Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Is Ubuntu an Operating System?

Filed under
Ubuntu

Is Ubuntu an operating system? Last week at EuroOSCON, Mark Shuttleworth gave the closing keynote outlining what he believes are the major struggles faced by the open-source/free-software community. During his talk, it became clear that Ubuntu is trying to achieve a radical shift in the software world. Ubuntu isn’t trying to be a platform for mass-market application software: it is trying to be the primary provider of both the operating system and all the application software that a typical user would want to run on his machine. Most Linux distributions are like this, and I think it is a dangerous trend that will stifle innovation and usability, or even worse make the desktop irrelevant.

Mr. Shuttleworth’s initial point was one that few people disagree with: that software installers are bad for users and usability. Indeed, the typical method of installing Windows software (downloading a setup.exe file from a website or running it from a CD) manages the software very poorly. Each vendor must construct its own scheme for where to install, how to update, and most of all how to manage dependencies between pieces of software. Of course, Windows has guidelines about installing to C:\Program Files\Vendor\Application Name, but even Microsoft does not consistantly follow the rules. Everyone recognizes that installers are not good for users, even Microsoft, who in an effort to fix the mess invented the (complicated and poorly-tooled) MSI installer format. Apple uses disk images, application bundles, and relocatable software to avoid the problem. It is good to see a major Linux distribution thinking through the problems that installers present.

Full Story.

I guessed there was a catch

So now the truth is out. Canonical is building itself a captive market. Like guess who.

For seekers only

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

V is for Vivid

Release week! Already! I wouldn’t call Trusty ‘vintage’ just yet, but Utopic is poised to leap into the torrent stream. We’ve all managed to land our final touches to *buntu and are excited to bring the next wave of newness to users around the world. Glad to see the unicorn theme went down well, judging from the various desktops I see on G+. And so it’s time to open the vatic floodgates and invite your thoughts and contributions to our soon-to-be-opened iteration next. Our ventrous quest to put GNU as you love it on phones is bearing fruit, with final touches to the first image in a new era of convergence in computing. From tiny devices to personal computers of all shapes and sizes to the ventose vistas of cloud computing, our goal is to make a platform that is useful, versal and widely used. Read more

Elive Is an Interesting Debian-Based Distro with a Beautiful Enlightenment Desktop

Elive, a Linux distribution based on Debian which uses the Enlightenment desktop environment to provide a unique user experience, has just reached version 2.3.9 Beta and it's ready for testing. Read more

NVIDIA's NVPTX Support For GCC Is Close To Being Merged

The NVPTX back-end code for GCC that's going to allow OpenACC 2.0 offloading support for NVIDIA GPUs with GCC is close to materializing within the mainline code-base. For the past year Mentor Graphics / Code Sourcery has been working on OpenACC 2.0 with GPU offloading as a big addition to the GNU Compiler Collection through their work with NVIDIA Corp. The offloading infrastructure has been worked on for a while and the code that soon looks like it will land is the NVPTX support. Read more

The Future of the Internet - 20 Years Ago

Netscape Navigator was released 20 years ago today. Thank you to everyone who supported us at Netscape & built the Web with us then and now! That was posted by a certain Marc Andreessen. You probably know him as a successful venture capitalist, but before that, he was one of the people who helped popularise the Web. He did that by creating the Mosaic browser back in 1993 - first for Unix, and later for the Apple Macintosh and Windows (version 3.1). Mosaic was written at the University of Illinois, and was freely available for non-commercial use. But once the appeal of a graphical Web browser became evident, it was natural for people to start to think about turning it into a business. Read more