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Thread: Why does it make sense not to install everything?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    7

    Why does it make sense not to install everything?

    Hello,
    I am just wondering why does it make sense not to install all the required software for uninterupted desktop-internet-multimedia experience.
    To be more exact:
    1)Multimedia codecs
    2)Browser plugins
    3)Additional archive extractors
    4)Proprietary drivers

    Why are they all not installed by default?
    I agree that we have some choices there, but if the user chooses Ubuntu instead of Gobuntu does it not say about his preferences.
    There is also a little some more disk space required, but come on how much would it be - 100 mb.
    And why to let the user do it after the instalation if he can prepare the computer in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Barnsley, UK
    Beans
    77
    Distro
    Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex

    Re: Why does it make sense not to install everything?


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    U.K
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    60
    Distro
    Ubuntu

    Re: Why does it make sense not to install everything?

    I believe its illegal, at least in some countries - "However patent and copyright restrictions complicate free operating systems distributing software to support proprietary formats." from this page I assume Cannonical could pay off the copyright and patent holders and distribute these codecs legally, but then Ubuntu wouldn't be free software in either sense (cost or freedom to modify and distribute)...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Earth (Not the flat one)
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    34
    Distro
    Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron

    Re: Why does it make sense not to install everything?

    Also 100 mb more means that 1 CD wouldn't be enough.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Beans
    7

    Re: Why does it make sense not to install everything?

    The question is not how easy it is to do it, but why it it not done by default.

    Let say additional 100 mb could be downloaded from internet by installer.
    Would this not solve the licensing issue?

    The only actual obstacle I see is "Ubuntu's commitment to only include completely free software by default means that proprietary media formats are not configured 'out of the box'."

    If this is the case, so I think I have my ansver.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    1,979
    Distro
    Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex

    Re: Why does it make sense not to install everything?

    Quote Originally Posted by Breakablec View Post
    The question is not how easy it is to do it, but why it it not done by default.

    Let say additional 100 mb could be downloaded from internet by installer.
    Would this not solve the licensing issue?

    The only actual obstacle I see is "Ubuntu's commitment to only include completely free software by default means that proprietary media formats are not configured 'out of the box'."

    If this is the case, so I think I have my ansver.
    Well in Hardy, it will ask you whether you want to install the codecs and stuff as and when you need them. I haven't had to manually install any codecs myself, just click the 'ok' box when asked if I want to.

    There were problems with the browser plugins, but it's getting better over time. I don't see why including plugins by default would make a better experience - the only annoying part of installing firefox plugins, for example, is restarting firefox - but most people don't really mind that because it doesn't nag you to do it.

    Proprietary drivers is just plain common sense. The Ubuntu devs have no idea what hardware you have on your machine, so including every single proprietary driver in the default install would be impossible. They do include a very handy restricted driver tool though, which makes installing and using proprietary drivers as painless as possible (unless, of course, the hardware isn't recognise or whatever).

    So you have the practical problems (couldn't fit such a distro on one disk), and the legal problems. That is why it's not done.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Éire
    Beans
    160
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Why does it make sense not to install everything?

    not only is it legally dubious, it also reflects the ubuntu philosophy of trying to use/support free software where possible.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    London, England
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    109
    Distro
    Hardy Heron (Ubuntu Development)

    Re: Why does it make sense not to install everything?

    Linux Mint sort of does what you're suggesting, with the codecs.
    However, I agree with Ubuntu position, they can't include codecs for legal reasons, and installing closed source programs and drivers by default means that they might be held accountable for bugs in programs that they can't fix, and don't control. Not to mention, open source software is important for the freedom of use of your hardware etc...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    14,781

    Re: Why does it make sense not to install everything?

    Quote Originally Posted by Breakablec View Post
    1)Multimedia codecs
    It comes with many. In fact, it comes with more than Windows does.

    2)Browser plugins
    They aren't free usually. gnash isn't good enough yet, but when it improves, I bet it will be included.

    3)Additional archive extractors
    It comes with many. In fact, it comes with more than Windows does.

    4)Proprietary drivers
    Windows doesn't either!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    London, England
    Beans
    109
    Distro
    Hardy Heron (Ubuntu Development)

    Re: Why does it make sense not to install everything?

    Quote Originally Posted by LaRoza View Post
    Windows doesn't either!
    While you're accurate that windows doesn't, thats not alone a good enough reason to not have them, it's a dangerous attitude to constantly compare yourself to windows, we want to be better than them (not that linux isn't already), not simply on a par but free

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