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Ubuntu Linux Claims 12,000 Cloud Deployments

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the partly-cloudy-with-a-chance-of-tux dept.

Linux Business 165

darthcamaro writes "The cloud is more than just hype for Ubuntu. Canonical COO Matt Asay is now saying that they can count 12,000 deployments of the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud. He also thinks the cloud is where Ubuntu can make money — because in his view, the company for the last five years wasn't set up to generate revenue. From the article: 'The conversion of non-paying to paying users is often a difficult ratio to report for any open source effort, and Ubuntu is no exception. Asay noted that Canonical plans to get more aggressive at tracking its free-to-paid ratio on Ubuntu Linux and its related services and technologies. "For the first five years of the company's life, it wasn't set up to make money," Asay said. "The company was set up to make a fantastic Linux distribution and other tools around it and get it out there and get people using it. That was the focus." That's now changing at Canonical as the emphasis is now shifting to generating revenues.'"

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165 comments

WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31967726)

So, they are going to make money on what?

Ubuntu One (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#31967756)

Canonical appears to be following the stereotypical free software business model: sell services to which the free software can connect. One of them is the online storage service Ubuntu One [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Ubuntu One (2, Interesting)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 3 years ago | (#31967834)

Canonical appears to be following the stereotypical free software business model: sell services to which the free software can connect.

I'd argue the most common free software model is to sell hardware with free software installed on it in conjunction with services. It is actually very interesting to me that Canonical does not have a hardware offering and does not seem to be partnering with any hardware makers to customize Ubuntu for that company's devices. I don't understand why that is, but maybe it is just under the radar or they have good business reasons.

Re:Ubuntu One (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#31968056)

I'd argue the most common free software model is to sell hardware with free software installed on it

That works for routers and phones, but I was thinking of PC software. Most major PC OEMs and even local PC builders in my area don't advertise Linux PCs.

Re:Ubuntu One (2, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 3 years ago | (#31968210)

That works for routers and phones, but I was thinking of PC software.

Don't forget servers and appliances. Oracle, IBM, Sun, and dozens more sell servers with Linux and other OSS pre-installed.

Most major PC OEMs and even local PC builders in my area don't advertise Linux PCs.

That's true, but with the advent of Netbooks and other cheap hardware a number of companies are selling Linux based computers. Walmart sells them on their Web site. I haven't seen many (any?) with Ubuntu though. Some major OEMs offer it as an option on some of their computers, but those same companies are hopelessly tied to MS for the vast majority of their offerings so they never go anywhere and are not advertised.

Re:Ubuntu One (2, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#31969374)

That's true, but with the advent of Netbooks and other cheap hardware a number of companies are selling Linux based computers. Walmart sells them on their Web site. I haven't seen many (any?) with Ubuntu though.

Dell [dell.com] has a few options at least. There's some more listed here [ubuntu.com] but no other big names. Trouble is that knowledgeable Linux users will usually check out if a laptop works with Linux and go with some better deal on the hardware rather than the preinstalls. It's a tough crowd to sell to...

Re:Ubuntu One (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31968996)

Intel has (at least) several hundred people working on linux -- many of them work on what I think you meant with "PC software". Their products aren't (usually) something you can "install linux on" as such, but it's clear that the linux investment is supposed to bring in more hardware revenue.

Re:Ubuntu One (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 3 years ago | (#31968232)

Yeah Dell sells a few, but does not really advertise them or design products specifically for that OS. If they happen to have all components with Linux drivers, Dell sells it with Ubuntu as an option, if you know where to look. If not, they don't. Dell is completely beholden to MS for their bottom line though, so it is not surprising they don't do much with Ubuntu except when negotiating with MS. What surprises me is Ubuntu does not seem to have partnered with anyone to customize Ubuntu for specific hardware offerings, an Ubuntu based netbook, or a boutique computer ala Apple.

Re:Ubuntu One (1)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | more than 3 years ago | (#31968084)

Well, Dell sells some models with Ubuntu preinstalled. For some time there'd been a link to Dell's offerings on ubuntu homepage. But yes, more computers with Ubuntu preinstalled (and approved by Canonical) would be nice.

What you said (3, Interesting)

zogger (617870) | more than 3 years ago | (#31969242)

If Canonical wants to make some desktop money, they should sell desktops with their software pre-installed and guaranteed to work, as in no hoop jumping for wifi support, whatever video is there, sound really works, etc.. They can still offer the freebie download version to all comers, but desktop purchasers get priority in the forums and support, etc. Just make it reasonably price competitive and it could work, no offering a $300 machine for $800 in other words just because it says official Ubuntu on it, because it won't sell then. Maybe $350 in that case would be reasonable (examples only), and stick the long term release candidates *only* on there, none of those six month beta quality things.

Ya, Dell and some others offer preinstalled..but that isn't Canonical offering it. It needs to be *their* machines with their software that they know will work. They target that hardware first with the developer action, all the time.

Sort of like the Apple idea, but using FOSS, sell the whole stack, and you know it will work with no hassles. Another aspect would be "legal in the USA" DVD and other media playback, if you buy the hardware, part of the money goes to pay the fees required for that. Purists have a thousand other options, so I wouldn't worry about that part if 1% or less on the machine is "non free". People mostly want their media to work, and that's it.

If local mom and pop whitebox shops can do business and make profits building systems from parts at low volume purchasing levels, one would think Ubuntu could get better deals from the Asian wholesalers buying thousands of untis at a time and just make sure what they get "just works". How about one netbook, one laptop, one desktop, one server? Four basic machines, that should cover a ton of normal usages. Ya, it might not fill every niche, but for a lot of people it might work and they could make some hard cash.

Re:What you said (1)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 3 years ago | (#31969412)

Ya, Dell and some others offer preinstalled..but that isn't Canonical offering it. It needs to be *their* machines with their software that they know will work.

Canonical certified all the Dell desktops, laptops and netbooks that ship with Ubuntu pre-installed, they even provide Dell a custom install image of Ubuntu that is designed to work with those particular hardware setups.

Re:WTF? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31967784)

So, they are going to make money on what?

According to Larry Ellison on water vapor.

Related Timing? (4, Funny)

Requiem18th (742389) | more than 3 years ago | (#31967728)

Just when I was moving to Debian.

Re:Related Timing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31967780)

lies! you told me you were changing to Mint!

Re:Related Timing? (2, Interesting)

darkpixel2k (623900) | more than 3 years ago | (#31968024)

Just when I was moving to Debian.

Same here. The final straw for me is plymouth....on servers. You can't get away from the graphical boot apparently. All the core packages depend on it. And guess what doesn't work on my server? Plymouth. So I can't graphically boot, and I can't remove it.

packages.debian.org doesn't even list 'plymouth'.

Hello, Debian.

Re:Related Timing? (4, Informative)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 3 years ago | (#31968624)

Plymouth originated as a RedHat technology [fedoraproject.org] , so expect to see it there too. Wouldn't be surprised to find it in the next Debian too--it's where everybody else is going. The ability to "degrade" back to simple text mode is supposed to be there. I expect that months from now, part of the standard set of tricks every Linux server admin knows will be how to force Plymouth into text mode. I believe this works:


plymouth-set-default-plugin text

/usr/libexec/plymouth/plymouth-update-initrd

...presuming that you can get your server booted via single user mode or via rescue disk to execute the commands. Not sure if there's a grub-based solution here that always works; adding "nomodeset" is the first thing to try.

Re:Related Timing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31968538)

Just when Lucid is coming out half-baked and broken.

Good for them. (5, Insightful)

MZeora (1707054) | more than 3 years ago | (#31967762)

Ubuntu is a very nice starting distro to get into the knowledge of Linux. I'm glad they make it work as well as they have (in my experience I had minor issues between 9.04/9.10)
I hope they can find a way to make proper funding and really make improvements to the other flavors (KDE variant Kubuntu being sometimes quite broken)

Re:Good for them. (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#31967826)

Well I'm not paying.

The *only* reason I switched my laptop to Ubuntu Linux is because it was a cheaper upgrade path than Windows 6.1 (seven) or OS X. If they start charging to get Ubuntu, then the balance tips back in favor of the defacto "standard" OS that everyone else uses.

Re:Good for them. (0)

Halborr (1373599) | more than 3 years ago | (#31967850)

OK. Go back to Windows if you believe it's a better solution for *you*.

Choices are good. It means that each user can have the environment that is best for them and how they believe it should work.

Re:Good for them. (0, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#31968048)

>>>OK. Go back to Windows if you believe it's a better solutio

You didn't even read what I wrote, did you??? Or if you did, you didn't understand it. My point was that Ubuntu was a ~$150 cheaper upgrade for me. BUT if they start charging for it, then that advantage disappears.

Re:Good for them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31968138)

They aren't charging for Ubuntu, they're charging for some services that relate to Ubuntu.

Re:Good for them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31968592)

/facePalm

Re:Good for them. (1)

MZeora (1707054) | more than 3 years ago | (#31967886)

They y'know could offer services based around the product to generate the needed revenue then improve the product by hiring developers to fix the issues.

Re:Good for them. (-1, Flamebait)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 3 years ago | (#31967908)

If you're using it just because you're a tight wad then you might as well pirate the OS you really want.

Re:Good for them. (3, Insightful)

darkpixel2k (623900) | more than 3 years ago | (#31968036)

If you're using it just because you're a tight wad then you might as well pirate the OS you really want.

That makes about as much sense as "If you're sleeping her just because you're desperate and she's free, you might as well rape the woman you really want."

One situation is 'free', the other is 'illegal'.

Re:Good for them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31968426)

Or, as a car analogy: If you're drfiving it just because you're a tight wad then you might as well steal the car you really want.

You're on to something (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31968442)

The music industry were complaining that "pirate" was too glamorous. Perhaps they adopted the term "rapist" then copyright infringement would have a bigger stigma.

Re:You're on to something (4, Funny)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#31969450)

The music industry were complaining that "pirate" was too glamorous. Perhaps they adopted the term "rapist" then copyright infringement would have a bigger stigma.

I think the music industry already has the whole "raping music" thing covered.

Re:Good for them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31968466)

Only it isn't rape, it's more like getting a RealDoll produced of the woman you want and having sex with it instead.

Re:Good for them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31968748)

So, if it were legal, you would rape women?

my goodness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31969046)

you're an idiot.

Re:Good for them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31969424)

Yup. Copyright infringement = Rape.

This message was brought to you by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Re:Good for them. (4, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 3 years ago | (#31967924)

If they start charging to get Ubuntu, then the balance tips back in favor of the defacto "standard" OS that everyone else uses.

They aren't charging people to install Ubuntu on their laptops. They're starting to charge people for support on Ubuntu server and for in the cloud services. The only way you'll be paying for Ubuntu on your desktop is if you need support or if you want to backup your machine online with Ubuntu.

This is a GPL product. If they were to start charging for a copy, one guy would buy it then give it away for free to everyone else. That's not much of a business model for anyone.

Re:Good for them. (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 3 years ago | (#31969332)

If they start charging to get Ubuntu, then the balance tips back in favor of the defacto "standard" OS that everyone else uses.

You mean torrented WinXP?

So when does Canonical need to start making money? (3, Insightful)

ihatewinXP (638000) | more than 3 years ago | (#31967768)

So if it wasnt set up to make money for the last 5 years - but that time is over - what changes will we see?

Will the growth in cloud / corporate paid users be enough to make the company and quality of the distribution grow ala Red Hat (which some would argue pushed the focus on users to the side for corporate..)?

Or will the money not be enough and will start to put the crunch on Ubuntu - and what end user ramifications would that have?

Sorry nothing but questions here...

Re:So when does Canonical need to start making mon (4, Insightful)

monoqlith (610041) | more than 3 years ago | (#31967900)

Shuttleworth, as far as i can tell, never planned to make money with Canonical and Ubuntu. He's rich enough to subsidize the two indefinitely. So the fact that Ubuntu might now actually start to generate self-sustaining or even profitable revenues is extra credit, and always was. I think any future changes in the companies are still going to reflect the culture of emphasizing a good, widely deployed Desktop Linux rather than necessarily turning a profit.

Re:So when does Canonical need to start making mon (3, Interesting)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 3 years ago | (#31968014)

I think any future changes in the companies are still going to reflect the culture of emphasizing a good, widely deployed Desktop Linux rather than necessarily turning a profit.

There could also be the fact that in many people's (and PHB's) eyes, if you don't pay through the nose for it then it has to be crap.

Hopefully a more commercial Ubuntu will help make it more visible in the corporate space as well as promote the integration of tools in that area (they're already there of course, you just have to add them yourself).

Dim and dimmer (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31968700)

If you think that Shuttleworth - the businessman who made several hundred million off the back of free software, before he was forty - didn't intend to make money from Cononical you are exceedingly dim.

Here's the business plan after a once through the bullshit remover:

1) First get the techie advocates on your side (by making warm sounding promises about freedom and about you giving something back to the community. Make sure you register that trademark!)

2) Spend money sorting out the bugs in the software and improving basic functionality (with some free help from some of those techies.)

3) Get market share amongst the non techies by making it cool (lots of PR and a makover for the desktop)

4) Start screwing the non-techies. Gently at first. They won't complain, they're used to it. To them it seems normal behaviour.

5) Check that you have enough paid staff on board and your market share can now sustain your business model.

6) Tell the techie advocates to get lost if they don't like it.

7) Profit, but not for you mug.

Re:So when does Canonical need to start making mon (2, Interesting)

Fr33thot (1236686) | more than 3 years ago | (#31967998)

It seems that a number of companies focus on long term profits as opposed to short term (like Amazon for example) so it doesn't surprise me that the last five years have not been chiefly about profit. I doubt they had their eyes on the cloud as a promising revenue stream back when they started up so the chance they are taking by adding it doesn't seem that great. I'd bet that they still have a longer view of how they could reach full profitability since they seem to have favored using their Ubuntu project to grow both the platform and the user base. That still seems to have potential payoffs deep into the future. They've gotten close but still need to grow the platform quite a bit in order to earn a large enough user base to make a difference. I know many people don't think it will happen but I would bet there is room for a third player in the OS market. So I would say a company of around 200 employees is small enough still that meager profits are sustainable for some time, as long as the vision and potential hold promise. Those aren't answers, but then my investment is only in time, and hobbies don't have to pay off.

Sustination (1)

Halborr (1373599) | more than 3 years ago | (#31967772)

Sustaining a project is definitely a Good Thing (tm). If there's no money in it, who's going to write BETTER software, rather than software that just kinda works? Go for it, Canonical! (Just don't become like a certain software "vendor" we all know)

CentOS FTW (0)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#31967774)

"For the first five years of the company's life, it wasn't set up to make money," Asay said. "The company was set up to make a fantastic Linux distribution

As the old proverb says, if at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

And if it still doesn't work after that, change your goals.

Failure Ahead? (3, Interesting)

foobsr (693224) | more than 3 years ago | (#31967776)

The company was set up to make a fantastic Linux distribution ... That was the focus. ... ... That's now changing at Canonical as the emphasis is now shifting to generating revenues.

My theory is that if the focus is generating revenues, not the customer (or the product), failure is to be expected in this case.

CC.

Re:Failure Ahead? (1)

Georules (655379) | more than 3 years ago | (#31967972)

They had almost no revenue stream before. Recent changes clearly focus on more revenue, but still clearly depend on a solid product and loyal customer base. Revenue is required to expand and continue to make a better product. I would say a balance between revenue and the customer must be found. It is my opinion that they are still a long way from being all about profits.

Re:Failure Ahead? (3, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 3 years ago | (#31968372)

My theory is that if the focus is generating revenues, not the customer (or the product), failure is to be expected in this case

Why to people always act like these things are mutually exclusive? Who wants customers that can't undertand that the people providing them with the goods and services they want won't be there if they're bankrupt? Companies have to keep customers in mind, and customers who like those companies can't complain that money needs to change hands for the relationship to grow and thrive.

Re:Failure Ahead? (1)

nextekcarl (1402899) | more than 3 years ago | (#31968604)

I think it is often because of experiences where people within a company forgot about the customers and just started thinking about the money. You can't make money if you don't have any customers, and when customers start leaving some managers start panicking and make things even worse. We've all seen it happen at one time or another. Your favorite store stops stocking the items you really want. They start refusing to special order items (when they never had a problem in the past). They stop calling you by name, or even smiling when they see you. And then one day you notice the store is empty and there's a for lease sign. Sometimes it is just a sign of a difficult economy. But sometimes it is a sign the management lost sight of what was really important. Personally, I usually find the management was turned over to someone else (often a family member) and that time usually clearly marks the time it started going downhill. Now this isn't always the case, and this could be a good thing for Canonical (I'm hoping it is) but once bitten, twice shy and all.

Why choose Ubuntu? Why not something else? (2, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#31967800)

I'm using Ubuntu right now, but a coworker told me he prefers Fedora (quote: "Any OS that fits on a single CD can't be any good."). Meanwhile my company is using Red Hat for their development.

What makes one Linux better than another?

   

Re:Why choose Ubuntu? Why not something else? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31967824)

Packetmanager and base layout. The community also counts.

Re:Why choose Ubuntu? Why not something else? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31967878)

True...

It took me a day to enable MSSQL for php in slackware... vs less than a minute in Ubuntu Server...

Thanks to that very long day I never needed to look around for another Distro, until a month ago.

Re:Why choose Ubuntu? Why not something else? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31967920)

If you got MSSQL (Microsoft SQL server) running on Ubuntu, you are one talented mofo...

If by chance you mean MySQL or mSQL, that is expected.

Re:Why choose Ubuntu? Why not something else? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#31968086)

He might have meant using PHP (on slackware) to connect to MS SQL (on a windows box).

Re:Why choose Ubuntu? Why not something else? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31968678)

yes, that was the case. I have never used MSSQL myself so I dont know wich part of "it" is called like that...

The thing is, it wasnt easy (I was young and healthy in those days), not only I had to use/read/make sense of lots of new buzzwords... I had to search for stuff in the darkets places on internet, playing with versions and very long and very criptic compiling lines.

you dont want that (I dont), so when I played with ubuntu, and installed that driver or whatever it was, in just a minute... I stoped using slackware at once...

And no... I wasnt a sysadmin, I was the guy who knew to "use" slackware... -_-

Re:Why choose Ubuntu? Why not something else? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#31968102)

If you got MSSQL (Microsoft SQL server) running on Ubuntu, you are one talented mofo

My employer has one Linux server (currently running Ubuntu 8.04 LTS) and one Windows server (running Windows Server 2003). When I tried to get a PHP program on the Ubuntu server to talk to the M$ SQL Server Express instance on the Windows server, all the ODBC driver would give me was "Failed to fetch error message".

Re:Why choose Ubuntu? Why not something else? (1)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 3 years ago | (#31968376)

*groan* I feel you. I am a sysadmin too and one of our marketing companies doing SEO decided to redo our largest clients websites.

Currently the clients sites are living on the win 2k3 server I administer (the only windows production server we still run) and they wanted to know if they did the sites in in PHP or Drupal on one of our existing Linux servers if they could still connect to the mssql backend on the windows server.

So the boss calls me into the meeting and they asked me this, I said hell no since I had no desire to try and get these two technologies to live together in a production environment, especially since migrating everything to mysql would allow us to do database replication to another server and I could do software raid over ethernet on yet another (this client is anal about backups and recovery.)

Luckily my boss is the type who listens to his sysadmins and the marketing division ended up buying a new 1U server for the sites and databases to live on.

Re:Why choose Ubuntu? Why not something else? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31968628)

You lucky Bastard! Sorry, that was just my gut response. I used to have a job like that, my boss listened to me and she always gave credit where credit was due (first time I've really had that experience) and then the family that owned the business had a massive fight and split apart. The owner came in with no understanding of anything built after about 1965ish and didn't trust anyone except close family (which seems silly since the only people to screw him were close family) and they knew even less than he did in many ways. Things just fell apart after that. It went from nearly a dream job (okay, they pay wasn't that good, but the environment and people were great to work with) to utter Hell.

Re:Why choose Ubuntu? Why not something else? (1)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 3 years ago | (#31969006)

Yeah strange you should mention pay since in my case it's not that good either. Great environment to work in though - one day the boss arrived with fifty of those huge balls chicks exercise with and plonked them down in the office.

We often sit on them for meetings or to work at our desks, or kick them around.

Great place to work, lower than average pay. I wonder if it is a trend in it?

Re:Why choose Ubuntu? Why not something else? (4, Informative)

FoolishOwl (1698506) | more than 3 years ago | (#31967988)

The community counts a lot. Also, popularity helps a lot, especially for a FLOSS project. When I go looking for walk-throughs or tutorials for some FLOSS application, Ubuntu is nearly always used as an example. Every distribution has its idiosyncrasies, which of course is why there are different distributions, so it makes life easier if the idiosyncrasies of the distribution you're using are specifically addressed.

There are some things I like about Fedora -- in general, that it's more conventional in several respects. Canonical is developing a habit of innovating first, documenting later, for important features -- take Upstart, for instance, which handles startup and shutdown processes.

I notice that I'll read sysadmins saying they like to use Ubuntu on their personal computers, but some other distribution on their servers, usually Debian or CentOS. One expects different things from different computers.

Re:Why choose Ubuntu? Why not something else? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31967882)

Pure fanboyistic bullshit. If these people were reasoning their choices out, they would use Microsoft Windows 7, the finest operating system yet to come from Redmond. The pure joy of using Microsoft Windows 7 is a bargain at twice the price, I assure you. And security? Brother, let's not even talk about security. Microsoft Windows 7.

Re:Why choose Ubuntu? Why not something else? (1)

MrMr (219533) | more than 3 years ago | (#31967890)

Both Fedora and Ubuntu have convenient package managers and an active community. Other differences are mainly a matter of taste.

Re:Why choose Ubuntu? Why not something else? (2, Interesting)

kgo (1741558) | more than 3 years ago | (#31967966)

When Fedora first came out, I felt like Red Hat went out of their way to make fedora the "hobbiest" version, and RHEL the "corporate" version. Have they got more or less divergent as time has gone on? It's kind of nice to run the same version of the software at home and in the server room, where Ubuntu is Ubuntu is Ubuntu. One less thing to deal with. Just wondering if I should give Fedora another try...

Re:Why choose Ubuntu? Why not something else? (1)

Shark (78448) | more than 3 years ago | (#31968058)

What makes one Linux better than another?

Your needs and your tastes.

Re:Why choose Ubuntu? Why not something else? (4, Funny)

darkpixel2k (623900) | more than 3 years ago | (#31968066)

I'm using Ubuntu right now, but a coworker told me he prefers Fedora (quote: "Any OS that fits on a single CD can't be any good."). Meanwhile my company is using Red Hat for their development.

What makes one Linux better than another?

I say the same thing about programming languages. Any application that doesn't carry a runtime dependency of at least a few hundred megs can't be any good. That's why I use the .NET framework. Oh--I also hate freedom and kick puppies.

Re:Why choose Ubuntu? Why not something else? (1)

icannotthinkofaname (1480543) | more than 3 years ago | (#31968144)

a coworker told me he prefers Fedora (quote: "Any OS that fits on a single CD can't be any good.").

I assume that quote is supposed to be from your coworker. Either your coworker never said that, or your coworker is an idiot. I have a Fedora 12 CD. The whole thing fit right on there, and the live session works perfectly. If your coworker really said that, tell him to switch distros, because by his own ideas, Fedora can't be any good.

Re:Why choose Ubuntu? Why not something else? (1)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 3 years ago | (#31968364)

What makes one Linux better than another?

In a nutshell:

At one point, you'll start using it. After some time, you'll stop using it. In between, the system that requires the smallest number of mouseclicks to make it do what you want, is the best. And for this measuring method, each commandline key-press counts as 10 mouseclicks (100 if you're a newbie).

Re:Why choose Ubuntu? Why not something else? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31968450)

As your company becomes more efficient, you are bound to encounter a replacement coworker who will say "Any OS that doesn't fit on a single CD can't be any good". I suspect they will have much better king fu.

Re:Why choose Ubuntu? Why not something else? (2, Interesting)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 3 years ago | (#31968790)

What makes one Linux better than another?

"Better" is not a concept you can apply to Linux distributions, anymore than you can apply it to (wait for it...) cars. Is a giant Ford truck better than a Prius? Well that really depends on how large the stuff you have to move in the near future is, doesn't it?

The better Linux distribution for you is the one that matches your business or personal priorities more closely. Since those are your priorities, no one else can answer that question for you.

'set up to make a fantastic Linux distribution...' (4, Funny)

D4C5CE (578304) | more than 3 years ago | (#31967806)

The company was set up to make a fantastic Linux distribution and other tools around it and get it out there and get people using it. That was the focus." That's now changing at Canonical as the emphasis is now shifting to generating revenues.

We're fine with moving priority to the new objective as soon as you've completed the former. ;-)

Ubuntu 10.04 presumably [slashdot.org] is not it just yet.

Re:'set up to make a fantastic Linux distribution. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#31968136)

Anecdotally, I have intel graphics (reportedly always affected by the bug), I am running the test replacement from the PPA, and if I leave my machine sitting for any length of time I find it very hot and in text mode, often with a kernel panic. I've been updating once or twice daily...

Re:'set up to make a fantastic Linux distribution. (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#31968166)

>>>An X.Org Server update that was pushed into the Lucid repository last week has resulted in the system being slower and slower as it is left on, until it reaches a point where the system is no longer usable
>>>

Thanks for the link. I was going to move from 8.1 to 10.0 next week, but I will wait another month 'til they fix it. I hate memory leaks. I remember when Firefox had that problem and gradually grew from ~100,000 to 600,000 KB until my computer became slow as a snail (drive swapping) or crashed. Opera 10 seems to have a similar problem. I hate leaks.

Re:'set up to make a fantastic Linux distribution. (2, Informative)

eapache (1239018) | more than 3 years ago | (#31968346)

<quote><blockquote><div><p>The company was <b>set up to make a fantastic Linux distribution</b> and other tools around it and get it out there and get people using it. That was the focus." That's now changing at Canonical as the emphasis is now shifting to generating revenues.</p></div></blockquote><p>We're fine with moving priority to the new objective as soon as you've completed the former. ;-)

Ubuntu 10.04 <a href="http://it.slashdot.org/story/10/04/21/2021247/Ubuntu-LTS-Experiences-Xorg-Memory-Leak">presumably</a> is not it just yet.</p></quote>

It's already been fixed.

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/xorg-server/+bug/565981

Re:'set up to make a fantastic Linux distribution. (0)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#31968536)

For what, serious bug found in beta testing and FIXED? Try again when you have something to bitch about that's in an actual release. Sheesh, I guess sometimes Ubuntu deserves the bashing but I don't think this time. By the way, the same patches were first used by Red Hat then Debian, so if you want to blame QA there's a lot of blame to go around.

Re:'set up to make a fantastic Linux distribution. (1)

drumbug1 (1140947) | more than 3 years ago | (#31969514)

We're fine with moving priority to the new objective as soon as you've completed the former. ;-) Ubuntu 10.04 presumably [slashdot.org] is not it just yet.

You do realize that bug has been fixed... and that it's not even released yet? https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/xorg-server/+bug/565981 [launchpad.net] /. posting that story was really NOT news.... pre-release software has bugs, generally bugs get fixed, then software gets released. FUD much?

All I ask (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31967846)

All I ask is that they stay true to their name.

Making money on cloud-stuff is fair enough because people are more or less renting space on hardware that someone has paid for.

What I DON'T want to see is:

- Intentional crippling of the free product as in "pay for the full experience".

- Membership-payments of any kind where members have access to specialized modules and the sort.

- A decline in the focus on the desktop.

As long as the code stays free in both meanings of the word, I'm a happy camper generally speaking.

RHEL (5, Interesting)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 3 years ago | (#31967926)

If I were looking for paid support Linux, I would go with RHEL. They have more experience in this kind of thing and have been around longer. Plus, I like RHEL for enterprise use. It has good tools for use in the enterprise - a certificate management system, a good directory server, deployment tools, etc.

Re:RHEL (2, Interesting)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#31967982)

We use RHEL/CentOS for a lot of servers, but while they're stable and reliable, they're also using old versions of a lot of packages which aren't compatible with the latest shiny things. So if you want to run SuperWhizzoWebService you may well have to either upgrade packages on your RHEL server to the latest versions (which is often a real pain) or just run a more 'bleeding edge' distribution.

I'm not a fan of Ubuntu on servers, but if it has to run shiny things and doesn't need to be up 24/7/365 then it may well be a good choice.

Re:RHEL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31968106)

RHEL has given me significantly more pain than Ubuntu. They have a bad habit of breaking things in updates.

Re:RHEL (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#31968204)

RHEL has given me significantly more pain than Ubuntu. They have a bad habit of breaking things in updates.

Freaky. I've had far more pain from Ubuntu updates than RHEL/CentOS.... the last CentOS upgrade from 5.3 to 5.4 took about an hour with almost no intervention, whereas the Ubuntu upgrade from 9.04 to 9.10 took a day with lots of intervention before the system was working again.

That said, many of the things I had to fix up on Ubuntu were services I don't run on CentOS, such as MythTV and Zabbix.

Re:RHEL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31969292)

Good point. Admittedly my Ubuntu usage is different to my Red Hat usage.
Conceivably some of my Red Hat pain might show up on Ubuntu, too. Thus far, though, the
two problems sets are completely disjunct.

Re:RHEL (1)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 3 years ago | (#31968754)

If you want to setup a cloud deployment on, say, Amazon's EC2, it's quite easy [ubuntu.com] , and then once you're up and running you can then decide if you want to buy support for that deployment.

If instead you visit RedHat's cloud page [redhat.com] , you'll see no similar guide to getting started. As far as I can tell, this is because you need to have a RHEL license to even get access to their EC2 AMI files. As close as you can get for free is the RightScale AMI for CentOS [amazonwebservices.com] .

A lot of technical decision are made through the path of least resistance for getting started. Right now, if EC2 is your cloud platform, and you want to deploy a simple setup that you can add support to later, Ubuntu is where you'll end up at. A someone who leans toward RedHat for servers, I've been frustrated lately that I can't do free proof of concept deployments of RHEL on EC2, and then add support to them only once the result has been signed off as working. And for always unpaid setups, people don't really trust the RightScale AMI images the way they do the official Ubuntu ones either.

Re:RHEL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31968874)

RHEL is a server OS. They don't give the slightest fig about the desktop. GUI? Who needs it! The bash command line is all you need! Ubuntu was desktop oriented, with a pretty and useful GUI (or at least oriented that way). Ubuntu did not want to alienate desktop users. They wanted to be friendly and useful. They are the second most GUI oriented, Unix system on the planet. Sun was never this oriented, nor AIX, Ultrix, CLIX, HPUX, Dynix, or any other traditional unix. (The most GUI oriented Unix system on the planet of course is Snow Leopard or whatever Apple is calling their new OS these days. Apple is a proprietary Unix with proprietary unix hardware, whether you like to think of them that way or not. The only difference between them and the traditional unices that they were unices 'in name', and they are not, and they are heavily user oriented (and always have been), and they were not. A long time ago, they studied "The Art of Human-Computer Interface Design", understood every page, every word, and had psychologists and pre-schoolers test every last button, the position of the button, the color of the button, the size and shape of the button, what the button did, what the button didn't, and why not, and why there even had to be a button, and if it had to be, did it have to be there or would it be better somewhere else. Apple clearly gets it right. Microsoft gets it about 2/3s right. Ubuntu gets it about half right, Red Hat gets it about 1/3rd right.

Pay/Free ratios (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 3 years ago | (#31968050)

Why don't they just take a bunch of polls and ask if people use Ubuntu, and if they pay?

Or maybe they could make it so that paying ubuntu users get a slight bandwidth preference for update/distro packages --- but this actually means a very small flag is applied to their system. Those numbers can be counted.

Free alone is not a business model... (1)

Foredecker (161844) | more than 3 years ago | (#31968126)

Lots of people like to claim that "Free is a business model". In one sense I agree: Giving away some things for free so you can make money other ways can work. But free by itself is not a business model.

This is what Canonical has decided. After 5 years of trying to be successful in giving a way a free client operating system, they have decided to stop lighting money on fire and do something to make a profit.

I love this quote from the article [serverwatch.com] :

"For the first five years of the companys life, it wasnt set up to make money," Asay said. "The company was set up to make a fantastic Linux distribution and other tools around it and get it out there and get people using it. That was the focus."

Thats now changing at Canonical as the emphasis is now shifting to generating revenues.

"Weve achieved a significant amount of traction within an important constituency -- that is the developers and system administrators of the world," Asay said. "As we build tools that appeal to them I think they will pay us money."

TThe cynic in me - or as some would likely claim, the Microsoftie in me - sees that their path for the last five years has been a failure. They produced a client OS that is considered one of the best Linux client distributions. But beyond that - no success.

I suggest they will not be very successful here: For cloud computing - the value is not in the operating system itself, but in the cloud systems ability to scale economically: keeping operational costs super low.

It will be difficult for them to compete with Microsoft. We really do know how to run massive data centers at scale. More over, we eat our own dogfood and have a world class team of developers building our cloud products. Just how is canonical going to get this experience? They are very unlikely to go build a big data center.

They also will be competing with Google, IBM and Amazon (among others). These guys dont sell software with which to build a could, but they sell cloud services.

My predictions have nothing to do with the goodness of Linux - it is a very good OS and the people that build it are every bit as good as people at Microsoft, Google, Sun, Oracle and others. The challenges Canonical faces are operational, and business related.

Re:Free alone is not a business model... (1)

debatem1 (1087307) | more than 3 years ago | (#31968416)

They actually don't compete with Amazon here- Ubuntu's cloud software is AWS compatible, and provides a pretty natural migration path for companies looking at moving from public to private clouds as they scale.

Re:Free alone is not a business model... (1)

Foredecker (161844) | more than 3 years ago | (#31968798)

Sure - if the first order criteria is going to a private cloud from a public cloud. But cost, reliability, features, operations (and likely others) will all be factors here. All the public cloud providers will compete with Canonical by saying

"Dont go private! We can provid you with cloud services more effecitcly, just as securetly, at better scale, and for less costs than you can do it yourselves!".

They may not always be right - but that is how they will complete.

Moreover, Microsoft will complete directly with Canonical here. Going head to head with Microsoft in an established market is often (not always) very difficult to do profitably. Weve made it very clear that we are going for the brass ring with both cloud services and cloud products.

Im not at all suggesting they will fail - bit it will be a tough slog for them - they will continue to set fire to money the whole road to profitability (if they ever get there). Its intersting that Canonical chose this space to compete profitably. The ROI seems very low here...

-Foredecker

Re:Free alone is not a business model... (1)

debatem1 (1087307) | more than 3 years ago | (#31968984)

Sure - if the first order criteria is going to a private cloud from a public cloud.

For a lot of companies, it is- and for a lot of startups, the ability to scale from 0 to 1 million users without getting screwed on either end sounds like a pretty good deal. I'm not claiming that this is going to make them Microsoft (or even Google) level profits- but they have a much lower outlay. They can survive in a smaller, more profitable niche.

But cost, reliability, features, operations (and likely others) will all be factors here. All the public cloud providers will compete with Canonical by saying

"Dont go private! We can provid you with cloud services more effecitcly, just as securetly, at better scale, and for less costs than you can do it yourselves!".

They may not always be right - but that is how they will complete.

IME, this is not how this argument goes. Everybody knows that AWS is going to beat you in scale over a short period of time, but a long-term dependency on them is unhealthy for a larger company. This puts growing companies in quite the bind- rewrite your core business to avoid vendor lock-in or hinge your company's survival on a third party? Canonical is providing a third way here, and I suspect that serving this small market well will be a big test for whether the RHEL model works for them.

Moreover, Microsoft will complete directly with Canonical here.

I don't see this. Microsoft doesn't treat the cloud like a core component of its business model, and certainly provides no direct analog to AWS, which this is more squarely targeted at.

Going head to head with Microsoft in an established market is often (not always) very difficult to do profitably. Weve made it very clear that we are going for the brass ring with both cloud services and cloud products.

Again, I'm not sold on the idea that this represents a broadside at big M- Ubuntu will keep doing what it does best, Canonical will expand into a market that has nothing to do with desktop software, and Microsoft will continue to chuckle and make billions.

Im not at all suggesting they will fail - bit it will be a tough slog for them - they will continue to set fire to money the whole road to profitability (if they ever get there). Its intersting that Canonical chose this space to compete profitably. The ROI seems very low here...

-Foredecker

Again, IMO this looks like a small expansion into an underserved market that is being gussied up to look like a big new initiative. I would bet that this will succeed, earn them some cash, and be mostly forgotten two years from now.

Ubuntu should say no to business models (1)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 3 years ago | (#31968168)

A non-profit charity makes much more sense. Or maybe even seek NSF grants. It's nice having a viable, widely distributed Linux distro without a profit incentive.

Gelett Burgess on Ubuntu 10.04 Magic Milka, or was (0)

D4C5CE (578304) | more than 3 years ago | (#31968176)

it Commercial Cow (with its debatable new default color and GUI scheme)?

I never saw a purple cow,
I never hope to see one;
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I'd rather see than be one!
The Purple Cow: Reflections on a Mythic Beast Who's Quite Remarkable, at Least
The Lark, issue 1, 1895

Ah, yes, I wrote the "Purple Cow"-
I'm sorry, now, I wrote it;
But I can tell you anyhow
I'll kill you if you quote it!
Confession: and a Portrait Too, Upon a Background that I Rue
The Lark, issue 24, 1897

I've never seen a purple cow.
My eyes with tears are full.
I've never seen a purple cow,
And I'm a purple bull.
Anonymous

What is smoke and mirrors for 12,000? Alex? (1)

blanchae (965013) | more than 3 years ago | (#31968244)

If you want to see smoke and mirrors at its best, read the pdf article from Canonical that explains Introduction to Cloud Computing [ubuntu.com] . It is all consuming, ever present and the holy grail but what it actually does, we don't know... The summary is the most laughable part..

Ubuntu Cloud? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31968312)

What is ubuntu Cloud, what does it do, why should i care?

Uh (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31968780)

How about putting money on ideas in brainstorm and bugs in launchpad? I got a scanner with _completely GPL drivers_ that doesn't Just Work with Ubuntu, so it's worthless to me. Paying $50 to have someone package the thing sanely sure beats buying a new scanner, why can't Canonical do that? Not being able to pay for Free Software angers me. I mean seriously, I have a job.

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