back to article Canonical pares Ubuntu down to 2 editions

Canonical, the commercial entity behind the Ubuntu distribution of Debian Linux, is going to make it easier for people to consume its operating system. Gerry Carr, director of platform marketing at Canonical, says in a blog post that beginning with the "Natty Narwhal" release in April, the company is going back to the way it …


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  1. PushF12

    Nerd combat and the Ubuntu default packages

    The Ubuntu default packages must be less than 700 MB so that they all fit into a regular CD-R or CD-ROM disc. This announcement means that something needs to be cut.

    One of my favorite spectator sports near Ubuntu release season is watching Nerd Combat, Celebrity Edition, as the maintainers joust to get their pet packages into the default installation.

    In previous years, the battle has been fought over music players, photo editors, and Mono dependencies. What will it be this year? Who will win a place in the Gold Master arena?

    1. Peter Kay

      It might help if they put useful utilities in..

      Such as a default installation of lynx and preferably also screen/tmux and gcc.

      OpenBSD gets this one right - it's possible to fix things from the root prompt when things go wrong. If you want to browse the web on a broken Ubuntu box you were out of luck, at least in earlier releases (not tried the latest one yet)

      1. JEDIDIAH

        Total non problem...

        > If you want to browse the web on a broken

        > Ubuntu box you were out of luck

        apt-get install what-ever-you-need

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Don't forget the "sudo".

          Since most packages need admin/root permissions to install. but the point is well taken regardless. Barring a network fault (which can stymie ANY system that relies on network downloads), you can pretty much download whatever packages you need from a terminal (including lynx, if necessary).

        2. Hayden Clark Silver badge

          You assume a working internet connection

          Inside a datacentre that is not always available, except at install/upgrade time. Even then, you might be working with a local repository with just the upgraded/needed packages.

          So, along with wget, a basic text editor, and some network diagnostic tools, a console web browser is one of those useful things.

          1. DanDanDan
            Paris Hilton

            What do you need lynx for if you don't have a working internet connection?

            Paris - Because she can't understand either.

            1. Peter Kay

              Try the magic word 'Intranet'

              Still, I'll admit the most of the time it's the Internet you want to access rather than an Intranet.

              In any case, other objections should be obvious :

              1) Lynx is not large and a system is not about to stop working by not shipping a media player..

              2) The software respository might be blocked in the firewall

              3) It requires a download. This is not necessarily free, or reliable, or fast.

              4) In the event of a failure to root prompt, if I remember correctly there is no help to speak of. Using apt-get requires remembering to use apt-get, whilst at least an installation of lynx means the documentation can be studied.

              5) It's one more thing that can break. Installation of programs requires a working installation infrastructure. If it's there by default, this is less important.

              6) apt-get requires an accessible repository. I cannot remember if there are fallback repositories, but it does not help if you have a dead box and no record of alternate repositories.

              In short, the argument would be much better applied to superfluous functionality such as games, music players etc

            2. Hayden Clark Silver badge

              Lynx (or links)

              can be used to test the web service that you are deploying. On your isolated intranet.

    2. DrXym Silver badge


      I am not surprised Mono got the boot. It represented something like a dozen substantial packages to support a photo editor. It doesn't hurt to keep a dist lean and mean from a distribution, bug fixing or a security point of view. People who desperately need mono can fire up Aptitude / Synaptic to get it.

      1. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD


        I hadn't realized ubuntu used to come *THAT* cluttered. I mean, I knew it was cluttered....

        Here's to anybody doing anything to unclutter anything at all....

  2. melt


    Eek, what about LTS?

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Does not affect LTS

      LTS releases will still be 12.04 and probably 14.04. No difference.

      6.06, 8.04 and 10.04 (Dapper, Hardy and Lucid) were for all versions (server, desktop, netbook), and that will not change.

  3. Anonymous Coward


    Rant alert - I've lost count of the number of times I've installed Ubuntu on various machines over the years, and never, not once, did it reduce or disappear or otherwise become less. So while we may well use Ubuntu, please don't bottom feed with the marketeers and imply that using a digital work uses it up, presumably to suggest that it has some rarity value. We use these things we don't consume them.

    OK, I'm breathing normally again...

    1. Knochen Brittle
      Big Brother

      But ...

      ... it must be relentlessly hammered into the mind of the masses that they are mere useless eaters [consumers, lebensunwürdiges Leben] of whatever precious resource is doled out by the benevolent velvet fist of the State and its Corporate Sponsors, and apt to be culled on their whim without notice, otherwise ... well, it just doesn't bear thinking about, does it? You see, raised expectations cause Revolutions and the royal we can't be having that, so pipe down and stay on-message please!

  4. bean520

    What about...

    Kubuntu? Xubuntu? They are both extremely competent distros in their own right. what happens to them? I have never seen a KDE distro as usable as Kubuntu. And yes i have tried others. Mandriva, Suse, PCLinux OS to name a few

    1. Matt Piechota

      Xubuntu, Kubuntu

      "Kubuntu? Xubuntu? They are both extremely competent distros in their own right. what happens to them?"

      Neither of those are, strictly-speaking, Ubuntu distributions. They're official side-project 'spins' that don't really come into this discussion. So I think the answer is, 'they stay the same'.

    2. Lars Silver badge

      Re: What about

      I, on the other hand, have tried Kubuntu several times just for "fun" but without success, staying with Mandriva and quite content with that.

      I think Canonical is making a very big mistake in not supporting KDE as well as Gnome.

      A distribution supporting only Gnome is not for me, not even if I could or might move to Gnome.

      1. Goat Jam

        Gnome vs KDE vs Unity

        "I think Canonical is making a very big mistake in not supporting KDE as well as Gnome."

        I think they are making a bigger mistake not supporting* either actually.

        Of course for both Gnome and KDE you can/will still be able to apt-get them.

        I certainly won't be using Unity any time soon. In fact next time I install a new system it is going to be Debian or Linux Mint Debian.

        As for the future of KDE, you might have to switch to gnome now that MS own Qt**

        * "Supporting" by including it in the default installation.

        ** Well, not really, but I'm sure MS will give it a try.

        1. Alex Walsh


          ...have sold QT, announced yesterday. They're safe from MS :)

          1. Goat Jam
            Gates Horns

            QT were sold to Digia

            who also happen to be one of Microsofts partners.


            It is not inconceivable that this is yet another attempt by MS to secretly attack open source via third party partners.

            I'm not saying this is the case here, but you have to admit that MS has form in this area.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Netbook interface

    If there is one thing I'm still missing, it is the ability to easily switch an install to the olf 10.4 netbook interface; much easier to handle on netbooks and I would presume tablets also.

    i think someone did post a solution somewhere, but I couldn't find it later when I needed it.

    1. Dave Bell

      Running behind the curve, and install size.

      I shall have to shift versions soon.

      The 700MB CD-ROM is a constraint, and I can see the point in having a "lite" ISO-inage which could then expand itself to a full-install, either over the net or from other media. But I'd likely use a USB stick.

      These can all have the same name, and the same end result. They're just install methods. Nobody complained much about having something split across two floppy disks. Am I old-fashioned not to object to a mid-install disk-swap?

  6. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    @A/C Consume?

    You beat me too it! I too am sick of the total abuse of this term.

    The only things I consume are food and beverages.

    And no, I don't consume oxygen. I actually very generously add a few carbon molecules to it.

    1. Oninoshiko


      by that definition you don't consume food and beverages, it's just the chemical reactions are a tad more complex.

      Mines that one that says "matter can be neither created or destroyed." on it

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        If it can't be created....then how did it get to be in the first place?

        Someone, somewhere, has a dirty great matter creation machine. Probably Steve Jobs.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Jobs Horns

          Re: Nyaagh

          A tiny little speck of nothing went Big Bang. After that it's all about quantum. And Steve Jobs' ego.

      2. Chemist

        Let me fix that

        The quote is : ""matter can be neither created or destroyed in a CHEMICAL reaction"

  7. Tim Jenkins

    Still the odd pitfall lurking

    "never, not once, did it reduce or disappear or otherwise become less"

    Mine just did. Upgrade from 10.04 to 10.10 on a dual-boot with XP built using Wubi (netbook via pendrive). Now boots all the way to a GRUB console. Turns out Wubi, GRUB and the move to 10.10 isn't a good combination. Ho hum.

    Still; at least the XP partition is still there ; )

    1. Martin Owens


      Wubi is like one of those sickly sweets you get when you're 8 and you think it's so awesome that you just have to have 20 in one sitting. Then, later, you realise it was a really bad idea now that're sick all over the carpet and your mums gone berserk at you for eating the Christmas box.

      Advice: Use Wubi for testing, using a proper install for actually using the thing. Personally I think we should disable upgrades and have a giant red background saying 'WARNING YOUR DATA ISN'tT SAFE' instead of the default light theme.

  8. paulc

    Just get wireless sorted...

    it's a total clusterfsck...

    everytime there's an update, it breaks... you cannot trust that it will work from kernel update to kernel update let alone version update...

    My netbook claims the module is loaded etc. but does it even see a wireless node 6 inches away? does it fsck...

    1. J 3

      @Just get wireless sorted...

      Might be a funny combination of hardware and software on you end? I have a netbook (Eee 1000HE) which has had wireless working flawlessly since... forever, over every update (kernel and whatnot), distro upgrade (always Ubuntu in this case), and whatever else I've thrown at it. Maybe I was the lucky one? Or maybe you were the unlucky one? I don't recall hearing, in the past couple years at least, that there is a widespread issue with wireless, but who knows...

      1. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD
        Thumb Up

        plug for the 1000HE...

        I have to say I have absolutely *nothing* bad to say about the 1000HE.

        This is when Asus got it but right right right right right right.

        It happens, sometimes. One of the only.. No wait, it's the ONLY lappie I've ever bought spare batteries for.

        I've not tried the 1015's yet, but I am not sure that they are that much of an incremental upgrade to be honest, dual core/64 bit though they may be... Tempting though to see if the jump to 64 bit actually improves performance any without killing the battery....

        If anyone knows of any netbook that rivals the 1000HE I'd like to know what it is.

      2. Chemist

        I have a netbook (Eee 1000HE)

        Mine is flawless also

        1. Avatar of They

          Ah ha... A challenge.

          My Asus 1000 (with the SSD, dual booted to winxp and ubuntu 10.10) that rivals your 1000HE. :)

          None of your spinning or whirring noises for me. (Okay the cooling fan not withstanding.)

          I still don't understand what this article is saying though, I alwasy thought you just ran ubuntu and it installed onto what you put it on. My netbook and desktop came off the same CD download anyway. Both run fine.

    2. Martin Owens

      bug report

      Have you reported the bug? With logs?

    3. The BigYin

      Never had any issues

      On an old Compaq that would blue-screen in XP when trying wireless, Ubuntu was perfectly happy.

      Edimax PCMCIA card worked a treat too.

      You probably have a Broadcom chipset and they ARE a clusterfsck. The fact that they don't work is not a fault of Canonical or anyone else, it's the fault of Broadcom and their crappy drivers.

      Do yourself a huge favour and get an Edimax dongle/card. They work right out of the box (Windows, any Linux distro) and have yet to let me down. Cheap as chips too.

      As others have said - did you log a bug with the logs and hardware specs? Did you look into the forums for anyone else with the same kit? Did you ask for help on Launchpad?

  9. Gnoitall
    Dead Vulture

    @Will Godfrey

    "The only things I consume are food and beverages."

    The laws of physics say otherwise. Specifically, "Conservation of Mass". And plainly, you've never "consumed" beer... otherwise you'd know, "You never buy beer, you just rent it."

    "And no, I don't consume oxygen. I actually very generously add a few carbon molecules to it."

    I'd like to see how well that works out if we lock you into an airtight box. I'm sure the extra carbon atoms attached to those oxygen atoms you need won't interfere with your metabolism.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    An ancient word meaning "Mommy knows best".


  11. Alan Firminger

    Back to basics

    Linux is really GNU on Linux, but the generally used name is nicer. GNU is the OS, Linux is the interface to the PC hardware.

    So a GNU implementation for anything other that the PC standard won't be Linux, unless Linus Torvalds gets busy.

  12. jason 7

    Had to laugh at the Netbook edition

    They decided to put the taskbar at the side to help the lack of depth on the netbook screens.

    Trouble is they need not have bothered as you still have to scroll up and down a lot anyway.

    However, with the taskbar being at the side you now also have to scroll left and right a lot more too.

    Typical techies not thinking things through or asking a 'normal' person's opinion.

    Assign the taskbar to a button so it only appears when you need it.

  13. Mark .

    Nokia / MS / Qt

    And to add to the point that Nokia have sold Qt on; Qt is open source anyway. So if the worse happens, it can always be forked.

  14. ici.chacal


    Surely everyone in the observable universe can burn a DVD these days, so why is it still different CD images..?!

    It would be nice if they just had one DVD image download for Ubuntu, from which you could select in the installer whether you wanted Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Desktop, Server, Netbook, or indeed ALL of it...

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      There IS an Live DVD

      It's just for the sake of simplicity that they don't leave it for world+dog to run into. CDs take less time to download, which is handy for people with less-than-optimal connections. But if you look here (, you can try out the latest Natty Narwhal build in a live DVD (down on the bottom).

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