautilus) is beyond me. Smart scopes would be more smart if we could configure them (for example: choose which Amazon site we want to search; gmail configuration) or if some scopes (like music search) wouldn’t depend on installed apps (I prefer Exaile as my music player; scopes are for Clementine or Rhythmbox) or if after writing in the home and clicking on “documents” or “music” in the bottom bar would filter the results for what I wrote (now, it switchs with blank bar), instead of using the “filter the results” and the weather would be location-smarter. I’m in Warsaw (Poland), input “Cracow” – Wikipedia scope shows me Cracow in Poland (Kraków) but the weather shows Cracow somewhere in USA. Illogical! Since when Ubuntu is USA-oriented?

    I’m not gonna run Ubuntu on my mobile yet, as the requirements are too high for it. I hope you’ll be able to lower them a bit so it could work on old smartphones. And generally, I’d like to see the requirements for whole Ubuntu lowered, so no problems to run it on desktop, netbook or smartphone.

    Keep up the good work!

  26. Panos Says:


    Thank you, your team, your company and all the community for the best desktop/workstation system!

    I am sure the next releases will really make the difference for the next of 99% of people!

  27. Stephan Says:

    Thanks for the great work! I really like Ubuntu and I think it’s part of the job that you get critizied a lot. Like the work of Linus, a strong leader is very important. I’ve switched to arch linux now, because ubuntu didn’t work because the nvidia drivers are the biggest garbage in the world. I am also looking forward to see package managers like nixos.

  28. Engels Peralta Says:

    I been using since 6.06 and now 12.04 can wait for 14.04 i love ubuntu. oh and another thing when ubuntu touch will be available for samsung s2 skyrocket.

  29. Jef Spaleta Says:


    You should consider removing this blog post. Its generally not good business practice for mainstream commercial entities to use political party affiliation as implied insult. It tends to raise the ire of the members and supporters of that political party. If you have a long term desire to see mainstream adoption inside the US geopolitical borders, you’ll want to avoid alienating customers across the political spectrum, including political conservatives. You don’t have to agree with their politics, but its unwise to use their political identity as an implied insult when discussing other topics. You aren’t going to win strong customer support from progressive and liberals (Hi there, I’m a staunt progressive-liberal) just because you are willing to flippantly cast the political conservative viewpoint and identity as an insult to be used on others. I’m not going to think better of your technology brand because you have implied that you agree with me as to US government political situation.

    Thankfully Ubuntu isn’t a mainstream technology brand in the US yet, so your brand profile doesn’t rise up high enough for your comment to snowball into a business damaging affront. But in anticipation of jumping the chasm and becoming a mainstream technology brand in the US, you should really consider pulling this blog post entirely so its not hanging out there for someone to stumble on in a year. Seriously, if you are going to be making a solid consumer push next year, around the time of the US congressional elections, this is exactly the sort of quip that political operatives would jump on and drag you and the Ubuntu brand into the partisan bar brawl that is going to happen in the couple of weeks ahead of the November elections. And I’d really hate for you to have to deal with that sort of distraction on top of everything else. Its already going to be a hard road ahead getting traction in mobile. Don’t make it harder for yourself.


  30. oiaohm Says:

    Mark the problem is the us and them. Even with upstart as time progresses its being forced to use systemd logind.

    If Mir cannot get its code upstreamed there are going to be on going problems. Its in fact going to become more of a problem with next X11 release where Xwayland will be up-streamed but Xmir will not be.

    You say toolkits including Mir support is the same as including Windows. There is a problem with this statement. You are supporting X11 with Xmir. So there is no reason for toolkits to support Mir unless there is enough market share to justify it. Members of toolkit makers have not been offered seats in Mir development. Even Windows toolkit developers can get preview version of Windows and voice their worries directly and even block a Windows releases. Closed shop method of that Mir is only for Ubuntu is a big problem.

    Remember toolkit developers also have refused to release for directfb and ywindows. Mark about time you go and read history and see without some alteration to Mir handling its going the same path.

    If you like or not users will still want to use KDE on Ubuntu so wayland support is going to be required on Ubuntu in some form. The problem I have is the only Wayland and the only Mir applications.

    Neither Wayland and Mir provide support at this stage for the others protocol. Of course I know this seams like admitting defeat. Reality you are defeated Mark unless you alter path. You have failed to get KDE or Gnome or XFCE or LDE on side. Unity alone will not cut it. So now you have todo something to create pressure and it takes risk.

    Interesting enough Mir supporting wayland applications not altered gives dominance to Ubuntu due to the fact Mir only application can exist. This is about the only way Mir can apply pressure.

    Unity mostly has been able to be ignored by application and toolkit developers. Exactly why are you thinking Mir would get better treatment.

    You have to remember a lot of toolkit developers are directly involved in wayland.

    Mark you really need to take stock quickly. Mir has lost key battles including having a mesa patch pulled. XMir is going to have to attempt to push upstream after XWayland is merged. I don’t see the odds of XMir getting in as high.

    Some point it is required to call particular battles not winnable. Xmir has to be close to this.

    Mir developers have failed to see why Wayland has a stable protocol instead of just a stable ABI.

    Lets say Mark I wish to chroot run something stable protocol between library versions is required. Why the distribution running the display and the distribution in the chroot running the application may in fact be different.

    Wayland and Systemd are on the path to address one of Linux biggest problems. Working backwards compatibility with old applications Mir in fact by design breaks the means to run 1 version of Mir server and a different version of client libs. Yes ABI compatibility is not enough. This has been a major problem. Application developers want the means to be able to use older versions of the interface libraries where possible.

    The usage of cgroups in systemd is about allowing containment. Containment is required to build backwards compatibility.

  31. Zenobius Says:


    “What closely to see how competitors to Canonical torture the English language”

    You do of course mean “Watch”.

  32. William Stone III Says:

    Mr Shuttleworth, until yesterday, I had been a faithful Ubuntu user. It has been my OS for some time on all my computers at home and has served me faithfully in server environments.

    It’s true that there are “features” of the operating system that concern me. The data being shared with Scopes, for example, is rather alarming. Consequently, I remove Scopes as well as Zeitgeist and then install Cairo Dock as my first actions apon install. I then boot into Cairo Dock as I find Unity clunky.

    As I say, Ubuntu’s default settings and desktop aren’t to my taste and concern me on a professional level. However, since they’re either removable or disable-able, it doesn’t bother me. It’s not like, say, Internet Explorer: malware just waiting to happen that cannot be removed from the OS.

    (Oh, and did I mention I’m using Midori, also due to privacy concerns, and that it’s the ONLY browser on my 13.10 install?)

    Anyway, as long as I can tailor my desktop and turn off the vendor-supplied-arguably-spyware, I could still live with Ubuntu.

    But now, Mr. Shuttleworth, you’ve really rather pissed me off.

    Look, I’m not a Tea Partier. Not because I particularly disagree with them in terms of their stated goals, but because I find them hypocritical.

    Limited government? I’m all for it. But at their heart, they’re not. Limited government means, for example, no government prohibition on the use of recreational drugs. Good luck finding many Tea Partiers who really want THAT.

    In short, they tend to bitch and moan about government when what they really want is to just be in charge. Been there, done that. In fact, American politics has really become two warring factions with little to no real idealogical differences.

    However, for you to insert the reference to the Tea Party when talking about a frakking graphics display software rather pissed me off.

    See, what you’re saying, Mr. Shuttleworth, is that you don’t like me.

    As I said, I’m not a Tea Partier, however there are some of their stated goals I can get behind. Getting rid of anything like socialized medicine is one such.

    The Tea Partiers weren’t doing this for politics. That’s what the politicians were doing, sure. But the Tea Partiers really wanted to get socialized medicine stopped. Their betrayal by politicians was predictable, but for the Tea Partiers, it wasn’t politics.

    Similarly, Mir has some merit to me, at least on a technical level. I’ve long thought that one of Linux’ deficits was its overly-complex graphics stack. Don’t get me wrong, X is cool inasmuch as I can easily run graphical tools remotely. But in order to make it look pretty, you have to add layer upon layer of additional software.

    This seems inherently inefficient to me. You’ll note that Google didn’t port X to Android: they figured out that the clunky display layers would be detrimental on a touch device.

    In any case, I can see a technical rationale for Mir. I also see where it could be a problem in terms of Linux fragmentation. I assume others see the same thing, and that some of them are more vocal about it than I.

    I don’t see how that in any way has to do with socialized medicine.

    So on two levels, Mr. Shuttleworth, you’re saying you don’t like me: you donn’t like me because I’m not in favor of socialized medicine and because I’m a bit on the fence about Mir.

    I’m now, after a solid seven years, reconsidering my use of Ubuntu as my desktop and server operating systems.

    If you don’t like me Mr. Shuttleworth, fine. There are plenty of distros whose maintainers will welcome me.

  33. anaconda Says:

    hello Mark,
    I think that the biggest problem why ubuntu projects are not supported by linux community is because of its popularity.

    Long time ago Ubuntu stand out and became popular:,
    – but Canonical didn’t contributed back to debian( you were using unstable repo for a long time)
    – didn’t contributed back to linux kernel and to GNOME.

    so when guys from GNOME and kernel saw Ubuntu success they were somehow jealous.
    and I think this is the main reason why they NIH unity, upstart and Mir
    the main contributors to GNOME, kernel, systemd and mesa are the same people (red hat, intel, suse)
    the reason they don’t support ubuntu software projects is because they don’t trust ubuntu code.

    I think that if Mir and upstart would be created by another company, they would have much more success.
    And also from a bsd users point of view both upstart and systemd are horrible
    (also you can add pulseaudio and alsa here), because they are vendor lock-in
    they are not portable to other unix like systems.

    Maybe Canonical should send a cake to Wayland team :), like firefox and IE do.

  34. freedomrun Says:

    Thank you Mark, for everything.

    Just wanted to thank you from 2004. when you brought us freedom based on Open Source and united us in one idea named Ubuntu. At that time Ubuntu took Linux in another dimension and it`s still doing that today.

    The evolving Open Source is freedom of choices and that is the beauty of it.

    Please, never give up .. and

    Thank you Mark, for everything :)

  35. LinuxUser Says:

    I can`t find the word Linux anymore on Pages. Ubuntu is nothing without Linux. It would just be nice if the project did not as if Ubuntu Linux. Honors the work of others.

    Ubuntu is only a distribution like many others with much less financial resources.

  36. MattiK Says:

    I still do not understand this whining about Mir. Now what this there supposed to be wrong?

    I would have licensed it using MIT license. It is good for technology if it is supported by many vendors, like X. However, I believe that there is good reasons to use GPL.

  37. Mike Tallent Says:

    14.04 needs JDK8 with javafx. And in my unbiased opinion #objectwheel.
    :) Enjoyed my talk with David thursday and really hope I get the pleasure of meeting you soon.

  38. Christoph Says:

    @Mark, systemd does not “bring lots of disparate pieces of technology into a single process”. It’s still a lot of different binaries (let alone processes), otherwise you couldn’t ship most of them in Ubuntu, could you? The old technology is still around. rsyslog or syslog-ng did not cease to exist just because of journald.

    And the new binaries are not “under the control of folks driving systemd” either. It’s still an open project, everybody can contribute if they want. No need for a copyright assignment or to sign a CLA. Is it really about control for you? Seems like you are the one with the political agenda then.

    You should ask yourself: Why do so many other projects follow the systemd path and use their APIs? Why did a whole ecosystem evolve around systemd, but not around upstart? The same goes for almost any other project that Canonical has been driving: libindicator vs. libnotify, unity vs. gnome-shell, mir vs. wayland, … Ubuntu is the most popular Linux Distribution, but all it’s projects are Ubuntu-only. Don’t you think there is something wrong here?

  39. Jan Smite Says:

    “Please follow the Ubuntu Code of Conduct – your opinions are welcome but please keep them polite and constructive.”

    The keyword here is CONSTRUCTIVE 😛

  40. Hazey Says:

    @ Mark – You can delete the above if wanted, I apologize, that link is the reply to this post (‘Thoughts about the Open Source Tea Party’ from Martin Graesslin’s blog) however not the item-by-item technical detail/issues/concerns I meant to point out; it IS linked within that post above which I know is more back-and-forth between you two unfortunately but does pose good questions. In either case the technical issues with Mir & KWin were outlined in ‘Mir in Kubuntu’ which is linked here: http://blog.martin-graesslin.com/blog/2013/05/mir-in-kubuntu/
    And those are the same concerns as compatibility with every other system and software.

    And again, I am not meaning to take sides – only voicing my point of view as a developer and after reading blog posts all around including between you two (you and Martin) and Martin is correct in most his statements about it being a technical issue, not a political one – however not to say both sides do not also have political agendas of their own, that’s unavoidable but I do estimate after decades in the linux community (development included) that based on the various issues with Mir + Compatibility, it is going to be trouble. I’m sure it will be an amazing system nomatter, quick, cool features, and so on but all I am saying and I believe the community ‘outrage’ is about is simply on the compatibility with say KWin/KDE as well as applications/software in general and then the fragmentation of the community/resources from intel/nvidia/ati’s side which will go with Wayland > Mir, then the question is if they do go with Mir as well (3 total) will the quality decrease even further. Only my two cents, I apologize for two separate postings, if you can combine them or even just use this one.

    All aside I wish Ubuntu nothing but the best, but I fear the worst. I thank you for a very long and happy time of ubuntu usage, but the decisions lately just do not work with me :[

  41. Nancy P. Says:

    We have to choose Mir so that we can find out what is in it!

  42. Wawan B. Setyawan Says:

    Ubuntu is great as always.. now its for OpenStack? that would be big great.
    Thanks anyway for those humanity you’ve shared. Regards!!!!

  43. MattiK Says:


    “Ubuntu is the most popular Linux Distribution, but all it’s projects are Ubuntu-only.”

    Why Canonical should do work for anyone else? I have always understood the open source licensing in the way, that anyone can take the sources and use it in own projects. If you want to use Unity or any other component that Canonical has developed, so take the source and do the work that it works in your environment and please contribute back changes and bugfixes (?!)

    I don’t understand in what way it is away from anyone that Canonical is developing technology, and we have more options what we can use.

  44. Mike Tallent Says:

    It seems to me focus groups need to really prioritize what’s missing inside Ubuntu Touch. I’m trying hard to learn the operating system from a Real World user and so many Gotchas are going to scare away a lot. Flow charts explaining how things are currently working and what’s wrong with them have to be developed.

    A tablet is a Brick if you can’t do basic things like log into facebook, get your mail, read a google docs file, browse the internet, watch videos on youtube.

    Ubuntu Touch fails at some of the very basic things and to get adoption will require real world people really using the OS.

    I hope Ubuntu Touch succeeds.


  45. standy Says:

    @MattiK then you don’t understand what the FOSS is all about.

  46. Cedders Says:

    Tendentious Teapartier?

    (I’d been hoping for the tapir. Tahr reminds me of Intrepid Ibex. I’m sticking with Lubuntu, agnostic until either Wayland or Mir are CPU-efficient with openbox.)

  47. Luis Cordero Says:

    Hola Mark Shuttleworth

    Gracias por Ubuntu


  48. u976415 Says:

    The work Canonical is doing with Mir and Unity is great. However, Mark being a former Debian developer, you understand the open software social contract. Using the GPL and LGPL isn’t enough. Canonical still owns the copyright. It can or its successor can dual license, or proprietory license the software in the future. In fact, Canonical’s developer agreement doesn’t guarentee contributed software will remain GPL’ed and only GPL’ed. Donate the Mir and Unity code to the GNU Project and contract with FSF to protect that software and its use conforming to the GPL license.

    The other elephant is even System 76 sells systems that use hardware requiring non-GPL’ed drivers.

    Canonical must demonstrate its commitment to a totally GPL’ed software stack.

  49. mark Says:

    @Zenobius fnord 😉