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Canonical Halts Ubuntu CD Free-for-all

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the no-such-thing-as-free dept.

The Almighty Buck 324

Barence writes to tell us that Canonical plans on limiting the number of "free Ubuntu CDs" that people can mooch from the company. The growing popularity of Ubuntu has seen a dramatic increase in the number of CDs being shipped via the free "ShipIt" scheme. The only people able to take advantage of this program now will be the usual community teams, contributors, and first-time Ubuntu users. "'While these CDs are often referred to as 'free CDs,' they are of course not free of cost to Canonical. We want to continue this programme, but Ubuntu’s growth means that some changes are necessary. Therefore we are adjusting how we handle CD requests to try to find the right balance between availability of CDs and the continued viability of the ShipIt program,' [Canonical's chief operating officer Jane Silber] adds. Extra CD copies of Ubuntu will still be available for purchase through the Canonical store, although they need to be bought in bulk. Five copies of the open-source operating system will cost £5 exc VAT and shipping."

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324 comments

Well just download the ISO. (4, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875155)

I never got any of the free CDs because I never wanted to wait. I guess it was handy for people that couldn't burn ISOs like most windows users untill they installed an ISO burning program.

Re:Well just download the ISO. (4, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875205)

I never knew they actually shipped those for free and many more probably didn't know either. They're gonna love this slashdot story!

Re:Well just download the ISO. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29875239)

TripMaster Monkey, please don't go requesting free CDs that you aren't going to use.

Re:Well just download the ISO. (-1, Troll)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875291)

How do you know I wont be using it? Everyone needs some free beer coasters, right?

Re:Well just download the ISO. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29875299)

I used Ubuntu for a long time, I didnt know about the free CDs. I just burned it.

Debian Lenny user now....

Re:Well just download the ISO. (3, Funny)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875697)

Sure. First AOL stops sending me free CD's, now I can't order them from Canonical! My CD burner has been flawless for years... What the hell am I supposed to use for coasters?

Re:Well just download the ISO. (1)

Zantac69 (1331461) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875313)

Hate to sound snarky...but the free ISOs were great for those who were not saavy enough to burn their own CDs. Then again...most of these people might not like Linux since its not totally moron proof.

Re:Well just download the ISO. (4, Insightful)

gninnor (792931) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875463)

I am still on dial-up, CD and DVD are pretty much the only way I could do this distro. Same with XP service packs. Spent the past two months to try to get DSL but the apartment's wiring is too old.

Re:Well just download the ISO. (4, Informative)

Stupendoussteve (891822) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875637)

This is about Ubuntu, it's Linux for Humans which often includes morons.

The free CDs were also great for advocacy. With their sleeves, pictures and artwork they look a lot better to a new or potential user than a shiny just burned CD-R. I have been unable to find the ISO image that actually corresponds to the CD I was shipped in the past, but it could be that I'm not looking hard enough.

Re:Well just download the ISO. (3, Insightful)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875785)

Then again...most of these people might not like Linux since its not totally moron proof.

unlike windows?

Re:Well just download the ISO. (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875885)

Hate to sound snarky...but the free ISOs were great for those who were not saavy enough to burn their own CDs.

Did you miss the part of the summary that said first-time users could still get free CDs? I would suspect that even the average moron could figure out how to burn a disc, or at least get instructions from someone on IRC or the wiki or forums, after using Ubuntu for 6 months.

Re:Well just download the ISO. (3, Informative)

PalmKiller (174161) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875419)

I can't see a regular user needing just a personal copy waiting. That said, I have gotten a few to hand out at the local users group a few times, had to make a special request since I needed more than 10, but the requests got granted pretty quickly.

Re:Well just download the ISO. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29875587)

I've always downloaded the, but I also wanted a CD with the ubuntu look to it this time. Oh well, guess it's back to burned copies and uNetbootin for me.

Probably people abusing the system (5, Informative)

jittles (1613415) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875163)

I once got flamed on Slick Deals [slickdeals.net] for asking people to show restraint and common sense after someone posted a deal for a free CD from Project Gutenburg. People were ordering tons of disks as if they were getting some special deal. I don't blame Canonical at all for placing limits.

Re:Probably people abusing the system (2, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875425)

Probably people that think it's some limited promotion to create buzz, then start charging once the demand coming it. They'd probably be very confused about the whole model. "It's free" "Now, yeah so I'm ordering a million" "No it'll stay free" "???" "It's free software" "But, but..." It's not just bean counters that throw a divide by zero error when they encounter free things.

Re:Probably people abusing the system (4, Interesting)

kraemate (1065878) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875465)

Stopping the shipping of free CDs is a long overdue but unfortunate move.

CDs were absolutely the only way to obtain a linux distro for me, and canonical's generous free shipping saved me(and countless others in 3rd world countries) by providing the discs.

However i have seen enough rampant abuse of this, so much so that i would rather see a few thousand people unable to use linux because they cannot obtain CDs than canonical shutting down because of the greedy unscrupulous jerks.

Slow news day? (1, Insightful)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875165)

This FA might better have been held onto for a while, then bundled together with a few others in a "Ubuntu is really popular!" story.

People would still bitch about it being a non-story, but at least some work would have gone into it. This, however: "Company X makes minor overhead adjustment." Yawn.

Bandwidth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29875173)

With available bandwidth, this isnt surprising. At least it is still free to those who havent received a disc in the past.

I've never had much trouble downloading it and burning it for friends.

already ordered (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29875179)

do you still get it if you ordered it last week?

e.g. no new requests?

the form said it was going to be 1-2 weeks.

Ubuntu seems to have hit the big time (5, Interesting)

Ynot_82 (1023749) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875185)

Ubuntu seems to have hit the big time, riding off the Win7 release.
There's half-a-dozen mainstream news sources that are mentioning Ubuntu in their coverage of Win7, some are even holding it above MS's OS

Eg.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/oct/26/kellner-linux-hits-user-nerve/ [washingtontimes.com]

Re:Ubuntu seems to have hit the big time (1, Flamebait)

Knara (9377) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875263)

Yeah, but can you really trust a source run by Moonies?

Re:Ubuntu seems to have hit the big time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29875403)

Holy crap, I didn't realize that was the Moonie Times. I wonder what their angle is here? They usually have one.
  Maybe Reverend Moon got sick of dealing with Windows and God revealed that Ubuntu has a nice, relaxing earthtone color scheme? LOL

Re:Ubuntu seems to have hit the big time (1)

Ynot_82 (1023749) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875793)

I'm foreign, so you'll have to explain,
what is a moonie? (sounds like some '70s kids show)

9.10 is really nice (2, Informative)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875305)

I have it running on my old D610, it's very nice. They have improved the software center, a lot. Much faster and easier to use. Imported all my settings and desktop from 9.04, no problems. Boot up seems about the same to me, but overall it seems faster. The default theme is very nice and the fonts are clear and legible.

Overall I like it a lot. Good timing for release of 9.10, too. If you're going to change everything, might as well try something else first. What do you have to lose?

It's reasonable for them to limit disk copies. It's not like someone couldn't make as many of their own copies as they wish.

Re:9.10 is really nice (3, Informative)

gbarules2999 (1440265) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875497)

+1. It really has been a good release; everything works out of the box on my laptop (the sound, webcam, microphone, and wi-fi). If they can keep the quality high for the upcoming LTS release, there will be nothing but good news for the project and its growing popularity.

Re:9.10 is really nice (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875523)

I just installed 9.04 this weekend! I didn't bother burning a copy. I just pointed VMware at the ISO and it installed it on the VM.

Re:Ubuntu seems to have hit the big time (4, Interesting)

camperslo (704715) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875547)

Ubuntu seems to have hit the big time, riding off the Win7 release.

Maybe we can help Ubuntu a bit this week, burning and giving away Ubuntu 9.10 CDs through places like craigslist.

I haven't figured out the ad text yet, but I think a title along the lines of "free upgrade for Windows users" would get people to read the ad.

I figured the text could mention the ability to try it before installing, the ability to dual boot, the included memory tester (something that would avoid one of the problems with Win7 installs), the speed boost seen on some machines due to it being leaning and not having the overhead of antivirus software, the great free apps included, the easy of finding adding/removing apps, freedom from registration keys and ads, freedom to copy.... great additional effects/features with a modern GPU... should include something about minimum RAM requirements. Maybe mention that Mac switchers could keep the old PC around to run Windows games, and be safely used for net access through Ubuntu.

Something simple looking, like a list format might be easily understood?

A bunch of us working on this could have an impact.

Ubuntu : The New Efficiency (an MS slogan that fits Ubuntu much better)

Get it in the stores (3, Interesting)

Smivs (1197859) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875737)

One of ubuntu's (and Linux in general) main obstacles is the lack of public awareness. You go to a computer store and everything on offer is pre-loaded with windoze...it's as if no other O/S exists. What Canonical really need to try to do (and I appreciate that this would not be without cost) is get the CD's in the stores so that punters buying a new computer will see it as a viable alternative to M$ products. Ideally, of course it would be nice if manufacturers could offer it pre-installed across their ranges as well. Also, as many people are hugely suspicious of anything 'free' and anything 'new', packaging it with a (sensibly priced) support service might be another way of 'selling' Linux to the masses.

Re:Get it in the stores (1)

MistrBlank (1183469) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875895)

They NEED to charge for it too. People see free and they think "it must be crappy if it's free".

Oh no. (1)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875197)

You mean I'm going to have to pay for my beer coasters now?

Re:Oh no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29875337)

Not at all. You can still get these [maximumpc.com] for free.

Re:Oh no. (2, Insightful)

txwikinger-slashdot (1664887) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875345)

Well.. You can come by one of those many Linux Fests, Linux conventions etc. Chances are good that some Ubuntu members will be handing out CDs there, and you will meet a lot of other like minded people and lots of awesome presentations.

Understandable. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29875217)

Honestly, I was amazed they kept it going this long. It's a nice service, but I always thought they should charge a nominal fee to cover costs and shipping, at least. Giving them away for free was a good statement of Canonical's principles, and very much in the spirit of ubuntu (the philosophy), but Ubuntu (the distro) isn't quite a charity and there are better things they could put funds into, I think.

Re:Understandable. (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875329)

Wasn't there a site that sold cheap CDs with a lot of Linux distros?

I bought a couple of them until I got broadband...

Ubuntu or Debian? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29875219)

Before Ubuntu I was a Debian user. I switched to Ubuntu when it was available because I liked the idea of regular stable snapshots from the Unstable Debian branch.

However, lately I have been getting annoyed with some of the stuff they are doing so I'm thinking of switching back to Debian. I'm unsure though. Whatever OS I run, I run to get work done, not to tweak or play around with crap (I got enough of that in the early 90's). With that in mind Ubuntu makes sense because it's quickly becoming the standard Linux distro which makes it first to get support from software vendors. So I'm torn on what to do. What do you think?

Re:Ubuntu or Debian? (0, Troll)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875269)

You should try Fedora, imo it's a lot better than Ubuntu/Debian. And it's backed by Red Hat, which is a lot larger and older than Canonical.

Re:Ubuntu or Debian? (1)

jimcooncat (605197) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875381)

What's better for you may not be better for me. And since Fedora, Ubuntu, and Debian are free software, why not try 'em all? After all, you have enough spare time to be posting on /. ...

Re:Ubuntu or Debian? (4, Funny)

AccUser (191555) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875407)

You should try UnixWare, imo it's a lot better than Fedora. And it's backed by SCO, which is a lot larger and older than Red Hat. :p

Re:Ubuntu or Debian? (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875479)

You should try Fedora, imo it's a lot better than Ubuntu/Debian. And it's backed by Red Hat, which is a lot larger and older than Canonical.

Horses for courses. I love Fedora, but you don't get long term support. Don't forget CentOS [centos.org] which is also an RPM based free distro.

Actually, CentOS/Fedora and RHEL together make quite a nice solution since they have many similarities and you can just switch between them according to the particular needs of a particular application.

Re:Ubuntu or Debian? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29875531)

Just don't mix a new Fedora release and an expectation of good gaming performance on an ATI card. It seems Fedora tends to include the latest X.org release (and sometimes a beta) in their releases. You're not going to get any Catalyst support with Fedora for awhile.

Re:Ubuntu or Debian? (1)

ianare (1132971) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875563)

In my experience Fedora is a bit faster and easier to customize but does take some work to get set-up. Ubuntu by contrast is almost guaranteed to work correctly as soon as you install, but expect pain if you stray too far from the beaten path.

I would say that because of this, Ubuntu is a closer match to the GP needs -- "I run to get work done, not to tweak or play around with crap".

Re:Ubuntu or Debian? (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875569)

Fedora doesn't suck, but last time I tried it, Ubuntu was better. And, I'm not sure being backed by RH is a good thing. ;)

Re:Ubuntu or Debian? (2, Informative)

noundi (1044080) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875395)

Try Gentoo -- if you have the patience for it. Gentoo offers the, by far, best community with detailed HOWTO's on almost anything. It takes a little reading and practice but once you get the hang of it it'll be worth it.

Re:Ubuntu or Debian? (0, Troll)

Flavio (12072) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875977)

Gentoo?

He said we wants to get work done, not tweak or play around with crap. Any major distro would be better suited than Gentoo.

Re:Ubuntu or Debian? (1)

gbarules2999 (1440265) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875397)

Debian, while fun and probably worth the struggle, does need some minor tweaking compared to Ubuntu. I mean, the whole point of Ubuntu is to give the user a desktop-oriented, stabilized Debian Unstable.

I've been using Ubuntu 9.10's prerelease for about a month or so and it's been so stable I have no desire to go distro hunting again.

free disk? (1, Informative)

Z1NG (953122) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875225)

They gave a disk for free? Wow, that's really awesome. I've just downloaded it the past. Looks like they will still be giving the 1st disk for free, seems ridiculously reasonable to me.

Reasonable (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875273)

I think this is totally reasonable - after all, there are costs involved in sending out "free" disks and those costs can add up at a time when companies are feeling the pinch. More importantly, however, I think they should put a smidge of effort into developing a Windows and Mac client to make putting the installer on a CD or USB drive (or SD card) easier to encourage people to download and install with the equipment they already have. Just this weekend, I installed Ubuntu on my hackintosh (shhh, don't tell Apple) and the process was relatively painless because I'm a smart cookie and can figure a lot of things out with some google searching but I can easily see some people having absolutely no clue how to proceed and being turned off because of the difficulty in the process. If they offered a quick "Load Installer on CD/USB" program (would take some programmer, what, ten minutes to write something like that?..), I think they'd get a lot more people giving it a try.

Yes, I know it's easy for people that know computers but if people want casual users to give it a chance, they need to make it dead easy.

UNetbootin (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875957)

If they offered a quick "Load Installer on CD/USB" program (would take some programmer, what, ten minutes to write something like that?..), I think they'd get a lot more people giving it a try.

Does UNetbootin count?

Just torrent it (2, Interesting)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875279)

I just used the torrents. This way I get a disk in under two hours and shared the bandwidth.

Re:Just torrent it (2, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875361)

I just used the torrents. This way I get a disk in under two hours and shared the bandwidth.

Don't let the RIAA hear about this. They'll sue you from orbit, and let God sort it out.

Re:Just torrent it (1)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875597)

On the rare occasion that I use a torrent site for Linux purposes, they have this warning about downloading copyrighted material.

I just quote the "video pirates" from "Amazon Women on the Moon", "Ooo, we're soooo scared!"

Re:Just torrent it (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875401)

Sending the CD via post might be good for those on really bad internet connections or with transfer limits that might want to try it out.

Otherwise the 4-6 weeks wait most likely makes other people to just download or torrent ISO.

Re:Just torrent it (3, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875437)

You damn pirates think you get can everything for free, even things that are free to begin with!

Re:Just torrent it (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875519)

Two hours? It's just a CD isn't it? That takes 18 minutes on my slow connection here. Tops.

*raises his share ratio to 94% of upload rate* Here, I hope that helps. :)

Re:Just torrent it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29875757)

This is anonymous post to avoid breaking modding (removed "Flamebait" rating from parent).

Disclaimer: I like Ubuntu and bought the discs for the heck of it.

Regards,
Ruemere

Re:Just torrent it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29875867)

Really? Who'd a thunk it...

Re:Just torrent it (1)

porkThreeWays (895269) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875889)

I'm surprised no one has written a small flash or java applet for downloading torrents. This way, they could use the power of bit torrent with the ease of a web browser for distribution. Even better, they should also make it available as an executable with a small open source cd burning program that is basically scripted to just say "place a blank CD in your cd burner" and burn the ISO. The biggest issue I've seen with beginners trying to install linux has been for them to actually download the iso and burn it!

Re:Just torrent it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29875933)

"I just used the torrents. This way I get a disk in under two hours and shared the bandwidth."

Your not sharing the bandwidth. Each Peer is using the same bandwidth if he was getting the bits from you or directly from Canonical.

It might be better to say you are sharing the file. And If you want to use Canonical in the sentence you could say people are downloading from me and my Peers instead of Canonical.

Old news? (1)

sajuuk (1371145) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875297)

I could have sworn they limited it 2 releases ago.

Re:Old news? (1)

gbarules2999 (1440265) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875443)

Nope, I've got my 9.04 and 8.10 discs sitting next to the rest of the family. I'm not crying about missing those discs, though. It's not that big of a deal.

Re:Old news? (1)

sajuuk (1371145) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875925)

I've gotten the discs, but I've been limited to one of each kind. No more getting 24 kubuntu discs and handing them out to people who tell me to remove viruses from their Windows installation.

Served it's purpose (2, Informative)

Oasiz (1017554) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875339)

The guys must get tons of orders each day and even hoax orders grow exponentially with increased popularity. I still have the old 5.10 discs around that introduced me and my friend to Ubuntu. But now with the increased internet connections and quick downloads speeds you can get it very fast and even use 'in-windows' installers in case you do not have a cd/usb stick to put the installer in.

Surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29875343)

running a company by giving everything away free is a bad business model.

Remember kids...Canonical is a private company (0)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875349)

...not a non-profit. It's also incorporated in a tax shelter country [google.com].

To anyone who has been paying attention to the increased commercial activity from Canonical and commercial bundling (first Landscape, which advertises itself via your shell logins...now all the "cloud" BS in the current beta, like the storage plan), this shouldn't be a surprise.

Re:Remember kids...Canonical is a private company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29875433)

Are you insinuating that there's something wrong massively with how Canonical does things?

Re:Remember kids...Canonical is a private company (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875505)

Well, they've got "Canon" in their name... (the "boom" kind, not the "say cheese!" kind).

Re:Remember kids...Canonical is a private company (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875657)

The boom kind has two 'n's in the middle. The "say cheese" kind, I assume, is the one that has roots in the same word, as it implies accuracy and permanence.

Re:Remember kids...Canonical is a private company (1)

Fjodor42 (181415) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875813)

Erm, would that be a reference to the differently spelled object "cannon"?

Remember kids, sometimes spelling Nazis *do* have a point...

Re:Remember kids...Canonical is a private company (4, Informative)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875503)

It's also a tax shelter country that the founder was born and raised in.

I've always though the Ubuntu folks were particularly generous giving those CD's away. I mean it's not like they were demos or trialware or something.

tax sheter country!! (2, Informative)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875715)

>>a tax shelter country

Yeah, man. Parents these days!! I mean, they had to go and give birth to a child in that country just so that when he grows up and creates a company, he will get tax benefits!

Re:Remember kids...Canonical is a private company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29875987)

Right, they're not a non-profit. Free-software companies are allowed to make money. Choosing to charge a nominal fee for something rather than give it away is not evil.

Why not start a donation fund for these? (5, Interesting)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875359)

I would think they'd have some success starting a fund people can optionally donate a few bucks to, to help offset shipping and production costs on the free CDs they send out. Then simply tell people that if the fund runs dry, shipping of CDs gets halted until more donations are made.

I suspect the majority of people requesting the free CD are doing so because they're in a situation where downloading and burning the ISO image is too troublesome (limited bandwidth like some corporations have, or someone using satellite broadband where they have a transfer cap before getting charged per K downloaded, etc.). Asking them to kick a few dollars back into the fund after they install and start using the product doesn't seem like a big deal.

Obviously, it'd still be a good idea to track addresses and enforce a "one copy per mailing address, per release" rule....

The first one is always free (-1, Flamebait)

c0d3g33k (102699) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875371)

Once they get you hooked, it's free no longer. If you want more, you pay, dearly. Take heed, Hulu fans - it won't be free forever.

Yes, yes. I know panderers of proprietary media such as Hulu are not to be compared to the wholly benevolent producers of FLOSS. The similarity is that promotional tools are simply that, and once sufficient interest has been garnered or they become too expensive, they go away. I always wondered how long they could support ShipIt, or how long services like Hulu would be free (of charge). I have the answer to one question, at least.

Re:The first one is always free (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875421)

Yes, yes. I know panderers of proprietary media such as Hulu are not to be compared to the wholly benevolent producers of FLOSS. But since I'm here, I'll try anyway for some quick modpoints.

Fixed that for you.

Re:The first one is always free (1)

c0d3g33k (102699) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875881)

Actually no. Not hunting for mod points. When I first came across the ShipIt program, I honestly wondered how long they would be able to keep it up. It's a wonderful promotional tool, but it's just that, nothing more. On the related note with respect to Hulu and such, I often see posts (on the web at large, not just on /.) crowing about how someone "ditched my cable because I watch it all for free on Hulu" and chiding all the poor fools for continuing to pay for content when they can have it for free. It baffles me that they cannot see that it will only be free until they have helped destroy the competition, or until enough people switch to sustain a paywall. The chickens haven't come home to roost on that one yet, but they will. The lesson, from those of who have learned to those who haven't, is: Be suspicious of free (of charge) - there are strings attached, or will be. TANSTAAFL. With respect to ShipIt - it's a nice idea and a great way to promote free software, but it's not a sustainable model. Better to promote the ability to download the ISOs freely and burn them for friends, family and anyone else interested. I'd rather see FLOSS get nice writeups in the local paper so that people understand what it is really all about. They can then go to their local technophile to get a free ISO or "I'll install it for dinner or a beer". Spending the marketing budget on free CD's is an ineffective waste of money, IMHO.

Re:The first one is always free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29875537)

Um, well, they still provide the data for free, just they aren't giving away the media anymore. Considering that the media cost about $0.10 plus shipping, I can't say I blame them.

Still value in the CDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29875387)

I may still end up ordering a set of them...although it'd be easier to justify if it was $5, instead of E.5

I've recently been experimenting with managing Ubuntu configurations on the systems at work (so much cheaper than RHEL or SLES) for "low importance" servers running IM clients, wikis, or even apache installs that are rarely touched. Their headless install is a bit...well...hideous and inefficient, but still manageable. Unlike the Redhat based O/S, I've actually got current enough libraries to be able to compile and run some of the newer applications out there.

When I first did it, I burned an ISO, and requested a CD set--pressed images are just better. For $5, I'd rather have high quality media that will still be working in 10 years if one of those servers ever *does* become critical. Let's face it--even though it's open and free, it's no guarantee the old ISOs will be published or easy to download forever.

Anybody know what animal they're going to name the Q release after?

Ubuntu CD's (4, Interesting)

uneek (107167) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875411)

I would happily buy them from Amazon, if Amazon had up to date Ubuntu CD's. Its especially useful when you need a DVD and don't want to wait

Stickers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29875413)

But then... where will we get our stickers?!

Offer some Value added options (2, Funny)

PYRILAMPES (609544) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875489)

Keep the free cdrom thing, add some flyers for Open Source companies or others who would pay for the advertising.(Windows emulators?) Then Sell an upgraded USB drive that looks like a Penquin for 5$ plus 10 dollars shipping and handling. Offer a support contract accessible from a shortcut on the desktop, and Bing! you have a profit from the loss! No one will want the free cdrom if they could have a penquin USB drive! Bait and Switch!

Make available via outloets like Netflicks? (4, Interesting)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875499)

I sent a suggestion that Canonical make their CDs/DVDs available through outlets like Netflicks for people that want physical media to install, but don't need it to keep (or to burn their own copy). Let those for-pay outlets take care of media distribution and return via their established infrastructures.

Re:Make available via outloets like Netflicks? (1)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875619)

That's not a bad idea at all.

Also offer it in the video rental sections at Walmart and other big chains that offer rentals now, too?

Re:Make available via outloets like Netflicks? (2, Insightful)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875659)

That would be fine until someone accidentally booted from the Netflicks [sic] DVD and hosed their system because they did not know what they were doing. I doubt they would ever open themselves up to that kind of liability.

Re:Make available via outloets like Netflicks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29875669)

This is an excellent idea. Make it so.

1. Put Ubuntu on Netflix.
2. Advertise "add Ubuntu to your Netflix queue!" during the super bowl.
3. Gain 1e6 new users.

Use Netflix for distribution (1)

joshhighley (820025) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875599)

If it'd be possible to keep evil-doers from replacing the disks, Linux distros should work with Netflix to distribute ('rent') their install DVDs.

Re:Use Netflix for distribution (1)

otterpopjunkie (1558913) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875927)

Not a bad idea.. but I'd reckon the cost of shipping and packaging is still the most expensive part of the operation. Seems like bothering to ship it back is just extra cost compared to the cost of a DVD.

People go crazy for free stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29875735)

It's like their brains snap and they take stuff that they didn't want or need until it became free. If Canonical charged 10 cents per cd the problem would be solved.

Netbook remix on USB? (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 4 years ago | (#29875983)

One thing that would be a nice idea would be to sell netbook remix installers on a USB stick. Not everybody knows how to download the file and convert a usb stick into a bootable version.

I have 9.10 running off a flash card and everything is working properly - with no email setup, encrypted home, and browser history deleted on exit it's now my internet banking appliance, but I'm getting close to putting it on the HDD too.

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