back to article Distro diaspora: Four flavours of Ubuntu unpacked

It's nearly spring, which means it's time for the first installment of Ubuntu for 2014. Version 14.04, nicknamed Trusty Tahr, will be an important one because it culminates in a Long Term Support (LTS) version, the first in two years. That means not only will Ubuntu 14.04 be supported for five years, this will be the first …


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  1. Jad


    IIRC they did call the project Gubuntu (or Gnome Ubuntu or gnubuntu, or similar), but either the Gnome org or the Ubuntu org told them off for using their name incorrectly ...

    1. Code Monkey

      Re: Gubuntu

      I imagine RMS would've had strong words if they'd chosen Gnubuntu

      1. Michael Thibault

        Re: Gubuntu

        No one would call dibs on Noobuntu, though, Shirley. The G is both silent -- and invisible!

        If it fits...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gnome vs Unity

    The big advantage that Ubuntu GNOME has over vanilla Unity is that it provides a cleaner 3D desktop without sending all your shell activity to Amazon unencrypted. Some (including myself) would call that a very clear distinction.

    1. Wzrd1 Silver badge

      Re: Gnome vs Unity

      My Trusty xbuntu test box has zero Amazon crap on it (thankfully).

      For alpha software, it's surprisingly stable! Especially considering that it's running on an old Acer Apire One ZG5, with 8 gig SSD.

      Saucy had all kinds of Amazon crappage to disable/remove. I'll not even go into the idiocy of the DM, having to install classic menu and avoiding that idiotic sidebar. That one is on my old Toughbook. Nearly installed Fedora...

  3. Justin Stringfellow

    It's spring already.

    > It's nearly spring

    Actually spring starts on the 1st March, according to the met office.

    1. Captain Hogwash

      Re: Actually spring starts on the 1st March, according to the met office.

      That's because they like to analyse and organise their data in nice monthly chunks. The truth is that, as it begins in ten days time, it's nearly spring.

      1. Havin_it

        Re: Actually spring starts on the 1st March, according to the met office.

        Ooh, one completely arbitrary yardstick faces off against another! These are always fun. /popcorn

        FWIW (sweet FA), I don't consider Spring to have sprung until it's stopped snowing where I am. So currently that's yesterday, but I consider it fairly likely this will be revised again in due course. White Easters have been known...

        1. Captain Hogwash

          Re: Actually spring starts on the 1st March, according to the met office.

          Calendar dates are arbitrary. Equinoxes and solstices are not.

          1. Havin_it

            Re: Actually spring starts on the 1st March, according to the met office.

            Heh, touché. My point was really that the seasons don't really lend themselves to a nice neat demarcation (and that's as true of your equisolsters as of his gregorifaxen), as exemplified by Easter (which most of us consider part of "Spring") being occasionally snowbound. But I should have sensed from the icons that I was in the wrong company for such levity ;)

          2. sam bo

            Re: Actually spring starts on the 1st March, according to the met office.

            "Calendar dates are arbitrary. Equinoxes and solstices are not."

            That may well be true for you, unfortunately the net is global - we are heading into autumn here .

          3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: Actually spring starts on the 1st March, according to the met office.

            Calendar dates are arbitrary. Equinoxes and solstices are not.

            Partitioning the year into seasons is arbitrary, regardless of the length of the day. There's no more justification in using the equinoxes and solstices to demarcate the seasons than there is to use any other event for that purpose. It's pure fetishism.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Actually spring starts on the 1st March, according to the met office.

              "Partitioning the year into seasons is arbitrary, regardless of the length of the day. There's no more justification in using the equinoxes and solstices to demarcate the seasons than there is to use any other event for that purpose. It's pure fetishism."

              Err .... if seasons are arbitrary .... and pure fetishism ... walk us through why it doesn't snow very often in summer.

              1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                Re: Actually spring starts on the 1st March, according to the met office.

                Err .... if seasons are arbitrary .... and pure fetishism ... walk us through why it doesn't snow very often in summer.

                Sigh. Sometimes we have to explain things very ... slowly ... for the faint of thought.

                Fixing boundaries for the seasons is arbitrary and calendar-fetishism. That's what we were discussing.

                Of course, seasons themselves are a narrative that people assign to recurring patterns in the weather and length of daytime; they have no natural existence either. In the temperate zones we could as easily have decided on two seasons, or six, or eight. But that's a topic for advanced readers to discuss.

      2. Justin Stringfellow

        Re: Actually spring starts on the 1st March, according to the met office.

        So, you believe that summer begins on midsummer's day then..?

        1. Captain Hogwash

          Re: So, you believe that summer begins on midsummer's day then..?

          No. Midsummer's day is a calendar quarter day (feast of St John the Baptist.) It is not the same thing as the summer solstice. Spring goes from the spring equinox to the summer solstice. In the northern hemisphere this equinox happens in March. In the southern hemisphere it happens in September. Come on people! You've got an internet at your fingertips. Read up on this stuff. It's not difficult.

          1. Justin Stringfellow

            Re: So, you believe that summer begins on midsummer's day then..?

            I did read the internet, all of it. Firstly the link I posted earlier from the (admittedly, more scientific than your biblical sources) Met Office about when spring starts. Then this one, about midsummer:


            "Date: June 21, 24, 25 or a date close to the Summer Solstice on June 20–23"

            1. Captain Hogwash

              Re: I did read the internet, all of it.

              You didn't even read my post properly.

              1. Justin Stringfellow

                You didn't even read my post properly.

                Yes I did, and you're wrong.

                1. Captain Hogwash

                  Re: Yes I did, and you're wrong.

                  By referring to the Met Office you've Identified yourself as being in or from the UK. If you'd bothered to read the UK section of the page you linked to you'd have seen this:

                  "June 24, Midsummer Day, the feast of St. John the Baptist, is one of the quarter days in England."

                  The very "biblical sources" you accuse me of using.

                  As to the March 1st/Spring equinox debate, there are articles and discussions all over the web going back years decrying the former as a modern invention. Finally, if you prefer scientific over biblical then wouldn't an actual astronomical event that happens predictably seem more appropriate than a date in a calendar based on the erroneous calculation of the birth of someone who might or might not have existed by a Christian monk?

                  Another Wiki page for you:


        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Actually spring starts on the 1st March, according to the met office.

          'So, you believe that summer begins on midsummer's day then..?'

          No of course not, summer starts on the Beltane

    2. grumpyoldeyore
      Paris Hilton

      Re: It's spring already.

      Not in the Southern Hemisphere it isn't.

      Paris because 'I love Paris in the Springtime, I love Paris in the Fall'

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let's hope it's less buggy than 13.10...

    Never had so many crashes as I have in the last 6 months!

    1. ColonelDare

      Re: Let's hope it's less buggy than 13.10...

      I haven't - it's rock solid on my PCs (two or three). The 14.04 daily I'm running on an MSI Windbox is also rock solid already - but then maybe I just use them for mainstream WP / web / streaming media etc - nothing too extreme. Anyway, I'm happy :-)

    2. Mystic Megabyte

      Re: Let's hope it's less buggy than 13.10...

      13.10 is working fine for me on my netbook.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Let's hope it's less buggy than 13.10... @Mysstic Megabyte

        "13.10 is working fine for me on my netbook."

        Well, that's OK then. The OP's obviously lying. Also relevant - I've had none of the problems with Windows with XP onwards that everyone else here reports. And it's a bit frosty this morning.

  5. GrumpyMiddleAgedGuy

    Might check out Ubuntu GNOME. Hope they've got rid of that annoying menu bar. I wear glasses and I constantly find I have to move my head to focus on it. Very annoying. Just so the interface behaves like a phone. WINDOWS 8 ALERT.

    1. marioaieie

      In 14.04 unity will have the ability to move the menu on the window bar, which make a lot more sense to me.

      However I will stick to Ubuntu Gnome, I find it more beautiful than unity

    2. DrXym

      I think Fedora would be the best place to experience GNOME. The projects tend to cooperate quite closely so Fedora 21 will go out with 3.12 and their schedules are aligned to facilitate that.

      It will be interesting to see what happens in 3.14 which is when Wayland will most likely be enabled by default. Ubuntu has chosen to develop their own display tech called Mir so it puts the GNOME flavoured Ubuntu in an interesting situation.

  6. yossarianuk

    Wrong KDE version mentioned - its 4.13

    The developers plan to use KDE 4.13 for kubuntu 14.04 - makes some sense as its 5 yr support.

    The KDE 4.13 release schedule is roughly the same time as 14.04 release - this means there may be more bugs initially but better 'long term'.

    That is unless done major breakage occurs


  7. Unicornpiss


    Actually newcomers might be happier trying Linux Mint. Built on Ubuntu and including codecs, media players (that actually work right), and accessories right from the beginning, Mint "Just works" Setup is painless and the OS has a lot more goodies available at first launch than Ubuntu and a familiar looking desktop for XP emigrees. The default color scheme is a lot less vomit inspiring than Ubuntu's too.

    I have to say I like this distro more than any other I've tried in a long time.

    1. CAPS LOCK

      Re: Minty

      I've got to agree, Mint XFCE 32 bit has proved a very satisfactory replacement for XP on our, err, period, hardware here at work.

      I tried Ubuntu in various flavours first, but found them lacking in one way or another. Mint has worked for us, maybe others about to leave Microsoft should give it a try.

      1. Leona A

        Re: Minty

        Another Vote for Mint here, switched to it after the whole Unity fiasco, still hate Unity, anyway, never looked back, love the interface, can not wait for the next LTS version of Mint.

        1. otoh

          Re: Minty

          I've been using Mint also but am switching folk to Xubuntu. Its the most attractive XFCE distro, and although not quite as pretty as Cinnamon is still pretty good. But with either of them, I find folk are generally up and running in no time, as opposed to the Win8-ness/WTF-ness of Unity/Gnome Shell.

          Cinnamon is a great desktop, but I find some glitches in Nemo (memory/CPU leaks); but more to the point, there's no upgrade path on Mint. Although it's possible to do an in-place upgrade, officially it requires a complete reinstall and migration of data. This is a bit tiresome, after tweaking your computer to just how you want it; and keeping current is often attractive as some packages don't get included in older repos.

          NB If using Xubuntu, strongly recommend using Whisker Menu as it's a nice upgrade to the stock applications menu.

    2. xperroni

      Re: Minty

      I agree. I have used Mint with the Cinnamon desktop for the past few years and it works great. Lately I've playing with KDE and decide to switch desktop environments, but decided to go with Mint/KDE after test-driving openSUSE and Kubuntu and being rather underwhelmed.

    3. bob, mon!

      Re: Minty

      Regrettably for me, the latest version of Minty (201403) claims to require PAE. that may limit its "XP-replacement" potential.

      1. itzman

        Re: Minty

        Are you sure?

        MM yes. 32 bits is a long time ago tho.

        1. wikkity

          Re: Minty

          > Are you sure?

          The poster is correct. Mint 14 requires PAE, the version of ubuntu it is based requires this, Ubuntu do have a nonpae version but Mint have not done so which is a shame. Mint 13 however does support processors without PAE and will be supported till 2017, I'd recommend just using 13 it will still have most of the stuff from 14, especially security updates., course it depends on what you want it for.

          > MM yes. 32 bits is a long time ago tho.

          It is, but putting linux onto old hardware is an excellent way of getting extra life out of a machine, Mint have dropped the ball here IMHO

          1. yossarianuk

            Re: Minty

            Well you have Bodhi Linux


            E17/19 is insanely fast and uses low resources - would seem far faster than XP did... They will always support a non PAE version. (including 14.04)

            There is also Lubuntu fake-pae (not really sure about that)


            Of course there is absolutely nothing (aside from knowledge/skill) preventing you compiling your own kernel with any distro and removing PAE - that's one of the beauties of Linux and opensource in general - flexibility.

            i.e something you can never do with Microsoft/Apple OS's.

          2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

            Re: Minty and PAE

            I must admit that I was really annoyed about the requirement for PAE on most modern Linux distributions, because even though PAE has been a feature on a majority of Intel processors since the Pentium Pro (IIRC), there are particular more modern processors, especially the Pentium-M, Celeron and early Atom processors that either do not have PAE, or do not flag it in the way that the boot/kernel checks work.

            This is very annoying for people who have laptops of the generation just before the Core processors came along, which include a whole raft of perfectly capable HP and IBM systems, and those with first and second generation netbooks. These are precisely the type of system that Linux should be able to life-extend.

            So why is PAE required? Well, it's not in order to support more than 3GB of memory, because it is not necessary to have over 3GB for general work on most Linux distributions (I had Precise working fine in 1GB of memory on my Thinkpad T30 before it finally gave up the ghost, and I currently have Xubuntu 12.04 working on a 512MB eeePC 701).

            The problem is that the NX bit, which allows pages to be flagged so that the processor cannot execute code in the page (a useful security protection against things like stack-smashing attacks amongst others) is bound up with PAE. If you want NX, you have to have PAE turned on, and the more recent Linux kernels default build requires NX.

            It's not really a restriction by the distro maintainers, it goes all the way back to the Kernel development team. It is still possible to build a kernel without NX and PAE, but it is necessary to have such a kernel on the distribution media in order to build a system, and most distros have a PAE kernel by default, and now are even removing the non-PAE kernel packages from their repositories.

            This has taken the edge off my anger about PAE being necessary, but it does effectively mean that many people with 6-8 year old laptops or netbooks will seriously struggle to get a modern Linux working, and will result in a generation of perfectly usable laptops ending up in recycling.

            Mind you I am getting really tired of the distro forums containing comments like "why are you using such old kit - buy something new" when the commenters do not really understand the problem.

            1. Anonymous Bullard

              Re: Minty and PAE

              I completely understand that you want to make use of working but old equipment, I do too!

              However, would it be fair to deny those who use recent hardware a good security feature, that their hardware provides?

              I'm surpised this isn't available as a boot option.

              1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

                Re: Minty and PAE @Bullard

                I'm not suggesting that the default installation disks ship with a default non-PAE kernel. I like your idea of making it a boot option, but the kernel would then have to have both the PAE and non-PAE code compiled in. I don't think it's written this way. It's a conditional compile time option.

                But the real problem is that if the kernel that boots off the media to install the system is a PAE kernel, you cannot even start the install process on a system that does not flag PAE as an option.

                It would be possible to make it an install-time option. Boot using a non-PAE kernel, and install a PAE kernel during the installation, although the kludged version of Grub or whatever it is that used by the no-PAE install process that is on one of the support threads does give an alternative, although whether this really works on a processor without PAE at all, rather than one that just lies about not having it is debatable.

                Where I really do have a problem with Canonical is that post 12.04, there is no non-PAE kernel in the repositories. This seriously complicates the process of putting together a modified boot image (as was done with the alternate Xubuntu 12.04 install disk) to give you a chance to install it on older hardware.

                If you really don't have a PAE capable processor (like a Banias Pentium M in a Thinkpad T40, 41 or 42), then to install any *buntu post 12.04 it will be necessary to find a PAE capable host system you can install, pick-up the kernel sources, compile them, and then insert the resultant kernel into some distribution medium to allow you to install your Thinkpad (other packaging methods are available).

                This is not going to be suitable for your average Joe User. It would have been minimal work, and not a lot of maintenance, for one Canonical employee to maintain a non-PAE kernel, and package an alternate install image to put on their site, like they used to. My view is that Canonical want to leave behind their Linux legacy to a world where they ship the Unity OS, that may still be based on some form of Linux, a bit like OSX is built on some form of BSD.

                Me, I'm looking at buying a cheap T43 with a Dothan processor or maybe a T60 to replace my T30 which finally died at Christmas. ThinkWiki says that this should have PAE.

                1. Anonymous Bullard

                  Re: Minty and PAE @Bullard

                  "I like your idea of making it a boot option, but the kernel would then have to have both the PAE and non-PAE code compiled in. I don't think it's written this way. It's a conditional compile time option."

                  Yes, I meant the boot-loader uses a different kernel, depending on the selection.

                  1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

                    Re: Minty and PAE @Bullard

                    Hmmm. You're right. It can be done just using grub. Install both kernels, and then set the default boot to be the one you want. Trivial really if you think about it.

                    Shame there's no nonPAE kernel in the repos. any more!

    4. bill 36

      Re: Minty


      But if anyone is thinking about installing it; be aware, check out your wifi chipset first to make sure it's supported and there are still some issues with certain graphic card chipsets.

      I have a machine running an old Netgear usb stick using RTL8187 and you have to force it to run at 11mb/s to stay stable in /etc/init.d

      Its no big deal of course because when i get round to it i'll change it for a stick that is reported as having no issues like the Netgear WNA1100

      Other than that i really like it more than some others i have tried.

      64bit edition Olivia with Mate desktop.

      1. Bronek Kozicki

        Re: Minty

        I replaced WinXP on very old Toshiba M300 with mint 13, and couldn't be happier. Well, for the thing's I'm using it which is reading, bit of email and ssh :) I also replaced HDD with Transcend PATA SDD - odd beast, but it does bring "second youth" to an old machine.

        It would be a shame if this old 32bit machine was to be never upgraded to a newer version, though.

    5. Peter Simpson 1

      Re: Minty

      Mint Mate here...has been for the previous two releases, and quite satisfied with it.

    6. Lamont Cranston

      Re: Minty

      Another upvote for Mint, here. Was dual-booting with Vista but, since I upgraded my hardware, Vista almost never gets booted, anymore. As of Mint 15, I didn't even have to faff about to get my Broadcom Wifi working, either.

      Does everything I want, bar playing nicely with the household printer, for some reason.

  8. Grifter

    I don't get it

    I don't understand this whole fascination with "flavours" (and what a silly moniker to boot). Why can't you just apt-get install a couple of new window managers, and then switch between them whenever you feel like it rather than installing a whole new operating system? It just seems like an entirely ass-backwards and inefficient way of trying new window managers.

    1. Rob Carriere

      Re: I don't get it

      I'd agree with you, except I ran KDE and Gnome 2 in parallel that way for a year or two and every last single update caused trouble that required console-jockeying to resolve -- making this Not Recommended for anybody who isn't a console jockey. I swear they forbid their QA to test setups like that.

      1. yossarianuk

        Re: I don't get it

        That is not the case now - at least with 'good' distros.

        I run Arch and Opensuse - Arch has enlightenment, cinnamon, Gnome3 and KDE - no update of one desktop has ever negatively effected another (in over 2 years).

        I have heard of people running Ubuntu unity and being screwed by updating other desktop components - not that I care about people who run Unity.

        Gnome3/Cinnamon are pretty and good for home use. For work I can only use KDE personally.

    2. Richard Neill

      Re: I don't get it

      Actually, you can. Let's say you initially install the lubuntu release. Then "apt-get install kubuntu-desktop", and you have all of kubuntu installed. You also still have all of lubuntu installed, i.e. the LXDE window manager, and the collection of packages chosen to go with it. (You can then remove lubuntu-specific bits if you want). Likewise, the meta-packages xubuntu-desktop, kubuntu-desktop, and ubuntu-desktop.

    3. marioaieie

      Re: I don't get it

      The problem is that there are a lot of unity-specific patches that will not give you a clean gnome 3 installation for istance; so if you don't want just to try a new window manager but you have already decided to use it, the different flavour are the way to go.

      However, being linux you are also free to apt-get install whatever you want

      1. Hairy Spod

        Re: I don't get it

        I'm about to do a clean reinstall on my main hobby system after trying out almost all of the various desktops from what was initally a lubuntu but now has open box, unity, gnome, mate, xfce on top.

        I'm no expert at apt getting stuff, but I have access tp google and use it where I can although I always seem to invevitibly break something. They work for a while, but I ended up installing loads of duplicate applications as part of the process (the prefferred programs for each varient) and my updates then go a a bit a iffy along with system stability.

        Prolly going to stick to Xubuntu as I dont have a problem with the classic XP style desktop interface.

        I REALLY like the way the older style desktops keep all the internet, multimedia, graphics etc groups seperate. Privacy issues aside I'd stick with Vanilla ubuntu if I didnt get frustrated finding what I want to launch. Even after messing with Linux for 2 or 3 years I cant remember the names all of all the programs and find 'quick launch' very irrirating.

        I might give van

    4. itzman

      Re: I don't get it

      I think the issue is that the distro mechanism provides an extremely easy way for users used to e.g. windows, or who are not particularly interested in the technicalities, to get a stable desktop up and running.

      The thing about MINT is that a base install generally gets you everything you need and its usable and familiar from the outset.


      Re: I don't get it

      The default version of Ubuntu is SPYbuntu.

      That by itself is enough of a turnoff to keep some people away. Far better to start out with the Debian net installer and work your way up from there rather than worry about what things you didn't remove from a distribution that's run off the rails.

  9. Happy_Jack

    Ubuntu without Ubuntu?

    So "one of the Ubuntu flavours that don’t use Ubuntu might be more agreeable"? Hmmm.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Ubuntu without Ubuntu?

      s/use Ubuntu/use Unity/

    2. Daniel Voyce

      Re: Ubuntu without Ubuntu?

      Haha you beat me to it!

  10. Mark 65

    Old hardware

    I may be wrong, but from personal experience Ubuntu doesn't generally work on older less powerful hardware unless it has a PAE enabled/compatible processor. I think anything up to 11.10 going from my experience with a T42.

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: Old hardware

      For the reason behind this, look up the thread at my previous post. There is a reason, even though it causes problems.

  11. WylieCoyoteUK

    Mint not to my taste, but..

    I actually dislike Mint, but I think that may be because it is a lot like WindowsXP, so XP refugees should feel at home with it.

    I prefer Unity, but I use Lubuntu on older kit, mainly with Intel Gfx, that can't support Unity.

    Apparently the Ubuntu installer now expects PAE support in the CPU, whereas Lubuntu doesn't.

    1. itzman

      Re: Mint not to my taste, but..

      Well its a good thing that the distros exist that give you the choice..

      The point for me is that I spend most of my time in the applications, not navigating the desktop etc.

      As long as I can set up one click icon launches for my usual apps, that's enough for me - and an easy way to find the ones I use but seldom.

      I am used to menus so there you go..

    2. feanor

      Re: Mint not to my taste, but..

      "because it is a lot like WindowsXP"

      Errrr, eh? How do you work that out?

  12. AbnormalChunks

    T42? FakePAE!

    I have Xubuntu 13.10 running quite happily using FakePAE on a T42 ThinkPad OK the installation is long winded but it works...

  13. NickJP


    If you're going to talk about Linux for people fleeing Windows XP, you should mention Zorin - Ubuntu-based and looks more like Windows than any other distro I've seen...

  14. feanor

    Another vote for Cinammon

    Have recenty started using Mint/Cinammon. Couldn't use it for a long time because of AMD/ATI driver issues so used Mate which was stilll a million times better than Unity.On my new Intel graphics powered laptop Cinammon works a treat, and it's my favourite desktop yet.

  15. Anonymous Dutch Coward

    "Nearly all share the same Debian underpinnings"

    So which of the ones mentioned don't? Do tell.. I'm curious, haven't touched Ubuntu in years as I jumped ship for ehrrmmm... Debian ;)

  16. oldtaku Silver badge

    Probably better to just start with Debian or Mint these days (depending on whether you want server or out of box desktop) now that Ubuntu's gone off the rails so badly.

  17. agricola

    Your lack of Ubuntu knowledge is pegging you as a Shuttleworth Cult Member.

    "...There are quite a few alternative flavours to the main Ubuntu: the Xfce-based, Xubuntu, the KDE-based Kubuntu,..."

    Since WHEN, in the last three years or more, has Canonical and Mark Shuttleworth produced a Linux distribution called Kubuntu?

    Shutlleworth decided more than three years ago to abandon the KDE version of Ubuntu, and fired the one man (he had ONE WHOLE PERSON!) dedicated to the entire (then-Canonical) Kubuntu effort: development, maintenance, bug-fixing, improvement...

    Got that? Shuttleworth fired the one person responsible for Kubuntu, and abandoned Kubuntu. Period.

    The sole development and maintenance of Kubuntu was picked up by a company named Blue Systems, and--according to all accounts--has done one OUTSTANDING job of creating and maintaining what some claim to be the best of the KDE distributions, bar none. Once again, that's BLUE SYSTEMS, folks (it is VERY interesting to discover that when people (commenters to articles) started pointing out that Kubuntu is NOT a Canonical product, file photos from 2006--THAT'S 2006, MIND YOU!!--showing Mark Shuttleworth sporting a Kubuntu tee shirt--and requisite 'rock-star headgear' started showing up in articles on Canonical...articles which have absolutely NOTHING to do with Kubuntu, and articles which have been written in the last six to nine months. Canonical's crap machine does nothing if not churn out crap exceedingly well).

    Of COURSE Mark Shuttleworth wants credit for this Kubuntu effort, and will NEVER admit that Kubuntu is NOT A CANONICAL PRODUCT. Go ahead. Ask him. Ask Ubuntu for help with some ginned-up problem you're having with "...the very latest version of Kubuntu...". We'll all be waiting.

    Oh, and by the way, Register: You, as a supposed leader in the world of all things technical, pull another boner like this, and you're toast.

    I hope I'm wrong; I sincerely do. I stay on top of developments in the Linux sphere well, and I do NOT remember having seen any news to the effect that BLUE SYSTEMS gave or sold ownership of Kubuntu back to Canonical. As a matter of fact, I downloaded Kubuntu FROM BLUE SYSTEMS not a month ago, for installation on one of my laptop computers.

    The word "Canonical" appears nowhere.

    Not to put TOO fine a point on this, Register, I DOWNLOADED KUBUNTU FROM BLUE SYSTEMS, AND DID NOT DOWNLOAD IT FROM CANONICAL. Want me to draw you a picture?

    Prove me wrong, Register.


    1. Anonymous Bullard

      Re: Your lack of Ubuntu knowledge is pegging you as a Shuttleworth Cult Member.

      Sorry, where was it mentioned that Kubuntu is an official canonical product?

      The Kubuntu Community "own" Kubuntu. Blue Systems sponsor the work on it. Canonical also (indirectly) work on it. "Kubuntu" is a registered trademark of Canonical. It's Ubuntu, but with slight differences - therefore, a different flavour of Ubuntu.

      1. agricola

        Re: Your lack of Ubuntu knowledge is pegging you as a Shuttleworth Cult Member.

        That's one.

        Someone want to start a list of the number of Ubuntu Cult members who respond?

        (It shouldn't be hard work at all; the list will be a LOT shorter than it would have been three years ago when there were more than one or two in the "ubuntu community": the ultimate oxymoron).

        The interesting fact is that they still exist for some reason.

  18. This post has been deleted by its author

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too much choice for the average desktop user

    So the choice for the average desktop user should be Windows, Mac or Linux. Right now, a punter is presented with Windows, Mac, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Gnome, Mint etc.

    I don't get why there can't be just one promoted and marketed version of a Linux based o/s. And when you install you get asked which style of desktop would you like (and there is a default). While you are running your desktop of choice, you can change to another desktop style from a menu option. One Linux o/s which is user 'skinnable'.

    Right now, many XP and disgruntled W8 users are open to something new. Most will not have the time or inclination to install/research the difference between the various *ubuntu versions (et al). I suspect this plays into Apple's hands nicely. Am I the only one who thinks all the *ubuntu 'choice' is stifling Linux take-up on the desktop?

    1. Anonymous Bullard

      Re: Too much choice for the average desktop user

      I completely agree. One of Linux's strengths is also a weakness.

      To be honest, there's not that much difference between certain desktop environments - you don't look at the mantelpiece while you poke the fire.

      It's a decision that feels as though it's a commitment, even though it's not.. but shouldn't really be there in the first place.

      All that's required is an option during installation (perhaps with comparative screenshots and bullets), along with a "you can change your mind later" message.

      I think RH gave a choice at installation (when I used it ~15 years ago)

      Maybe even survey or call home (if opted-in), and use the most popular as the default.

      I guess it's akin to the browser choice for Windows users.

  20. keithpeter Silver badge


    Have a look at ubuntustudio one day.

    Lighter XFCE4 than Xubuntu and more sound / graphics applications than you can shake a stick at all installed and set up.

    Back to my 'interesting' experience with PC-BSD 10 now (also with XFCE4). Well, it is... different

  21. Teiwaz

    Too much choice for the average desktop user

    RE: Choice of Windows,Mac, linux(kubuntu,ubuntu et all)

    You left out chromeos, android. These are beginning to be marketed as replacements for windowsnow as well.

    One marketed brand of linux would be to put all our eggs in one basket. It can be easily gathered from this forum alone, that linux users co-exist with all the peace and harmony of 12 wet cats in a basket.

    Also as demonstrated in this forum is just how much venom is spat at just one linux vendor perceived to have jumped out of the nest.

    Anybody still using xp at this point will most likely be so technically illiterate as to be akin to a small puppy lost on a mult-lane highway, and it's only a matter of time before they are roadkill. ( I am aware that many business may have xp due to required s/w as well, but that's different story).

    The linux community can't really be held accountable when popular media spends most of it's time gusing over the latest 'shiny' apple/ms/google gadget.

    The only distro I've come across that actually offers you a choice of desktop (currently) during installation is (Open)Suse (and it only offers choice between KDE and Gnome) and has done since way back (at least 7.0 or 7.1). I remember having choice of kde1 and kde2 and gnome1 and gnome2 with Suse.Mandrake may also have done so back in 2004 or so.

    It's only since distros started installing from 'live' distros that they have defaulted to one desktop alone, that the flavours started to crop up.

    Linux isn't an 'organised' religion, there are a lot of temples to worship at, each with its own view of the god(s). If you want simplicity, pick one of the organised religions, and pay your tithe for the privilege...

    1. AceRimmer

      Re: Too much choice for the average desktop user

      Too much choice:

      It's a shame, linux has the capability to be an amazing OS but the fragmentation comes with 2 major problems:

      1. It puts off new users in a big way

      2. Duplicated efforts. Instead of everyone trying to make a small number of distros better they decide to break off and do their own thing.

      1. Jonathan Richards 1
        Thumb Up

        Re: Too much choice for the average desktop user

        Excellent graphic, illustrates exactly the survival of the fittest in the distro ecosystem! But it only goes up to August 2010. Does anyone know of a more recent edition?

      2. Teiwaz

        Re: Too much choice for the average desktop user

        Wah! - Never realised just How many there were/are.Cool.

        Most of them are, however, irrelevant. (If there's anybody was/are responsible for the smaller/minor distros, sorry). They are important to keep the linux ecosystem healthy, so that there will always be alternatives should the companies responsible for the more popular distros decide to switch to BSD licensed s/w and close it (or something).

        The real choice is really down to the top(most well supported) half dozen(at so) distros.

        Most New users are unlikely to find many of these approachable due to more technical installation or how much hand-holding the distro provides, which narrows the list considerably.

        It doesn't take a programmer to package a distro and release it, so I'd say the vast majority of distros weren't pulling vital talent from more worthwhile projects in the slightest.

        There are plenty of abandoned projects out there while duplicate projects are started and also abandoned due to other life commitments or boredom/lack of interest. You could also argue for people to take up abandoned s/w and finish or continue to support it.

      3. Michael Thibault

        Re: Too much choice for the average desktop user

        The heterogeneity/fragmentation is definitely going to put off people switching to linux on their principle computer; each of the various options will require a download (with updates) of a Gigabyte or more, an hour or two to install, and time to test the result against expectations/needs, etc.. Not an attractive option for someone intent on moving away from XP, for example. Switching shouldn't feel like a hobby, because (most) people aren't looking for a hobby OS.

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