Not logged in
Log in now
Create an account
Subscribe to LWN
An unexpected perf feature
LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 16, 2013
A look at the PyPy 2.0 release
PostgreSQL 9.3 beta: Federated databases and more
LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 9, 2013
Please note that I am not criticizing, just asking. Everybody is free to use whatever business model they can with Linux.
I have to admit though that I am a little concerned that if Canonical is taking customers away from RedHat and Novell (both major kernel contributors), it could ultimately hurt the kernel.
Posted May 29, 2009 19:43 UTC (Fri) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
remember that opensource isn't a zero-sum game. yes ubuntu takes some customers away from RedHat, but they also get a lot of people using linux who would not have used RedHat.
some small percentage of these additional people that they get involved with linux will become kernel developers someday, so even with no direct payments to kernel developers they still benifit the kernel
Posted May 30, 2009 1:12 UTC (Sat) by mikov (subscriber, #33179)
However there is a secondary observation that has been bugging me for some time: in light of these statistics, it seems less likely that Canonical would be able to provide high quality kernel support with their support licenses.
Posted May 30, 2009 10:06 UTC (Sat) by kragil (subscriber, #34373)
Posted May 30, 2009 22:19 UTC (Sat) by mikov (subscriber, #33179)
(BTW, I want to reiterate that I have nothing against Canonical, and in fact at one time our company was considering purchasing support. Alas, instead there was a company-wide downgrade from Kubuntu to Windows XP for all non-developers. That however is a different subject...)
Posted Jun 1, 2009 5:50 UTC (Mon) by rahulsundaram (subscriber, #21946)
Posted Jun 10, 2009 19:25 UTC (Wed) by jengelh (subscriber, #33263)
Posted Jun 10, 2009 7:18 UTC (Wed) by SimonO (subscriber, #56318)
It would be worrying if the company which is more successful would not allow upstream contributions.
Posted Jun 2, 2009 12:55 UTC (Tue) by nix (subscriber, #2304)
Posted Jun 1, 2009 23:10 UTC (Mon) by martinfick (subscriber, #4455)
Posted Jun 2, 2009 18:24 UTC (Tue) by mikov (subscriber, #33179)
Seriously, I think these are valid questions to ask and discuss if we do it politely. The consensus between those who responded is that Canonical is benefiting the Linux ecosystem and I agree.
I do however think think that there are two different alternate realities here. One is the overenthusiastic reality which you see at tech sites and discussion forums (e.g. Slashdot), and the other is the actual physical reality.
For example In the physical reality I have never met a person who actually uses Ubuntu. When I say "uses", I don't mean install every new version and "try" it, but actually use it for everything on his home/work PC every day. I am sure such people exist, but they are much fewer in absolute numbers than one would assume by reading tech sites. (I myself actually _do use_ Ubuntu on my laptop 100% of the time, but people think I am crazy. We also tried to use it on desktops at work, but alas that failed).
On the other hand, I have met many people who have a Ubuntu Live CD, or a partition, which they boot probably once a month. This is a fake user base. Their primary OS with very few exceptions is Windows. These are probably the people who upgrade their Ubuntu every 6 months - I am sure that nobody who actually uses their computer would be crazy enough to do an upgrade so frequently.
So, I think the answers are more complicated.
Posted Jun 2, 2009 21:33 UTC (Tue) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
I think it is going to depend a lot on what groups you are with as far as how many people use what distro.
I used slakware for 10+ years so I'm not a non-technical user, and I decided to switch to ubuntu.
Posted Jun 4, 2009 7:29 UTC (Thu) by Lennie (subscriber, #49641)
Posted Jun 5, 2009 2:22 UTC (Fri) by Duncan (guest, #6647)
Agreed in general that these aren't true users, and that there are
probably a lot of Ubuntu LiveCDs and installs in that group. However,
it's important to note that the *ix way of computing is a decently large
change in computing mindset, and that some portion of these will
ultimately become full-time Linux users.
(FWIW, I was in this segment for 2-3 years, around the turn of the
century, with Mandrake the distribution I was playing with. Then MS
decided they were going a different way than I was, and basically gave me
that last push I needed to make the jump, when they went the eXPrivacy and
remote authorization route. This for a user who had previously considered
most MS software "too important" to risk warezing, and who had previously
been spending probably 50% of his computing dollars on MS directly. But
after the push, I soon discovered how liberating the land of freedomware
was, and now look back at proprietaryware much like a defector looking
back at his former home -- I have a lot of friends and family I left
behind and will do what I can to help them make the jump as well, but
it's nowhere I want to be or can even visit, unless the regime changes and
becomes free as well. I no longer even consider proprietaryware, nor
could I without serious legal issues, as I can no longer agree to all
the !#@! demanded of proprietaryware users, whose masters, those supplying
the proprietaryware, really /do/ seem to think of them as slaves, not
actual human beings, with few if any rights worth considering.)
> These are probably the people who upgrade
> their Ubuntu every 6 months - I am sure
> that nobody who actually uses their computer
> would be crazy enough to do an upgrade so
Why not? I actually use my computer, running Gentoo, and upgrade on
average 2-3 times a week. In fact, I hate going a full week without an
upgrade as the changes start getting too large to easily cope with all at
once. Thus, I'd argue that six month upgrades, far from being too
frequent, are WAYYY too infrequent, by three orders of magnitude!
FWIW, I found the same issue on Mandrake and quickly switched to Cooker,
where the rolling updates were MUCH easier to cope with and most of the
big issues the release version upgraders had to cope with were incremental
changes I had dealt with as a matter of course tiny incremental bits at a
time, long months before. Six months is simply WAY too long for easy
upgrades, and going longer than that, you're needlessly losing out on
updates and features that make computing both easier and more pleasant.
Posted Jul 21, 2009 3:34 UTC (Tue) by jmm82 (guest, #59425)
I work at a start-up with about 10 Linux users and all but one use Ubuntu(the other uses Suse). Everyone I know that uses it are happy and yes we do *real* Linux programming stuff.
Posted Jun 22, 2009 20:14 UTC (Mon) by asdlfiui788b (guest, #58839)
Posted Jun 22, 2009 22:32 UTC (Mon) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
Posted Jun 29, 2009 20:17 UTC (Mon) by job (guest, #670)
I will save any judgement on Canonical or any other company until they have black figures. Until then, the process is not yet sustainable and matters little in the long run.
Posted Aug 12, 2009 19:22 UTC (Wed) by snadrus (guest, #60224)
They've enhanced the open source desktop with Upstart & invited more independent developers to open source with Quickly and Launchpad.
Copyright © 2013, Eklektix, Inc.
Comments and public postings are copyrighted by their creators.
Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds