Absolutely no truth to the rumour…

Monday, February 13th, 2006

I keep getting asked about Google’s “distribution of Ubuntu”, so perhaps this is a good place for me to say that as far as I’m aware there is absolutely no truth to the rumour that Google plans to distribute a derivative of Ubuntu as a Google OS. As exciting as that may be for Linux, it wouldn’t make sense for Google, and so far they’ve been pretty sensible about their projects.

Google uses lots of Linux internally, I imagine they also have their own versions of Red Hat, SUSE, Debian, perhaps even Gentoo and of course Ubuntu. So don’t read too much into their use of Ubuntu – it’s just part of the picture, and nothing to get overly excited about. The “goobuntu” you may have heard of is just a modified version of Ubuntu. Technically, there’s likely to be a “goobian” and a “goohat” too :-). The good news is that the guys there have been good about sending us patches, and we do our best to integrate them into mainstream Ubuntu and push them on to Debian and upstream.

I’m sure this won’t stop the rumours, but if you hear them, you can point here for a dose of reality.

64 Responses to “Absolutely no truth to the rumour…”

  1. Rob Caskey Says:

    Mark, I just wanted to let you know that I hope this recent spurt of journaling is here to stay. Also, thank you for the CDs.

  2. tenshu Says:

    What are those fixes you are talking about?

    Sound exiting that google still interested in helping linux community =)

  3. Nouhad Says:

    Lol, there sure was alot of hype about this!
    Goobian LOL.

    Ubuntu all the way :)

  4. Claude Says:

    Hi Mark,

    i think one important key to Linux Desktop are vertical apps (=specific solutions, small ERP’s etc.) of which a lot are actually beeing build with Delphi.

    It seems that Delphi is for sale now, please just spend some minutes playing with the idea of a cross-platform, native compiler, with a HUGE potential of migratable apps.

    Ubuntu + Delphi = Killer Desktop

    Please mail me if you want me to further expose my ideas.

    Best regards and big thumbs up for ubuntu.

    Claude

  5. Otto Wyss Says:

    But it would make a lot of sense if you would team up with Google and finally tackle the “Ubuntu Bug #1”, with my “cross-platform” vision (http://wyoguide.sf.net/papers/Cross-platform.html) you both together could make quite some progress. At least it would set a signal to the computer world.

  6. Jon Says:

    What about SELinux and Ubuntu?

  7. Glyn Moody Says:

    Great to see you definitively scotching this rumour: the Web has wasted far too many electrons chasing this phantom (to say nothing of the even more gullible blogosphere). As you rightly point out, it just wouldn’t make sense for Google to enter a market that is fast becoming commoditised, and that has nothing to do with its core competencies.

  8. ENGRENAGEM - Media e Tecnologia: blog sobre jornalismo, citizen journalism, blogosfera e novas tecnologias Says:

    […] O pr

  9. David Says:

    Wow have not heard this one as yet, but as you mention am sure there would be a few but in the bigger picture I imagine that google will probably come out with some OS in the next few years. I would have a wild guess and say that if they did it would most certainly put some shock waves in the camps of MS etc.

    Although it may not impact business straight away, the end user would try just as we all do google search and other apps they are coming out or buying out. They are doing a great job at the apps and are keeping the ball moving as you need to in this world.

    David

  10. Francisco Javier Says:

    Hello Mark greetings from Mexico, thanks for discs of ubuntu :)

  11. yonatan Says:

    aww… and I was kinda hoping for a google-branded ubuntu. Seeing as it is, to my experience, one of the best distributions for anything from an antiquated laptop to the biggest server… if you’re good with fingers and debian :D

    Of course, it would have to maintain the same qualities that ubuntu (and its derivatives – edubuntu, kubuntu and soon [I believe] xubuntu) has had – tight control over distribution and application quality and a lovely and loving community. The reason I’d like to see it is that Google is in enough of a spotlight in the lay-public’s eye to attract attentionto Linux in general and away from M$windiz in particular!

  12. apt514 Says:

    Hi Mark,

    Thank You for shipit.ubuntu.com
    I received 5.4 & d/led 5.10 :)

    I bought:

    AMD 2500 1750mhz Sempron
    ASUS A7N8X-VM
    Kingston 512 400mhz 3200 ddr
    LG DVD+RW
    Antec Case

    From:

    http://www.oemexpress.com

    For: 460$ cdn tax included

    I want to flash the bios with linuxbios.org :)

    & would offer every IBM registered customer
    a flash upgrade for their hardware with Linux.

    M$ is offering voip through msn with bell.ca

    I want a gui to compile a portable usb key
    just like DSL 2.2b http://www.dslos.com

    Ubuntu ISP through IBM in Montreal?

    Ciao

  13. apt514 Says:

    http://it.slashdot.org/it/06/02/20/0227200.shtml

    http://www.linuxbios.org VOIP?

  14. Mario Parise Says:

    The true test will be the liberation of Tibet. To date, China continues to deny Tibet any freedoms and still considers the Dalai Lama, who is regarded by most of the world as a kind and peaceful man, to be a terrorist. I get a strong feeling that until this happens, freedom in China is a joke (a very cruel one).

    We also should be very careful when talking about freedom. Capitalism is not freedom in any way. And this “freeing” of the economy (like free trade) without simultaneous “freeing” of other aspects of like (like health care, education, rights to political power) is not freedom at all, but creative oppression.

    All the same, you raise excellent questions that will need to be answered.

  15. keng Says:

    It’s may have goodows and goos x also : )

  16. Riaan Snyders Says:

    I think what is happening regarding Ubuntu – rumours or not – is good. Not just for Open Source or Linux, but also for the local South African IT community. Keep up the good work.

  17. bet0x Says:

    Well, i want “goobuntu” :p

  18. psiconautica»Blog Archive » Goobuntu Says:

    […] “El propio Mark Shuttleworth, millonario empresario sudafricano e impulsor de Ubuntu, habla en su blog sobre Goobuntu, y confirma que, efectivamente, no se va a distribuir un derivado de Ubuntu como un ‘Sistema Operativo Google’. […]

  19. Italia SW » Mark Shuttle, fondatore di Ubuntu, respinge i rumors su ‘goobuntu’ Says:

    […] Uno dei rumors Linux più chiacchierati degli ultimi mesi è stato il rilascio di una probabile distro denominata "Goobuntu". Gli articoli-news dedicati a quello che è oramai un "cult rumor" non si contano più . Google sta effettivamente utilizzando una versione modificata di Ubuntu ma non ha alcuna intenzione a rilasciarla al pubblico. La smentita ufficiale a questo rumors proviene direttamente dal Blog di Mark Shuttle , sconfortando chi vedeva in Google la possibilità di far fare un salto di qualità alla "distro per eccellenza". Quella che segue è una sintesi della "dichiarazione" di Shuttle in merito a Goobuntu. Mi è stato chiesto se esiste una versione di Ubuntu realizzata da Google e questo è il posto dove posso affermare che per quanto ne so non vi è alcun fondamento al rumor. Google fa uso al suo interno di Linux ed immagino che abbiano le loro versioni personalizzate di Red Hat, SUSE, Debian, magari Gentoo e di certo Ubuntu. Non metterti a prendere sul serio le news su Goobuntu – fa parte del gioco – poichè non esiste. “goobuntu�? Potresti aver sentito di una versione modificata di Ubuntu. Tecnicamente parlando è come se andassimo a parlare di una “goobian�? o di un “goononsocosa�? . La buona news è che i ragazzi ci hanno dato delle patch, e faremo del nostro meglio per integrarle nella prossima release. Sono sicuro che quanto ho detto non farà cessare i rumors, ma se puoi inviali su questo Blog per una sana dose di realtà. […]

  20. v r Says:

    Hey Mark

    Thanks for shipit.ubuntu i recieved 5.10 yesterday !!
    UBotU works great!!

    Ciao

  21. v r Says:

    Hi Mark,

    I need a software modem driver for a HP Notebook ze4949
    Linuxant sells one but i read you’re working with HP products.
    I hope to see live CD’s with drivers. Then the flock will follow :)
    The 14.4k drivers are limited & avaiable for d/l from Linuxant
    http://www.linuxant.com
    http://www.linmodems.org

    Thanks for all your work, i just bought a 3.2g & was using DSL
    DamnSmallLinux in the memory to load firefox & gaim apps.

    I joined the speex mailing list & read XM radio and Google are
    using the codec :) a Local developer in the province of Quebec.

    http://www.google.com/talk/developer.html#codecs

    Mandrake opened an office in the old port of montreal
    They gave me free cd’s “download edition” for mlug.ca

    I’m looking for work like a freedom toaster on 2 wheels :)
    Like a local mirror in town with 3G wireless connections.

    jobs@oemexpress.com

  22. A fellow Dragon Says:

    Rumor is the mother of invention, where such invention is created via something of no substantiated evidence, Capn. Makes no difference if such invention is spread from mouth or media.

  23. Vincent Says:

    You should see http://goobuntu.com :P

    How can anything be so fake? :P

  24. Edgar Says:

    micro$oft sux!!
    gentoo powah!

  25. shodan Says:

    I agree with you that it would be very exciting for Linux, but not necessarily sensible, at this time, for Google to invest in such a project. With their 20% project-resource policy however, I wouldn’t be completely surprised if the guys at Google find a sensible reason to flirt with the concept. They are an innovative bunch.

    What I am excited about is hearing that a big pioneering company like Google is using Ubuntu internally and that they are contributing patches to the project. This is great for FLOSS in general, could set the examples for other big names and might even only be a taste of things to come.

    Btw, what is your opinion on the SARS Linux desktop solution tender? Do you think it is doable and worth the business risk? Would Ubuntu be a prime candidate?

  26. Saleh Odeh Says:

    bummer.. i was actually begining to put up high hopes!

  27. Spinifer Says:

    From what I know, the actual name is gubuntu and yes there’s a gredhat, these modified Linux distros exist because there’s a big centralized file system (GFS), among other tweaks and modifications to suite Google workers better. So they repackaged the distros for convinience and in-house use. Gredhat is used internally for servers and Gubuntu for workstations, This doesn’t mean they primarly use Linux as they desktop OS either.

  28. Zonker Says:

    I suppose they’re likely to have a GooSE as well.

  29. Makhan Virdi Says:

    A nice article to clarifying doubts(?), with a sense of humour.
    Well, it’s really good to know that people at google are contributing to the spirit of “humanity to others”. This is why we use Linux. I have been using linux for like 4-5 year now, and found Ubuntu pretty nice (after tweaking/configuring it to my needs).

    Good work sir!

  30. Tony Says:

    Hello,

    Is there a good open source cross platform RAD GUI Basic (i.e. uses a runtime the same way Java does) that is available for Linux, and Windows (so doesn’t need to be recompiled for different platforms)? C, C++ and Java have too steep a learning curve and have long development timeframes to be cost effective for general business applications. Also, using something like Visual Basis locks one into Microsoft and can be expensive. I’ve been told that BASIC doesn’t scale well but surely it can be done can’t it?

    Regards,

    Tony

  31. Ross Says:

    Hahaha, goobuntu and goobian, where did you come up with that? I don’t mean that as an insult, just a joke.

  32. Sean Cannon Says:

    I think Google should seriously consider this, if they haven’t already. They’re all about organizing the world’s information, and people’s desktop’s are some of the most cluttered messes. I’d be an easy integration with Google Desktop, and with Firefox, Thunderbird, and Open Office, they could keep a lot of the non-user-friendly features of linux hidden in the background.

    We’ll see I guess.

    –S–

  33. Andrew Says:

    Nope, you are lying….jokes, thanx 4 cds also i wouldnt trus google patches, as all their windoze software seems suspicious….

  34. Steve Ballmer Says:

    mark, you and i could become rich! together we could rule the world! i’ll make you famous! if you only knew the power of the dark side!

  35. RepoMan Says:

    Ubuntu 6.06 has to be the best Linux distro extant. It is the first one I have installed that worked properly without fixing. I have used recent versions of Mandrake, SuSE, RedHat, FreeBSD, and Solaris and all of them needed something: video cards, video drivers, NIC drivers, networking configuration, and so forth. It is also the first one that has shed the shabby edges and hobby shop character found in most distros: broken apps and lousy interfaces. All hail Ubuntu! And the people who made it happen!

    You can do a lot worse than Ubuntu for a Google OS.

  36. Goobuntu Linux Says:

    […] Mark Shuttleworth Blog Archive Absolutely no truth to the The goobuntu you may have heard of is just a modified version of Ubuntu. Technically, there s likely to be a goobian and a goohat too […]

  37. Goobuntu Linux Says:

    […] Mark Shuttleworth ” Blog Archive ” Absolutely no truth to the rumour… … and nothing to get overly excited about. The “goobuntu” you may have heard of is just a modified … di una probabile distro denominata “Goobuntu“. Gli articoli-news dedicati a quello … […]

  38. senthil Says:

    Mark,
    thanks for the ubuntu cds…..it rockssssssssssss

  39. Ahmed Abul-Magd A. Says:

    thanx for the time, for your funding, thanx for ubuntu distro , u r doing a great job, but really consider supporting winmodems in ur future versions, we use ubuntu in our hospital (about 200 workstations) ppl loves ubuntu here but they dont use it at home because thay cant handle dialup internet connections with it, in developing counteries like egypt , dialup is ur main way to access the internet, personally i’m forced to keep an xp system installed on my laptop to access internet, supporting winmodem out of the box will expand its use for sure..

  40. wasubire julius Says:

    Hello Mark thanks for the Dapper CDs. I work in a hospital an I have managed to convert some hearts here with your free CDs. !!!! Ubuntu rocks on laptops it even got me a wife

  41. Clement Says:

    Goobuntu!!!! Great idea. Perhaps someone should come out with a new icon of Windows which tears.

  42. Ederic Says:

    I’m a Google fan, and now that I’m thinking of finally using Linux, “Goobuntu”, sounds good. :)

  43. Ederic Says:

    I’m a Google fan, and now that I’m thinking of finally using Linux, “Goobuntu” sounds good. :)

  44. Goobuntu Says:

    […] Mark Shuttleworth

  45. nix Says:

    “Google uses lots of Linux internally, I imagine they also have their own versions of Red Hat, SUSE, Debian, perhaps even Gentoo and of course Ubuntu.”

    Actually, all their servers run a customized version of Red Hat. Some additional spec (hardware) include:
    * Western Digital Hard Drivers
    * Gigbyte mobos
    * HP switchs in the center of the rack.
    * Juniper M20′ which have been upgrade to T320.s
    * Last I saw there were over 60 Gig feeds going into the Junipers.

    Yep, this is a very late post; however, my NDA has expired. Just posing for grins; you don’t have to approve this post. :-)

    Mark Shuttleworth says:

    This is an anonymous comment, so take it with a large grain of salt. Personally I don’t know anything interesting about Google’s infrastructure and what little I do know is subject to NDA.

  46. Toby Whaymand Says:

    Hi Mark

    I think there nothing better computer wise then Ubuntu it so amazing there are not words I can use about how excited I am about the project I am just a user. The nights before a up-dates releases, for me it like being a kid at Christmas I just can not sleep :)

    I think your amazing I am a real fan, Mark you are a God lol, I have total respect for you

    There only one thing that is as good as Ubuntu and that the Official Ubuntu Book!

    I really hope that Ubuntu will have a large scale market one day and be able to challenge Microsoft. I believe if the Open Community got together but money into TV, radio advertising across the western world there could be a increase in Linux and in general Open Source but this means working with everyone including Novell and Red Hat and agreeing on how things should be done which is not easy when different businesses have different views.
    Thanks

    Toby

  47. rajeev bhatta Says:

    I dont know where I can put this comment, so I am doing it right here.

    Personally I love google in whatever they do, but the only question I have for google is:

    If you use linux so much at your workplace, then why dont you have google talk versions for linux. Cant there be one messenger which allows voice chat in ubuntu. The only reason I use windows is voice chat. I dont know why google has to do something like this. I dont care if million companies dont make stuff for linux but google why dont you give some thing to the open source community. I know you have so many other products for linux and we have Gaim to use for gtalk but where is the voice chat feature.

    I dont understand google in this particular aspect when they are doing so good in every thing else.

    I only hope google keeps up the good work, and does something about my worries.

    I did not know where to leave this comment If it is irrelavent to the discussion please ignore.

  48. Episódio 68 - Software Livre | Podcast PapoTech - Tecnologia Says:

    […] • O que é software livre? • O que é open source? • Quais são as licenças livres? • Por que as empresas usam software livre? Uma análise econômica. • Quanto custa uma distribuição Linux? More than a GigaBuck! • O que é o Goobuntu? O que há de verdade nisso ? • Por que o Linux não avança no desktop? o Uma resposta está na Lei de Metcalfe sobre as externalidades de rede. o Outra está em entender que o mercado de software não é um mercado de commodities . • Sites brasileiros sobre software livre: o dicas-l o Notícias Linux o BR-Linux o FSFLA • De vez em quando o Gustavo escreve sobre esses assuntos no seu blog. […]

  49. Italia SW » Mark Shuttlewoth, fondatore di Ubuntu, respinge i rumors su ‘goobuntu’ Says:

    […] Uno dei rumors Linux più chiacchierati degli ultimi mesi è stato il rilascio di una probabile distro denominata “Goobuntu”. Gli articoli-news dedicati a quello che è oramai un “cult rumor” non si contano più . Google sta effettivamente utilizzando una versione modificata di Ubuntu ma non ha alcuna intenzione a rilasciarla al pubblico. La smentita ufficiale a questo rumors proviene direttamente dal Blog di Mark Shuttlewoth , sconfortando chi vedeva in Google la possibilità di far fare un salto di qualità alla “distro per eccellenza“. Quella che segue è una sintesi della “dichiarazione” di Shuttle in merito a Goobuntu. Mi è stato chiesto se esiste una versione di Ubuntu realizzata da Google e questo è il posto dove posso affermare che per quanto ne so non vi è alcun fondamento al rumor. Google fa uso al suo interno di Linux ed immagino che abbiano le loro versioni personalizzate di Red Hat, SUSE, Debian, magari Gentoo e di certo Ubuntu. Non metterti a prendere sul serio le news su Goobuntu – fa parte del gioco – poichè non esiste. “goobuntu�? Potresti aver sentito di una versione modificata di Ubuntu. Tecnicamente parlando è come se andassimo a parlare di una “goobian�? o di un “goononsocosa�? . La buona news è che i ragazzi ci hanno dato delle patch, e faremo del nostro meglio per integrarle nella prossima release. Sono sicuro che quanto ho detto non farà cessare i rumors, ma se puoi inviali su questo Blog per una sana dose di realtà. […]

  50. bill Says:

    hello sir! thank you so much for the cds! i’ve already passed some pieces to few friends. i guess goobuntu is not a good idea afterall since somehow it is just a customized UBUNTU i guess! maybe for an internet co. like them it’s much better that they start from scratch. and as for ubuntu is big enough to be UBUNTU. You are invincible in the OS world Mark!

  51. Tom Anderson Says:

    Wait are you (bill) suggesting that Goobuntu has already been developed?

    Is it for Google employees only?

  52. Kira Remington Says:

    This one makes sence “One’s first step in wisdom is to kuesstion everything – and one’s last is to come to terms with everything.”

  53. brett-reid.com » Blog Archive » The Google Story Says:

    […] There was a rumor of distribution of it as a competing operating system but those rumors have been denied by Mark Shuttleworth. The build is called Goobuntu – read more about it […]

  54. Using Ubuntu » Blog Archive » Using Ubuntu Says:

    […] are reported, and commented on by Mark Shuttleworth on his blog, to use Ubuntu […]

  55. Runi Says:

    Goohat is intended to become a online TV and radiostation, and not a Linux Distrobution

  56. D Says:

    Jesus Christ is the truth. He absolutely is the complete truth. not a rumour, the Truth.

  57. Absolute Leere - » Google hat zuviel Geld: Tolle Tools für lau Says:

    […] man, dass Google irgendwann eine Linux-Distribution auf den Markt bringt. Obwohl immer wieder dementiert wurde, fügt sich doch hier so etwas wie ein Bild zusammen: Alle Programme des Google Packs sind […]

  58. Lalit Nagrath Says:

    it s niece to hear that google uses goobuntu !

    ubuntu has going great ,thnaks to awesome support by the ubuntu forum and IRC
    looking for next release
    ubuntu saved me couple of bucks on MS products !:)

  59. Goobuntu (google`s modified Ubuntu) « ubuntu daily Says:

    […] modified Ubuntu) During my random visits on various webpages on the internet, I found here that Google internally uses a Linux Distribution based on Ubuntu and they have named it as […]

  60. Ray Privett :: Google Phone imminent Says:

    […] uses an Ubuntu-based OS known as “Goobuntu.”  While Mark Shuttleworth himself has played down  the significance of a Google Ubuntu, Ubuntu’s message and announcement boards, and also conference proceedings, have been […]

  61. Quelle place pour Linux dans l’avenir | openSYD Says:

    […] Il y a tout juste 1 an, le journal britannique The Register évoquait le projet Goobuntu, un système d’exploitation de Google basé sur Ubuntu Linux. Un démenti officiel de Google avait rapidement été publié, cette fois sur le site Ars Technica : si Google utilise bien Ubuntu en interne, « aucun plan n’est prévu pour externaliser un système d’exploitation… » Mark Shuttleworth réagira quelques jours plus tard en démentant aussi la rumeur sur son blog… […]

  62. ¿Qué distribución Linux se usa en Google? | MuyLinux Says:

    […] Google como Mark Shuttleworth han hablado en distintas ocasiones de que Goobuntu existe y se usa internamente en las oficinas de Google, pero […]

  63. ¿Qué distribución Linux se usa en Google? « Red-Orbita Says:

    […] Google como Mark Shuttleworth han hablado en distintas ocasiones de que Goobuntu existe y se usa internamente en las oficinas de Google, […]

  64. The Best Linux Distro | Smart Web Developer Says:

    […] I don’t know if Goobuntu is also used on Google’s servers. Mark Shuttleworth suggests Google probably uses a variety of Linux variants. […]