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Thread: Is Ubuntu leapfrogging off of the Linux community?

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    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    Question Is Ubuntu leapfrogging off of the Linux community?

    Something that I've been thinking about lately. Technically, Ubuntu is being developed opensource, but when it gets down to it, the OS really doesn't embody what the opensource community is all about. Take, for instance, Ubuntu's new display server, Mir. I strongly suspect that--just the same as Ubuntu One and Unity before it--Mir will be an Ubuntu-exclusive piece of software. Not because it's not possible, just due to the fact that it's not worth the effort on the part of the other developers. I feel as though (and correct me if I'm wrong) Canonical is taking the stance that just making the code opensource is good enough, as though they've done their part. If you look at other distributions, they pull together a very modular set of packages to produce a complete system. Every piece of software written by the XFCE team is made to work independantly, like the XFCE panel, which I can install on virtually anything and have excellent usability.

    It's that kind of modularity that drew me to Linux in the first place. The GNOME desktop has been being used by countless distributions for years, including Ubuntu. Now, though, Ubuntu has ditched GNOME and developed something that you only get on the Ubuntu desktop. Which brings me to my main point: Ubuntu's leapfrogging behaviour.

    Since its creation(?), Ubuntu has been built on a Debian base. You would think that would make it part of the Linux community, being such close cousins with the opensource giant. However, Ubuntu has been building itself up (marketing-wise) and seems to have cast aside the rest of the Linux community. Apple's OSX is based upon a BSD, if I remember correctly, yet has it improved public knowledge and use of the community which was its beginning? I'm affraid that Ubuntu is becoming synonymous with Linux, which is very bad for the broader Linux community.

    Although technically Linux could grow to be a used on a majority of consumer products, the Linux community as we now know it would be left behind in the dust. Android is a good example of this: whenever a discussion of Linux's marketshare comes up, someone inevitably brings up Android. And almost without fail, they are shot down by experienced members of the Linux community. I've heard it referred to as "bastardized Linux", which oddly enough is also what a friend of mine who used Linux in the early Debian days described the original Ubuntu Netbook Edition as...but I digress.

    The point is, who among you see Ubuntu as forsaking its Linux roots and moving towards a more Applesque model. And--before everyone gets all worked up--I'm not saying that's a bad thing. Ubuntu/Canonical has made huge progress in pushing the operating system into the general market. As an example, if you watch the Phonebloks video at, you'll notice that Ubuntu's brand is listed with the likes of Intel and Motorola, which is huge for Canonical/Ubuntu (congrats, guys!).

    But the question I want to leave in your minds last of all is this:

    Is it enough to simply get the Linux software out to the general public, or should Ubuntu be trying to uplift the whole Linux community and its ideals?
    Last edited by clappboard; November 4th, 2013 at 04:57 AM.

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