#1: Keeping it FREE

Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

This is one post in a series, describing challenges we need to overcome to make free software ubiquitous on the desktop.

We have to work together to keep free software freely available. It will be a failure if the world moves from paying for shrink-wrapped Windows to paying for shrink-wrapped Linux.

As free software becomes more successful and more pervasive there will be an increasing desire on the part of companies to make it more proprietary. We’ve already seen that with Red Hat and Novell, which essentially offer free software on proprietary terms – their “really free” editions are not certified, carry no support and receive no systematic security patching. In other words – they’re beta or test versions. If you want the best that free software can deliver, a rock solid, widely certified, secure platform, from either of those companies then you have to pay, and you pay the same price whether you are Goldman Sachs or a startup in Rio de Janeiro.

That’s not the vision we all share of what free software can achieve.

With Ubuntu, our vision is to make the very best of free software freely available, globally. To the extent we make short-term compromises, for drivers or firmware along the way, we see those as bugs, and ones that will be closed over time.

The dream for me is to be able to keep free software free of charge for the people who want it on those terms. To have people sharing the same high quality base and innovating on top of it – from Beijing to Buenos Aires – will create something that we’ve never had before, which is a completely level software playing field for every young aspiring IT practitioner, and every aspiring entrepreneur. I believe that’s how we will really change the world, and how we will deliver the full benefit of the movement started more than two decades ago by Richard Stallman.

This is a personal challenge – I benefited hugely from the existence of Linux in 1996, it was what made it possible (together with SSLeay, now OpenSSL) to get into the crypto game and ultimately found Thawte. Now my goal is to make Ubuntu sustainable so that it can continue to grow while at the same time making all of that opportunity, all of those tools, freely available to the next generation of entrepreneurs.

I’m glad to say our commercial support operation in Montreal is growing and that users are turning into customers, so the ball is rolling. As Ubuntu moves into the enterprise, with some of the world’s largest companies deploying it, I think we’re starting to show that it really is possible to have a platform that is both free and self-sustaining. We’ve come a long, long way from that first meeting in April 2004.

If this is a dream that inspires you too then get involved and contribute! We’ll take whatever time and input you can give – from documentation and advocacy to local training and support. Art, energy, code… it takes all sorts to build something as complete as Ubuntu can be.

133 comments:

  1. Mark Shuttleworth: The dream for me is to be able to keep free software free of charge « Tuxicity’s source says: (permalink)
    January 17th, 2007 at 10:25 am

    [...] Mark Shuttleworth » Blog Archive » #1: Keeping it FREE :: More.. No Comments Leave a Commenttrackback addressThere was an error with your comment, please try again. name (required)email (will not be published)(required)url [...]

  2. Ploum says: (permalink)
    January 17th, 2007 at 10:29 am

    “That’s not the vision we all share of what free software can achieve.”

    Hmm.. I can understand that this is not your vision but how can you tell it is not the vision of *all of us*.

    This kind of sentences is really disturbing. I don’t say I don’t agree with you. I just have the experience that we are sharing an incredible number of different visions of what free software is. And what I really like is that we are working together, even if we don’t agree on the ultimate goal or the philosophical meaning of all this wonderful thing.

  3. apokryphos says: (permalink)
    January 17th, 2007 at 10:32 am

    > We’ve already seen that with Red Hat and Novell, which essentially offer free software on proprietary terms – their “really free” editions are not certified, carry no support and receive no systematic security patching. In other words – they’re beta or test versions

    This is completely untrue. If they’re “not certified”, it’s certainly in just the way Ubuntu wouldn’t be as well. Very vague. And yes they do receive very very regular security patching (or more serious bugfixes), so I have no idea where you got that from. Saying that they’re “betas” or a test version is a little offensive, actually, to all the developers that work on it. And anyhow, try them — I think you’ll find they’re very rock solid. openSUSE 10.2 was in fact the best distro release I’ve probably ever seen.

    I’m pretty sick of this “switch from distro X to Ubuntu today!!” attitude. It’s counter-productive and directly opposed to the spirit of Linux.

  4. Berdai Mohammed says: (permalink)
    January 17th, 2007 at 11:19 am

    I share the same dream Mr. Shuttleworth, I am only afraid to follow it and suddenly be surprised with the moves we see these days by companies like Novell, MySQL, and Nessus.

  5. Ryan Zeigler says: (permalink)
    January 17th, 2007 at 11:54 am

    I disagree with the assertion that it is important to keep free software freely available, after all, the idea of getting software for free isn’t the point of FOSS. Instead, true freedom to do what you want with the software is what is paramount. Obviously, some software being made freely is nice, but I personally don’t mind paying a small fee to support what amounts to a commercial distributions attempt at putting together the most rock solid distribution they can muster. Especially when distributions like SuSe do so much more than simply repackaging upstream.

  6. Youtux says: (permalink)
    January 17th, 2007 at 12:11 pm

    Mark,

    Why do you claim that proprietary software is bad? Ok, Ubuntu is free and everyone can get the Ubuntu code and use it. On other side, if someone loves Suse or Red Hat products, he is free to use them… what I mean is we all have a freedom of choice in choosing the right OS.

    Mark Shuttleworth:

    No, I don’t claim proprietary software is bad – peoplehave the right to produce it and others have the right to use it, of course. But I do say that “free software under proprietary terms” is bad. When a free software kernel is compiled by a company and then licensed under a commercial license (i.e. you can use this source code freely, but you can’t actually run our build freely), then I think we are in danger of recreating Microsoft in the Linux world.

  7. Onno says: (permalink)
    January 17th, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    That is in the true spirit of humanity. I hope that the free software community (free as in free speech) can grow. Thank you of making this possible. I hope many people benifit from Ubunut. I do and my small company + philosophy website is benifiting of Free Software ande Ubuntu.

  8. Ubuntu: Keep it Free « sixhat pirate parts says: (permalink)
    January 17th, 2007 at 2:01 pm

    [...] Ubuntu: Keep it Free January 17th, 2007 Mark Shuttleworth acabou de escrever uma série de princípios que a família Ubuntu deve seguir. Hoje publicou a número 1 e naturalmente este é Manter a distro gratuita e livre para os utilizadores. [...]

  9. Maurizio says: (permalink)
    January 17th, 2007 at 2:29 pm

    It is IMHO important to understand that non-free software too can help the free-software cause, because the availability of non-free software pushes the underlying free platform. Consider Windows: windows is currently being pushed by lots and lots of (non-free) software that only exists for windows (dreamweaver, photoshop, dragon naturallyspeaking, autocad…). If the same software were available for linux, even in non-free form, it would benefit linux.

  10. rubso says: (permalink)
    January 17th, 2007 at 2:35 pm

    FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEDOM !!

  11. Iván Vodopiviz says: (permalink)
    January 17th, 2007 at 2:49 pm

    That’s a nice dream Mr. Shuttleworth, really. I don’t like closed binary drivers but, until the free projects that are taking care of that grow mature enough to be used, I’ll have to live with that.

    Btw, cheers from Buenos Aires n_n

  12. Brian says: (permalink)
    January 17th, 2007 at 3:05 pm

    I personally see including non-free software (specifically propietary video drivers) with a distribution more of a problem, than whether it costs money to get support for a distro.

  13. sharms says: (permalink)
    January 17th, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    Great set of posts Mark, you are really a great spokesman for Ubuntu.

  14. Greg DeKoenigsberg says: (permalink)
    January 17th, 2007 at 3:30 pm

    Mark, please.

    You can call Red Hat “proprietary” all you want. That doesn’t make it true.

    The difference between Red Hat Enterprise Linux bits and CentOS bits is virtually nil; we make all of our source RPMs available to anyone who wants them. (Ask Novell if they do the same. I’ll save you the time: they don’t.) What is “proprietary” is the brand, and the quality of service you are entitled to receive by being a paying customer. Oh, and the notion that “the price is the same whether you’re Goldman Sachs or a startup in Rio de Janeiro” is ludicrous.

    If you want to duplicate that quality of service for Ubuntu users, that’s noble and admirable. That’s competition. But leave the FUD at the door, dude. You’re better than that. Aren’t you?

    Mark Shuttleworth:

    Greg, thanks for your comment. Applications, as you know, don’t run on source RPM’s. Hardware vendors don’t certify source RPM’s. Users don’t install source RPM’s. Really – how many vendors (hardware or software) certify CentOS? As far as I’m aware, none of any consequence. You know that’s true. So let’s talk about the real meat – the binaries that make up RHEL. As you are well aware, these are a closely controlled and licensed under terms very similar to those of any traditional proprietary software. That’s why Oracle’s having to jump through hoops to produce Unbreakable Linux (bless ‘em). That’s why users are required to pay for the privilege of using RHEL.

    Sounds proprietary to me.

    And with regard to pricing, given RHEL’s volume pricing and the likelihood that Goldman Sachs will be using a lot more RHEL than a Rio startup, I think the truth is more likely to be that the Rio startup will pay more per licence than the NYC bank. Prove me wrong.

    Mark

  15. pirast says: (permalink)
    January 17th, 2007 at 5:14 pm

    Mark, although I am an Ubuntu user, I do not agree with the things you say about RedHat. I think that they have an other businnes model than Canonical, but that they do everything right releasing SRPMs of their Enterprise Desktop. Also, they do an amazing job developing OS applications (didn’t they develop NetworkManager initially?). Novell also does, but there is the M$ Deal + Novell not releasing SRPMs, which is not good.

    And, what about Ubuntu? It is “hard linked” to Launchpad, which is Closed Source software (so it is not free). I do understand that it would not be great if everyone would host his own LP, but – honestly – that is normal with OpenSource. Btw., a Launchpad authentification system (I think Google does this with LDAP) would be great so that you can tell every Bugzilla “Hey I have a LP account, this is my login data”. The result would be that you do not have to created an account for each Bugzilla.

  16. Steve says: (permalink)
    January 17th, 2007 at 5:15 pm

    But isn’t the non-free aspect of Ubuntu the entire reason for projects like GNewSense (http://www.gnewsense.org/)?

    Can you “keep it free” whilst alienating many of the key community members with your interpretation of “free” to include non-free binary blobs?

    Ubuntu is a great project, there’s no doubting that. Is this post really consistent with Ubuntu policy?

  17. Fedora-Blog.de » Blog Archive » ??? says: (permalink)
    January 17th, 2007 at 5:16 pm

    [...] Mark Shuttleworth, seines Zeichens Gründer des populären Ubuntu Linux, schreibt in seinem Blog folgendes über Red Hat und Novel: … We’ve already seen that with Red Hat and Novell, which essentially offer free software on proprietary terms – their “really free” editions are not certified, carry no support and receive no systematic security patching. In other words – they’re beta or test versions. … [...]

  18. Tristan Rhodes says: (permalink)
    January 17th, 2007 at 5:54 pm

    Mark,

    Thanks for re-affirming Ubuntu’s dedication to free software.

    I think we both agree that the world will be a better place when people of all backgrounds have access to high-quality free software. Open source software is not always better quality than proprietary software, but I do believe it is always ethically superior. There is a principle that the more resources that are applied to open source software, the better it becomes for everyone (not just paying customers). That is why I promote the use and adoption of open source software every chance I get.

    I whole-heartedly agree with the policy using non-free software in the short-term to keep Ubuntu the best Linux distribution. That said, we still have an unwavering long-term goal of a completely free operating system. If you want to read more of my opinions on this subject, read these posts on my blog:

    * Which should come first, the Chicken or the Egg?
    * Ubuntu to become even easier to use!
    * Why I support the use of non-free software in Linux
    * Why do we believe in open source software?

  19. Roy Schestowitz says: (permalink)
    January 17th, 2007 at 6:59 pm

    > You can call Red Hat “proprietary” all you want. That doesn’t make it true.

    I concur. It ain’t so. It was deceiving enough to have me confused.

  20. Spencer Johnson says: (permalink)
    January 17th, 2007 at 7:12 pm

    Mark,

    I don’t understand how people intend to make a difference in the world by spreading non factual information…

    ALL of Red Hat’s bits are free! Enterprise or otherwise. 3-5 million people world wide develope on Linux and the fruits of that labor are shared with everyone via the internet. Do you suppose Red Hat should open the “service” that they provide in supporting free software to everyone for free? Somewhere along the line the largest contributors to your free software have to eat, and take care of their families and I think it’s wrong that you twist what has become a valuable low cost alternative to expensive proprietary software into FUD for your cause. People have a “choice” to use Red Hat’s SERVICE and SUPPORT model if they choose with “FREE” software. Red Hat doesn’t beat down competitors and monopolise on anything. everything Red Hat does leaves the customer with a choice to make.

    Try sharing the competive benifits you have to offer as a way to “inspire” people to your cause, instead of scaring people with non factual information and you might start to see more believers. You can spend all of your energy focussing on what you perceive as “bad” …but how does that help you acheive your goals to provide a free product or service. Truly sucessful companies do what hey do because they stay on task with their objectives… If Red Hat spent all of it’s time scaring Microsoft customers with FUD would they trust Red Hat… at some point people just see that as sour grapes…

    Mark Shuttleworth:

    Spencer,

    When you say “all of Red Hat’s bits are free”, you mean “all of Red Hat’s published source code is free”. But applications do not run on source code, they run on binaries, and Red Hat’s BINARY bits are not free, are they? I can’t just download and install RHEL on as many machines as I like, and get free security updates, can I? Essentially, the terms of licence of those binaries is similar to Windows, at a similar price.

    Mark

  21. Uncle Tom says: (permalink)
    January 17th, 2007 at 7:30 pm

    Either Ubuntu can stand on it’s own merits or it needs you trash talking the competion. We don’t fling FUD in the free software community Mark, we don’t need to.

    Perhaps you should concentrate on your binary driver problem and the closed source Launchpad service?

  22. A non-aligned observer says: (permalink)
    January 17th, 2007 at 8:33 pm

    Is it possible to buy support from Red Hat for CentOS? Is it possible to buy any third-party software (say, Oracle) which is expressly supported on CentOS?

  23. William Ortel says: (permalink)
    January 17th, 2007 at 8:35 pm

    Why is it so hard for me to buy a computer with linux on it?

    My time is valuable. If i can’t buy a computer with Linux preinstalled on it in a store, it’s not free, the costs are merely hidden.

    Do you want to change the world and make Linux the norm? Do what’s been working for Apple. Build sexy hardware that makes easy things easy and hard things possible.

    I sit in a classroom every day and run Linux. Nobody notices that my operating system is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from anything they’ve seen before. Everybody remarks on the black macbook of the guy who sits next to me, though.

    The point is simple – make linux sexy if you’re serious about this.

  24. Nathan DBB says: (permalink)
    January 17th, 2007 at 9:42 pm

    How can you guys make such a big deal out of the Red Hat comments. Ubuntu is Debian-derived, and it brought with it from that project a “freeer then thou” attitude. This attitude may be a pain at times, but it is really needed.

    Red Hat is not proprietary software, but they do bundle proprietary software and they charge for direct access to updates. If you are willing to use the off-brand Cent-OS, you don’t need to worry about Red Hat trying to get some bucks out of you. But, it is hard to fault Red Hat for squeezing more bucks out of lazy people, as they drive a chunk of the new Linux software development with that cash.

    The real enemies here are closed codex, patents, “firmware”, DRM, and the people who promote these things like Novell/SUSE.

  25. esplendoroso says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 12:10 am

    Hey Mark, take a look at the things that a ‘propietary Linux company’ can achieve: http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/RedHatContributions

    I smell envy … a kind of envy that money (your money) can’t buy :).

  26. comrades blog » Every time this guy talks he goes down a peg says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 12:12 am

    [...] I just read Mark Shuttleworth’s latest blog post and I must say that every time I read this guys words I think his “vision” is less clear. [...]

  27. John says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 4:34 am

    So if you’re committed to free, will you then drop the (strictly v2) Linux kernel if Sun GPLv3′s OpenSolaris in the future?

    Ubuntaris, perhaps, heh.

  28. Shayaan F says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 5:17 am

    Mark,

    Thanks for the amazingly well put prose you have written. I’m glad to see there are still those out there in the world of software who strive not only for the dollar, but for the idea. Money can always follow as an open standard is adopted.

    That said, I have to be forthcoming and say that I’m a windows sysadmin. I know little Linux, and from what I’ve played with it I can’t say it’s of much use to me. I think this is kind of tied in though, to your article. With Windows I’ve been able to have software that plays nice with other software, integrates and is simple and easy to administer. I make a good living doing it too — and the work isn’t terribly hard.

    I appreciate Linux not for what it does for me — it’s not useful to me at this point — but what it COULD do for me. I imagine having a Linux server that’s easy to deploy an entire enterprise with. I had taken some Red Hat training courses only to find that the snobbery of those RH users was beyond comparison. My goal was to understand how I could help Linux fit into my enterprise and unsurprisingly, came away rather distressed about the entire episode. The continual “Windows Sucks” motto cheered through the classroom left me with a bitter taste.

    I think this relates, because RH is a for-profit organization, with proprietary software and little care for the small guy (myself). Ubuntu has been refreshing in this regard, as I’ve got a new vigor to learn Linux, though I know it’s got years of development before it can do what I need it, at least in terms of ease of use. I don’t mind putting myself through the paces to learn it since you’ve been so gracious as to form a community that is helpful, intelligent, and FREE. I am waiting for the ability to make it easy for an end user to appreciate it as well. I’m raising a glass to you in this effort — hopefully we can bring the ease of use of Windows and Mac to Linux, without the need for snobbery. And we can keep it free, open, and full of brilliant minds who want to contribute.

    Thanks again Mark.

  29. Mark says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 5:21 am

    > To the extent we make short-term compromises, for drivers or firmware along the way, we see those as bugs, and ones that will be closed over time.

    I look forward to you replacing firefox-2.0.0.1+0dfsg-0ubuntu0.6.10 with iceweasel-2.0.0.1+dfsg-2 while you pressure the Mozilla Corporation to release the Firefox artwork under an open source license.

  30. TweakedEnigma says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 5:25 am

    I gotta agree with most here there is nothing wrong with Redhat and the way it does things. I mean there is a difference between Free as in Freedom and Free as in cost. RedHat is fighting the good fight IMHO.

  31. Adarsh says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 5:29 am

    I like the concept of FOSS, you know the community spirit that encourages contributions, etc but I have yet to see any major open source application which brings productivity directly into the hands of users. Instead what I see is that market completely shadowed by those companies who DO charge a price and provide excellent tools for getting things done like Apple or Microsoft (Office anybody?). There is something fundamentally wrong with open-source in terms of a business model. I can’t really say it without being vague. But as much as open-source is supposed to be good for “everybody”, everyone still needs to get a piece of the money pie. You can’t get something done for free without it being sub par – it’s just the rule of economics and to say that open-source developers don’t care about money is just a dirty old lie. Sure, you can rely on ultra slick distribution channels to reduce the end cost much like Wal-Mart, but to charge nothing is not a workable concept.

  32. Gianni says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 5:57 am

    While Ubuntu is free everywhere, it does not replace Windows support in the entreprise yet.

    I don’t exactly understand why, but here, in Belgium, no one will care about Ubuntu unless there is any commercial support. I think they want to be able to blame some one when there are mistakes, so they can get more money out of it.

    This means we need some true commercial support here. I know Ubuntu works with “PartnerShip” isn’t it, but will you just wait that every country in the world make his own commercial support, or have you plan to build some Canonical entities ; or anything else ; worldwide by yourself to support Ubuntu.

  33. john says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 6:07 am

    Running down the other first tier Linux vendors does not improve Ubuntu. If your goal is to take away market share from them, basically fight over the 5% that does not use MS, then you are doing the correct thing. If on the other hand, your goal is to grow Linux market share and start to erode the MS base, then a collaborative approach might be better.
    I commend the effort that you have put into Ubuntu, but that does not negate the fact that Opensuse and Redhat have some great developers who contribute a lot to GNU/Linux. These are credible alternatives to Windows, why keep attempting to cut their legs out from under them?

    By our deeds we are known. If you want to out compete these other distros, make a better product and the market will follow.

  34. Lesley Clayton says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 6:13 am

    I found the posts on the challenges very insightful and motivating! My bushmen buddies in the kalahari are also believers in the UBUNTU DREAM of being free and sustainable. I love their interpretation of Ubuntu – “When one is strengthened the whole is fortified” I hope to be able to help strengthen one area of Ubuntu this year!

  35. Matt says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 6:58 am

    Quit instigating fights with other distros. Whether true or not, it is in bad taste.

  36. Lobster says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 7:24 am

    “work together to keep free software freely available”
    It is and continues to be. Many thanks are due to Red Hats considerable contribution

    We are free to do whatever Mark and that includes not jumping on the Canonical Shuttle for all we are worth.

    Many Ubuntu users, impresed with free software, eventually decide not just free but ALSO more reliable, faster, simpler and easier to use. Your vision is not everyones.

    They come to Puppy Linux or some other preference and stay to use and support.

    Others find their better suited elsewhere. Every flavour is unique. What makes Ubuntu unique? Free CD’s? Language support. Excellent. What makes Redhat unique? Staying power and credibility. What makes [insert distro] unique? Choice.

    Incidentally if you ever want a change and to work for an independent and free Linux distro, your marketing skills will be welcome at Puppy . . . just so you know :)

  37. cantormath says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 7:29 am

    hardware support. That is the only thing holding me back. HAREWARE HAREWARE HAREWARE. If I had hardware support, I could do anything with linux.

  38. Sean Deverell says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 7:41 am

    I think the free as in free speech is more important than the free in free beer. The first priority should be making software open source not free of charge. The benefits to the open source model are becoming obvious. I have no problem paying for software as long as people can read the source code I can have more faith in it.

    -Sean Deverell

  39. Tim Laughlin says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 7:43 am

    Here is something that rarely gets talked about and for “good” reasons I guess..

    The main problem with Linux is that geek write it.. As a geek myself I understand the need to be in control of the entire experience.. however many users simply don’t care about the “advanced features” much less features themselves at all.. they just want what they sat down to get..

    Online, email, write a document, print, play movies and music.. etc.. And in the Linux world.. The problem lies in the simplicity. And I don’t even think windows is simple.. I just think it simpl-er than Linux..

    I see an earlier comment talking about RPMs.. They are great yes.. but why dosn’t linux have a common installer standard.. Or at least similar GUIs like windows apps.. Some people use the windows installer.. others write their own.. but they all work.. without any tweaking for the most part and a icon to that program shows up in a similar place..

    I have yet to see that work flawlessly on any Linux platform much less get my fonts to look as nice.

    Just a different perspective.. I have managed to be on both sides of the fence in my career.

  40. Codecheetah says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 7:47 am

    Over here in India there are a number of constraints for getting linux (any linux) to start appearing everywhere.

    1. There should be a good suite of business applications for SME segment. While linux is has a huge number of languages (c, c++, objective c, perl, python, god know what else) and servers (smtp, http, pop3, imap, nntp, and so on), and games … oh so many games… There is yet to be born a financial accounting system, inventory control, payroll and other such applications. It does not matter if these are free or not, open source or not… they need to be available. I know there is gnucash… but compare it with tally.

    2. Get hardware compatibility lists, and certifications. This will open up the government sector.

    3. About commercial support.. Anything at the level of support being provided by microsoft is okay. This basically is newsgroups and per-incident charge or some kind of support subscription.

    4. about the redhat issue… i would prefer if the linux distributors charged directly from users who want to pay… rather than relying on donations. I would go so far as to suggest that linux distribution CDs be sold at maybe half the price of equivalent windows licenses… this would mean a lot of money coming in to these companies, who can then finance further development of open source software.

    5. I have always believed that non-free open source as against free and open source is the right business model for open source… where hackers can still get there hands on source for free and while corporates can do the same, they have the option to pay. funny as it may sound, corporates are more comfortable with things they have paid for… even if they know they can get it for free.

  41. Daniel Talsky says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 7:51 am

    I think what you’re doing is truly good for the planet, and a truly good and efficient use of your resources. Plus, I installed 6.10 for my girlfriend’s living room music server, and was reminded how glad I am that you’re on the planet. You’re like a planetary public utility. It is truly changing the world.

  42. alberto abella says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 8:12 am

    It is an attractive goal, but how are you going to support such business model?. Unfortunately programmer want to be paid independently if they create open or propietary code.
    Nice dream but the benefits of canonical will be for you isn’t it?
    Let the open source community work and do not widespread FUD’s about your competitors, your real competitor is MS and Oracle, not RH.

  43. justaprogrammer says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 9:23 am

    Mark,
    how do I make money out of free software? Huh, I hear you say? When you talk about software, you seem to be talking mainly about Linux. But, say, I have a good idea – something that can be expressed through software – how can open sourcing the idea help me make money? Yes I may be able to get it into the market place (so what, it is free). Yes, I may be able to get quite a few more eyes to review the design.

    Providing good free tools is very laudable, and I love some of them. But it seems that the HP’s and IBMs are using Linux as a Trojan Horse to do what they have always done.

    I periodically challenge open source advocates to show me a business plan a programmer like me can use. They talk about Dead Rat and Suse… But I want to make stuff.

    On a slightly different note: Is free software the new open source? The aforementioned advocates rabbit on about open source, but would not know svn or cvs if it bit them on the whatnots.

    In some ways one of the ironic value drivers of Open Source seems to be in enterprise strength connectivity – Apache speaks to Drupal via php… This seems to be putting proprietary middle ware brokers at a disadvantage.

  44. Joseph Le Brech says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 10:10 am

    There seems to be a compromise when it comes to drivers, rather than using the “Free” notion for those drivers Nvidia/Ati. If Ubuntu automatically setups the drivers, it should use the word “Freedom”, and call those drivers “Partial Freedom” and ask if they want those installed. As the Graphics cards manufacturers only restrict source modifications, not redistribution. So calling a non GPL driver “non-free” is kinda unfair and confuses new Linux users.

  45. Dilbert says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 10:23 am

    Gianni Says: “I don’t exactly understand why, but here, in Belgium, no one will care about Ubuntu unless there is any commercial support.”

    IIRC Ubuntu HAS commercial support.

  46. 25bravo says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 10:37 am

    I’d like to see system and operating system software seperated from user software. There’s no reason apt or yum can’t be just modified to do what the author of 0install describes in his recent article on OSnews. The benefit of a package manager for system administration is unmatched and I couldn’t live without it, if I was managing a network of linux boxes. However, for my personal linux computer, I feel locked into the repository. And I feel like potential software developers of software I want to use, are being locked out of the repository — not as some strong-arming tactic, but because of the inconvenience.

    And why do I bring this up? Because we’re talking about keeping free software free, and how that results in a level playing field for _everyone_. So let’s open it up a bit for budding devs everywhere, and give them a channel to write software that will run on any distro, for any version, with any license, for any user. Let’s create a software installation method that is as dependable as apt or yum, but doesn’t depend on the distro, so we can maximize the user’s enjoyment of the whole world of free software. Is that not closer to the vision we all share of what free software can achieve?

  47. someone says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 12:43 pm

    This is actually quite interesting. Someone who doen’t even release the code to Launchpad calls RedHat proprietary ….

    Now c’mon, this is bull. RedHat charges for support, not for their distro, you get the new version of their OSs automatically, no need to pay extra. And they release the SRPMs.

    And BTW, I can only talk from my experience, but where I work it would be impossible to get an OS with the name of “Ubuntu” into the server room. “RedHat Enterprise Linux” OTOH would be much simpler. (I mean not to flame, but to show that some businesses think “unprofessional hacker stuff” if they hear “Ubuntu”.)

  48. Harshad Joshi says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 12:52 pm

    Kudos for the excellant Ubuntu product. But apparantly, common PC users do not understand the value of several contributors who try hard to build useful Linux distros. That is why they use commercial and proprietery shrink wrapped software, inspite of heavy pricing and fears of breaking the piracy law.

    For that, we need to enlighten the general public about a new era of free computing with quality software.

  49. Motorcycle Guy says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    I’m confused why its such a big deal for it to be free at all. I would think the real battle would be to first make it all open source then maybe free, having it open source solves the only problems I see with windows, I think windows has real value because it just works, and its honestly worth the price of a license. I guess you could say most linux distros don’t just work so they should be free. I dunno I’m not really decided one way or another, but I’m definitely not a it has to be free zealot, I just want to get my money’s worth.

  50. jsusanka says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 3:34 pm

    Totally agree with mark – except I don’t agree with the comments about redhat –

    what I would like to see is you and redhat teaming up and putting pressure on vendors to sell laptops and desktops with linux. I think this should be top priority because the more people we have using the software the better it will get.

    secondly and not sure if this is worth while but I would like to know what patents microsoft thinks they own that linux infringes on and get them out of the distributions. I hear customers have been secretly paying microsoft for these patents and Novell just did it for their customers. I think what Novell did is terrible because it is a sort of public justification. but this racketeering by microsoft has got to stop and we need to bring it out in the public instead of secret non-disclosure lawyer papers.

    to me these are the top two priorities and need addressing right away and I think they are so big it will take the work of you, redhat and other distributions to get this done.

  51. Matt Lee » Blog Archive » Mark Shuttleworth - Keeping it FREE says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 3:42 pm

    [...] Mark Shuttleworth – Keeping it FREE The dream for me is to be able to keep free software free of charge for the people who want it on those terms. To have people sharing the same high quality base and innovating on top of it – from Beijing to Buenos Aires – will create something that we’ve never had before, which is a completely level software playing field for every young aspiring IT practitioner, and every aspiring entrepreneur. I believe that’s how we will really change the world, and how we will deliver the full benefit of the movement started more than two decades ago by Richard Stallman. [...]

  52. Medusa says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 3:45 pm

    The bottom line is that Linux needs more marketing and preloads at the OEM level.

    I wish someone like Google would just step up and start selling computers (PCs and Macs) with Linux preloaded (where the consumer could choose the distribution) or at least their own customized version of Ubuntu/Goobuntu/whatever.

    The world needs ONE large company WHO WILL NOT BACK DOWN in the face of a convicted monopoly when it comes to preloads. We need more marketing, look at how much attention the New York Times Firefox advertisement received!

    A user above said: “I’m pretty sick of this “switch from distro X to Ubuntu today!!” attitude.”

    People switch to what works, and right now that’s Ubuntu. It was my exprience and a number of others that before using Ubuntu, I was switching distros often, trying to find one that was right and worked for me but never settling on one that was good enough, because they weren’t, there was always something small but shitty about each of them. Finally, I discovered Ubuntu, and I’ve stayed with it now for a few years. I’m not distro switching anymore, I’ve found what works for me. I read this same type of experience written from others all the time and with good reason: because it succeeds where others fail.

    “It’s counter-productive and directly opposed to the spirit of Linux.”

    No, people are telling others to try something which will most likely work for them and make them happy, that’s freedom and the community sharing experiences. To silence such a spirit is counter-productive to the open nature and freedom of Linux. If people try Ubuntu and don’t like it, say it doesn’t work for them, they have the freedom to try another flavor of Linux, and so on and so forth.

    I recommend people try Ubuntu first and I’m glad to be able to set them up with something that works for them so they don’t have to waste time jumping from distro to distro like I and many others did until Ubuntu came along.

    Speaking of spirit, perhaps if more companies and individuals would get with the spirit Mark Shuttleworth has displayed in pushing Ubuntu Linux, maybe this would be the year of the Linux desktop. Until then, expect the majority of the company Xs of the OEM world to continue preloads of Windows only, while displaying that familiar “Company x recommends Company z’s OS” without the choice of other preloads advertised or realized.

  53. Tim says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 3:50 pm

    “I think windows has real value because it just works, and its honestly worth the price of a license.”

    I wouldn’t give a dixie cup of urine for the price of a Windows license, it’s not even worth that much to me, honestly. You’ll never see me using or owning a Microsoft product.

    “I dunno I’m not really decided one way or another, but I’m definitely not a it has to be free zealot”

    Careful, there’s a difference between being a zealot and being someone who has a philosophy and has the intelligence and soul enough to live with one rather than mindlessly consuming whatever is presented to them.

    “I just want to get my money’s worth.”

    I want my freedom’s worth.

  54. Clean Eyes Clean Spirit says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 3:52 pm

    “And BTW, I can only talk from my experience, but where I work it would be impossible to get an OS with the name of “Ubuntu” into the server room. “RedHat Enterprise Linux” OTOH would be much simpler. (I mean not to flame, but to show that some businesses think “unprofessional hacker stuff” if they hear “Ubuntu”.)”

    Tell that to Google.

    It’s amazing that some people, and not naming names here, can only bash Ubuntu for the name or the default desktop color.

    Hello? Get. Fucking. Real.

  55. deadbabylon says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 3:54 pm

    “When a free software kernel is compiled by a company and then licensed under a commercial license (i.e. you can use this source code freely, but you can’t actually run our build freely), then I think we are in danger of recreating Microsoft in the Linux world.”

    You are joking, aren’t you?

  56. Insane In The Membrane says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 3:54 pm

    “While Ubuntu is free everywhere, it does not replace Windows support in the entreprise yet.

    I don’t exactly understand why, but here, in Belgium, no one will care about Ubuntu unless there is any commercial support. I think they want to be able to blame some one when there are mistakes, so they can get more money out of it. ”

    Did you even bother to read the front page of the Ubuntu website, where in a brightly colored box it has a link to support?

  57. Klingon Bar of Soap says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    “Let’s create a software installation method that is as dependable as apt or yum, but doesn’t depend on the distro, so we can maximize the user’s enjoyment of the whole world of free software. Is that not closer to the vision we all share of what free software can achieve?”

    Dude, apt is the best, and secondly, who says you are linked to one distro’s software? I compile software myself from websites all over the world that have nothing to do with the distro I use! There are also other options like having someone build you a package if you don’t know how to compile from source, use things like klik or autopackage.

    YOU ARE NOT FORCED OR LOCKED INTO USING YOUR DISTRO’S REPOSITORY you can add other repositories whenever you want, that’s what a sources.list file is for, hello?

    I wish people would spend a little time at the UbuntuForums.org before spouting shit like this.

    Not related to this post or person who made the post or my reply, but from other places on the web I can’t help but wonder if some people are being paid by some corporation to post disinformation about Linux.

  58. Captain Spock Has Rooted The Enterprise With Trees says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 4:04 pm

    “I see an earlier comment talking about RPMs.. They are great yes.. but why dosn’t linux have a common installer standard.. Or at least similar GUIs like windows apps..”

    RPMs are shitty, debs and apt (Synaptic is a nice frontend) are the best. Some people disagree and you know what that is great! I love the freedom you have with Linux and variety.

    Linux is alive today and surviving BECAUSE, IMO, it doesn’t have everything unified and all of one selection, topic, type,experience, company, etc. Had this been the way it was it would’ve been bought out to discourage competition like so many other software products and companies.

    People, wake up, Linux is not Windows, and thank god for that. With Linux my machine is not vulnerable to all the tens or hundreds of thousands of viruses, trojans, spyware, adware, and other malware.

    People want women who are easy too, and most of them are loaded with plenty of problems including sexually transmitted diseases. I’ll take a complex OS (and mate) any day over something EASY.

  59. bigg says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 4:29 pm

    A question: you talk about the “proprietary only” Ubuntu 7.04 as a temporary thing. There’s this idea that making Ubuntu proprietary is only temporary. What’s the exit strategy? At what point do you tell users that Ubuntu will no longer support their hardware?

    The idea is that you get as many users as possible to abandon free software for proprietary. Then you give the companies an ultimatum – open your software and drivers or it won’t be in Ubuntu any longer. When will that ultimatum be issued? What number of users is the threshold? What will you do to punish those users still using proprietary blobs? How can you prevent a fork of Ubuntu that will continue to include all the proprietary stuff? After all, you will have a lot of users not able to use their hardware once the change is made, so a fork is almost guaranteed.

    I don’t think the evangelists for this “temporarily proprietary” idea have thought deeply about an exit strategy. We went into Iraq with the exit strategy that after they welcome us with roses, they will set up a democracy and we will go home. That didn’t turn out very well. I think the exit strategy here is way behind the exit strategy for Iraq.

    If I could evaluate such a strategy, I might jump on the bandwagon. Honestly, this sounds like a very simple solution to a very complicated problem, so I’m skeptical.

  60. Michael says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 4:38 pm

    “here, in Belgium, no one will care about Ubuntu unless there is any commercial support”

    Whoever qualifies his statements with “here, in Belgium”, is wrong. I don’t think we have met, and I’m “here, in Belgium” as well. Yet, I do care about Ubuntu.

  61. Alex D says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 5:16 pm

    As a long time Red Hat (since 4 or 5) and then Fedora user (right up to version 5), I have to say, 6.06 LTS is exactly what I’ve been waiting for.

    Although Red Hat has contributed greatly to Linux (for which I thank them), I’m tired of trying to apply Fedora (which in their words, is just a testing/beta for RHEL) into server and stable workstation roles for which support then runs out in less than a year. RHEL is just too expensive, and I too believe that through trademark enforcement tricks they’ve practically turned RHEL into a proprietary OS where they charge per license, and not just for added, optional support.

    RHEL’s pricing is nothing for heavy enterprise users and their servers, but it’s a hard sell in my organization (a government research institute) that already has a Windows site license and Windows OSes included on all the new PCes. $200 and up, per year? No thanks. Our workstations, clusters and odd servers (not to mention my personal machines) can’t justify that. Even if it was much cheaper, the philosophy already has left a bad taste in my mouth.

    So a few months a ago I’ve given 6.06 a try and have been slowly converting my many boxes ever since. It’s fun to relearn various Linuxisms again, and not a day goes by when I’m not impressed some clever way Ubuntu does or presents something. This is the way Linux should be. I love the Ubuntu philosophy, the large unified apt repositories, the polished presentation.

    My only minor, tiny gripe: I wish dpkg supported multiple architectures so my 64-bit boxes can have parallel 32-bit and 64-bit .deb files installed. And maybe Xen 3 in the Universe repo would be nice :)

    Keep up the excellent work!

  62. Brenton says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 5:52 pm

    Mark, I commend you on the success of Ubuntu. I used it as my primary linux distro at home for nearly a year and I have just recently taken interest in xubuntu. If you get the time, please read my reply:
    http://exawkuser.blogspot.com/2007/01/mark-we-need-arrive-at-clearer.html

  63. My Own Biz says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 7:26 pm

    “short-term” — please define, because the road you want the Free Software community to walk means that short-term lasts forever.

    If you accept that the only way of getting a piece of junk to work with Granny’s computer is to use binary drivers (that don’t work on PowerPC or AMD64 for example), then you are going to accept that as long as the makers of said junk say so.

    “The dream for me is to be able to keep free software free of charge” — once again you reveal your true colors. Can’t you get that it’s NOT about free beer but free speech? Is it really that hard to understand? OUR dream, the people who actually make a living out of Free Software, is exactly that: that we can keep the software that we work on free. You are not helping.

  64. Sandip Bhattacharya says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 8:00 pm

    For all those Red Hat/Fedora fans/employees who are writing agitatedly about how calling Red Hat proprietary is bad, and it is as free as any other distro … or that they only charge for “service” or that “hey, the source is available!” .. this is what I have to say – BULLS***.

    Go to where it matters – the market. At the last few Open Source events I have gone, where Red Hat has a stall, I kept trying the same ploy. I went as a prospective customers, asked about their products, and then innocently asked “Why should I pay so much for a desktop/workstation? You also provide Fedora, don’t you?”. The answer from the sales droids is always the same. They will spend the next ten minutes trashing Fedora, how it is beta, how using it is a bad idea for anybody. Try it at the next event! It works everytime!

    That is why after five years of working with Red Hat, and being an RHCE, I dumped all RHL products and moved to Ubuntu. I was getting tired of the double speak. I have tremendous respect for Red Hat’s contribution to Linux, past and ongoing. But spare me the lecture please. All those Red Hat employees who vouch for how much they are committed to Fedora, please try telling me the same thing in front of those who really matter – the uninformed customer.

    And yeah, providing source makes a lot of difference. If Microsoft went around the town giving free copies of Vista source code, I am sure everybody will be compiling their own Windows at home. So please, no “we provide the source code bullshit”.

    Canonical is following the same model as Red Hat did before RHL9. At that time I remember Red Hat people talking about how their distro is completely free as compared to SuSe. Well, the tables have changed, and Canonical/Ubuntu has the same right to boast. One difference – Red Hat never made the commitment to keep RHL free always. Canonical did. That is why they are a step ahead, and better in the long term. At least people like me who spent a large time of their official/community career focusing on a distro, won’t get suddenly caught on the wrong foot.

    Mark’s stand on non-free components in Ubuntu is heartening for those who are concerned on this issue – “To the extent we make short-term compromises, for drivers or firmware along the way, we see those as bugs, and ones that will be closed over time.” Even FSF has made compromises (LGPL) in the past for a greater goal. So why not Ubuntu? As long as you acknowledge that the present situation is not ideal, it is fine.

  65. Jef says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 9:31 pm

    “That’s why users are required to pay for the privilege of using RHEL. Sounds proprietary to me.”

    Let me call BS mark. Paying for RHEL does NOT make it proprietary. You are confusing Free software with gratis software. They dont have to be the same at all. You know what is really proprietary? Installing proprietary drivers by default without letting the users know that you have been doing with Ubuntu till Edgy and will more publicly do in Feisty and future releases all in the name of promoting Free software. Brilliant marketing plan Mark but not very honest.

  66. sandipb.net » Blog Archive » Mark Shuttleworth on free and “non-free” Linux distros says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 9:42 pm

    [...] Mark Shuttleworth writes in this blog post on a topic I get really emotional about: [...]

  67. Keith says: (permalink)
    January 18th, 2007 at 10:08 pm

    I learnt about Ubuntu two years ago, and was quite impressed with the installation especially with version 5.10. Before that I was using Debian and SUSE as computation machines. Seeing Ubuntu coming that far, I believe the key to this successful campaign lies in the marketing of the operating system, and the user-friendliness.

    Good work!

  68. Steve says: (permalink)
    January 19th, 2007 at 1:36 am

    There is some serious editing going on here. When I posted, there were 2 comments. After I hit “Submit”, somebody else (I forget who) had posted, so my (not entirely positive, though I remained calm) comment was #4 out of 4 posts. It’s now around #20-ish. (http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/77#comment-32150)

    Making-it-work vs Having-it-Free is a very real issue; I work on the http://speedtouchconf.sf.net/ usermode driver, which helps people to use the Acatel/Thomson SpeedTouch ADSL modem. To make it work, you need their proprietary software (not on your PC, but to upload to the modem itself). That can’t exist in the Linux kernel, it’s not GPL’d. Efforts to make a kernel module which loads BLOBs into external devices only (at best) fuzz the issue.

  69. Free: As In Beer « Clock Paradox says: (permalink)
    January 19th, 2007 at 6:06 am

    [...] Free: As In Beer 18Jan07 Mark Shuttleworth, the man behind the Ubuntu Linux Distribution, yesterday wrote quite the telling manifesto for keeping free software free. I admit, I use Linux – hell, I am writing this from my Edgy Eft version of the Ubuntu distribution. I am also running Gentoo 2006.1 on my home server. I am a fan of FOSS and all things free, as in beer! If ever there were a visionary, albeit decried in large part by the old hat’s in the Linux community for making things easy, it just might be Mark. [...]

  70. Morten Holmstrup says: (permalink)
    January 19th, 2007 at 8:51 am

    Thank you for this post and your work with ubuntu.
    I for one still believe in freedom AND free software. Information and the tools to produce and communicate information should be available to anyone, regardless of who they are, where they live and what they earn. It’s refreshing to read about someone who is willing to stand up for a noble (yes, I wrote “noble”) idea in this day and age, and sadly also depressing to read all the cynical responses in the comments. If it weren’t for free software I wouldn’t be able to launch my small webdevelopment company – at least not without resorting to piracy to get decent software. Now I can accomplish almost anything with free software. That is freedom.

    Please keep fighting the good fight :)

  71. Steve says: (permalink)
    January 19th, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    Just to follow-up, Mark has been in touch and apparently the positioning is a side-effect of the filtering software. Sorry if I jumped to any false conclusions; I don’t generally go around making unproven accusations, sorry if I did so on this occasion.

  72. Sum Yung Gai says: (permalink)
    January 19th, 2007 at 10:53 pm

    Mark,

    You’re being a hypocrite here. On the one hand, you’re talking about Free Software and keeping it freely available (a good thing, I agree), but then you want to go put binary blob drivers into Ubuntu! Wrong answer. That is not helping the cause of freedom here. What happens when nVidia or ATI or Macromedia or whomever else decides, “OK, no more free beer binary blobs, gotta pay.” What then? And how on God’s Earth are you going to handle Windows Media?

    And I also must take exception to your FUD about Red Hat. I don’t like Red Hat the company all that well, but RHEL is definitely Free Software. Cut out the FUD, please.

  73. Iran says: (permalink)
    January 20th, 2007 at 12:30 am

    Incredible! I work at a free clinic in San francisco, CA. Without spirits like you we will never accomplished anything. Congratultions! You might feel like me when I go to bed. GOOD. Keep up with the good job.

  74. Greg DeKoenigsberg says: (permalink)
    January 20th, 2007 at 1:47 am

    It seems, Mr. Shuttleworth, that you have taken my bait. :)

    So yes, by all means, “let’s talk about the real meat” — the way that you choose to define “proprietary”. It appears that you define it thusly: “using a business model that is not compatible with my own.”

    I think that most folks would agree that Richard Stallman is the defining ethicist of the copyleft generation. Does he say in the GPL, “one must give away one’s binary packages for free”?

    He does not.

    Rather, he says:

    “When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not price. Our General Public Licenses are designed to make sure that you have the freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for this service if you wish), that you receive source code or can get it if you want it, that you can change the software or use pieces of it in new free programs; and that you know you can do these things.”

    Further, he says:

    “For example, if you distribute copies of such a program, whether gratis or for a fee, you must give the recipients all the rights that you have. You must make sure that they, too, receive or can get the source code. And you must show them these terms so they know their rights.”

    Those are the essential terms of software freedom, Mark. They are the terms around which we built the most successful free software company in the world — and they pertain to source code. Not binaries — *source code*.

    Perhaps you should read those terms again, since you seem to be having a hard time digesting them lately.

    I repeat: you can call our software proprietary all you like. That doesn’t make it true.

    “And that’s all I have to say about that.” –forrest gump

  75. Glen Saxton Durrant says: (permalink)
    January 20th, 2007 at 2:13 am

    Now now, gentlemen. As you are here together (I suspect a ‘not-so-rare’ occaision) I have a question for both of you. How do you propose tackling the issue of converting a multitude of unsatisfied windows users over to linux?

    Personally I would love to run an OS that ran faster and cost less, with fewer security headaches, that did all the things I’d like and need it to do. I’d like to sell it to, but I’ll settling for running it! Can either of your rationales ever offer this pragmatic solution?

    I know folks would switch on a price basis so why are there no linux incentives marketed to convince consumers to make the change?

  76. Chris Lee says: (permalink)
    January 20th, 2007 at 2:48 am

    Mark, there is a world of difference between ‘commercial’ and ‘proprietary’ – please do all of us a favor and keep that in mind. Ubuntu is more proprietary than RHEL, simply because of how much you’re willing to bend over to distribute binary drivers. I understand that it’s all to make it more useful for the end-user, and it’s not commercial since no money is changing hands, but RHEL is commercial, not proprietary. The only “proprietary” parts of RHEL are the artwork and the Red Hat Network, which are absolutely essential to Red Hat’s branding and commitment to providing service to their customers (respectively). If you really want to get up in a huff about Red Hat being proprietary, why not make some noise about the lack of source for RHN? :)

    (Please do note, while I used to work for Red Hat, I do not speak for them in any way, shape, or form, and my opinions and statements are my own.)

  77. its about time» Blog Archive » links for 2007-01-18 says: (permalink)
    January 20th, 2007 at 3:55 am

    [...] Mark Shuttleworth » Blog Archive » #1: Keeping it FREE From the ubuntu founder’s post “This is one post in a series, describing challenges we need to overcome to make free software ubiquitous on the desktop.” [...]

  78. Idenheart says: (permalink)
    January 20th, 2007 at 4:27 am

    WOW!!!
    OMG
    What is wrong with you people?!

    First of all this is Mark’s point of view, Mark says what he believes and you people lash out at him like he’s comiting blasphemy or something. Mark has his right to have his own believes and he has the right to voice them as he has done. All you have to do is ask him why he sees that or say that you don’t agree. But some of these posts are almost to the point of flaming on forums.

    Now Then,
    First I want to say thanks so much Mark for this wonderful OS that I am using right now. I love it and can’t imagine using any other. Second all he’s saying is that he doesn’t believe that you should have to pay for these Linux binaries, it’s what set’s Linux apart from the rest. The fact that you can download what you want and use it how you want is true freedom in software. Because it’s yours, you got it; and now you have the freedom to do what you want with it. What he is saying is that paying for something that you should be able to get free is stupid, and not true to the linux movement. Linux was invented to be free to get and use and having to pay to use all the features isn’t true to what linux was made to be.
    Again thanks alot for the work you have done.

  79. Eirinipoion says: (permalink)
    January 20th, 2007 at 6:56 am

    As a Ubuntu user and a sincere admirer of what has been achieved by Ubuntu, I would be so much more comfortable if the leadership of Ubuntu could refrain from making statements about other distros that can so easily be interpreted as hostile.

    There’s such a good core intent behind the Ubuntu impulse.
    I don’t see how alienating the developers of other distributions is going to futher the cause.

  80. James Foster says: (permalink)
    January 20th, 2007 at 8:14 am

    Greg DeKoenigsberg, sorry, but I must disagree with you. RHEL is proprietary.

    This is the definition of proprietary that I am using:
    http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/categories.html#ProprietarySoftware

    If I have a RHEL CD, I’m not allowed to just copy it and give the copy to someone else. In other words, I can’t redistribute it. It’s more Free than Windows is, though, because I am allowed to study/modify the source code.

    Either way, I feel this is all irrelevant. Mark’s point is that the freedom to redistribute compiled copies of programs is one of the most important/fundamental freedoms.

  81. Alejandro says: (permalink)
    January 20th, 2007 at 1:48 pm

    I actually don’t agree with that at all. I think software should be freely available, but not necessarily to everybody. I’m not a coder, but I wouldn’t consider it unfair if some software products were available for a fee in binary form AND for free for sources. That way, those who’re actually interested in exercising their freedom can also enjoy having software for free. Of course, people who paid for binaries could always redistribute them to their friends – they don’t lose their freedoms for paying for a binary.

    In a way, I think Mozilla-style licenses could work. Pay for the trademarked binary version, or get a free version compiled by yourself or someone else with a different name. As long as software is free as in freedom, it will be available in some free as in beer form. For those who don’t want to take the effort to get it for free, they’d always be able to pay for a binary version – thanks to free-gratis competition, it’d be always cheaper than proprietary software.

    If I had to learn how to compile some of my software to get it for free, I probably would.

  82. George F. Rice says: (permalink)
    January 20th, 2007 at 3:57 pm

    Shayaan F Says, “I know [Linux has] got years of development before it can do what I need it, at least in terms of ease of use.”

    Shayaan, I believe you may be confusing what Linux is able to do with what you know how to do with Linux. That’s the same mistake I made when I delayed my migration for far too long. Would you allow me to humbly explain what I have learned?

    My migration from Windows began in 1999, and only slowly did I discover the “Linux way” to do many things that I had gradually learned to do the “Microsoft way” – things that seemed “natural” to me on Windows simply because I had always done them that way.

    Looking at Ubuntu now with a more balanced view, I see that Ubuntu is in most ways *easier* to use than Windows.

    Example: To install a printer in Windows, I must (1) insert the driver CD and follow the instructions; (2) reboot; (3) plug in the printer; and (4) follow the wizard. To install a printer in Ubuntu, I must (1) plug in the printer. If I do the *natural* thing in Windows, it will load the wrong driver – requiring a tech support call to straighten out the hairball. Shall we swap horror stories? I have many!

    Example: To set up a new computer with Windows, I must (1) insert the Windows CD, (2) type in 25 apparently random characters exactly right to authenticate installation, (3) agree to let Microsoft automatically install whatever it wants on my computer without my knowledge or consent, (4) wait 45 minutes for installation, and (5) authenticate via the web or phone with Microsoft to prevent shutdown after 30 days. Then, for EACH application I use, I must (6) insert the application CD, (7) answer the wizard questions, (8) wait about 10 minutes for installation, and (9) sometimes reboot before starting on the next application. I must repeat (6) to (9) about 20 times to get all the applications running. To set up a new computer with Ubuntu, I must (1) insert the Ubuntu CD, (2) double-click Install on the fully functional desktop, (3) use the computer for 20 minutes while installation runs in the background, (4) reboot at a convenient stopping point, (5) select all of the applications I use from the Add / Remove applications dialog (I’m like a kid in a candy store every time I do this ;-), and (6) wait a couple of hours for them to automagically install (hey, I use a LOT of applications – they’re FREE! :-).

    Example: To use a thumb drive or a digital camera on windows, I must (1) plug it in. On Ubuntu, I must (1) plug it in. In both cases, I get a nice Explorer-style window with which to manipulate the thumb drive, and a dialog offering to import pictures from the digital camera. Hard to imagine an easier method here.

    If you look at these three examples objectively (that is, not from a “how Windows has always done things” but “what makes the most sense and is most convenient for the end user”), I think you might agree that Ubuntu is as easy or even easier to use – at least for these examples. And I’ve got many more.

    I’ll grant that Windows supports MORE applications (though I haven’t found anything I can’t do with Ubuntu yet), and that Windows supports MORE hardware (though I’ve bought hardware with impunity, and have encountered only one item – a TV tuner that I discovered in retrospect is poorly rated even by Windows users – that didn’t have drivers *already installed* in Ubuntu). In the interests of complete honesty, I’ll also confess that on one (out of about 20 recent) installations, I had to manually download an extra package to get a wireless adapter (a D-Link DWL-122) to work properly.

    But overall, I have found Linux in general, and Ubuntu in particular, to be easier to work with on many machines on a day to day basis than the Windows XP laptop provided by my employer.

    I believe (and this, I hope, drags me belatedly back to “on topic”) that mainstream free software’s impressive (to me) ease of use is a direct result of having a huge number of people from very diverse backgrounds contributing, kibitzing, critiquing, and supporting each other’s efforts over several years.

    Proprietary systems can only support what the market will bear; free systems can support whatever the market can imagine.

    Thus, I believe free systems will prevail within the next 10 years.

    Feel free to drop me a line about free software vs. Microsoft ease of use at george_f_rice@hotmail.com (lest you think I hate Microsoft ;-). Don’t worry, it already receives a page of spam a day, but I’ll find your message as long as you don’t mention stocks or viagra in the subject.

    Finally, keep plugging on the Linux learning curve. I believe you’ll be as glad in the end as I am today.

  83. Ubuntu-blogi » Arkisto » Mediakatsaus, viikko 3/2007 says: (permalink)
    January 21st, 2007 at 3:34 am

    [...] Ensi viikolla, resursseista riippuen sitten taas uutisia tai jotain muuta. Uutistoimitukseen etsitään lisää tekijöitä ja suosittelen ottamaan yhteyttä Ristoon, mikäli kiinnostusta asiaan on. Virtuaalimaailmasta puuttuvat vähäosaiset, tuumii Mika Lahdensivu blogissaan. Soikko saa väistyä avoimen Voikon tieltä, näin uutisoi JuSsi OOo-blogissa. Ubuntun isä, Mark Shuttleworth toivoo blogissaan, ettei Linuxista tule pikku hiljaa maksullista ja tulee siinä herättäneeksi jälleen kerran kiperää keskustelua. Joku ihmeen OpenMoko… kuulostaa mokoma ihan kiinnostavalta. Jos joku on tähän projektiin jo ehtinyt tutustumaan, niin kertoilkaa kommenteissa. Flug on mukana Joensuussa järjestettävillä Oppia ja työtä messuilla ja kaipaa ständilleen vapaaehtoista apua (kulut korvataan): kliketi klik Kesäkoodi tulee! [...]

  84. Johnny Hughes says: (permalink)
    January 21st, 2007 at 5:26 am

    The last time I checked, the only really major 3rd Party software that there was support for installs on Ubuntu for was IBM DB2. CentOS is working on DB2 certification too.

    Lots of other programs (plesk, cpanel, Virtuozzo, webmin, etc.) are supported on CentOS itself by the software producer.

    There are also many companies that provide commercial support for CentOS, one being Owl River Company:

    http://www.owlriver.com/support/centos/

    Ubuntu is a good product … however your constant attacking of other distributions is quite petty. As was your overt call to OpenSUSE developers to switch. You really need to be a bit more responsible as your actions personally hurt your (and Ubuntu’s) open source credibility.

  85. Sum Yung Gai says: (permalink)
    January 21st, 2007 at 5:02 pm

    Mark,

    You’re being hypocritical here. On one hand, you call Red Hat “proprietary”, yet at the same time, you’re having Feisty Fawn install proprietary–non-free–binary blob video drivers, *by default*. The problem with Launchpad has already been pointed out. If you were consistent, you would not do these things. And your position about binary blobs isn’t even “pragmatic”, because you’re furthering “lock-in” that way.

    ["Sorry, can't promote any blacks to management in our company just yet, gotta compromise, ya know...only temporary...." I'm American; we have Martin Luther King, Jr.. You're South African; you have Nelson Mandela. Did *they* compromise on freedom? No? So, why are you?]

    I used to work for Microsoft. This is a very similar strategy that Microsoft used to get Internet Explorer–a binary-only vendor lock-in tool if ever there was one, and an insecure one at that–out to the masses. Same for Windows Media. The strategy? Distribute our blob lock-in tool with our operating system. Hmmm…sounds just like Feisty Fawn….

    Is that your vision? To be like Microsoft? I was there; I’ve seen it before. You are indeed headed down that path, and it is not pretty.

    As for Greg DeKoenigsberg, he has made an excellent case here. If you want to call Red Hat “proprietary”, then you now must refute the preamble of the GPL. How, sir, do you plan to do that?

    –SYG

  86. stefan.waidele.info » Blog Archive » Shuttleworth: Challenges for Free Software says: (permalink)
    January 21st, 2007 at 7:32 pm

    [...] #1: Keeping it FREEDon’t go down the RedHat/Novell road [...]

  87. ][ stefano maffulli » Chi ce l’ha più libera? says: (permalink)
    January 22nd, 2007 at 8:44 am

    [...] Deprimente lo scambio tra Shuttleworth che accusa Redhat di non essere altro che un’azienda che distribuisce software proprietario camuffato da libero.  Lungi da me la volontà di difendere Redhat (che si difende benissimo da sola), però una considerazione su Ubuntu va fatta.  Come giustamente nota Roberto Galoppini, Ubuntu sta facendo fatica ad entrare in un mercato altamente competitivo e con protezioni legali che rendono l’appropriazione dei ritorni molto difficili.  Sia Ubuntu che Redhat, come pure Novell e altre, hanno sviluppato strategie per differenziare i propri prodotti e appropriarsi dei ritorni. [...]

  88. Fred says: (permalink)
    January 22nd, 2007 at 11:36 pm

    Mr. Shuttleworth, you speak strangely, as one who does not understand the four freedoms that the GPL supports. And you blather on about “working together,” but your actions contradict your words. I therefore challenge you to put your rhetoric into action. Instead of loading up the default installation of Ubuntu with proprietary bling, which you mistakenly believe will lead to more Free-as-in-GPL software, why don’t you lead an industry consortium to work with hardware manufacturers to support Linux, and to support open drivers?

    I think your real goal is to make Ubuntu the biggest Linux in the world at any cost, instead of supporting and improving Linux. I would like to be proven wrong…

  89. Sebastien Bouchard says: (permalink)
    January 22nd, 2007 at 11:54 pm

    Are you saying that a part of ubuntu (canonical) are located at Montreal?

    I’m from montreal, I’m in linux development and I didn’t know that…. shame on me :)

    I will do my homework and check what this is all about!

    Long live to Ubuntu/Canonical !!

  90. Sum Yung Gai says: (permalink)
    January 23rd, 2007 at 3:12 am

    James Foster is incorrect when he says that Red Hat Enterprise Linux is proprietary. It appears that he may be misunderstanding the definition that he cites of proprietary software.

    You cannot distribute the CD’s freely not because of the binaries, but rather because of the Red Hat trademarks (logos, the “Red Hat Enterprise Linux” name, etc.) on that CD. That is a trademark issue and totally separate from the compiled binaries themselves. Terra Soft has a very similar policy with their own RH/Fedora-derived distribution, Yellow Dog Linux, regarding the trademarks. Red Hat has chosen to grant rights to distribute those trademarks with *Fedora*, but not with RHEL or any other distro. You would have to remove Red Hat’s trademarks first.

    Remember, nowhere in the GPL does it say that you have to provide binaries for the entire world to download. What it *actually* says is that, if you choose to distribute binaries of GPL’d software, you must distribute the source code with it. The recipient of said software then automatically gets a license to distribute that software, in either source or binary format, under the same terms of the GPL. In providing the source code for RHEL on its FTP servers, Red Hat completely satisfies the terms of the GPL.

    In light of this, what is your basis for claiming that RHEL is proprietary? Specifics here would help.

    Thx,

    –SYG

    Mark Shuttleworth says:

    SYG, I think we’re talking past one another because you have limited your definition of  “proprietary” to be only “closed source”. But in fact, the word means a much broader set of things. Let’s agree for the sake of argument on Merriam-Webster’s dictionary definition of “proprietary”. As you can see there, you can describe something as “proprietary” if it is “something that is used, produced, or marketed under exclusive legal right of the inventor or maker; specifically : a drug (as a patent medicine) that is protected by secrecy, patent, or copyright against free competition as to name, product, composition, or process of manufacture“. Clearly, trademark-based restrictions can make something proprietary in the plain English sense of the word, even if you also have the right to modify the source code.
    The source-code sense of proprietary isn’t even listed there, though of course it’s very important to this discussion.

    Without doubt, the binary-blob drivers that ship in Ubuntu are also proprietary. I did specifically call attention to that in my post, there’s no attempt to deceive or distort the facts here. And yes, most of Launchpad is proprietary, as is Red Hat Network, Google’s search code, YouTube’s infrastructure and much of the work that goes on behind the world’s most useful websites, excluding of course Wikipedia.
    I’m not at all confusing “free libre” with “free gratis”. My point is that BOTH kinds of “free”, both libre and gratis, are essential if we want to make a profound change to the economics of the software industry. And that’s what we have to achieve if we want to make a real difference – it’s the possibility of making that kind of change that motivates me to devote much of my life to this work. It’s deeply important to me that people in every far-flung corner of the earth get to work with a level playing field no matter where they start off, economically. That’s how we really unlock the talent that’s out there, in the large parts of the world that currently get to make no contribution to the cutting edge of technology. That’s how we really make a difference to the trajectory the world is currently on.

    Now, before someone else labels me a pinko commie bastard for talking about gratis software, I’d like to say that:

    (a) charging for software YOU WROTE is perfectly OK by me. Microsoft has every right to license their code under whatever terms suit them. They wrote it, they own it, and where that’s not true they have licensed it from whoever does own it (or used BSD-licensed stuff ;-)).

    (b) there are plenty of sustainable economic patterns around software that do not involve charging per-seat royalty fees for binary images. I don’t have the slightest problem with sustainable, healthy commerce, I think it’s a great bringer of good things in the world and I try to make sure that I invest in places where that commerce will have the best impact. My goal is not the end of “the software business” but instead a healthier, broader-based pattern of commerce around the software we all share.

    (c) charging for binary packages of free software, and updates to same, is also perfectly fine – it’s permitted by all the major free software licenses. I have no problem with the existence of Red Hat or SUSE or any other similar distribution, and have in the past been quite quick to praise the wonderful contributions they make.

    However, I do believe that there is a trap, which is all too easy to fall into, which is to miss the essentially proprietary nature of restricted-use binaries where that restriction is not source code related.  It creates the illusion of something which is changing the fundamental model from that which is used by Microsoft, when in fact the model is exactly the same. This free-test / restricted-production approach creates a two-class society, where those who can pay for the binaries have a competitive advantage over those who cannot. And I care to see that this does not happen.
    Mark

  91. Bob says: (permalink)
    January 23rd, 2007 at 6:06 am

    @Sum Yung Gai:

    “You’re being hypocritical here.”

    No, I don’t believe he is.

    “I used to work for Microsoft.”

    I’m sorry. I have more respect for the humanity of people who participate in the special olympics.

    “This is a very similar strategy that Microsoft used to get Internet Explorer–a binary-only vendor lock-in tool if ever there was one, and an insecure one at that–out to the masses.”

    That’s a lame approach, dude. The comparison is bullshit and there’s no relation between the two. Who developed MSIE and for what purpose? Who develops the NVIDIA drivers and for what purpose? Offering NVIDIA drivers in future versions of Ubuntu is, in my opinion, a strong benefit for NVIDIA card owners. If you’re not using an NVIDIA card, you don’t have to use them. If you do have an NVIDIA card, I’m sure you’ll still be able to choose between the NVIDIA drivers and “nv”. I don’t see anyone forcing you to use NVIDIA drivers by default and I’m sure once installed the NVIDIA drivers can be installed.

    Okay, now compare what I just said regarding the NVIDIA drivers to M——– and Internet Explorer. I don’t know whether you were being serious, trolling, just fucking around, or some combination of both, but in my opinion that’s one of the worst comparisons I’ve ever seen.

    “Same for Windows Media. The strategy? Distribute our blob lock-in tool with our operating system. Hmmm…sounds just like Feisty Fawn….”

    No, it sounds like Sum Gai, oops, I mean some guy, doesn’t know what he is talking about. Feisty Fawn has no lock-ins, nor do any previous versions of Ubuntu.

    “Is that your vision? To be like Microsoft? I was there; I’ve seen it before. You are indeed headed down that path, and it is not pretty.”

    Quite the opposite. Reading your posts makes me thank god even more that I don’t have anything more to do with M——– or its operating system.

    Thank god for people like Mark Shuttleworth, a breath of fresh air.

  92. Can’t stop fiddling… » Blog Archive » Do they still meet there by the cut? says: (permalink)
    January 23rd, 2007 at 2:48 pm

    [...] Ah, so it’s another case of green on green in the open source community. The more I read of Mr. Shuttleworth’s views, the more disconcerted I become. Whilst its delightful to think that all software should be free to absolutely everyone who chooses to run it, there comes a point where SME’s need support that they can rely on and this is where Red Hat and numerous other vendors come in. I have always viewed software as a service rather than a commodity product and as such it is one that should be paid for like any other. This can be done in house or contracted out. SABDFL’s comments regarding Red Hat are wholly unfair, especially when you consider how successful they have been in their business model and how much they contribute back to the community. On the other hand, Canonical produce a Ubuntu, a wonderfully easy to use and polished O.S. but one that is nevertheless a re-badged version of Debian Unstable loaded with proprietary drivers that promote instability. I’m a big fan of distro competition and Ubuntu has certainly encouraged this. I hate it when cat-fighting means we’re not attacking the common enemy and closing the now famous Bug 1. If Mark really has that much of a problem with Red Hat, perhaps he should remove all the projects they contribute to. Come on, as fellow Fedorite Greg said “You’re better than that, aren’t you?” [...]

  93. r00ster says: (permalink)
    January 23rd, 2007 at 6:34 pm

    “however your constant attacking of other distributions is quite petty.”

    I see no attacking, only opinions which anyone has the right to make, right? If you want attacking, look to a convicted monopoly who has called Linux a cancer, among other things.

    “As was your overt call to OpenSUSE developers to switch.”

    I fail to see how an open invitation on a public mailing list is overt. Perhaps you should look at the secret talks, if any, Microsoft and Novell had regarding your precious SUSE Linux before wagging a stink finger at anyone else.

    “You really need to be a bit more responsible as your actions personally hurt your (and Ubuntu’s) open source credibility.”

    I see nothing Mark’s said that hurt Ubuntu and open source credibility, however:

    “There are also many companies that provide commercial support for CentOS, ” “Lots of other programs (plesk, cpanel, Virtuozzo, webmin, etc.) are supported on CentOS itself by the software producer.” “CentOS is working on DB2 certification too”

    It’s nice that you took the time to, in my opinion, pimp CentOS, which I’ll never use because of this, in my opinion, pimpish mention. Pathetic.

  94. Steven Pauwels says: (permalink)
    January 24th, 2007 at 5:52 am

    @all negative comment: cheer any good initiative, do not fear it…

  95. nano schultz says: (permalink)
    January 24th, 2007 at 7:35 am

    >>> # stefan.waidele.info » Blog Archive »Says:
    >>> […] #1: Keeping it FREEDon’t go down the RedHat/Novell road […]

    I’m really sorry to say that after being tuned to your rss feed Mr Shuttleworth, I feel disgusted by your product. AND yes, your product as the ubuntu community does not have the total right to make changes and hence their work are in vain !!! Example: Ubuntu Artwork.

    Compare to the RH/Novell way, Ill say that these guys are really doing something, investing Name and Effort for linux and its community. And what you are doing Mr Shuttleworth, you are just GIVING UP by including closed sources Binary drivers. If your team can’t afford to contribute to the open source community, tell me why I should not follow the RH/Novell way. By the way, Suse has a more pleasing KDE than kubuntu and being myself a late kubuntu contributor. I feel disgusted by the lack of support of community has to contribute to the project. Now, I’m using OpenSuse a great distro primarily and a Fedora which just impresses me day by day and hour by hour.

  96. Johnny Hughes says: (permalink)
    January 24th, 2007 at 12:59 pm

    @r00ster:

    Other people were discussing CentOS earlier the blog … and it was said that there was no commercial support.

    I was just pointing out the error, nothing more.

    As to your other comments, that is your opinion … and you are welcome to it. It is not, however, the majority opinion that I have seen in print or other places in the open source world.

    As to your threat to not use CentOS … wonderful. We would rather you keep on using the distro you currently use, to minimize the chances that I need to get involved in ANOTHER tuttle incident.

  97. Frans Sauermann says: (permalink)
    January 24th, 2007 at 1:50 pm

    Hi
    Maybe a bit off topic but relevant none the less. Check out these links in progression:
    http://www.lafkon.net/tc/
    http://www.againsttcpa.com/
    https://www.trustedcomputinggroup.org/home

    What will the effect of trusted computing be on the Linux / Ubuntu / free software platforms?

  98. the dane says: (permalink)
    January 24th, 2007 at 6:36 pm

    Hi.

    I think this whole arguement, this whole thread is basically useless. People like what they like. Redhat fits in a particular niche. I have worked at companies where execs were only willing to allow Redhat because of the availablility of commercial support. To paraphrase a previous poster: for better or worse, some businesses, or business people, are uncomfortable with “free”. It’s my opinion that it’s because it’s difficult for some people to understand Linux. So for them there is Redhat. Redhat is also emulating Cisco’s administrator certification program. Which is great! That’s an attractive avenue for some people to be able to show that they possess a benchmark of knowledge about Redhat products. Again, it’s not for me, and that’s ok.

    I use Ubuntu. I came to Ubuntu because I liked Debian. My last job was in a Redhat shop, and I really didn’t have a problem with Redhat in that context. I also use FreeBSD for a whole lot of things. Some people use Gentoo. It’s all great. I really think the focus on OS “certification” as has been talked about throughout the previous posts, is overblown. For some entities, that’s very important. But it’s really not that hard to do some homework to figure out what hardware your preferred flavor will work on. If there is something exotic that you need, well then you can do more research and you may discover that in order to use that thing, you need to use Redhat and if you need it bad enough you will pay for it. Is that a big deal? I don’t think so because you’re not using Linux because Microsoft is evil, you’re using it because (this is directed at the MS admin poster above) Linux is configurable to the nth degree. It’s incredibly powerful in ways that Microsoft admins can’t immediately see because they simply aren’t accustom to having so much control over how your OS works. That’s not meant as a put down at all.

    I see the main issue being one where a proprietary model overwhelms the freer competition in a Microsofty way. At this time I don’t really see this happening, because there are distros like Ubuntu which strive to be “more free.” that Redhat, and that see Redhat’s model as a dangerous exertion of proprietary methods.

    In other words, It’s all healthy! Keep up the good work! As long as Mark and others like him don’t compromise their vision, the balance will be maintained.
    Yin and yang baby. Yin and yang.

    nar

  99. Sum Yung Gai says: (permalink)
    January 25th, 2007 at 12:32 am

    Someone expressed “disgust” with “the product” of Ubuntu Linux. Please, let’s not do that. Ubuntu is simply a distribution of GNU/Linux, and it’s actually a pretty good one. I myself, a mostly Slackware user, use Dapper Drake on my Sun Ultra 5 mail server, with OpenBSD sitting in front of it for trapping spammers. Dapper works really well on Ultra 5′s in this capacity and is highly recommended. When we express differences of opinion and even criticism of certain of the SABDFL’s views, as I certainly have, that’s fine and understandable. But the Ubuntu distribution itself doesn’t make any decisions. It’s just a distro.

    Mark, I really hope that you reconsider your decision about those binary blob video drivers. I don’t see how it makes anything a “level playing field” unless you’re ATI or nVidia. You might want to actively start recommending Intel video, actually–no blobs needed. Now, *that* would be a consistent approach to promoting Free Software and “leveling the playing field” for that kid in Africa or South America that you (and I) want to help. It would also be quite pragmatic–Intel video is exceedingly common.

    And access to the source *will* get you free-as-in-beer binaries. Don’t forget that. The CentOS team, and others, have proved that again and again. Thank you, Johnny Hughes! And it’s even “free beer” to download from them. Now, it is true that not everyone has a fast Internet connection, particularly in certain countries. That’s where your ShipIt program really is a benefit, and I think you’re doing a very cool thing with that. Providing gratis software in this way, especially for those who might otherwise have trouble affording the process of getting it, is a good thing. But that’s orthogonal to software freedom; remember, Microsoft gives away software gratis, too, when they think it suits them. And it doesn’t change the fact that RHEL is still Free Software.

    So, I believe I read you loud and clear. I simply happen to disagree with the expressed position that Red Hat Enterprise Linux is not Free Software. And as for the binaries, the GPL *mandates* that you can–*CAN*–redistribute the RHEL binaries, just so long as you don’t redistribute Red Hat’s trademarks.

  100. Lyceum says: (permalink)
    January 26th, 2007 at 8:28 pm

    This is why I use and support Ubuntu. Mark, great job, great post. I truly believe that Linux/GNU/FOSS will make it and Ubuntu will take it there. Sorry to sound like such a fanboy, it is just how I feel.

  101. Chris says: (permalink)
    January 27th, 2007 at 2:00 pm

    free = (among others) customizable

    One inmportant aspect of “free” I’d light to point to is customizability.
    Only if you’re able to adapt a software so that it suits your needs
    as regards function and aesthtics you get the feeling to “own” it.

    There’s nothing which pissed me off more with MacOS X (which is still n1
    in user experience) than the menu item “Buy MacOS software” which I had
    to hack out of the system.

    In the Ubuntu menu structure one thing which seems hardcoded to me is
    the help menu, one sub-menu being “Commercial support”. It’s OK
    for me that there’s such a menu item but it isn’t OK if you can deselect it.
    I guess many Linux users just don’t want a Help menu in the menu structure.
    The more customizable a menu structure the better.

    I’d like to evangelize for Ubuntu but only if it is and stays free in the sense
    I mentionned above.

    At the end free software implies a give-and-take between developpers and users.
    The developpers profit from a broad user base because this helps to eliminate bugs
    and to increase acceptance on the marketplace.

    On a side note 2 suggestions I’d like to make:
    - The keyboard indicator could be improved aesthetically (showing for.ex. flags like in MacOS instead of Che/Che2
    for Swiss German/French).
    - If the colour for the default theme is going to change (the actual one doesn’t bother me too much)
    I’d suggest orange.

    In the meantime I’d like to thank you Mark for the overall good Ubuntu experience and hope you keep your path.

    Chris

  102. Brady Merriweather says: (permalink)
    January 28th, 2007 at 5:51 am

    I spent my day Friday in a marketing conference with Microsoft’s team to see looking into promotions for the release of Vista. As talks on promotion material and costs came up, as a small computer store owner, I found that what they expected me to do was spend more money of mine, which I do not have to just say to the local public “Yes, I sell Vista.” The cost was $2,300 U.S. dollars for a post card campaign per every 3 months. I then awaited what incentives that Microsoft was going to work out to help us small computer stores in selling our complete PC products to my local customers who want to buy Vista. They mentioned, that they had not devised anything yet, and planned on later on after 6 month campaign to start releasing help for us. “The little guy” This conversation upsetting me, I stepped away to cuss outside.

    See, the issue is that they will expect me to build on all Windows certified hardware. Which for me, I don’t really get a great support from hardware distributors, because I buy in such small quantities. I have relied on more affordable hardware to build my systems, or even to keep costs down for my customers who need service repairs, while being up front and honest with them. For me to compete with larger companies, like Dell, HP, who everyday here in the states promote on television.

    This brings me to the point of this. I use Ubuntu at home. Donations of computers that I give to families struggling or perhaps have really strict budgets I service for free, and repair. I hand them back with Ubuntu, and give them a lesson how to get around, how to find help on line, and also invest my time to show them, if they happen to drop in. Now that this year, I see that we small system builders.. the small computer store.. is going to be dejected. I started this 2 years ago, and now realize why I saw less and less small computer stores up and running. The birth of the “throw away” pc market has done quite terrible damage in this for the small guy, but then I been servicing these cheap computers and seeing what Dell and others have been doing.. such as removing common components to reduce patent costs . (IE: getting rid of AGP slots, limited supported BIOS with no options to upgrade besides what is currently in the system…/ distributing systems with brand tagging Windows XP image installers.. which I don’t understand, because from all the training I get from Microsoft, this should be illegal, since it isn’t possible to reinstall, unless you use a BIOS branded mainboard from the same company.)

    So.. I see they are helping their partners in making PC’s like they were designed in the 80′s. Once it’s life expectancy of 2 years is up, the cost to service them outweighs the cost to buy another cheap computer from the same manufacture. The MAC throw away society. It’s environmentally stupid!

    So I been holding on these papers here on being signed up as a Ubuntu … I might be getting this wrong.. Ubuntu certified hardware reseller. I would not sell the software, but make sure all the equiptment put into the computers were Ubuntu friendly, so the customer wouldn’t run into any tiffs that may cause them to try putting on a pirated copy of Windows on the machine. I would in exchange, be offering support. I adding up the points here, and it looks like I got a total of 9 so far!

    I think it’s time for this. I can see problems right now where if Microsoft did come out on top again this coming year, that once repairs start rolling in, It will be hard to inform them, that because this was the second time that they reinstalled the OS (meaning they possibly had a snag during a rainy day and reinstalled) that they have to buy a new license. The new License only allows them 2 times to reinstall and only 1 time to migrate the license from one PC to another. computer enthusiasts, like myself who possibly upgrade our PC’s once a year to play the latest titles of games are going to be upset.

    I am ready to go forth to teach people how to use this and remove the fears of using this OS. In April, the information I’ve read about the latest release is fantastic! This will definitely appeal to customers, also keep me from going out of business. I love this job to much to give it up and put way to much money to be pushed out of this 13 year career.

  103. IT Infusion Inc. | Linux, FreeBSD, & Web Consulting | Calgary Alberta says: (permalink)
    January 29th, 2007 at 1:42 am

    Ubuntu founder on keeping free software free…

    Mark Shuttleworth: Keeping it FREE
    We have to work together to keep free software freely available. It will be a failure if the world moves from paying for shrink-wrapped Windows to paying for shrink-wrapped Linux.
    As free software becomes more success…

  104. Ubuntu-blogi » Arkisto » Uutisia ja lainauksia, viikko 4 says: (permalink)
    January 29th, 2007 at 5:07 am

    [...] Novell vertaa Vistaa Suseen Microsoft on välillä pyrkinyt vertailuillaan osoittamaan Windowsin paremmuuden/kustannustehokkuuden Linuxiin nähden (mm. Get The Facts -kampanja). Nyt Novell on tehnyt saman, ja yrittää lyödä kapuloita Windows Vistan rattaisiin vertailemalla sitä Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop 10:een. Vertailun mukaan Suse tarjoaa yli 90% Vistan ominaisuuksista alle 10% sen kustannuksista. Novell painottaa myös Susen turvallisuutta reikäiseksi tunnettuun Windowsiin verrattuna. Toisaalta Susen työpöytä on Novellin mukaan ominaisuuksiltaan ja ulkoasultaan edistyksellisempi. tietokone.fi “We have to work together to keep free software freely available. It will be a failure if the world moves from paying for shrink-wrapped Windows to paying for shrink-wrapped Linux. As free software becomes more successful and more pervasive there will be an increasing desire on the part of companies to make it more proprietary. We’ve already seen that with Red Hat and Novell, which essentially offer free software on proprietary terms – their “really free” editions are not certified, carry no support and receive no systematic security patching. In other words – they’re beta or test versions. If you want the best that free software can deliver, a rock solid, widely certified, secure platform, from either of those companies then you have to pay, and you pay the same price whether you are Goldman Sachs or a startup in Rio de Janeiro.” Mark Shuttleworth pohtii Linuxin kaupallistumista blogissaan. http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/77 [...]

  105. Christoph Meyer says: (permalink)
    January 29th, 2007 at 2:30 pm

    One thing I dont like about Ubuntu is that you dont give users the choice to deselect the Help menu
    in the menu structure. One sub-menu being “Commercial support”, this reminds me awkwardly of the “Get
    MacOS software” in the MacOS which really pissed me off.
    I think many Linux users just dont want a “Help” menu in the menu structure and having this choice is one
    aspect of real free software, because only if you can customize according to your needs, a SW you really
    have the feeling that you own it.
    I hope that keep on track by delivering a really free OS on the one hand, and making money with the
    services you provide people who want them, on the other. This way both sides will profit, otherwise there
    are other Linuxes around.

  106. A guy laughing hard says: (permalink)
    January 30th, 2007 at 12:44 am

    You are daring to compare SLED/D and/or RHEL with ubuntu, you got some nerves ! Well boy you are better to start eating your bread crumb (and lots of them).

  107. some_guy says: (permalink)
    January 31st, 2007 at 10:29 am

    “It will be a failure if the world moves from paying for shrink-wrapped Windows to paying for shrink-wrapped Linux.”

    “As free software becomes more successful and more pervasive there will be an increasing desire on the part of companies to make it more proprietary”

    “I believe that’s how we will really change the world, and how we will deliver the full benefit of the movement started more than two decades ago by Richard Stallman.”

    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/BinaryDriverEducation

    Touché Mark, touché.

    Sigh …

    Mark Shuttleworth says:

    Dear Some_guy

    Actually, that’s a very positive step in the long march to software freedom. The BinaryDriverEducation is not about ADDING binary drivers, it’s about helping people who HAVE them installed understand what binary drivers are all about – security implications, freedom, and so on.  The free software community is often very critical of proprietary software without explaining to ordinary users “why they should care”. The BinaryDriverEducation spec is designed to ensure thatpeople who use Ubuntu actually have the opportunity to learn why free software is so important, and what the consequences of using non-free software are.

    Now, that’s totally separate from the question of what non-free software is installed, byt the OS or by them. It’s a step towards better general understanding of the issues, not along ideological grounds but in the interests of smarter personal decisions by all of our users. Remember, most Ubuntu users don’t start out as free software zealots, they start out as people who are willing to try something new. BinaryDriverEducation should give them insight into what free software is all about.

    Mark

  108. Linux | Ubuntu founder on keeping free software free | IT Infusion | Calgary, Alberta says: (permalink)
    February 5th, 2007 at 4:44 am

    [...] Mark Shuttleworth: Keeping it FREE We have to work together to keep free software freely available. It will be a failure if the world moves from paying for shrink-wrapped Windows to paying for shrink-wrapped Linux. [...]

  109. some_guy says: (permalink)
    February 9th, 2007 at 1:56 pm

    First you said:

    “The BinaryDriverEducation spec is designed to ensure that people who use Ubuntu actually have the opportunity to learn why free software is so important, and what the ***consequences*** of using non-free software are.”

    And then your company/project/fundation recent news (February 8th, 2007) says:

    “Beginning with Ubuntu 7.04, Ubuntu users will be able to use CNR to access commercial programs and proprietary drivers with one click of the mouse. In subsequent releases CNR technology will be integrated to provide an even better desktop user experience for getting commercial software.”

    Don’t you see that you’re following exactly the Microsoft’s path with the excuse of ‘reaching masses’?. Why, WHY are you wasting money, efforts and excellent developers into integrating free and propietary code into your linux distribution?, wouldn’t it better to invest those resources on free alternatives (x.org, noveau, etc)?, why anyone should use ubuntu then if you continue integrating propietary drivers/modules with free code?, why not to keep using Windows then?. Don’t you see that Ubuntu recent news are ‘bread for today and hunger for tomorrow”, WHO will fix propietary drivers bugs if Ubuntu doesn’t have the sources?. Remember your last fiasco with x drivers? … imagine one similar fiasco but now with propietary drivers and thousands of users praying for a fix from ATI or NVIDIA.

    Mark, you, yes you, have a great and critical responsability with Ubuntu. You are now the leader of the most well-known linux distribution (we could discuss the merits of Ubuntu for this rank but that’s another history) and you should have extremely care of what you wrote, what you say and how you express your feelings. Of course you can do whatever you want with your money and your ambitions but please, stop opening Pandora’s box and please, stop your hipocresy.

    P.S: *** added by me

  110. nur Bahnhof » canonical evil? says: (permalink)
    February 10th, 2007 at 11:11 pm

    [...] [2] http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/77 [...]

  111. Luis Villa’s Blog » Canonical: putting money where mouth is, credit where credit is due, all that. says: (permalink)
    February 15th, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    [...] I’m still uncomfortable with a lot of what Canonical/Ubuntu does in this space (apparent sense that gratis is more important than libre, bragging when moving people from libre tools to gratis ones, lack of formal patent policy a la Fedora) but we should all give them huge thanks and due credit for taking this particular important step in the right direction. [...]

  112. Dusty says: (permalink)
    February 18th, 2007 at 11:55 am

    Mark..
    As much as i would like to keep software free, i would also like to keep software opensource. I am really hurt that you would use non-opensouce software with and in association with ubuntu. By the look of the above comments, your dream is not shared with the opensouce community at large. Perhaps you should change your focus to benefit the opensource community at large. I have already emailed you on this issue and have received no response …

  113. shiftMode » Blog Archive » Much more than an OS says: (permalink)
    February 24th, 2007 at 2:43 am

    [...] “With Ubuntu, our vision is to make the very best of free software freely available, globally. To the extent we make short-term compromises, for drivers or firmware along the way, we see those as bugs, and ones that will be closed over time.” [link] [...]

  114. Martin says: (permalink)
    February 24th, 2007 at 6:27 am

    Dear Mark,

    First of all I want to thank you – and all the other people working on it – for making Ubuntu available – It’s one of my favorite desktops as a cyber-citizen.

    Much of this discussion goes way over my head – I’m just a simple user – and one that would love a world with equal opportunities. So please stay focused on the ball – and don’t start kicking peoples’ ankles!

    For all I know, you might even be right in your observations about the distributions you’ve named – but does naming them add anything useful to achieving your dream? Or does it waste our precious time? Wouldn’t it be wiser just not to discuss these things in public, and do your own thing? Just walk the walk, and leave the talk?

    Jij moet mooi loop ou seun!

  115. jhambel says: (permalink)
    February 25th, 2007 at 6:40 pm

    URGENT…..I think…..

    Many thanks for the distro, the devs and the support for FOSS in general….Realizing how busy you are, i ll keep this as brief as possible.
    I know in advance that many entities function under ubuntu and its community which you do not oversee. But the main representative of the Ubuntu distrobution you set in motion these days tends to be its official forums , publications and community efforts. And while I find the software profect to be worth investing effort and time in to further promote the ideals you have set out, I have to say that what I have seen over the last year in the official ubuntu forums is starting to reek of free as in beer , but not free as in speech.

    I submit the following link, for your personal attention, but get the feeling that if you were to lurk around the current ubuntu forum you might not recongize the ideals which set ubuntu in motion in the first place. It remains to this day, one of the most embarrassing and quite possibly detrimental advertisements to steer both serious FOSS users, and Enterprise projects as well,

    If a potential client for support, or future business scenarios were to decide to look around at the ubuntu phenomenon, I m guessing he would be as disturbed and taken abackas I am by the behavoiur of a section of the community which is highly visibe at the moment. Heres the posting thread, which i hope you can find the time to skim thru at least during what most be an endless succession of hectic days.

    http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=361608

    I ought to note by the way, that the smaller and less visited kubuntu forum seems quite open to ideas, very helpful and friendly and less FUD ridden, which is what makes the contrast so glaring….

    With best wishes and warmest regards, I remain

    Sincerely yours,

    Jibril Hambel

    Mark Shuttleworth says:

    Jibril, I looked at that thread and I didn’t have the same reaction that you did. It seems to me to be a normal discussion about an idea being proposed. There are different viewpoints, so expressed with more tact than others, but it’s not an intrinsically unpleasant discussion.

    Our community is starting to get to the point where there’s a real risk of fracture points, but this isn’t one of them, IMO.

    I would, incidentally, be quite happy to see an ubuntu-experts forum setup. I suspect however that it would be a honeypot for new users wanting an expert answer to a non-expert question, so I think it would be tricky to really keep it for-and-by-experts. Perhaps an experts blog, with regular contributions from experts as to cool things they’ve managed to get working, would be better?

    Mark

  116. Voglia di Linux » Blog Archive » Dell e Linux, si sposano più in là says: (permalink)
    February 28th, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    [...] In un primo passo cetificano solo l’hardware per compatibilità con Novell Suse, quindi niente urli di gioia. Se poi invece pagare il supporto tecnico a Microsoft lopaghi alla Novell cambia poco, come diceva bene Mark Shuttleworth. As free software becomes more successful and more pervasive there will be an increasing desire on the part of companies to make it more proprietary. We’ve already seen that with Red Hat and Novell, which essentially offer free software on proprietary terms – their “really free” editions are not certified, carry no support and receive no systematic security patching. In other words – they’re beta or test versions. If you want the best that free software can deliver, a rock solid, widely certified, secure platform, from either of those companies then you have to pay, and you pay the same price whether you are Goldman Sachs or a startup in Rio de Janeiro. That’s not the vision we all share of what free software can achieve. With Ubuntu, our vision is to make the very best of free software freely available, globally. To the extent we make short-term compromises, for drivers or firmware along the way, we see those as bugs, and ones that will be closed over time. [...]

  117. Kaveman’s Daily Feed of Informative Blogs » #1: Keeping it FREE says: (permalink)
    March 14th, 2007 at 6:03 am

    [...] Original post by mark [...]

  118. Simon says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2007 at 2:22 pm

    Ubuntu’s a solid piece of work, but it has no right to take the moral high ground on free software.

    It’s fine to be pragmatic about things like binary drivers, but the swipes at genuinely freedom-free distros, like Fedora and openSUSE, seem a bit dishonest, especially as Ubuntu is becoming more commercial in spirit (e.g. the recent trademark rules), and you clearly have imperialistic ambitions for it (“from Beijing to Buenos Aires…”)

    Regards
    :-)

    Mark Shuttleworth says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever taken a swipe at either Fedora or OpenSUSE. I’ve certainly said that the proprietary nature of RHEL and SLED / SLES (you have to pay for them everywhere you want to use them) is not the full expression of free software, and I think the organisations behind them are in a tricky position to have to sell a commercial edition over their free community editions. I’ve certainly watched conference salesmen from both companies trash their community versions, which is unfortunate given the dedication and love their communities put into that work.

    There are wonderful communities around both Fedora and OpenSUSE, and I think the Ubuntu developers like to collaborate with both of them. Ubuntu definitely has global ambition – we would all like to see free software used as widely as possible. My criticism of RHEL licensing is not a criticism of the Fedora community. And my criticism of the Novell-Microsoft intellectual property deal is not a criticism of the OpenSUSE community. It’s reasonable to separate out the actions of the community from those of the company. Similarly, I would expect people to raise concerns where Canonical takes a view which is at odds with those of the Ubuntu project, like the question of Launchpad’s license.

  119. Martin says: (permalink)
    May 19th, 2007 at 2:17 am

    I admire the work done with Ubuntu and its position on issues. However I am worried with the upcoming release of Dell products with Ubuntu installed that it will have the same pricing as their alternative OS’s and effectively making people pay for a shrink-wrapped Linux (removing any price saving incentive to go with Linux). Are you going to stand by your words to not allow the world to pay for a shrink-wrapped Linux?

    Mark Shuttleworth says:

    We are not charging any per-seat fee or royalty for Ubuntu, we are only offering support for those folks who want to be able to call for it. Different OEM’s will structure that offer differently for their customers, and I can’t speak for Dell, but I have no concerns in this case that the offer will be out of line with what Linux enthusiasts will want.

  120. Luis Villa’s Blog / notes on my adventures in fedora-land says: (permalink)
    June 3rd, 2007 at 3:57 pm

    [...] I’ve been irritated for a while by some of Mark’s positions on ‘freedom’ (slamming Red Hat for non-freeness while seriously considering binary drivers and encouraging free software projects to rely on proprietary software for development), and obviously if I’m working for Red Hat, I should eat my own dogfood. So yesterday I spent a few hours installing Fedora for the first time… well, since roughly around when I ate my shorts. (NB: I can’t find a link or picture of that; if someone still has them, I’d like a copy.) [...]

  121. Mark Shuttleworth gets quote mined « Limulus says: (permalink)
    June 16th, 2007 at 3:05 am

    [...] “We have to work together to keep free software freely available. It will be a failure if the world moves from paying for shrink-wrapped Windows to paying for shrink-wrapped Linux.” [...]

  122. Intervista a Linus Torvalds | Arkosoft | Blog says: (permalink)
    July 18th, 2007 at 8:26 am

    [...] è quella di restare sempre e comunque gratuite (free like free beer). Sarebbe un fallimento, dice, se il mondo passasse da pagare Windows a pagare Linux (”It will be a failure if the world moves [...]

  123. .:!TuxSoul!:. Mind » Intervista a Linus Torvalds says: (permalink)
    August 25th, 2007 at 11:42 am

    [...] è quella di restare sempre e comunque gratuite (free like free beer). Sarebbe un fallimento, dice, se il mondo passasse da pagare Windows a pagare Linux (”It will be a failure if the world moves [...]

  124. Mark Shuttleworth on free and “non-free” Linux distros « sandipb.net says: (permalink)
    September 27th, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    [...] 19th, 2007 by Sandip Bhattacharya Mark Shuttleworth writes in [this blog post][2] on a topic I get really emotional about: We have to work together to keep free software freely [...]

  125. Mighty Linuxz » Mark Shuttleworth: #1: Keeping it FREE says: (permalink)
    November 1st, 2007 at 3:34 pm

    [...] read more | digg story [...]

  126. Bryan J Smith says: (permalink)
    November 27th, 2007 at 4:50 pm

    Mark, you’ve dropped to an all-new low, near-libel.

    First off, Red Hat puts a crapload of developers on countless projects. A great majority of Red Hat customers know where every dollar they give to Red Hat goes, GPL, GPL and more GPL. There is no equal to Red Hat in the space, even before you exclude hardware-focused vendors, Red Hat still tops them as well.

    Secondly, trademark issues are real. They have been the issue with Red Hat, namely Red Hat’s prior lack of enforcement. No matter how many times Red Hat attempted to address the Red Hat(R) brand with guidelines, people still forced the issue. Thank Cobalt, Sun and countless others for the abuse for forcing this issue.

    Third, Canoncial is the new Mandriva. Yes, Mandrive “won the war of perception,” and where did that get them? Red Hat has a proven, sustainable model around the community. Let me say that again, a proven, sustainable model around the community. Sun and, to a lesser extent, Novell have a model of forking from upstream — Red Hat embraces upstream and it drives everything they do.

    Fourth, Red Hat knows those who want to pay for support want a subscription and an all encompassing experience. Those who do not often fall into the category of those who want to repackage and redistribute a distro without limitations. The later was Red Hat Linux prior (which was never officially supported more than a year), and now Fedora (because of the prior trademark issues). You can even rebrand Fedora distros easily, and you don’t have to worry about software with indemification issues. There is no interest served trying to do both — one filled with both trademark issues and people complaining about trailing edge all while commercial uses complain it moves too fast.

    Lastly, for those that don’t want a long-term RHEL with support, there’s CentOS. CentOS is a great distro and fills the gap of RHEL not being freely redistributable. Unfortunately, Red Hat cannot do the same. It goes back to the trademark and the Red Hat(R) brand. People don’t realize that is what cost Red Hat in the first place, people believing that the Linux/MIPS port from Cobalt sporting “Red Hat(R) Linux” was from Red Hat, and all those negative issues and mis-use of trademark. This is the reality of the marketplace people, sorry.

    You want to blame people? It’s not Red Hat. It’s because the GPL doesn’t address trademark abuses. Even Linus and Linux International run into this with the abuses of the Linux(R) trademark as well. We all lose, Red Hat more than any other, major distro ever — no one but Red Hat(R) allowed its trademark to be so freely redistributed to the point it almost lost the name due to unenforcement. People want RHEL because it says Red Hat(R) Enterprise Linux, don’t blame Red Hat because they won’t give away that brand for free.

    Mark, I can only sum this up as utter envy of the Red Hat(R) brand. I run and even maintained Debian and Gentoo in addition to Fedora, RHEL and CentOS. I’ve supported Ubuntu and think it’s a great addition to the distro list, one that is very popular for very good reasons. But if you want Canonical to continue to just be another Mandriva, keep up this rheotric and near-libel.

  127. GregDek vs Shuttleworth | Matt Frye dot Net says: (permalink)
    January 10th, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    [...] Read more at http://gregdek.livejournal.com or http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/77. [...]

  128. K_McCall says: (permalink)
    January 12th, 2008 at 11:27 am

    I am new to Linux. Here are things that I find are holding Linux back. First I think all the distros should come together to make some standards to be the guildlines for distros to go by. Linux needs some standards to make software development easier to work on every distro. Not all little Linux Os’s would have to go by them but the ones that do go by the standards could have a seal or logo somewhere on their product/website showing they do. After a standard is complete next the major distros need to push software companies to produce their software for the Linux platform. I know not everyone likes close source software but to move Linux to the forefront, it needs to compete with MS in the game dept. and other major applications.

    I have another question, why doesn’t Mr. Shuttleworth go with a more stable product like OpenSolaris to base his free OS on? I may get shunned for that statement in the linux community but it is better in alot of ways and with his money he could make it into a wonderful desktop OS. It has the standards already and then the next step would be to push software companies to produce the software for it and more hardware driver support. I found what Redhat and Suse did disturbing a little too, they should provide the OS for free without support as before in binaries.

  129. 451 CAOS Theory » 451 CAOS Links - 2007.01.17 says: (permalink)
    April 22nd, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    [...] Keeping it FREE, here be dragons, Mark Shuttleworth (Blog) [...]

  130. The most free distro war: “free software on proprietary terms” | Commercial Open Source Software says: (permalink)
    April 30th, 2008 at 11:53 am

    [...] years we have been reading articles reporting Debian as the most free distro, but recently Mark Shuttleworth started a new kind of distro war, saying that Red Hat and Novell essentially offer free software on [...]

  131. Red Hat, 16%. Canonical, 1%. « Greg DeKoenigsberg Speaks says: (permalink)
    July 29th, 2010 at 5:23 am

    [...] the gravy train (while at the same time making the spectacularly outrageous claim that Red Hat is actually a proprietary software company — [...]

  132. Old Wounds « Greg DeKoenigsberg Speaks says: (permalink)
    August 1st, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    [...] Mark is exactly right when he says the internet has a long memory.  I’ve got a long memory myself.  And one of the days I remember most, of all of the three thousand days I spent at Red Hat, was the day Mark Shuttleworth called Red Hat a proprietary software company. [...]

  133. I contributi che non si vogliono vedere « Idl3's Blog says: (permalink)
    August 4th, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    [...] a leggere un precedente post di Mark Shuttleworth in cui definiva Red Hat come “proprietaria“. Questa definizione [...]