By 14.04 LTS Ubuntu will power tablets, phones, TVs and smart screens from the car to the office kitchen, and it will connect those devices cleanly and seamlessly to the desktop, the server and the cloud.

Unity, the desktop interface in today’s Ubuntu 11.10, was designed with this specific vision in mind. While the interface for each form factor is shaped appropriately, Unity’s core elements are arranged in exactly the way we need to create coherence across all of those devices. This was the origin of the name Unity – a single core interface framework, that scales across all screens, and supports all toolkits.

Canonical and the Ubuntu community have established Ubuntu’s place in desktop, server and cloud deployments. We have also invested in the design and engineering of Unity, motivated by the belief that desktop interfaces would merge with mobile, touch interfaces into a seamless personal computing platform in the future. Today we are inviting the whole Ubuntu community – both commercial and personal – to shape that possibility and design that future; a world where Ubuntu runs on mobile phones, tablets, televisions and traditional PC’s, creating a world where content is instantly available on all devices, in a form that is delightful to use.

A constantly changing world

The way we access the Internet, connect to our friends, listen to music, watch films and go about our daily lives is rapidly evolving. We now use a diverse set of devices with an array of operating systems, which have a range of connectivity. Few people are exclusively loyal to a single technology provider.

Consider this quote from Paul Maritz of VMWare:

“Three years ago over 95 percent of the devices connected to the Internet were personal computers. Three years from now that number will probably be less than 20 percent. More than 80 percent of the devices connected to the Internet will not be Windows-based personal computers.” Paul Maritz, 29 August 2011 VM World Keynote.

Make no mistake – just as the world is changing for manufacturers so is it changing for Linux distributions. Today, 70% of people in Egypt access the Internet solely via the phone. Even in the US that figure is a startling 25%.

Ubuntu is well positioned

Ubuntu will thrive in this new reality.

Our established collaboration with the silicon vendors that are driving this converging market are critical. Intel, ARM and AMD will make the chip-sets that will power this future and Ubuntu works with all of them on all technologies.

Our engagement with the PC market will help bring the results of this work to a huge audience – partnerships with the likes of Dell, HP, Asus, Lenovo, Acer, IBM, Vodafone and more are a gateway to users who want continuous, connected, cross-device computing.

We are determined to bring more free software to more people around the world, and building that future hand in hand with device manufacturers is the best way to do it. There is no winner in place yet. This opportunity remains wide open, but only to products that deliver excellent experiences for users, across a full range of device categories.

The investment we have already made in the interface accommodates the touch scenarios required in some form factors and, with a little love and attention, will work equally well in mouse, keyboard or stylus-driven environments. Ubuntu will not be restricted to small screen or large screen environments but encompasses both and all the form factors in between. We will see our work on the Ubuntu platform land in a variety of formats current and yet to be invented. It is without doubt the most exciting phase in the history of Ubuntu.

Ubuntu One and the software centre

Ubuntu’s personal cloud and app centre services are appropriate for all these environments. They deliver the required storage, syncing and sharing capabilities that are not just a convenience but a requirement as we move to a universe where content is increasingly shared but the devices that access them become more diverse. Ubuntu One’s support for other OSes show the ability of Ubuntu to play nice with others, recognising that the divergence is strength.  It allows users to choose the devices they prefer but still delivering the benefits of Ubuntu-centred strategy.

The next steps

We are describing this at UDS to energize the entire Ubuntu ecosystem around this challenge. Canonical will provide the heavy lifting needed to put us in the ball park, but there are opportunities for participation, contribution and engagement by all elements of the broader Ubuntu community, both corporate and individual.

Our developers, our partners’ developers and the broader open source development community share this opportunity. There is a great deal to discuss, and an array of strands we need to pull together at UDS. But the direction is clear and the prize is great – to bring more free software to more people in more delightful ways than ever before.

82 Responses to “Ubuntu on phones, tablets, TV’s and smart screens everywhere”

  1. Jose Says:

    I agree that mobile computing is the future and a door has opened for different entities to entry .

    Mark, when you do thing we will be able to use Linux on a tablet? (I mean real Linux not Android)

    The less time we have to wait to have access to, for example, a Notion Ink with Ubuntu, the more time people will be able to create software for it (like program environments that do not use keyboard but speech and touch).

    Do you have a plan for a minimalistic Ubuntu that works at least on one tablet?

  2. Vinícius Cortez Says:

    I hadn’t read about the goals for Unity yet (glad to understand the name now, by the way), and it does make a lot of sense. I’m afraid that the general shortsightedness towards change took hold of me for a while.

    Way to go, Mr. Shuttleworth!

  3. Can Ubuntu Linux win on smartphones and tablets? | ZDNet Says:

    […] doing this? As he explained this morning at the Ubuntu Developers Summit and on his blog, “The way we access the Internet, connect to our friends, listen to music, watch films and go about ou…. We now use a diverse set of devices with an array of operating systems, which have a range of […]

  4. manny Says:

    just like kde has its new plasma-active tablet UI, am sure unity can do it too.

    If we offer 2 extra years of hardware support for the LTS , we also need to do the same for App-updates

  5. Daniel Says:

    Mark, your post (as well as experience with Unity on the desktop) suggest that the plan is to carry over Unity as it stands today onto the tablet. Is that really the plan? It seems unlikely that users will find such a tablet device appealing when compared to an interface that was designed specifically for the form factor in question.

    I don’t know…I just see it being too complex for a tablet UI. Is this supposed to compete with iPads and android tablets, or fill a different niche?

  6. A Concerned Citizen Says:

    We already have a version of Linux which runs quite well on phones, tablets, TV’s and other “smart screens” — it’s called Android.

    Canonical needs to focus its effort on either removing Unity or making a classic style desktop such as Xfce available on the very top tier of its desktop offering. Until Canonical stop forcing Unity upon us, Ubuntu’s installed user base will erode.

  7. Richard Says:

    All with a global menu :(

  8. Allen Says:

    Disconcerting to know that the way I have been using a personal computer for so many years now obsolete. The Desktop paradigm, multiple workspaces accessible with single mouse click seemed so natural. I tried to do web design and free lance writing with Unity. I don’t see how Unity made my work easier. More keystrokes and mouse clicks.

    Do you require that Canonical developers work under 11.10 Unity? or are they free to use the shell of their choice?
    I’m using Xubuntu now. While not ideal, there is less mishegoss going from app to app — and no freezes.
    My coding these days is limited to short PHP/python/javascript demos for writing assignments. Test web browser, text editor, Email client, graphics editor in different workspaces I can access in one mouse click.

  9. Gabriel Says:

    I Think that challenge is the best future of Ubuntu.

  10. Craig Says:

    This confirms why many “working” users have had to put up with major productivity issues due to the implementation of a mobile interface on the desktop. I’d be really interested in a survey of new Ubuntu converts from Windows and Mac to see if they came over from their dark sides because of cost or the Unity or Gnome 3 interfaces. I’m sticking with 10.10 until both Canonical and Gnome come to their senses and lose their arrogance. If they don’t I’ll probably have to go back to Window to get work done. I came to Ubuntu for it’s underlying reliability, now it’s UI is broken and it’s developers are being wasted. It’s such a shame:(

  11. Benni Says:

    I’m very exited about Ubuntu. It’s heading in the right direction in every way. At first I was *very* sceptical about Unity, but it feels right and straightforward now (and, when I’m on a Windows machine, I move the mouse to the left before I realize that the task bar is at the bottom, so in the meantime I got really used to it 😉 ).

    Also, Unity seems to work and attract new users. At work we have several “shared” netbooks running WinXP and before Unity, all my collegues were “afraid” of Gnome and didn’t want any changes to be made to this machines. But after they saw Unity on my main machine (“oh, this looks nice”) they allowed me to replace XP with 11.10 on all machines. So far all are happy with that. What a nice progress. 😀

    So, I’m really looking forward for 12.04! Ubuntu is the way Linux is coming to “mainstream”. Easy to use for the “normal” user, but with all the unix-power in terminal for the advanced user. Please continue this great work!

    Btw. Ubuntu Server is also great: We run 11 of 13 servers with Ubuntu 10.04 at the moment and looking forward to replace the last two others also, perhaps with 12.04 during the summer next year.

  12. Nirn Says:

    Hi Mark,

    In a recent (~1month) meeting @OpenWorld in France, I read that you have planned the convergence of PC/tablets/handheld devices to smartphones. One smartphone with a mobile version of Ubuntu, and a variety of docks (lapdock, tabletdock, mediadock, desktopdock (connected to desktop monitor+keyboard+mouse, …). The UI will auto-adapt when pluggen to one of this dock (different UI between smartphone mode, tablet mode, TV mode, or traditionnal PC (monitor+keyboard+mouse). I think this vision is the TRUE future about mobility. Can you confirm Ubuntu 14.04 will follow this path? For example, Android try with the Motorola Atrix or Asus with it’s Padfone models, but it’s not verry common…

    Thanks for you answer in advance,

  13. Andrew Ampers Taylor Says:

    Life is too short to hit one’s head against a brick wall by complaining about something that is never going to happen.

  14. Ubuntu планируют адаптировать для смартфонов, планшетов и телевизоров (дополнено) | – Всероссийский портал о UNIX-системах Says:

    […] Марк Шаттлворт опубликовал в своём блоге заметку в которой обрисовал своё видение будущего Ubuntu для […]

  15. Robin Berjon Says:

    I think that this is a great move forward, and the right thing to do. But at the risk of being a pain in the arse, I’d like to point out that the plural of TV is TVs, not “TV’s”.

  16. Anzhr Says:

    Mark, do you really think that aiming for 2014 makes sense?

    By that time, the market will have been so formed by Android and iOS that entering will be extremely difficult.

    In the meantime, you have an interface that is suited more for the devices it does not run on than the ones that it does.

    If you can get it on a few 7 inch tablets sooner, you might have a better chance.

  17. Martin Says:

    I love to see the mockups for phones and tablets…

  18. Ubuntu Linux to Hit Tablets, Phones, TVs in the Nick of Time? - Says:

    […] the chips that will power the diverse new generation of Ubuntu devices, Shuttleworth added in a blog post Monday […]

  19. Roman Says:

    Unity has a lot of work to do before it gets to be touch-friendly. The big buttons to the left are a good start, but consider the button to close or minimize a window – that’s not touch-friendly. KDE’s got an interface and they’re working on patches to programs, I think KOffice has a touch-friendly version and some apps like their Simon clone Blinken are touch-friendly.

    The close/minimize is just one example, most apps are not touch-friendly by default, but you can fix some with some sort of patch or theme elements that apply to all programs do things the “GNOME way,” but this is limited, in the same way the global menubar doesn’t work on apps that don’t do things the standard “GNOME way”.

    Even so, a lot of apps by design probably won’t work well in a mobile environment. I mean VirtualBox as an example doesn’t make sense, but also its UI isn’t fantastic for mobile.

    So Ubuntu’s distinct advantage, or desktop GNU/Linux’s advantage I could say in general, is that there is already an “app store” – package management in DEB or RPM for example, has been around for a long time – but each app I think would need to be considered, some-if-not-large-amounts of would need to be rewritten. As such, I almost thing mobile environments need their own repository, if not their own “main” repo.

  20. Roman Says:

    When I said touch-friendly, it could and probably work work on what Microsoft calls “slate” computers, the kind with a stylus, but the stylus isn’t necessarily what’s hot right now – it’s multi-touch with one’s fingers that’s super-sexy now for the general consumer (though the business customer or student might want a stylus for taking notes or drawing, for example).

  21. ayn Says:

    Just for curiosity does Canonical do some interface tests with their users?
    Have you ever done some testing with people using graphical tools? Because life is becoming harder and harder, it should be the opposite.
    Because it’s not just a problem of bugs (and there are), but a problems of design…the ergonomic choices of Unity don’t fit with people that use gimp, inkscape, mypaint, blender and a graphic tablet.
    I hope that this post of David Revoy will inspire someone to create a sort of UbuntuStudio for digital artists or that the default Ubuntu will start to care a little bit more:

  22. Nikita Says:

    How do you plan to address perhaps the biggest challenge of running Ubuntu on such a wide range of devices: hardware support? It’s still uncommon to see hardware fully supported on release-day: consider new processors, graphics cards, or even new computers.

    Microsoft and Apple already have their strategies in place. Microsoft’s market share means that few manufacturers can afford to release a product without good Windows drivers. Apple’s approach is to drill everything to perfection on a single hardware platform they have total control over. Ubuntu does neither.

    Hardware manufacturers’ Linux drivers are often poor compared to their Windows counterparts (desktop computers) or rely on code modified in-house to the point of losing upstream compatibility (embedded systems). Those that do have good Linux support are only a fraction of the whole device market, if you count desktops, servers, TVs, and a whole range of other devices. Fundamentally, there’s not enough market share for Linux support to be a first-class priority along with Windows support, leaving the brunt of the effort to the open source community.

    The community tries, but developer resources are spread too thin. Last year’s hardware is only now getting full support, because that’s how long it takes for a small team to complete such a large job. A wide range of platforms does no good if only the old ones are functional from the point of view of the end-user. Linux is basically playing a game of catch-up.

    What strategy do you plan to adopt to deal with this problem?

  23. ayn Says:

    Sorry if I write another post. I’ve another question.

    Why Ubuntu doesn’t package Gtkradiant?
    Now you have an App Store and there are free engines to use like quake3, xreal and soon there will be Doom 3’s engine. Wouldn’t be a good idea to give creative people some tools like a map editor to make games for your store? Maybe adding a package with free textures and sounds free to use for game developers and modders?

  24. foo Says:

    Why no mention of Debian’s plans in the mobile world in your post?

  25. Nate Says:

    I’ve been running Ubuntu since around 6.04.. and as a long time user and administrator I have to say I hate Unity with a deep passion. I tried it in 11.04 and again in 11.10. It’s quite obvious you’re trying to make Unity the contender for tablets and TVs, but how about not making it suck on Desktops? On both releases I ended up going back to gnome, which I have no issues with replacing, but stop pretending Unity is ready to 100% replace gnome.

  26. Chris Cheney’s Blog Says:

    […] failed industry experiment is over. Shuttleworth: Linux Power Users Aren’t too Cool for Unity Ubuntu on phones, tablets, TV’s and smart screens everywhere LD_AddCustomAttr("AdOpt", "1"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

  27. Mark Shuttleworth » Blog Archive » Ubuntu on phones, tablets, TV's … | Linux Supersaniya Says:

    […] By 14.04 LTS Ubuntu will power tablets, phones, TVs and smart screens from the car to the office kitchen, and it will connect those devices cleanly and seamlessly to the desktop, the server and the cloud. Unity, the desktop [Read More] […]

  28. JMMING Hackers Says:

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    […] the chips that will power the diverse new generation of Ubuntu devices, Shuttleworth added in a blog post Monday […]

  30. Wolfgang Spraul Says:

    You need to make your own hardware. How about starting with some cool Ubuntu speakers?

  31. flo Says:

    I think this is a great idea. The right thing that should be done.
    But why do we all have to suffer from half finished stuff.

    I had to switch back to Xubuntu to get a usable desktop environment :/

    @craig have you seen the vision of Microsoft for Windows 8 Metro Style?

  32. Marc Bowes Says:

    I’ve been an avid Ubuntu’er for some time now but I’m starting to become concerned with the direction it’s taking. I loved Ubuntu when it ‘just worked’. When migrating from Gentoo-do-it-all-yourself, I had a stellar experience. Installation was quick, the effects were easy to dial to my level of preference (low). There fonts looked slick. It was solid.

    My recent installs feel unpolished. The fact that the terminal doesn’t show up in the alt-tab in a fresh 11.10 install is saddening. Especially given that I’ve always stated that the terminal is the *killer* feature that keeps me booting into Linux instead of Win 7.

    I’m not against cosmetic changes. Move the window controls. Change the theme, sounds, effects. Ditch gnome-panel. Change the font. I’ll adjust and I trust that your design team knows what they’re doing. But the last two releases don’t feel like they were taken home, kept next to the bedside table and used at every opportunity. My Oneiric install uses 15% CPU just displaying a file-copy progress bar. Really? Windows 3.1.1 had progress bars and my computer at the time didn’t even have the capacity of 15% of one of my cores today.

    I’m fast becoming fond of Unity (especially how great the full screen experience is), but multi-monitor support is terrible (like, really) and some work flows are now very clumsy. For example, with the 15%-utilization problem, I’ve noticed that minimizing the progress bar causes the utilization to drop to 4%. However, I still want to see the progress. Its really difficult to get that window back. I have to move my mouse to the left, wait on the show-delay, select the Nautilus group and then realize it doesn’t show. Then I hold down alt-tab and use the left-right-down combination to find and expand the group. So much effort. To switch windows.

    What I’m trying to get at is think big. Make changes. Splashes. Shoot for the moon. But the get the basics right too. Ubuntu is deathly slow on older hardware now (even in 2D mode) compared to older installs. I’m not confident it will survive in a tablet/phone world without some serious spotlight-shining on the new ‘features’. Things that improve the look and feel of the desktop are great ways to attract new users. Things that make it harder to navigate the system are great ways to lose existing users. There needs to be a balance. I don’t think the recent regressions (intended as they may be, they’re still a usability regression from my perspective) are worth it.

    Please, invest in usability studies. Not just inside Canonical. It makes me sad when people comment that Ubuntu is half-baked. And sadder when I find myself realizing that a few years ago I would have had a heated argument, but now I more or less agree. I see Ubuntu as a full desktop solution. I realize you guys don’t have strong control over all the components of it. I realize that the suckiness of the mail clients isn’t an Ubuntu-specific problem, but a Linux problem in general. The thing that frustrates me is that Ubuntu is now diverging from Gnome (and I like the strong ownership around the desktop experience that this signifies) but making it harder for me to use my computer.

    I’m really not sure where the best forum for having this type of discussion is. I submit bug reports occasionally but when I do a search to find my bug I just see thousands and thousands. It doesn’t instill me with confidence and even if I get a dialog going in my specific report, I’m not sure how far it filters up the chain.

  33. Can Ubuntu Linux win on smartphones and tablets? | Says:

    […] doing this? As he explained this morning at the Ubuntu Developers Summit and on his blog, “The way we access the Internet, connect to our friends, listen to music, watch films and go about ou…. We now use a diverse set of devices with an array of operating systems, which have a range of […]

  34. salemboot Says:

    Ubuntu already powers Android smart phones. If you ‘grep’ the source code for Android: grep -r ubuntu *
    You’ll get a few references. :)

    I wouldn’t be surprised if someone hasn’t already tried running Ubuntu on one of these new media enabled televisions. They are basically running embedded Linux.

  35. mark Says:

    Canonical devs are free to use what they like, and the vast majority use Unity as best I can tell. Perhaps they have a bosskey, though 😉

  36. enedene Says:

    @Mark why don’t you open a Google+ account, every post you make here would be spread like fire and more and more people would hear about Ubuntu. People have a thing for leaders, you would be followed by thousand of people and your posts would reach millions. That’s a marketing tool you shouldn’t avoid.
    You see, Kim Kardashian is going to divorce after 72 days of marriage, I didn’t want to know that, but it was impossible to miss since it was spread on all networks.
    I can understand that you don’t want to impose, but most people don’t know what Ubuntu is and some that do are misinformed by myths from 1990 about Linux and how hard it’s to use it.

  37. nilux Says:

    I know that the PC is a decaying platform, but hey, how about creators?

    Can you create ANYTHING on a tablet, smart tv or smartphone?

    These devices are made for media consumption only.

    You can’t record music with a tablet. You can barely edit a movie. You can’t write code. You can’t take notes, draw with a stylus on a tablet, which is a shame.

    You can just pay for movies, music, newspapers, games. Oh, and browse the Web, until corporations lock the whole of it into ‘Apps’.

    With a PC you can do anything.

    It feels like, with the abandon of the personal computer, which used to empower everyone with professional tools, the PC is about to become a niche market for professionals only.

    Canonical created with Ubuntu a great, great, great alternative to Windows and Mac OS, which was easy to use and just worked out of the box. I felt that one day, it would be a platform of choice for creating, with Ardour, GIMP, Inkscape, Blender evolving as fast as other professional software.

    But after 5 years using Ubuntu, it is still a pain to use firewire soundcards for recording music, wacom tablets with multiple monitors, GIMP is lagging behind Photoshop, and no movie editing software is stable enough to actually make movies. Canonical is not directly responsible for this, but when the motto was ‘Linux for human beings’, I thought that your goal was to package Linux for the masses, which meant bringing the best elements together : GNOME for an easy to use desktop, debian for the software library, and great hardware detection and support. And that’s just how you got successful!

    But now that you had this great and easy to setup and use desktop, I thought the obvious next step for Canonical was to look at what was preventing people from switching to free software, and use its manpower to enhance the situation : Photoshop users don’t want to switch to Linux? Let’s hire developpers to implement the features users need and help GIMP catch up. Musicians can’t switch to Ubuntu? Let’s find out why, try to officially support the hardware they use the most, and try to better integrate music production software into Ubuntu. And so on.

    Now it looks like Ubuntu is just trying to be the new Android. Linux for consumers.

    As the whole industry is leaving the PC behind, Ubuntu could have become the only platform in town empowering creators. But you decided to follow the market, which is safer for you since you are a company and not a foundation dedicated to a goal (like mozilla whose goal is to protect the open web, not profit).

    So Mark, is it just my feeling that you are abandoning creators, or do you have plans?

    If not, we definitely need a new Linux distribution, backed by a not-for-profit foundation, with as much success as Ubuntu, focusing on the needs of average people but also creators and makers, helping people cross the line between consumption and creation.

  38. Joe Wakeling Says:

    What measures (if any) are being taken to facilitate other desktop environments and flavours of the Ubuntu family taking advantage of these different platforms?

    One of the great strengths of Ubuntu on the PC is the range of flavours out there — it’s easy to use Ubuntu as the base for the desktop environment of choice. Ubuntu as a tablet/smartphone platform has amazing potential to be the gateway for similar diversity of choice in device interfaces — user-centred choice rather than (as with Android etc.) manufacturer-centred choice.

    Is this being built into the plan for device-oriented Ubuntu? What are the current activities in the non-Unity flavours to support this?

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  43. mlu Says:

    Wonderful mark!
    Are there any plans to initiate a project (from canonical or community or in cooperation) that makes it possible to run/install apk-apps (adroid-apps) native under UBUNTU? I think this would solve the app-count-problem which every new tablet/smartphone-OS has, when it launches as newcomer the market. And it would be a win-win situation because also the UBUNTU desktop has then much more apps.

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  48. woolie Says:

    Dear Mark,

    I am an Ubuntu user since August 2006.
    Please listen to what your users are saying: Unity is not for the desktop, and we use desktops. Please let Gnome 2.0 be supported for users like us.


    P.S.: if that doesn’t happen, I’ll have to switch to a distro that supports Gnome 2.0 in 2012.

  49. Shawn Says:

    Workstations and smartphones-tablets are two different beasts. Workstations are data producers. That means they have a keyboard attached. That’s because the keyboard is the fastest, most-reliable way to get data into a computer. Nothing beats it, not voice, not gestures. Any OS that requires a constant back and forth movement of the hands between the keyboard and the mouse will be hated by power users. Smartphones-tablets, on the other hand, are data consumers. They work well with gestures and even voice. But one UI does not fit all. What’s good for a workstation is awkward for a smartphone-tablet and vice versa. Power users do not want an UI that’s good for view data; they want one that’s good for creating data. And Unity would fit the market.

  50. garry Says:

    I really hope this takes off. I already find Ubuntu One syncing with my Android phone extremely useful, and I’d happily make my next phone an Ubuntu one if the right handset came along. The stats you present on internet usage by device type are interesting and certainly believable, is the raw data public?

    @Unity-dislikers – does it occur to you that some of us really like Unity, and wouldn’t want it to change direction? I’m perfectly comfortable with you not liking it, but you already have lots of options to get what you’re looking for. What I want, however, wasn’t really available until Unity arrived :-)

  51. sibin Says:

    Mobile computing now increasing in every countries.Android platform became famous due to increasing number of Mobile phones.So i think your movement is good.But need to fight with Windows Mobile,Android,webOS and iOS.

    Best wishes for your future plans

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  53. Mitchell Says:

    Way to go Mark! Keep up the awesome work. Ubuntu’s vision of moving forward is inspiring, and I’m with you all the way.Currently I run 2 netbooks with Ubuntu, as well as a server. From the smaller end of the spectrum, using Ubuntu is also great.

    To those feeling Ubuntu is ‘forcing’ you to do anything, get over it. Unity is a work in progress, and will be awesome in a couple of years. With a couple of tweaks to compiz I find it the best workplace interface possible right now. But don’t like Unity? Then contribute to the code base! Don’t have time for that? Then install a different desktop. It’s so easy, I don’t understand what all the whining is about.

    The Ubuntu project is a winner, and I’m behind it all the way. Keep up the great work Mark!

  54. Aryan Says:

    By the time you get Ubuntu into a usable shape for tablets and phones, Windows 8 has had two years to get polished and with iOS and Android as incumbents, Ubuntu would occupy the same niche that it currently occupies on the desktop.

    Polishing Unity for tablets/smartphones might be doable, but how do you get the thousands of third-party apps in the software store to be magically touch friendly?

    Canonical would be much better off buying webOS from HP. Seriously, it’s already Linux, using a lot of the same components that Ubuntu uses like gstreamer, pulseaudio, gdbm, webkit, parted, etc. It would be so much more feasable to buy webOS and over time merge/align it with the Ubuntu Desktop, and you would have a solid contender with a respectable fan-base and media coverage right away in the tablet/smartphone area.

    If HP’s sale price for webOS is right, Canonical should really think about it. And if/when you release it as free software, the goodwill that that will generate would be tremendous and would ensure an instant following.

    Of course, buying webOS is no guarantee for commercial success (far from it), but it’s the best thing that currently is designed for tablets/smartphones and that can be remotely called ‘Linux’.

  55. Nadesj Says:

    I don’t like Unity on desktops, but I know where you
    want to go and I am looking forward to phones, TVs and
    tablets with Unity. Also I don’t have to use Unity on
    my desktop for the moment, there is choice.

    Hope to see Ubuntu in a store near me soon :-).

  56. Ubuntu prêt à se lancer sur les tablettes et les mobiles | Conseiller web Says:

    […] de la musique ou regardons des films, évolue rapidement », analyse M. Shuttleworth sur son blog personnel. C’est pour coller à ces nouveaux usages que Canonical envisage des versions adaptées […]

  57. Ubuntu eyes phone, tablet market | PlusGadget Update Says:

    […] “Today we are inviting the whole Ubuntu community – both commercial and personal – to shape that possibility and design that future; a world where Ubuntu runs on mobile phones, tablets, televisions and traditional PC’s, creating a world where content is instantly available on all devices, in a form that is delightful to use,” Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth said in a blog post. […]

  58. Tom Wood Says:

    Ubuntu 10.10 was ace.
    I just made the mistake of upgrading to 11.10 and have spent over a day’s effort fighting Unity into something approaching usable. One of the main things here is disabling the global menu (they’re moronic, the menu should belong to the window). I’d also really like to disable the title bar of maximised windows from merging with the panel, as that’s also brain-dead (why should a maximised window behave in a completely different way to an unmaximised one… and again, the title bar belongs to the window so it should be part of it).

    YES, maybe on a mobile or a tablet or a netbook you want to do things differently to save screen space. BUT I’M NOT USING ANY OF THOSE PLATFORMS. I’m using a desktop with two big monitors. I can work much more productively if I can tweak the interface to suit the platform rather than forcing everyone into a one-size-fits-all approach. I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “jack of all trades, master of none”. “One size fits all” is always an uncomfortable compromise.

    Unity generally works well, but please, allow more customisation so we can tweak the UI to fit our individual use cases.

  59. Ubuntu eyes phone, tablet market | My Blog Says:

    […] “Today we are inviting the whole Ubuntu community – both commercial and personal – to shape that possibility and design that future; a world where Ubuntu runs on mobile phones, tablets, televisions and traditional PC’s, creating a world where content is instantly available on all devices, in a form that is delightful to use,” Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth said in a blog post. […]

  60. Ubuntu mobility. Enfim um concorrente de peso para o Android? | Relatividade… Says:

    […] Shuttleworth, criador da Canonical, postou em seu blog (31/10) que o Ubuntu chegará para dispositivos móveis como smartphones e tablets no ano que vem. […]

  61. Joe Wakeling Says:

    @garry — I hope my earlier remarks about other Ubuntu flavours were not interpreted as being anti-Unity; I think it’s a very nice and exciting development.

    BUT one of the strengths of GNU/Linux is the degree to which knowledgeable users can customize their own OS. Ubuntu+Unity on smartphone, tablet and other device platforms will be great — it would be even better if Ubuntu can be the gateway for all the other UI flavours out there to come to devices.

  62. Eric Says:

    I love using Ubuntu and do so for hours a day on a desktop and/or netbook while using the Gnome interface, and I’ve frequently recommended Ubuntu as a worthy operating system. But I still don’t see it becoming a true alternative for most people until it comes already installed on devices when purchased. But them I’m afraid it will become what Android largely has become — an operating system that’s designed by Google and modified by other companies to tie users into their universe.

  63. Nelson Huygen Says:

    What works for a tablet does not necessarily work for a computer. Unity looks and acts terrible on a device with an upright screen, a keyboard, and a mouse.

    I’m afraid that you’ve blown it, Mark. Existing Ubuntu users are leaving in droves. Ubuntu has jumped the shark.

  64. srinivas v Says:


    So, “World domination” eh, Let us take up the parts of this domination, one by one.

    Phones: Can u take the openmoko project under canonical and release an Ubuntu phone, instead of depending and begging OEM’s to do it for u and in the process compromising the “freedom” of users.

    Desktops: Naa. Until u want to brand Debian GNU/Linux as ubuntu and u dont come out frank with users, it will never happen. GNU/Linux is not only “linux for human beings” but from “human beings” There is nothing wrong in giving all the “freedom” developers their due by just identifying them and putting references up on your website. GNU/Linux was and will be used sans the contributions from ubuntu.

    Tablets: Now, this is a herculean task. I appreciate ur gut feeling, even to talk about this segment. This segment is full of people who just want their device to “work”, thats it. None of the bugs and all the experimental software being developed in canonical’s closed quarters is going to help. And since u are not bothered about the “power user” segment, and u dont want come out of this dream that everybody “loves” unity and u think that it can be forced on to every “GNU/Linux user” ………….

    I request you not to throw out a half baked OS and an interface which is going to spoil the mileage which GNU/Linux and the Linux kernel have gained over the years, atleast with users who respect and love “freedom” more than “anything”

    All the best in all your endeavors.

  65. Ubuntu’s going mobile: Will it survive? | Says:

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  66. AppsEnjoy » Ubuntu Linux going mobile, expanding to tablets and smartphones by 2014 Says:

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  67. Amber Graner: UDS Day 1: Exciting, Busy Always Inspiring | Ubuntu Forms Says:

    […] While Jono’s talks are alway&#115&#32&#101njoyable the real excitement came from Mark Shuttl&#101&#119&#111rth’s keynote as he talked about looking to the &#102&#117&#116ure of Ubuntu beyond the 12.04 LTS to 14.04 LTS an&#100&#32&#98eyond.  Later on Monday he blogged about that vis&#105&#111&#110: Ubuntu on phones, tablets, TV’s and smart scre&#101&#110&#115 everywhere […]

  68. Librethinking Says:

    Hey Mark, I think is a great idea. You should register the “U-Phone” 😛

  69. Daniel Says:

    I’m assuming feature requests can be placed on launchpad. Yeah?

  70. garry Says:

    @Joe Wakeling – No I wasn’t thinking of you :-) I agree that one of the Linux platform’s great strengths is the variety of environments one can set up, that’s why I find the anti-Unity brigade so baffling – why not just use something else?

    I also find what you’re saying about the other desktop projects potentially getting on board with this interesting. There’s a real opportunity here to get ahead of the development curve. The biggest growth areas for computer interaction aren’t desktops or laptops anymore and, if people are up for the challenge, there’s some quite exciting work ahead.

    @srinivas I’m increasingly seeing the line of argument you’re going down at the end of your post being deployed – that Unity is somehow spoiling all the market share that desktop Linux had built up (there was quite a large post of this ilk on ZDNet recently). I don’t get it. Is there data I don’t know about showing a spike in desktop Linux adoption pre-Unity that’s backslid post-Unity?

  71. Invaze FOSS na tablety « semivt Says:

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  72. Ubuntu Linux coming to phones, tablets | Install Ubuntu Says:

    […] in cars and elsewhere, Mark Shuttleworth, the South African behind the software announced in a blog post on […]

  73. Jose Says:


    “That’s because the keyboard is the fastest, most-reliable way to get data into a computer. Nothing beats it, not voice, not gestures.”

    That is just temporary, voice is super fast for 95% of the human population that does not touch type, and more natural too.

    As an engineer I just need an stylus to draw because you can not do sketches, diagrams… with a keyboard.

    A picture from a 8Mpixels phone contains dozens of millions more information that a keypress, speech thousands, it is only about time that hardware and software evolves to be able to analyze and extract a big part of it in a reliable way.

    Apple(and Android) are moving where the puck is going to be, not were it is.

  74. Cláudio Souza Serviços de Informática - Ubuntu rodará em tablets, smartphones e TVs Says:

    […] e TVs inteligentes.Mark Shuttleworth, fundador da Canonical, produtora do Ubuntu, afirmou em seu blog que a empresa já vem discutindo parcerias com fabricantes de hardware há mais de 18 meses.Porém, […]

  75. srinivas Says:


    cc @Mark

    If GNU/Linux had 1% of desktop share, If you remove one user from that list, how much would it go down? That too if the user already had a feel of GNOME 2.* on GNU/Linux and was using it on his laptop and desktop and u suddenly thrust upon him an interface developed( being developed ) for a tablet. Dont u think the desktop/laptop user is left high and dry? If u expect that everybody would own a tablet, then make a seperate OS and sell it to the OEMs who inturn will throw it out to the users. Not caring about the existing users and not bothered about their liking or disliking is a fallacy of canonical for which they will pay heavily.

    Just prove ubuntu is atleast as good as Android on the tablet, I will be the first to buy provided the notion of “free as in freedom” is intact and ubuntu still means “ubuntu”( I am what I am because of who we all are ) philosophy, Pushing out experimental software on desktop users which is in turn optimized for tablets making all the existing users guinea pigs.

  76. clockworkpc Says:

    Fantastic! Canonical is moving Ubuntu in EXACTLY the right direction. I run my entire business on GNU/Linux and FOSS, which would have been impossible without Ubuntu and Canonical’s professional support. Personally, I could do just fine on any other major distro, but Ubuntu reliability and hardware detection and, equally importantly, its advances in the UI are key to my personal and professional computer use. Well done, Canonical!

  77. Ubuntu prossimamente su smartphone e tablet | Start System Srl Says:

    […] ancora spazio per ulteriori sistemi operativi nell’affollato scenario mobile? Secondo Mark Shuttleworth, boss di Canonical, c’è sempre spazio quando si parla di software libero. La società […]

  78. garry Says:

    @srinivas If you subtract one user from one per cent of world desktop share I suspect it would still be one per cent, using any sane method of rounding what would still be quite a large number (though a very small rate). My point was that, since the rate was so low, you can’t say that Unity is somehow going to “spoil the mileage which GNU/Linux and the Linux kernel have gained over the years” in terms of the desktop market. GNOME2’s shell had its chance to increase that share and, if that’s what you’re interested in as Mark/Ubuntu is/are, then it stands to reason that you need to try something different. As Albert Einstein is supposed to have said (it’s an attributed quote and I’m paraphrasing): doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is insanity.

  79. Felix Haller Says:

    Hi Mark,

    i think this will be my Tech-Highlight in 2014 and I’m looking forward to my first Phone with Ubuntu. I hope the Power-Bugs will be resolved till then.

    Besides I agree to “Librethinking” – U-Phone would be nice 😉

    Greets from Germany

  80. Giovanni Says:

    People talk about the problems and usability with the new Unity interface, but every new concept have your mistake until get stable, I not see the vision of “ubuntu everywhere”, until now, this is visionary and in future is an good competitive advantage.

    Keep the good work and hold out.

  81. bjje Says:

    I dearly love Ubuntu and I’m willing to get used to unity because I want all of my devices to be linked so the vision is fine but what’s holding us back is voice/character recognition. In order to do more than just consume content, you need to have input. To do work, you also need more than a connection to the cloud, you need to be offline too. The problem is that without some kind of solution to work with now, all we get is Gee-whiz-I-got-ubuntu-to-run-on-my-device videos. This drives everyone straight to android and if it becomes a real OS then why ever return? I hope that the hardware contacts are further along than we are being told because if not then there’ll be nothing to develop on or even experiment with.

  82. Ubuntu 14.04 potrà essere installata sui dispositivi mobili. E quindi? « my life according to me v2.0 Says:

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