back to article Canonical fires up box Landscaping business

Canonical - the money bags behind Ubuntu - hopes to attract more corporate buyers toward the Linux light with the release of a systems management package dubbed Landscape. The Landscape software has moved out of beta and into the wild becoming available for customers with commercial support agreements as well as those seeking …


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  1. Greg

    more like RHN

    I think Landscape is better compared to Red Hat Network than Hyperic, Zenoss, Nagios or other open source monitoring tools. Yes, from your article and other reports, Landscape will provide basic monitoring (as does Red Hat Network), but I don't think Hyperic, Zenoss, Nagios etc. perform the package management that Landscape and RHN provide. And I think it's safe to say that RHN users (and future Landscape users will) primarily use these tools for the centralized, many-as-one package update and provisioning capabilities. Most mid-sized to large businesses are going to want a monitoring tool that looks across OSes and that includes lots of device types.

  2. Anonymous Coward


    Well done on the link:

    It gives a 404 error!


    That is all... please return to your monotonous work, thank you.

  3. Ashlee Vance (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Link

    That's the link Canonical is pointing to as well in their statement. They obviously don't have the site ready.

  4. PushF12

    yank tracker from Ubuntu

    I hope that Canonical gets some big customers for this service, who then demand an easy way to remove the trackerd program from an entire Ubuntu Landscape installation, maybe so that tracker gets entirely removed from the regular distro.

    The tracker software is a terrible failure that makes Ubuntu Gutsy and Ubuntu Hardy very slow. It is like that annoying search dog thing in Windows XP.

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Martin Owens

    Open Source

    I feel canonical sometimes plays dualism; Do they support open source or not? do they believe it offers a good business model for software? if so why is launchpad and now landscape so... so... NOT open source?

  7. Riccardo Spagni
    Paris Hilton


    Decimation Tony - that is about the funniest I've read all year, as I'd *just* finished reading Lester's article - thanks for making me snort coffee through my nose and all over my keyboard...thank goodness it's a Thunkpad;)

    Paris, because she makes me snort coffee too. But for entirely different reasons. Erm.

  8. Grant
    Thumb Up

    @ Martin Owens

    A good point i'd hate Canonical to just become another Red Hat, i know they need to make money but producing closed source software seems to go against their principals.

  9. A J Stiles
    Thumb Up

    @ Martin Owens

    Obviously, they are doing it so that somebody else can write an Open Source alternative!

    There'd really only be cause to worry if Ubuntu refused to accept the Free Launchpad / Landscape replacements -- assuming someone goes ahead and writes them -- into their repositories.

  10. b4k4

    ubuntu and server?

    is it just me, or does anyone else think that taking Debian Sid, beautifying it a bit in a hurry (those 6mnth deadlines), and then installing it on servers may not be such a good idea? Especially many servers all over your business. Why don't they install Etch on all the servers and Ubuntu on the desktops, and still use this Landscape tool?

    And I second the open source question. Ubuntu doesn't play fair. They fix up Sid and keep it to themselves. When they invent something of their own, they don't even GPL it.

    I'll be off then.

  11. Greg

    @ A J and Martin

    2 points

    1. on Canonical --> Red Hat, there's a big difference from my POV. Landscape is optional for support subscribers, whereas RHN is required.

    2. As for open source alternatives, the fedora project (how's that for irony) has a new tool called func that people should look at

  12. Mike Kay


    Are we seeing a major shift here to a closed source development strategy? Surely not Canonical? Whatever happened to the 'Make money from services' idea?

    I like Mike Kovacevich's thinking: 'Linux takes wisdom, foresight and guts.'

  13. Steve George

    @Martin Owens

    Ubuntu is completely free (gratis and free software) and is guaranteed to remain so. Canonicals mission is broader than this and covers general Free Software adoption. We strongly support FOSS, and you can see this reflected in the core of our mission:

    As a commercial business we are built on delivering optional services which make Ubuntu usable by individuals and businesses that wouldn't otherwise move to a Free Software project. We don't have any mandatory commercial services, you purchase if the service has value to you. These services are commercial, so we don't guarantee they will be FOSS.

    The word "dualism" implies to me a binary position where you can only do FOSS or proprietary. I understand where you're coming from but from a commercial perspective we have to be more pragmatic. We try and open up what we can, so we've made the Landscape client completely FOSS, and we've split out individual technologies and contributed them back. We also strongly support technologies we depend on, for example we're sponsoring PyCon.

    I think this is a consistent position and it's pretty much the same across all the other Linux vendors. RHN and Zenworks are not Free Software. Nor can you get them to tell you the answer to a Linux issue without paying for their commercial support.


  14. Steve George

    @ A J Stiles

    This is a really good point. And you're absolutely right Canonical would never stop Ubuntu from including a technology that overlaps with our commercial interests.

    In fact this is one of the main ways we're different from the other commercial Linux vendors. Ubuntu is run as a free software project with a completely transparent and open development cycle. You can see exactly what's being worked on in the next version of Ubuntu:

    If you want to join development and influence what's happening you can, and so can your company. So if you want to come along to our next development conference and suggest technologies you can:

    This is why we have technology partners like Sun and Intel, and free software hackers coming along and influencing Ubuntu's direction. Everyone involved in Ubuntu development is managed by the same sets of rules and policies. If you went through the process to join the project there'd be equal value in your opinion versus anyone else. Clearly this is a Free Software project and actions count more than words, so as Canonical has a lot of developers our concerns influence accordingly. But, there's no _secret_ advantage to Canonical developers.


  15. Steve George


    I'm not going to agree with you that all we're doing is beautifying Debian's server in a hurry!

    I can certainly concur that we benefit massively from the Debian heritage and the stability, scalability and quality that brings. Fundamentally we're trying to polish that technology and add in features that make it accessible to a wider range of users. For example in 8.04 we're adding capabilities to make it easier to join Ubuntu server into a Windows domain.

    Anything we put into Ubuntu is guaranteed to be Free Software and is available for Debian to use. We try and contribute everything that we do back to the appropriate places (whether to the upstream or to Debian).

    Ubuntu is more readily accepted by business users because it's backed by a commercial company. Where we bring new users to the Free Software world then I see this as a net benefit, rather than a loss to Debian. We're all trying to win the battle of weaning people off Microsoft!

  16. Peter Gathercole Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Supporting Steve George

    I really appreciate Steve George making it clear what Ubuntu and Canonical stance is all about. And before you read on, I am just a Ubuntu user, and have no links with Canonical at all.

    All of you who think that a company like Canonical can put the resources into making Ubuntu the first real open alternative to Microsoft without being able to leaverage a return can only think that money grows on trees.

    They have a service based business model, and these services will include bespoke tools. The GNU Public License does not prevent such software from being written to run on top of Linux, nor does it prevent these tools from using, say, the libraries that ship in a Linux distro. This means that these tools can remain closed, and provide a commercial advantage. Canonical does not HAVE to put EVERYTHING they work on back into Ubuntu (provided that it is their own work that they are selling and not modified GPL'd code). That's what the GPL allows.

    I applaud Canonical for putting back into the open as much as they do, and for sponsoring Ubuntu development, but they do have to become an economically viable company at some point. As long as they keep to their principals, what is wrong with that.

    Where Canonical can benefit is by making these tools and services good enough for people to want to use them. By making sure that Ubuntu is adopted as widly as possible means that they have a larger potential client base. But what makes them different is that they are not shoving their software or services down peoples throats. Ubuntu users have chosen it because it is good, it is free, and it does not come with strings attached (Redhat and Novel/SUSE take note). People can pay for support if they want or need it, but there is no stigma to using the software, downloading the patches, and not paying anything if that is what they choose to do.

    All I can hope is that enough people want services to enable Canonical to achieve their goal.

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