back to article Ubuntu man responds to GNOME 'coattail' claims

Ubuntu creator Mark Shuttleworth has defended Canonical's lack of participation in GNOME against accusations of riding on the coattails of the project's number-one maintainer, Red Hat. After giving it some thought, Shuttleworth concluded that open-source is bigger than any single project and that Canonical's mission is adding …


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  1. Alan Barnard

    'but Canonical doesn't do X'

    What? Just the command line?

  2. Stuart 22

    This is good news

    I guess a good many of us believe that major distributions should be desktop agnostic. For practical reasons it may be sensible to lead on one and in this sense Ubuntu has done Gnome a huge favour. Millions are using Gnome not because they chose Gnome but because Ubuntu delived ythat flavoured Linux.

    But it would be bad news if Ubuntu invested more resource then, say, KDE. Well they probably do which is why Kubuntu users feel the very poor relation when choosing a desktop best suited to their needs.

    Otherwise Ubuntu ought to be honest if it wants to be Gnome outlet and tell us Kubuntu users to find a more accommodating distribution.

    1. Code Monkey

      That wouldn't be popular

      Dropping KDE would be a terrible idea. Just look at Slackware dropping GNOME. It's years since Patrick Volkerding did that and the moaning resumes with every new point release.

      Were Shuttleworth to drop KDE he'd be giving plenty of ammunition to Ubuntu's detractors and inviting crap reviews. He's too much of a pragmatist to do that.

      (I don't use Ubuntu BTW)

  3. Cameron Colley

    I'm not a *buntu user any more.

    The focus on TwitFace and the like and the decisoin to be a quick-boot OS on otherwise Windows Machines also gave me reason to doubt his commitment to open source. However, one thing I do know is that he has done more to promote Linux outside of the geek crowd than anyone else I can think of, making more companies take notice of Linux and a few actually try to help.

    1. The Other Steve

      Huh ?

      "The focus on TwitFace and the like and the decisoin to be a quick-boot OS on otherwise Windows Machines also gave me reason to doubt his commitment to open source."

      You doubt the commitment to open source of a man who is in charge of the creation and maintenance of an open source OS that he gives away for free ?

      Really ? How does that work ?

    2. frymaster


      wait, they only boot fast on windows machines?

      or booting fast is only important when you dual-boot windows?

      not sure what you're saying here

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Gnome Schmome

    Who cares about Gnome anyway? KDE is far more usable than Gnome. Even Torvalds has said as much.

    What Linux really needs is ONE GUI that EVERYONE uses and that major vendors can write code for. Then you might actually see the "killer apps" developed for Linux that would mean it really could start to replace Windoze. Won't happen though. Too many gnomistas running around convinced their GUI is the best. Cue flame war......

    1. markfiend

      I know, DNFTT, but...

      ...if people wrote apps that were GUI-agnostic it might help.

      How am I supposed to run KDE on (for example) an old machine with only 64MB of RAM? I'll run fluxbox on it if I need a GUI.

      Diversity, not uniformity, is the strength of Linux.

    2. Ru

      "What linux really needs..."

      One desktop manager, sure. You should submit your proposal to the chief software architects of the supreme linux steering committee, who will direct the thousands of software developers working on various projects to concentrate on one.

      I'm sure that with sufficient coercion, say the threat of excommunication and banning them from linux use or development or having their funding cut, all the developers will jump into line.

      Whilst you're there, you should ask about unifying all those different distributions. Such a waste to have so many! All that duplicated effort! Why, if everyone just concentrated on the One True Linux, surely it would be the OS to end all OSes, or something?

    3. Woodgar

      Re: Gnome Schmome

      Why is it always the anonymous wankers that come out with such piffle?

    4. cbleslie


      Last I checked guy, you can run QT apps in Gnome, and visa versa. So your point doesn't matter. Taking that into account, what does matter is this:

      We need to teach USERS to expect good interfaces from the Developers. This is exactly what apple does, and why everything is usually designed so well. Developers can choose what ever GUI took kit they want. Screw having a unified platform. With the right expectancy of application interface quality. Everything people bitch about will work itself out.

      Independence and choice is what makes linux what it is.

  5. The Cube

    From a Mac and Windows user

    He is right, I have tried to get rid of Windows.

    I tried Red Hat, it's great when you have a Unix architect in your team to set it up on a server for you, of course god help you if you install the server vendors drivers and agents for RedHat, half your disk and most of your CPU will be lost to that endless crap, most of which won't work properly anyway and you'll end up ripping it out and just using SNMP. As an OS for me to install, no thanks.

    CentOS, well, after an hour of arguing with the "GUI" setup about mirroring the two SATA disks, of course you should have to create a "RAID set" of one disk, then a "RAID set" of the other disk and then create a RAID set of the two RAID sets you just created, damn what a dumbass (l)user I am for not knowing that! Setting it up at the command line was easier than the damn GUI although it did give me NetWare NightMares for a week.

    OpenSolaris, well, it has a real file system and containers and all sorts of stuff, clearly from the adult toolbox not the Toys'R'Us toolbox some of those Linux distros came from. Problem is Larry Evil is going to do his best to kill it and anyone still on Solaris had better get a longer chequebook to add all the extra zeros on the annual maintenance payments.

    Ubuntu? It installed straight off the DVD, every time I tried it, I even got it to talk to most of my hardware, the package manager does what you expect (as opposed to CentOS whose package manager does the exact opposite), packages like Gimp just work (and unlike Photoshop you can work out how to use it). Ubuntu worked on my laptops, desktops, in virtual machines, it just worked.

    If only IBM had made something of OS/2 we would have a real choice now, but IBM can't market their way out of a wet paper bag and OS/2 is serving out its pension on ticket machines and cash registers.

    Of course now I have a Mac so I can be a smug wanker to all the Windows users because I have a real OS, type cryptic commands into semi transparent terminal windows and pretend that they do something important, make "gestures" that cause everything to move around like an extra in Minority Report and use an Instant Messenger without the virus that is MSN AIM YahPoo! etc. Even better I can do all this, use Gimp and still not have an ugly troll (^h^h^h^h Gnome) for a desktop.

    Mine's the one with a black roll neck sewn into the lining...

    1. Mark 65

      Here here

      Like it or loathe it, I think the Linux universe would do well to recognise what Shuttleworth has done for them by helping to make it that much more straightforward to get a distro installed on the system in the first place and more usable once it's there.

      I remember the old Red Hat installs before I used Ubuntu - what an absolute palaver. In my mind it is Ubuntu that has made Linux systems that much more of a proposition for the end-user than any other single entity. It's all well and good for Red Hat and the like to submit fixes etc but if the interface has poor usability then there's little point.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Couldn't agree more

      There's nothing like going home and use a proper usable OS.

  6. gimbal

    Open-Source Community Infighting?

    Oh, that'll get us far - bickering between Linux distributions. Always useful.

    While in some contexts, flame-wars of similar context may be entertaining, I'm afraid they've stepped it off into a business sphere, with this one. Bad show, Greg.

  7. Neoc

    Sooth vs Soothe

    "moved to sooth a community dispute"

    He made a community dispute a reality?

  8. Anonymous Coward

    The road...

    to an IPO is faught with peril. Resources must be carefully protected, channeled only in the path that leads to that billion dollar IPO deal.

    Canoncial apparently isn't bankrolled by the CIA as was Google (George Tenet's little gift).

    Gnome is bad enough without Canonical devs mucking about! Besides, innovation helps Linux greatly - like putting window controls on the left. Shouldn't have been one complaint from the UK about that. That must rank as the greatest Linux "gift" of all time.

    Brilliant innovation - that's the key!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nice to see Linux distros taking cues from, erm, religion

    They all claim to worship the one true god, yet none of them can agree on how, resulting in endless schisms over minutiae which in turn spawn ugly feuds that become so entrenched over the years that nobody can even remember what the original argument was, all while everybody else just gets on with their life, bemused by all the fuss...

  10. Herby

    One word solution:


    Get rid of the cashew!

  11. James Hughes 1

    I think he is right

    Canonical should concentrate of making Ubuntu as usable and bug free as as possible. Leave the GUI development (and in fact development in other areas) to the experts at those other places.

    Although at least they *have* contributed to the Gnome source - most people posting here haven't....

    In other news : I like Gnome. Does most of what I expect of a GUI. Just like windows 3.1, which also did all I wanted/needed. Just because it looks a little elderly, doesn't mean it cannot do the job required.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Here be titles

    I wonder how many other Linux vendors set up free Linux CD dispensers in countries to promote the use of Linux...

  13. Nigel Wright

    If there's a problem with OSS/Linux it is this..


    Personally I don't care if Canonical are perceived to be riding on someone's coat-tails. They've delivered a workable, usable and reliable operating system that I like and which is free of everything I detest about the alternative. For that I am grateful to all those who participate in the project.

  14. Doug

    less is more

    It isn't a only a choice between KDE and Gnome ..

  15. sola

    Canonical is doing rigth (mostly)

    Canonical is a huge boon to desktop Linux. I would say that without them, there would be no debate about Linux's market share at all.

  16. The Other Steve


    Reading the original blog post from Greg DeKoenigsberg, it's clear that he is a whiny freetard douchebag who needs to man the fuck up.

    You make your stuff 'open', and 'free' (for GPL values of open and free, warning : may not mean what you think) so that other people can use it and can contribute back to it, right ?

    Then someone comes along and uses it and contributes back it and you spit your dummy because you think they aren't doing it enough or in the 'correct' manner ? WTF !!??

    If you don't want people to take your stuff and use it, try a different licence, idiots. Oh and saying that anyone is riding Red Hat's coat tails is just the cherry on top, since Red Hat makes (so it tells us) gazillions of dollars off of ... LINUX.

    Incidentally, I encourage anyone who wants a good laugh to go and read Greg's apology, which is even whinier than his original post. Gotta love these freetard on freetard bouts.

  17. Sodabread
    Thumb Up

    Good for us...

    Linux newbies. I never used Linux before earlier this year and honestly, never cared to because I was happy with Windows as it did what I wanted. I installed Ubuntu in or around February and it really is a nice segue from Windows into the Linux world, even if it's not the most hardcore Linux experience out there.

  18. SilverWave

    Flawed Census - Totals from BEFORE Ubuntu existed!

    >Neary Consulting's GNOME Census


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