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KingBahamut
November 28th, 2005, 04:56 PM
As if having Edubuntu, Kubuntu and Xubuntu wasn't enough, it seems that a new Ubuntu derivative, called "Gnubuntu" is about to be born. Mark Shuttleworth: "We've registered "gnubuntu.org" for an ideologically-pure derivative. Have had some discussion with RMS [Richard M Stallman of the Free Software Foundation (FSF)] about this. He's supportive of the idea but not the name... we may go ahead with the name as it is, since I think it perfectly captures the link to both projects. The idea would be to setup that derivative to include only stuff that's FSF-blessed (even if the FSF doesn't bless the name of the aggregation)." If you are interested in contributing to this project (and earn a few brownie points from RMS), read this mailing list post for further information. On a related note, Ubuntu Linux and Mark Shuttlewroth have both won awards at the Linux New Media Awards at last week's Linux World Expo in Frankfurt, Germany.

Hmmmm....this I find somewhat interesting. An ideologically pure alternative?

aysiu
November 28th, 2005, 05:12 PM
I think Ubuntu already was ideologically pure...

Stormy Eyes
November 28th, 2005, 05:31 PM
I don't, but I never claim to speak for anybody but myself. Besides, like Aysiu, I thought mainline Ubuntu was ideologically pure. If you want MP3, Java, and other non-free stuff, you have to install it yourself.

Kyral
November 28th, 2005, 05:51 PM
People are confused already. Plus I think that some new users will think that "Gnubuntu" will mean Ubuntu + GNOME (Hold off I know that GNOME is default already).

And yah, doesn't Ubuntu already ship with only FOSS stuff? Or does this mean only software from the GNU project (like GNU Emacs instead of VIM)

Brunellus
November 28th, 2005, 05:58 PM
...and the gdm screen, instead of the 'circle of friends' photo, will have a picture of RMS fulminating from a podium.

az
November 28th, 2005, 10:56 PM
http://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/sounder/2005-November/002991.html

That is the first post in the sounder mailing list thread.

For those who do not want to spend twenty minute or so catching up, here is the summary:

Someone mentioned a security vulnerability in Skype and got asked what the relevance was to Ubuntu (Since skype is proprietary software that you cannot redistribute and so forth)

The topic got onto non-proprietairy software and it was pointed out that there is a bunch of non-free-libre software in the restricted and multiverse repos. The install cd contains the linux-restricted-modules which are proprietary and are not dfsg (or FSF) compatible. The idea of having them loaded on demand (and not sitting on your harddive) was tossed around and then SABDFL (Mark Shuttleworth) mentioned the GNUbuntu derivative.

My thoughs:

1. Canonical wants to position itself as a leader in providing support and services for free-libre open source software. One of their strategies is to encourage these kinds of ubuntu derivative distributions. We are going to see many more in the near future.

With Ubuntu as the center of these specialised distributions, Canonical will be in a very good position to make profit and become sustainable on their own.

2. If no one stands up for free-libre software, it will dissapear. I do not think this will happen, but the consumer is going to have to take a shot in the arm in the near future. They are going to have to bear the brunt of convincing manufacturers of computer peripherals to release free-libre open source drivers for their products.

That is an uphill battle at first. Once FLOSS takes up a certain percentage of the market share (ten percent?) it will become relevant and these companies will take notice. When that happens, if there is not a real push for free-libre drivers, it will not happen easily.

The Ubuntu community needs both to be installable on most hardware (by providing the proprietary drivers) and at the same time advocate the use of free-libre drivers. Having a derivative distro is one way to tackle this issue.

Perhaps it would be a nice stance to make if Canonical were to distribute only the GNU all-free version via shipit?

az
November 28th, 2005, 10:57 PM
...and the gdm screen, instead of the 'circle of friends' photo, will have a picture of RMS fulminating from a podium.


Have you read the comic strip "Everybody loves Eric Raymond"?

http://geekz.co.uk/lovesraymond/


Hillarious!

KiwiNZ
November 29th, 2005, 12:36 AM
My first thought was , This ideoligical is getting silly .

I think I still sorta think the same but thats just me

bugi
November 29th, 2005, 12:59 AM
Imo good idea. Diversity is good in The Linux World, it brings distros like Gentoo, Slackware on the one side (hard to configure for newbies) and Ubuntu, SUSE, Fedora on the other side (easy, rpm/deb based). I do like the idea of being "ideological pure", why not? Some distros have proprietary software out of the box, some of them don't have it. We have already Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Edubuntu...*g*, one distro more is something i can live with ;-) And of course getting moral support from RMS is also nice :KS Oh, do you know that the only "pure" distro is Ututo? Have you ever tried it? I don't think so, since it is Gentoo based ;-) So Gnubuntu will be definitely something i will download/order when it will be available. We all know that Linux is all about the choice, so let Mark Shuttleworth do his job, because so far his ideas were just 100% great and i do believe that he knows what he does :KS

Cheers.

Qrk
November 29th, 2005, 01:19 AM
Perhaps it wouldn't include programs like openoffice, which are released under an open source devolopment license; not the GPL.
I'm not exactly sure how much of ubuntu isn't the GPL. It might be possible that Gnubuntu wouldn't include even the lesser GPL?

Leif
November 29th, 2005, 01:26 AM
I won't use it, but I support it.

bugi
November 29th, 2005, 01:39 AM
Perhaps it wouldn't include programs like openoffice, which are released under an open source devolopment license; not the GPL.
I'm not exactly sure how much of ubuntu isn't the GPL. It might be possible that Gnubuntu wouldn't include even the lesser GPL?

Since Ututo is "pure", here is the list of packages which you could expect from the "pure" Ubuntu
https://www.ututo.org/xp/modules/xoopsfaq/index.php?cat_id=5#q42

And don't forget that you could always add universe/multiverse repo like in Ubuntu.

az
November 29th, 2005, 02:01 AM
Perhaps it wouldn't include programs like openoffice, which are released under an open source devolopment license; not the GPL.

Software under a GPL or GPL-compatible licence will be included, I suspect.

The DFSG (Debian free software guidelines) describe the criteria which a licence must provide to be GPL-compatible.


"And don't forget that you could always add universe/multiverse repo like in Ubuntu."

But there would be no point to that. Right now, you can install a base system and remove linux-restricted-modules and you have a pure system. Some people (rightly so) want to be able to boot the installer and not have *any* proprietary drivers on it.

If it were not for people like that we would all be running windows and Mac right now.

Adrian
November 29th, 2005, 02:05 AM
It might be possible that Gnubuntu wouldn't include even the lesser GPL?

Like Gnome? :)

Well, you never know...

23meg
November 29th, 2005, 02:06 AM
Good idea; I'd like to see this realized. I'm happy to see that Shuttleworth cares about ideological correctness GNU-wise.

super
November 29th, 2005, 02:18 AM
my first thought was, this ideological is getting silly .

i think I still sorta think the same but thats just me
and me!;)

Qrk
November 29th, 2005, 06:19 AM
Well, it looks difficult to make an OS with pure GPL. The lesser GPL would have to be included, but usability probably isn't the main goal. And if something meets Debian's requirements, I'd have a hard time saying it is not truely free software.

So would KDE be included? Qt is under dual license, but that is fine in the GPL. (unless you ask a gnomer nursing an old wound) I suppose there are a hundred different ways to slice up the license restrictions to come up with an idealogically pure version.

matthew
November 29th, 2005, 06:37 AM
I won't use it, but I support it.Leif, you took my post...that's what I was going to say. :) What can I say? I like my mp3's and I have too many to re-rip all my cd's as ogg's.

az
November 29th, 2005, 01:53 PM
I suppose there are a hundred different ways to slice up the license restrictions to come up with an idealogically pure version.


You should read the debian-legal mailing list. This discussion has taken place over and over and over....

mattheweast
November 29th, 2005, 07:07 PM
I like the idea. The main reason I use Ubuntu is to use free software, and the freer it is, the better :)

As for what will be in it, the idea is that it will include the main and universe repositories, but not restricted or multiverse. The bigger question is whether this will satisfy the FSF

http://www.ubuntulinux.org/ubuntu/licensing/

treris
November 29th, 2005, 07:15 PM
Is this maybe a move to make (k)ubuntu less ideologicallly pure in the future? certainly if Ubuntu is to gain a significant marketshare in the desktop market it will need to come out with a true out-of-the-box version.
I know that the current versions of (k)ubuntu are pretty much working out-of-the-box, but still there are some parts that are pretty handy to have around that do not come with the standard (k)ubuntu install because it is proprietary software.
So now maybe what we'll see in the future is that (k)ubuntu will include more and more proprietary software to become more and more newbie friendly, while gnubuntu will remain a pure derivative without any proprietary software?
I think we can all agree that a linux distro that would include simply everything (even more than (k)ubuntu allready does) would be a very good weapon to compete with windows or macOS in the parts of the world that aren't completely windows yet. It will even have my vote as an alternative os for people who are unwilling or unable to pay hundreds of dollars/euros for a new os every couple of years.
It would make good sense in a business setting to have a really out-of-the-box OS and then a more pure version for people who really like working in a completely pure environment.

just a thought

mattheweast
November 29th, 2005, 07:25 PM
Is this maybe a move to make (k)ubuntu less ideologicallly pure in the future?
No, as far as I can see the licensing policy for the non-free components will remain the same.


certainly if Ubuntu is to gain a significant marketshare in the desktop market it will need to come out with a true out-of-the-box version.
I know that the current versions of (k)ubuntu are pretty much working out-of-the-box, but still there are some parts that are pretty handy to have around that do not come with the standard (k)ubuntu install because it is proprietary software.
So now maybe what we'll see in the future is that (k)ubuntu will include more and more proprietary software to become more and more newbie friendly, while gnubuntu will remain a pure derivative without any proprietary software?

I disagree: what we want to see in the future is an operating system that works out of the box WITHOUT using proprietary software.

Matt

KingBahamut
November 29th, 2005, 07:36 PM
That in and of itself is an Idealistic dream. While not impossible, to assume that it wont take the effort of the community , as a whole, contributing to this effort is if anything a falacy. As the community grows and diversifies it may then be possible to achieve this aim. It is the Centrist nature of others that is the hinderance of this aim and intent on our parts.

poptones
November 29th, 2005, 07:46 PM
We have that now. But if you purchase hardware that is not open source friendly then your "ethically pure" distribution is, at best, moot - and useless or seriously crippled if you should decide to go forth in deploying it in "pure" fashion. This is no one's fault but the person deploying the system.

The barriers to "ethics" are not in lack of software or lack of hardware - if you want an "ethically pure" system then you must work for it and there is no practical means of changing this. Just as you do not go to Pep Boys and purchase a new carburetor for your vintage mustang without first doing some research (or trusting the consultant there to do it for you), you do not set about building (or purchasing) a new system without first making sure it suits your needs. If your needs are for it to be "ethically pure" then you do not go to wal-mart and scoop up the first mass produced asian import box you find.

You will never be able to assemble random off the shelf hardware into an "ethically pure" system. There is no mandate (nor should there be) upon hardware manufacturers to provide the detailed documentation required in order for their product to be supported in the open source community. Nor will you ever be able to assemble an "ethically pure" system that includes all forms of multimedia playback, since (again) there is no mandate upon the means by which publishers make their content available. You either believe in freedom or you don't, and if you would rob these publishers and hardware manufacturers of their freedom to be proprietary then your "ethics" lack "purity" right from the get-go.

mattheweast
November 29th, 2005, 08:24 PM
That in and of itself is an Idealistic dream. While not impossible, to assume that it wont take the effort of the community , as a whole, contributing to this effort is if anything a falacy. As the community grows and diversifies it may then be possible to achieve this aim. It is the Centrist nature of others that is the hinderance of this aim and intent on our parts.

To a certain extent it is idealistic yes. However it is essentially the idea behind Ubuntu: that open source _will_ ultimately, whether anyone else likes it or not, succeed. This is the belief of the people behind Ubuntu, which is no doubt based at least in part on practical reality. I don't really have a view either way, so I'll just hope they are right.

I don't understand what you mean by that "centrist" stuff.

Brunellus
November 29th, 2005, 08:31 PM
I think by "centrist" he means to denounce users like me, who use nonfree software: madwifi, media codecs, nvidia, and many more:

mea culpa mea culpa mea maxima culpa;

az
November 30th, 2005, 02:41 AM
I dissagree that this is *that* idealistic. Look how far FLOSS has come in the past few years. The progress is not slowing down. The potential that Floss has to offer easily dwarfs the things that proprietary software offer here-and-now.

Nothing can force the manufacturers to open up their specs. Nothing but the market. The community takes a stand on free-libre software which includes drivers. I think the laws of the market as well as the laws of natural selection will move free-libre software to the forefront.

For example, people point out that Nvidia cards offer the best 3d performance to linux users. However, I have never had a machine lock up so often as when I used an (three different, actually) nvidia card(s) in it. Although I get lesser performance from an ATI card using the DRI drivers, that is what I use since it does not crash my machine. If the nvidia driver was open source, perhaps this would not be an issue. Perhaps it would be cheaper for them to develop it.

This is not an issue for me since I do not use my machine for gamins all that much.

I think it is a question of awareness. You do not have to be a zealot to see that FLOSS is cheaper to make for the manufacturer and better quality overall for the consumer.

The same might happen with proprietary formats. Same quality as the proprietary cousins, but with no cost.

phanboy_iv
November 30th, 2005, 05:30 PM
Just one thing: Who's going to use this?

Not many people, I'm thinking. I love FLOSS, but the simple fact is, 98% of computer users will not trade functionality for 100% pure GPL adherance when they've already got something "free enough" like Ubuntu.

Basically, to me it seems as if this is a feel-good idea, as opposed to any real need for a 100% pure GNU distro.

We've already got an excellent alternative. Let's not needlessly subdivide it.

bwog
November 30th, 2005, 09:25 PM
Perhaps ubuntu can continue to take the slow road: replace non-free applications one by one with open source and GPL.

That is going to take a long time, but when the user-base is large enough there may be a video card manufacturor who advertises open source drivers as a feature.

Anyway, a howto that explains how to remove all impure :) software would do the trick also.

Edit: the last remark should not be taken too seriously :rolleyes: although it would save a considerable amount of work.

mattheweast
November 30th, 2005, 09:40 PM
removing that stuff is pretty easy (hardware and use-case permitting):

* remove restricted and multiverse repositories from your /etc/apt/sources.list
* open synaptic and remove all of the programs that are now in the "local or obsolete" section. Leave anything installed that you have installed manually (i.e. not via apt).

I haven't done this myself, I am not ideologically pure either :) It is doable if your hardware is all supported, and if you don't use restricted codecs like mp3, or play DVDs.

az
December 1st, 2005, 02:58 AM
Anyway, a howto that explains how to remove all impure :) software would do the trick also.

Simple. Do a default desktop install and remove the linux-restricted-modules package.

You are done.

Wan't more software? enable universe - you are still pure.

I ran a laptop for six months on debian testing (sarge) before I realised that I only had the main repository enabled.

Who is going to use this? It is in everybody's best interest to do it. All this may as well be windows or mac if we ignore the importance of the GPL.

That would be a great feature for next year's software freedom day - The ubuntu remove-restricted-modules challenge. Users would be challenged to remove it and see what hardware they have that is not supported. They are then encouraged to write a short email.

Don't panic! You can reinstall the package from the cd!

Again, I think this is all a question of informing people. A lot of people try out this "free" software and want to know how to give back, despite not being able to develop software - FLOSS advocacy is a good start.

bwog
December 1st, 2005, 12:27 PM
Anyway, a howto that explains how to remove all impure :) software would do the trick also.

Edit: the last remark should not be taken too seriously :rolleyes: although it would save a considerable amount of work.

Sometimes it is hard to convey the meaning of ones words :) But it shows how helpfull people are in this forum. Imagine that; two howto's for the ideologically pure.

Is there a dress code for the ceremony of removing impure software? :rolleyes:

poofyhairguy
December 1st, 2005, 05:29 PM
So there will be an Ubuntu as pure as Fedora eh? No NTFS reading for you!

az
December 1st, 2005, 07:04 PM
So there will be an Ubuntu as pure as Fedora eh? No NTFS reading for you!
?

poofyhairguy
December 1st, 2005, 07:15 PM
?


Sorry Azz. I must remember that Seinfeld ended 7 years ago.

For the record am now building a computer for a friend of mine and the emphasis is parts that use 100% open source drivers. I am building myself a new machine where the only closed source part is a Nvidia card. Not only is it better morally but its eaisier- everything can work out of the box!

So yay to VIA, yay to ULI, yay to Realtek, yay to ATI 92xx and below. Its possible to be a nerd and to only have libre stuff. That is why Ubuntu and Linux is successful even it it never gets past 10% desktop marketshare!

az
December 1st, 2005, 08:00 PM
I still do not understand your points.

Vlammetje
December 1st, 2005, 11:33 PM
I think I spotted a 'Soup Nazi' impersonation there =D>


As for the NTFS remark: he means no reading your Windows partition (which I suspect many of us do have) if you remove all 'impurities' from your system.


Btw PoofyHair... since your building I can ask you this question: what would be a good Linux supported surround sound card? (5.1 is sufficient for me) Any recommendations? I am beginning to believe one small upgrade might be the way to happiness for me.

az
December 2nd, 2005, 02:26 AM
ntfsprogs is GPLed. You can read ntfs using 100 percent Free-Libre software.

Speaking of percentages, how about counting the number of packages you have installed, subtract the number of packages from restricted and multiverse, divide by the total number and then multiply by 100 and you have the percentage of free packages on your system.

Anyone here *under* 99 percent?

Anyone under 99.8 percent?

poptones
December 2nd, 2005, 02:53 AM
the code may be gpl but ntfs is just as locked up in proprietariness as mpeg.

phanboy_iv
December 2nd, 2005, 01:59 PM
ntfsprogs is GPLed. You can read ntfs using 100 percent Free-Libre software.

Speaking of percentages, how about counting the number of packages you have installed, subtract the number of packages from restricted and multiverse, divide by the total number and then multiply by 100 and you have the percentage of free packages on your system.

Anyone here *under* 99 percent?

Anyone under 99.8 percent?


I'm...let's see...97.99% free of non-free/multiverse packages.

Most of those are audio/video related codecs and stuff. Although without the restricted modules, my computer would suffer a serious drop in usability.

As has been previously mentioned by King Bahamut,The name Gnubuntu would really confuse non-nerd types. And I can just see someone thinking it's GNOME or something, downloading it, and posting asking about how to install DVD codecs or something.

And Ubuntu is not Non-GPL here people. I think it's made very clear that Ubuntu is about software liberty and community efforts. I personally try to replace every nonGPL piece of software I can with GPL'd stuff. And GPL stuff is usually as good or better than the nonfree things. But some things still require nonfree things. A progression toward 100% FOSS is the best idea, I think. But it's nice to know the people upstairs actually care about the GPL enough put this out there.

az
December 2nd, 2005, 02:16 PM
the code may be gpl but ntfs is just as locked up in proprietariness as mpeg.

AFAIK, reverse-engineering NTFS is not as illegal as mpeg encoding. Ntfsprogs is more like Samba, a GPL, open-spec implementation of a Microsoft protocol.

It is not immoral or illegal to create and use an NTFS filesystem using the available GPLed tools.

poptones
December 2nd, 2005, 07:34 PM
Decss is just "reverse engineered" as well. NTFS is proprietary and the open source code is incomplete and unpredicatable because of this.

In the context of ideology one would not use an ntfs filesystem anyway, so it seems moot. If you are "ideologically pure" why would you even be using windows?

az
December 2nd, 2005, 08:07 PM
Decss is just "reverse engineered" as well.



Right, but there is moral and legal question as to the use of reading encrypted DVDs in countries where you need a licence to do that. I am not aware of a licence or any other prohibition to read an NTFS filesystem.


NTFS is proprietary and the open source code is incomplete and unpredicatable because of this. ?

The original comment was about reading ntfs - something that the OSS driver does perfectly well. Had Poofyhairguy said NTFS writing, that would imply the captive ntfs driver which is not GPL and I would not have touched the topic with a ten foot pole.


In the context of ideology one would not use an ntfs filesystem anyway, so it seems moot. If you are "ideologically pure" why would you even be using windows?

I agree. All my filesystems are ext3.