back to article Ubuntu Advantage is being wired deeper into the distro

Ubuntu and its various remixes remain free distros, but it's getting harder to remove the messages about the paid Ubuntu Pro offering… which is by design, and it's not going away. Last year, we wrote about promotional messages in the output of Ubuntu's apt command and how some users were aggrieved by what they saw as …

  1. NotJustAStorageDude

    With this level of telemetry it’s finally a windows replacement!

    Ubuntu used to be great to spin up get a job done; guess they have to monetise somehow but time to find another go-to distri.

    Although per title with this creeping telemetry it’s perhaps finally a windows replacement ;)

    1. karlkarl Silver badge

      Re: With this level of telemetry it’s finally a windows replacement!

      The worst thing is that this kind of nonsense will likely bring more people to Linux.

      It will make average consumers feel more warm and fuzzy inside knowing they are using a "product" rather than a "scary OS".

      Almost like those who are nervous at flying really appreciate the "buy food and snacks trolly" because it reassures them that everything is operating normally. In reality they could be moments from disaster and the retail machine will still be sucking the last couple of pennies from them.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I strongly suggest Linux Mint rather than Ubuntu.

    It's fast, slick and doesn't have the ads. Combine it with an SSD on virtually anything and it flies!

    1. 42656e4d203239 Silver badge

      Having been a long time Ubuntu user (Bionic Badger or earlier - I forget) and latterly Mint, I tried Manjaro (Arch derivative) on a laptop (I finally got a scrap i3 based machine with RAM and Disk to spare) and that seems to be pretty good - and KDE Plasma is a great UI (for me, YMMV)

      That's the nice thing about Linux distros.... if one does something you don't like, just swap to another.

      1. logicalextreme Silver badge

        Ah, just saw your comment — Manjaro seems to work okay for some people as a server OS. I've used Arch as a desktop before but also like minimal fuss/learning these days, I'm not as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as I once was. Might give it a whirl on a VM sometimes though; sounds like your laptop isn't too far removed from my PC which has been running since 2011; just a mobo + i3 + RAM bundle from Dabs with about 16 HDDs of various sizes thrown in because I CBA figuring out ZFS or any kind of storage pool manager for JBODs.

        (Of course I expect your laptop perhaps has fewer than 16 HDDs unless your thighs are particularly beefy)

        1. jason_derp

          16 HDDs!? This must be a NAS of some sort then, not like, your daily driver desktop PC?

          1. logicalextreme Silver badge

            It's basically functioning as that aye, just without any of the redundancy you'd hopefully expect from a NAS. And it's plugged directly into the telly for video stuff.

            I do also have a NAS that's been running about a year longer but I think it's probably due for retirement given that the firmware's dried up, it's about five times louder than that PC and I have low faith in the RAID 5 array successfully recovering from a drive failure after 12 or so years of continuous operation. And since the total available storage over 4 disks is 6TiB, when the last single HDD I bought back in early 2020 was 14TiB, I wouldn't be shocked if I were to discover that it's the least electrically efficient appliance in my house!

    2. logicalextreme Silver badge

      I've liked Mint as a desktop OS before, but it's been a while since I used a Linux with a desktop. I currently run Ubuntu Server 18.04 as a file/media server and it's been stable (outside of occasional weird complete freezes that I've never been able to diagnose, but am fairly confident are something to do with the now quite old mobo or maybe the GPU on the i3). I'm using it essentially headless (X kicks in to run Kodi when I want to watch something, but that's it, and I shut it down again afterwards as the majority of the freezes only happen when Kodi and/or X are running).

      I haven't been too put out by this Advantage stuff but did see a message about it for the first time a couple of weeks back. I'll need to do a fresh install at some point in the future to get myself on a more recent OS version, which I was anticipating would be whatever the most recent Ubuntu LTS is when I do so (didn't get round to 22.04 or even 20.04 because I am le tired). I anticipate it would be easiest for me to stick with Ubuntu as I have setup notes and commands for the current instance that would hopefully not need too much adaptation, but what alternatives to Ubuntu are there for a home headless/server setup that I might want to consider?

      1. Lil Endian Silver badge

        Certainly heading up-stream from Ubuntu to Debian is a headless option - I've been maintaining Debian VPSes for donkey's. I expect any mainstream distro would be fine, Fedora and Slackware for instance, as it's part of the Linux culture to bolt desktops on top of the CLI.

        If you want to avoid systemd, Slackware or Devuan. Look for distros that happily live on a VPS, away you go.

        1. logicalextreme Silver badge

          Good point — I did initially have it on Debian but shifted to Ubuntu as stuff was ending up just a little stale for my tastes, and I like relatively up-to-date packages with minimal maintenance (fixing some broken scripts once in a while is fine, it's more likely a change in a web API is going to break things for me than a new package being installed).

          Never had a direct problem with systemd though I'm inclined to trust the Reg readership and wider community on it being problematic…one thing I've disliked about Ubuntu so far is that when I do try a new major release, there's often a completely new way of doing something fundamental which may or may not be available alongside the old way of doing things, and there may or may not be some attempt at back-compatibility to go with it. Which reminds me a lot of Windows!

          I imagine I'll stick with Ubuntu for ease, but upgrade time is always my chance to poke my head out there and see what else might be available. Of course I could probably suffice with a Raspberry Pi if streaming services/distributors et al. could get their shit together, but I'm one of those cantankerous types that would like to be able to actually view the next episode of something they were in the middle of watching…or view any episode of certain things.

    3. phuzz Silver badge

      Mint is based on Ubuntu LTS releases, but from their attitude towards Snap, I guess they'll strip all this out.

      1. Fred Dibnah

        If Mint doesn't strip it out, there's always Mint Debian Edition.

        1. cyberdemon Silver badge

          Or just er, Debian?

          1. jason_derp

            Debian makes things a little harder than neccessary compared to some of the downstream OSes IMO. I get that it's usually part of the legality/philosophy they have, but I don't see why installation of Debian as opposed to Mint Debian on my laptop should be such a hassle and contain graphical problems that make it unusable before it's even done booting.

            1. cyberdemon Silver badge

              Debian makes things a little harder than neccessary

              Is that because unlike all "modern OS installers" since Win98 it doesn't give you a slideshow of how awesome it is and how you're in for a beautiful experience, while giving you little choice than the default set-up? :P

              Seriously though: When was the last time you installed Debian? The graphical issues due to nvidia are gone, thanks to the nouveau project's development of a pretty good open source driver. But if you want proprietary blobs you just have to make sure you include "non-free" /and/ "non-free-firmware" in your sources.list. Then you can apt-install nvidia-driver, you can even apt-install steam.

              Normally I get my installer images from but as the big banner says, firmware blobs will now be included in the standard debian installer images, so your WiFi will work for the installer. :)

              1. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

                Re: Debian makes things a little harder than neccessary

                [Author here]

                > But if you want proprietary blobs you just have to make sure you include "non-free" /and/ "non-free-firmware" in your sources.list

                I feel this is disingenuous.

                [1] Why should or would a non-expert know that they had to do this?

                [2] Is there a good reason why this can't just be a ticky-box in the installation program?

                [3] What if you can't get online to find those lines and copy-and-paste them without having the drivers in order to get online? That has happened to me personally.

                Devuan is just as bad, or worse, in this respect.

                If the intrusive stuff in Ubuntu is putting people off, that is fine: I can understand even if I don't relate. But Debian remains considerably more work, and the Debian project's intransigence is driving people away and fragmenting Debian, which of course worsens the problems.

                There are multiple things to put people off Debian: the awkwardness of driver support, the clunky installer, the mandatory presence of systemd.

                That resulted in the Devuan fork, but each version of Devuan is harder to install and adds more options and obfuscation.

                There is also MX Linux, but it is clearly aimed at desktops and desktop users, while Debian is strong in the server market.

                There is no single clear best answer, but the Debian developers bear some responsibility for these problems.

                1. cyberdemon Silver badge

                  Re: Debian makes things a little harder than neccessary

                  > Is there a good reason why this can't just be a ticky-box in the installation program?

                  Er, it is? Even in the text-mode debian installer, there is a "ticky box" labeled "include non-free Apt sources in sources.list". And yes, it has an explanation of what that means and why you might want it.

                  If you need to get online during the installation, then you can use the "Live" installer.

                  I think actually people like yourself are part of the problem, with writeups basically saying "Debian is really hard work" when you could instead post a helpful article on how to install / use it.

                  To get the best out of Linux, Windows refugees need a certain amount of education. What's disingenuous is to make Linux more Windows-like by hiding away the powerful features so that nobody uses them.

                  I also think it's a bit hypocritical of you to use "the mandatory presence of SystemD" as a criticism of Debian, when this is true for most "user-friendly" linux distros, including your favourite Ubuntu. And Ubuntu has a lot worse "mandatory but unwanted" stuff in it, like snap, and even adverts.

                  SystemD is really there to give a "windows/mac-style experience" to a desktop/laptop user. I'm not a fan of the all-encroaching nature of SystemD and would of course use Devuan in a server setting, but I still use Debian on my desktops and laptops.

                2. jilocasin

                  Re: Debian makes things a little harder than neccessary

                  See Debian Bookworm.

                  Debian has now voted to include non-free blobs in the official installer.

                  Can't wait.

  3. VoiceOfTruth Silver badge

    Users is the correct word!

    -> how some users were aggrieved by what they saw as advertising

    Do any of these users actually contribute anything back? Or are they indeed "users"? Jeez, they get this for free and still whine. Somebody has to pay to keep the lights on at Ubuntu (and other FOSS companies). It's like the much-mentioned "community testing" which is done by <1% of users, but then the 99% complain when a bug is found. Somebody (else) should have found this. Somebody (else) should pay for this.

    1. chris street

      Re: Users is the correct word!

      Yes I'm a user. I contribute to the ecosystem. So thanks for self rigteous high horse. What have you done for things FOSS lately?

      I don't want spying software thanks. I don't want nagging messages thanks. I get enough of that shit trying to just buy groceries online and Tescos 5 clicks to get out of the upsale and actually to checkout is as annoying as f*** as well. I certainly don't need it every damn time I run an update.

      Combined with adding it into a core blob you cannot remove? Fuck you Canonical - you just jumped the shark and made the decision easy, Ubuntu is toast and LMDE is going on the laptop this weekend.

      1. VoiceOfTruth Silver badge

        Re: Users is the correct word!

        -> Yes I'm a user. I contribute to the ecosystem.

        Congratulation. You are a user, not a "user".

        -> What have you done for things FOSS lately?

        Reported bugs, supplied fixes, BOUGHT things to help fund FOSS.

        -> Fuck you Canonical

        Yeah, two fingers up to a company which provides something for free. Exactly as I wrote, there are a lot of whiners and moaners out there. How about this: you go and build a company providing free software and charge nothing for it. See how it goes.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Users is the correct word!

          Sure, just go ahead, I'm sure this all is helped by strong wording, foaming at the mouth and waving arms wildely.

          Perhaps many are "surprised" by the fact that Canonical is actually a company, and thus driven by certain base principles. As this remark showed in one of those other bug threads...

          Jeremy Bícha (jbicha) wrote on 2022-03-14: #11

          We are prioritizing people being able to easily activate Ubuntu Advantage/Ubuntu Pro more than people who worry about 2.6 MB. People who activate Ubuntu Advantage are generally paying customers. Those paying customers make Ubuntu better for all of us by helping to fund a lot of the work done in Ubuntu.

          Respectfully, I don't think there's any benefit to me continuing to explain why we made this decision.

          And yeah, then different principles clash***

          ***Not advocating for one not the other (here)...

        2. chris street

          Re: Users is the correct word!

          You've heard of Redhat and Fedora right?

        3. keithpeter Silver badge

          Re: Users is the correct word!

          "How about this: you go and build a company providing free software and charge nothing for it. See how it goes."

          OK Voice, I think my first move would be to find an operating system that was maintained by a charitable foundation that also made the source code, build scripts and bug database freely available. Along with the system admin tools and the installer. And which provided three releases: unstable, testing and stable.

          Seriously: Ubuntu was a breath of fresh air back in the Warty days but not so much now. I hope Canonical gets a huge admin agreement from some company with colossal data centres.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Users is the correct word!

          Canonical does a decent job of Ubuntu.

          There, I said it.

          They abandoned Upstart in favour of systemd. Now, I know people have opinions on systemd itself, but this point is to show that the Canonical can recognize where they should give up on their own venture in order to adopt what is clearly more practical and used by the community.

          Arguably, they pushed Linux-on-the-desktop forward. It's because they had a more user-centric focus that they presented a nicer looking UI (even if you don't like Unity), made it more "Windows-friendly" (which initially attracts users, and helps them feel like the jump into Linux isn't as severe).

          Everything comes at a cost, and for Canonical that means prioritising their paying users first. Of course, there are limits to this too - but is that limit really reached at an additional 2.5MB package?

          Some people may say that this could be the beginning of a wedge... perhaps, and I guess only time will tell. And, if they don't, we can always fork it and take it our own way (see related: Mint).

      2. logicalextreme Silver badge

        Re: Users is the correct word!

        I get enough of that shit trying to just buy groceries online and Tescos 5 clicks to get out of the upsale and actually to checkout is as annoying as f*** as well

        I've mostly not been too annoyed by self-service checkouts of late; I only use the ones at the Co-op and local mini Tesco really as I don't drive and stay close to home. They seem to have removed the volume control/mute buttons though which means the Co-op ones SCREAM LIKE AN ANGRY DICTATOR and the Tesco one mumbles confirmation of scanning the Clubcard barcode so quietly that I never know whether it's actually done so or not.

        My least favourite interface however is a cash machine at the petrol station where the user journey goes:

        (Card inserted)

        Enter PIN> (I do so)

        Would you like to view your balance before you proceed?> (No)

        [List of options, including "withdraw cash" and "view balance"]> (withdraw cash)

        Would you like to view your balance before you proceed?> (No)

        [List of amounts to withdraw]> (Amount I want to withdraw)

        Would you like to view your balance before you proceed?> (No)

        [Card returned, cash dispensed]

        As someone who hides from the awful truth of knowing their bank balance wherever possible it takes some commitment to successfully evade it during this sequence of interactions.

      3. Lil Endian Silver badge

        Tescos 5 clicks

        @chris street -- Tescos 5 clicks

        For your own sanity, don't try Ocado then! I think it was 7 upsale clicks at least. As that'd already put me in a terrible mood, when I checked my order the next day to find they'd cancelled my order at a minute past midnight they got a prompt "fuck off, remove all of my details - an SAR will follow to verify". At least they enacted the "right to be forgotten" correctly. /end-rant!

      4. Palebushman
        Thumb Up

        Re: Users is the correct word!

        Running LMDE 5 at the moment Chris and it's very impressive, specially the absence of all that Ubuntu stuff that used to be in there! Looking forward to LMDE 'MATE' ( if it ever happens) as that's my favourite LM desktop format.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @VoiceOfTruth - Re: Users is the correct word!

      Linux Mint is also free but they decided against ripping off users in exchange.

      In case you missed it, we're not against injecting ads, we're against removing choice to see them or not. An opt-in approach would be most welcome.

      Yes, we all know monetizing users is the equivalent of money for nothing for a lot of companies these days and if Ubuntu wants money, they can move behind a paywall.

      1. jilocasin

        Re: @VoiceOfTruth - Users is the correct word!

        or how about a simple opt-out even.....?

        Ubuntu-advantage-tools should have been a standalone package. Maybe one that's installed by default, but one that's easily and cleanly removed by those that care enough to take the time.

        There should be a simple and persistent mechanism to opt-out of ALL adverts of ALL types, including adverts disguised as 'informative messages' . There isn't, the only one they've given apparently only works for one program and for only those 'ads' tagged a certain way.


        I don't have anything against a company wanting to remain in the black, but it's how you do it that matters in the end.

      2. VoiceOfTruth Silver badge

        Re: @VoiceOfTruth - Users is the correct word!

        -> ripping off users

        Nice terminology. Having an advert is a "rip off".

        If Linux Mint uses a single line of code which has been contributed by Ubuntu anywhere along the line, that is called hypocrisy. They will have directly benefited from someone somewhere being faced with an advert. Gee wow.

        1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

          Re: @VoiceOfTruth - Users is the correct word!

          Ubuntu uses shedloads of code that was donated for free by people doing nice things for the general good of the computing community.

          Just a little reality check.

        2. chris street

          Re: @VoiceOfTruth - Users is the correct word!

          > If Linux Mint uses a single line of code which has been contributed by Ubuntu anywhere along the line, that is called hypocrisy.

          And what do you call Ubuntu using the many many KLOC contributed by Debian then?

  4. DoContra

    I can understand forcing some/all customers/users to pony up for updates in packages on the universe repo after the 3rd year of an LTS, and for all packages after the 5th year (I even think it's fair!); I can sort of understand withholding updates (even security updates) during the first three years on EOL-ed or otherwise grossly unmaintained software (the python2[1] example from the article). But withholding updates for ImageMagick, which is an active project, with some important security exposure (via web apps), within the first year of the latest LTS, and with Debian already shipping the same/similar security updates in its current stable release, that's too far for me. I doubt I'll be proposing the switch on the servers/VMs I maintain anytime soon[2], but it's something I'll be keeping on the top of my head.

    PD: FWIW, in my case ImageMagick (in 22.04) was pulled as a dependency for a package I (and my users) can (and from now on will) live without (pstoedit, converts PDF/PS to editable graphics formats like PNG, JPG, etc; installed as an optional dependency for texlive); I doubt my users will miss it (and ImageMagick), but the week is still good for many angry e-mails :)

    [1]: Yes, I'm aware there are actively maintained forks of python2, but this package is still based on the official source and the release notes for 22.04 already stated python2 was unsupported.

    [2]: Servers running Ubuntu on the bare-metal, with LXC containers (Debian for web, mail and public DNS servers, and in-house services -- DHCP, DNS, etc.; Ubuntu for compute tasks for the users in my org).

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      By the way, Debian has switched to graphicsmagick in testing.

  5. DoContra

    Guilty as charged...

    ... but Ubuntu really needs to take a hard look at the updates/packages from universe they gatekeep and the updates/packages from universe they release for all (esp when the source code in the universe repository is a straight snapshot of Debian unstable from ~4-6 months before the Ubuntu release).

  6. xyz123 Bronze badge

    And so, Ubtuntu dies a death.

    First they had ads. Then ads INSIDE the command line shell. Then unskippable ads whilst using applications. Finally, they switch to "sent ads to all your contacts".

    Goodbye Ubuntu, we hardly knew ye.

    1. Lon24 Silver badge

      I run Kubuntu and have seen no ads. I hadn't thought of it as a free ad blocker with KDE thrown in as a bonus. Win-Win

  7. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Never Particulalrly keen on it.

    I tried it when it first came out, but was never happy with the UI and soon dropped back to 'standard' debian. Since then I've had a brief look from time to time, which just confirmed I'd made the right choice.

  8. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "messages about the paid Ubuntu Pro offering… which is by design, and it's not going away"

    Thank you, Microsoft.

    And to think you said that Linux was a cancer.

  9. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I personally don't have a problem with Ubuntu advertising in the shell about the Ubuntu advantage program to get extended updates for LTS releases. I had plans for upgrading my Ubuntu 18.04 servers to the latest LTS before the EOL this April.

    I normally admin the servers using Webmin control panel so if it hadn't been for the advert when I logged in via SSH due to a needing to do something from the shell, I wouldn't have know I could get an additional 5 years of updates for free on 5 devices.

    I signed up for Ubuntu Pro as that actually allowed me to carry on using the current OS and still get security patches, as those are my main concern rather than newer packages on these particular machines. So I now have more time to check everything will carry on working as it should after I move to an new LTS release.

    But if others are worried about this being telemetry gathering or invasive advertising then, just move to another distro. Im already using Linux Mint on 2 desktops and have 2 others machines one with Gentoo and another with Antix it.

    1. chris street

      Im not actually that bothered about telemetry, advertising, forcing Snap on us, even charging for updates etc. All those are avoidable with some work.

      When they start making it deliberatly awkward to remove the stuff though, thats a different matter. Canonical take the Debian base, FOC naturally, and use it to make something improved, and make money from it (fair enough they have done considerable work on Debian) and then make it so that you are less able to fiddle and tinker with it. That is, no matter how small, a closure of the openness of the software and directly contrary to FOSS principles. That's the real issue in my mind here.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The "Windows" amonsgt Linuxes

    There's a reason why Ubuntu has long been named "the Windows amongst Linuxes", but in the past that was due to it's bugginess. Now they pack ads on top of it.

    What I don't get is why so many stick with it in the first place. Aside from the bugginess, it also has a long track record of suffering from some bad decisions on Canonical's part, and while the "Linux for Humans" schtick was really good, it's not even particularly user-friendly (that's always been openSUSE).

    And on top of that, if you care for the whole open source community thing then Canonical, a company that gives less back upstream than even Microsoft, is probably the last one you'd want to support.

    So I'm not sure why anyone is surprised that the "Windows amongst Linuxes" became just more "Windows-y". And I guess, like with Microsoft Windows, some users might complain but most will just swallow it instead of migrating away.

    1. Plest Silver badge

      Re: The "Windows" amonsgt Linuxes

      If you're old enough to remember I can tell you why Ubuntu is/was popular, it's just like VHS over Beta ( or even the long lost Philips Video2000 ) video format.

      In order for something to become popular it doesn't have to be the best, heck, doesn't even have to work properly, simply offering just about good enough and easy to use is enough. We have Windows on most PCs for that very reason, it's not the best, simply easy to use and good enough for the job.

      Phillips Video2000 was superb, my Dad bought one , video cassettes that had A and B sides so you could flip them over and get twice the recording length. My mate had Beta as it was better quality. Sadly the crappy VHS won out at the time, shite quality compared to the other home formats, single sided cassettes but it won out.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If you're old enough to remember

        Sadly, I'm not. I have lived through the VHS, Betamax, and VCR/SVR and Video 2000 era.

        Video2000 was innovative, with auto head tracking as standard, and later long play which raised the capacity of a single tape to 2x 8hrs. But the implementation was shit. As a system designed by Grundig (Germany) and Philips (NL), early recorders managed to come with differently positioned audio/sync heads, so depending on whether your tape was recorded on a Grundig or Philips recorder, the audio track was either advanced of or delayed from the video track. Philips used a M-loading mechanics with cables which was prone to jamming, and while Grundig's C-loading mechanics were pretty reliable, older recorders suffered from a number of electronics problems.

        The best Video2000 machines were the last generation Grundig 2x8 ones which were solid.

        The worst video system I had to deal with was VCR, another Grundig/Philips project and the predecessor of Video2000

    2. jilocasin

      Waiting on Bookworm.... (Re: The "Windows" amonsgt Linuxes)

      Ubuntu was (is?) much easier to get installed and running than Debian. Especially on modern hardware with it's plethora of non-free firmware.

      Debian stable is very stable. Unfortunately, that means many of the programs in it are very old and dated. While that's fine for say a command line ftp client, it's a little more problematic for something like ssh, and downright deadly for something as quickly changing as a DE. Of course once it's installed there's always sid.

      Ubuntu came on the scene with a drop dead simple way to get up and running with Linux on the desktop, that worked with all of your hardware, esp. WiFi, and had modern and updated software. Boom, instant popularity. Canonical unfortunately seems to be following down the path of a lot of less than reputable companies. Make a great product, build up an incredibly large user base, then start doing more and more ethically questionable, end user adverse things in order to increase their profitability. Partner with Amazon sell your user's privacy, inject ads, make packages your users dislike (hate) harder to remove. Prevent them from removing them entirely, insert more ads, partner with Microsoft, all things designed with Canonical's bottom line first and foremost in their minds.

      I'm very happy to learn that Debian proper has voted to start including non-free firmware in their 'official' install media with the release of Bookworm. That should make getting it up and running on modern computers, especially laptops that only have WiFi much much simpler.

      I've had more than my share of trouble getting stock Debian fully functional, both on old laptops and my cutting edge desktop. Assuming it works out as expected, it's good bye and good riddance to Canonical and all of the increasingly slimy tactics slowly infecting the various spins.

      1. Lil Endian Silver badge

        Re: Waiting on Bookworm.... (The "Windows" amonsgt Linuxes)

        I agree with your sentiments. I'm going to chip in to say that since Debian 10 perhaps, certainly 11, that the old days of compatibility problems (that we've shared, for sure) seem to have eased. Perhaps I just know the workarounds or perhaps I'm lucky with my hardware. I remember having Realtek nightmares!

        I used to use Ubuntu for gaming, graphics intensive 3D stuff with Nvidia[1], which was a problem with Debian. I ditched Ubuntu for a return to Debian a while back, and have had no bumps in the road.

        I'll repeat: I agree with your sentiments, especially re: stable, so YMMV.

        [1] I've not used AMD GPUs for a long time, so can't compare. I use Nvidia proprietary drivers on Debian rather than the package options.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Waiting on Bookworm.... (The "Windows" amonsgt Linuxes)

        "Ubuntu was (is?) much easier to get installed and running than Debian. Especially on modern hardware with it's plethora of non-free firmware."

        Well, give the low bar Debian sets, it's not surprising that Ubuntu as an improvement.

        Which says more about Debian than Ubuntu, really.

        "Debian stable is very stable."

        So is SUSE/openSUSE Leap, or Red Hat (and CentOS/Alma Linux/Rocky Linux/Oracle Linux). All which are enterprise-grade Linux distros, and because of that, they are also officially supported by many device manufacturers and commercial software vendors.

        "Unfortunately, that means many of the programs in it are very old and dated. While that's fine for say a command line ftp client, it's a little more problematic for something like ssh, and downright deadly for something as quickly changing as a DE. Of course once it's installed there's always sid."

        Yes, because in Debian's world "antique" is taken as synonym with "stable", which is nonsense of course.

        Why anyone would use something based on Debian is beyond me when there are much better alternatives which also are better supported. Especially when Linux isn't seen as a purpose in itself but an operating system platform that should just do its job without causing needless headaches.

        But each to their own I guess.

      3. Steve Graham

        Re: Waiting on Bookworm.... (The "Windows" amonsgt Linuxes)

        I've installed Debian dozens of times, since pre-1.0 era and never had issues. All my home machines are now on Devuan though.

  11. Ozzard

    Ubuntu was off my list a decade ago - and I architect systems for organisations

    As soon as Shuttleworth demonstrated he was prepared to bend a Linux distro out of shape for commercial reasons, I stopped using Ubuntu. The fleets of machines I've specified and implemented for various organisations over the decade since have all run on Debian.

    And, yes, I contribute effort and regular money to multiple FOSS projects and encourage the organisations who use my services to do likewise. Free-as-in-speech needs support that doesn't come for free-as-in-beer.

  12. cob2018

    Short attention spans

    From TFA:

    "One might have thought that Canonical would have worked this out after the first such revolt, a decade ago."

    Yeah, but this skates very close to the common error of applying logic to management/marketing decisions.

    Obviously, what has happened here is that the Canonical manglement/marketing staff has had enough turnover to think that they can follow Mickey$not's lead about monetizing every possible part of their releases.

    To those who might be considering alternate scenarios such as the aforementioned manglement/marketing staff thinking that their loyal user community has had time to forget the previous iterations of similar approaches, I ask you to reconsider the absurdity of notions like "manglement/marketing staff thinking" and head out for the week-ending beverage.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    First world problems

    Yeah, your whinging what makes us get out of bed every day...


  14. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    "users were aggrieved by what they saw as advertising – even though Canonical made Ubunto Pro free of charge for individual users"

    Ehh.. Advertising is advertising, regardless of the price of the product. Also, who knows what the actual cost will be? Perhaps Pro will push even more ads? Perhaps it will spy more?

  15. navarac

    Partnered with MSFT

    Obviously, Canonical have been learning how to do this since they "partnered" with Microsoft and WSL. Won't be long before Ubuntu is rebranded with a Microsoft Logo then?

  16. Steve Graham


    If you dislike the promotional messages, you could use the apt package management functionality to override the dependencies, or make a "null" package to replace the annoying one.

    But why would you bother? Just adopt another distribution. Most of the well-known ones offer the facility to try a desktop session from the installation media without installing.

  17. kewisch

    How to turn off the messages and other answers

    Some answers about the latest changes, and an easy way to turn off the messages if you don't appreciate them, is available in the new Ubuntu Pro FAQ here:

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