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Bruce Perens on UserLinux and Ubuntu 212

Posted by Zonk
from the figurative-figureheads dept.
SDenmark writes "Ever wondered what happened to UserLinux, and how it's faring now that Ubuntu has stolen the spotlight? Linux Format has an interview with Bruce Perens, founder of UserLinux, the Open Source Initiative and Linux Standard Base. Perens discusses the impact of Ubuntu, how industry bodies are helping open source and why figureheads are important for the Free Software community."
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Bruce Perens on UserLinux and Ubuntu

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  • Money talks (Score:3, Insightful)

    by smokeslikeapoet (598750) <wfpearsonNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @10:22AM (#15105492) Homepage Journal
    Ubuntu has a huge bankroll behind it. It's great, I use it. But the bankroll helps.
    • Re:Money talks (Score:2, Informative)

      by garcia (6573)
      Ubuntu has a huge bankroll behind it. It's great, I use it. But the bankroll helps.

      Plenty of Linux distributions have money behind them. Doesn't make them any better than the next. In fact, Debian works just fine for me (and has for several years now).
    • Re:Money talks (Score:2, Interesting)

      by LordKazan (558383)
      I tried Ubuntu - it's not great, it's downright crippled

      latest version has PAM older than .79 and the latest is .99, the default GCC installed (GCC 4.0) from the default debian repositories cannot build executables, /etc/security/console.perms is missing, /etc/ld.so.conf is missing

      that last one was the last straw for me and i proceeded to wipe that ext3 partition and load Fedora Core 5 on it.

      For all it's faults atleast things work right with Fedora Core and I can compile mythtv with miniminal effort
      • Re:Money talks (Score:2, Insightful)

        by secolactico (519805)
        latest version has PAM older than .79 and the latest is .99, the default GCC installed (GCC 4.0) from the default debian repositories cannot build executables, /etc/security/console.perms is missing, /etc/ld.so.conf is missing

        Odd. My Ubuntu didn't have any build tools installed by default. But when I installed then ("apt-get install build-essentials" or somesuch) they all worked without problem. /etc/ld.so.conf was missing, but I simply created a text file with a dir I wanted to include and nothing bad ha
      • /etc/ld.so.conf is missing

        I blieve this is correct, and is also the new Debian-way of doing things. This has never prevented me from compiling anything. Perhaps you are misusing /etc/ld.so.conf ??? /etc/ld.so.conf isn't needed to run the default OS. /lib & /usr/lib are already included in the default library path, and other libraries are cached in /etc/ld.so.cache .

        People tend to overuse /etc/ld.so.conf (and LD_LIBRARY_PATH). Perhaps someone at Debian or Ubuntu finally decided to clean up. Good for them
        • crt1.so was missing then I selected the build essentials and it installed gcc4 - i installed gcc 3.something from Adept and it started working.

          many multimedia applications require /usr/local/lib to be added to your ld.so.conf
      • Re:Money talks (Score:2, Insightful)

        by towsonu2003 (928663)
        the default GCC installed (GCC 4.0) from the default debian repositories cannot build executables, /etc/security/console.perms is missing, /etc/ld.so.conf is missing
        stop whining and start filing bugs!
        • I sholdn't have to file bugs for errors that freaking stupid on a PRODUCTION RELEASE

          Like I said - I went back to my favorite distro since it works.

          (I was going to use Ubuntu for a mythtv box)
          • I am using ubuntu for a mythtv box and it works fine and does a lot more besides, I had no problem, i'm not sure why you did.
      • Basically, all of your complaints boil down to: "OMG!!! Debian is subtly different from Red Hat/Fedora. It's completely unusable!!"

        pam_console (and therefore /etc/security/console.perms) is Red Hat specific and isn't in Debian because of security issues (apparently; I don't know/care about the specifics).

        If you need /etc/ld.so.conf, uhm well, why not just create it?

        What kind of problems did you have with GCC4?

      • by DrWhizBang (5333) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @12:54PM (#15106696) Homepage Journal
        latest version has PAM older than .79 and the latest is .99, the default GCC installed (GCC 4.0) from the default debian repositories cannot build executables, /etc/security/console.perms is missing, /etc/ld.so.conf is missing ...

        For all it's faults atleast things work right with Fedora Core and I can compile mythtv with miniminal effort


        I know! My wife said the same thing when I installed Ubuntu on my home computer. "WTF! PAM is really old! We can't let the kids use this!"

        I mean really, compiling mythtv is absolutely necessary on a desktop distro. How are the newbs going to get past that? Having no ld.so.conf is definitely not userfriendly.
      • Re:Money talks (Score:3, Informative)

        by ardor (673957)
        It must be your fault. I installed dapper, apt-getted build-essentials, gcc & g++ 4, make, and can build both sources from the net and my projects without any problems. No ld.so.conf problems arise.... ever.
        • yes it's my fault that their official package manager (Adept) is a POS

          Caveat: i was using Kubuntu (another idiotic thing: a fork just for a different window manager?)
          • Adept is bad, yes. I use Synaptic.
            But, KDE is MUCH more than a WM. You might have noticed the TONS of kdelibs-based programs, the kioslaves, the kparts, etc. etc. This integration is the difference between a desktop environment and a window manager. In fact, a window manager IS PART of a DE (KDE's window manager is called KDM).
          • Re:Money talks (Score:3, Interesting)

            by cHiphead (17854)
            ALWAYS use Synaptic, its loads stabler than Adept (and its interface is more traditional and not so 'search filter' lamed). Also don't use 'Kubuntu' iso installs, install Ubuntu then apt-get the kubuntu-desktop package.

            Coincidentally, if you are doing development from within linux, you should use a distro you are comfortable with and actually know how its configured. Did you spend any time on ubuntuforums.org or (especially) on the irc channel asking for help? I've never come across a more nub friendly fr
          • It's not a fork. It's just an installer with slightly different scripts. All the repositories etc are the same; the only differences are the packages that get installed by default.
    • How can I gain access to that huge bankroll, too? It does sound great!
    • Re:Money talks (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @10:55AM (#15105713) Homepage
      Ubuntu also has newbie love.

      i have tried over the years to convert many loved ones and friends to linux. It failed because of the "hard" factor.

      Every single one of them LOVE Ubuntu and will not switch back to windows. Why? installing new software is brain dead easy... Far easier than windows and MAC os has ever been, plus they all do not care about running brand name apps but simply something that works.

      The biggest thing they all love, no viruses and no spyware.
       
      • Re:Money talks (Score:3, Interesting)

        by aCapitalist (552761)
        Every single one of them LOVE Ubuntu and will not switch back to windows. Why? installing new software is brain dead easy... Far easier than windows and MAC os has ever been, plus they all do not care about running brand name apps but simply something that works.

        It sounds like your family and friends really don't need that much in the way of software. There are a lot of people that can basically live in a browser. That's fine, but once you need to step out that repository universe, installing software bec
        • Autopackage probably isn't so widely used because there already exists two major (and relatively simple to use) packaging formats (rpm and deb). When you go past those two packaging formats, there exists a bunch of methods to packaging source code (usually known as "ports" to BSD and Gentoo users), but the packaging of binaries with any sort of external library dependency tracking is usually done in rpm and/or deb. Of course, you could simpley tar.gz/bz2 the binary files and allow the user to extract that
        • I never quite understood why something like autopackage wasn't adopted as a universal package format and native package systems could be retrofitted to play nicely with it.

          Because one of the few things all the package maintainers for distributions can agree on is that autopackage is horribly broken, and even the autopackage people themselves basically say `just use this for addons, it doesn't work for "the system"' ... where "the system" is really code for "the hard cases our broken design doesn't work

      • I've found they all can't handle it on their own and need me to do things like enable mp3 playback for them. This is completely not Ubuntu's fault, because as a binary distro they can't include mp3/dvd support, but it still sucks.
      • Far easier than Windows and MAC os has ever been

        Dude, you need qualify that. I use Mac OSX, Windows, and Ubuntu. Synaptic is easy if the application exists in the database. However, not all applications are distributed through Synaptic. Take, for instance, doom 3 as an example. Windows and Mac OSX iinstallation involves putting in the CD, running the installer, and following instructions. Linux, first, requires you googling "linux and Doom3" to get instructions, cut and pasting .pak files, running an inst

      • MacOS still wins.

        How do you install Camino in MacOS X?
        1) Drag the Camino icon to your Applications folder!

        How do you uninstall Camino in MacOS X?
        1) Drag the Camino icon from your Applications folder to the trash.
    • Money talks indeed.

      My primary concern is how it will begin talking from the other side of the table. Case in point, intellectual property [slashdot.org]. Now, I'm no fan of the state of our patent system but this discussion was interesting because not a single person brought up the issue of legality. Now, Ballmer recently hinted [forbes.com] that Microsoft are putting together an IP war against Linux.

      I work for a pretty large company so management is very conservative (side note, I do realize that those aren't mutual - its just the
  • OSDL Desktop Linux (Score:4, Informative)

    by anandpur (303114) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @10:24AM (#15105505)
    Why not help? http://www.osdl.org/lab_activities/desktop_linux/ [osdl.org]

    BP:Well, some of the industry bodies try to help open source. OSDL is actually handicapped in one very important way, which is that the majority of OSDL's membership have a conflict of interest where the agenda of open source is concerned.
    • Why not help?

      Because imho Desktop Linux always had the feel of a publicity stunt/political exercise.

      I got sick of all the Ubuntu hype (WOW!!!1 With Ubuntu Randy Rabbit stuff "just works"... half as good as in Fedora or SuSE 5 years ago!!~! Ubuntu is like the bestest thing evaRR!! OMGPonies!! - admittedly that got better over time - just like it did with other hyped distros like Gentoo - and *Ubuntu* got better over time so now it can live up to the hype - mostly - which in itself makes it much less annoy

      • (WOW!!!1 With Ubuntu Randy Rabbit stuff "just works"... half as good as in Fedora or SuSE 5 years ago!!~! Ubuntu is like the bestest thing evaRR!! OMGPonies!!

        From what I've seen of Ubuntu, the hype is deserved.

        First off, a friend of mine, who isn't the most computer savvy fella, was wanting to install Linux on his laptop. I had him on FreeBSD for a while, but he simply wasn't up to keeping it up to date or configuring beyond what I set up for him. I suggested he try Kubuntu, as he had been using KDE in

  • by TheSpatulaOfLove (966301) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @10:26AM (#15105526)
    Figureheads are useles unless they're glamorous. I can see it now - (Pick your favorite Hollywood Floozie) dressed in a business suit touting the wonders of (favorite flavor Linux). Marketing speaks to mouth-breathers.
  • What is Userlinux? (Score:5, Informative)

    by EnronHaliburton2004 (815366) * on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @10:39AM (#15105604) Homepage Journal
    Not to be an ass, but what is Userlinux? Is it a Linux Distro? There is no obvious description on the Userlinux webpage. People like to blame Ubuntu for stealing the spotlight, but Ubuntu fame isn't preventing anyone from putting up a quick blurb describing "Userlinux".

    Every open source project should have a quick 2 line description at the top of the webpage. It shouldn't take me 6 clicks to get a BASIC description of your project.

    Before you criticize, here's what I did:



    I still have no idea what UserLinux is. And that was what, 7 clicks?

    Compare this to Ubuntu.com. It took me 10 seconds to read the 2 line blurb at http://www.ubuntu.com/ [ubuntu.com]:

    "Ubuntu is a complete Linux-based operating system, freely available with both community and professional support. It is developed by a large community and we invite you to participate too!
  • UserLinux (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bhirsch (785803) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @10:44AM (#15105636) Homepage
    Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't UserLinux just sarge (when it was testing) pinning some sid packages? I honestly don't remember it being anything terribly more substantial than that along with some convenient metapackages like graphical-desktop-environment and enterprise-server.

    When Perens announced at the Desktop Linux conference in MA a few years ago, it sounded like a pretty half-baked idea.
    • Re:UserLinux (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      It's a Bruce Perens vanity project that didn't take off. It didn't cause the desired effect which was a giant Bruce Perens masturbation fest. Bruce is a publicity whore who has been skating on accomplishments of a long long time ago, he would very much like you to buy him a fast new car that you can give him blow jobs in. Enjoy.
  • I don't mean to sound like a troll here...I am asking because I just don't know. I have used Ubuntu and I didn't like it. Xandros...I like that. Debian...my primary Desktop. Ubuntu...I just don't see what has people so excited about it. Can someone help me see what I am missing here. If it is better, help me see the light.
    • Ubuntu does now what we all hope Debian will do in six months... or 1 year... or 6 years... I've been using Debian for nearly eight years now, and for the first four it was my desktop OS as well as my server OS. Then I started getting fed up with the number of packages I needed to use from backports or unstable to get a fairly up-to-date Gnome desktop, Firefox/Mozilla, video player etc., and how often it would break because of the number of packages coming from different sources. I used Mandrake for a wh
    • It's easier to configure then Debian, has a nice user interface and has included modern packages like 'x.org' and 'PHP5' for quite some time now. Ubuntu isn't for everyone, but that's fine. That's why you have Debian and other distros.

      Myself, I use Ubuntu for my desktop because it is easy to install, configure & upgrade. The install was painless. With Debian, I found that I spent too much time trying to get my video card working, managing packages, and searching for modern packages on 3rd party websites
      • It's easier to configure then Debian, has a nice user interface and has included modern packages like 'x.org' and 'PHP5' for quite some time now.

        Like Fedora Core ... 4? Thats the grandparent's point. Theres 100 distros that have up to date packages. Whats so great about Ubuntu that have people crazy about it? I don't get it either. OK, I can see Ubuntu over Debian, but why over (other_distro)?
        • If you're going to be a desktop Linux newbie, with any distro, you're going to have to ask stupid questions on forums. The Ubuntu forums are informative, and by far the friendliest that I have encountered. After some forum-surfing, that's why I chose Ubuntu over Suse or Fedora. Mandriva is under too much turmoil, and Mepix didn't seem like it had a large/stable organization behind it.
        • by uglyduckling (103926) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @12:19PM (#15106436) Homepage
          Like Fedora Core ... 4? Thats the grandparent's point. Theres 100 distros that have up to date packages. Whats so great about Ubuntu that have people crazy about it?

          Because there are a lot of people - myself included - who have used Debian for a long time. We like it for various reasons including it's proper Free-(as in speech)-ness, the apt/dpkg package management system, the fairly hands-on approach to system configuration and all sorts of other reasons that vary from person to person. The biggest problem with Debian is that it sucks as a desktop distro because it's too out of date. Ubuntu gives those of us that are long-term Debian fans what we need on the desktop without sacrificing what we love about Debian - except, arguably, a certain level of stability since Debian stable is tested like crazy.

          To put it another way, here's why I don't use a selection of other distros: Redhat - too commercial, Suse - ditto, Fedora - can't stand the package management, Mandriva - ditto, Gentoo - would rather spend my time configuring the package well rather than compiling it. I have Debian on my server and love it, and have the closest thing to Debian on my desktop.

          • To put it another way, here's why I don't use a selection of other distros: Redhat - too commercial, Suse - ditto, Fedora - can't stand the package management, Mandriva - ditto, Gentoo - would rather spend my time configuring the package well rather than compiling it. I have Debian on my server and love it, and have the closest thing to Debian on my desktop.

            When you say RedHat too commercial and SUSE ditto I am assuming you are speaking of their Enterprise offerings. Otherwise you wouldn't have mentioned F
    • I think it's "so special" because it "just works" better than any other distro that I've tried. And just about every enhancement or add-on that I wanted to implement on my install was found as a HOWTO in the Ubuntu forums. Add to that the fact that whenever I've run into a problem, the folks in said forums are *by far* the most friendly and helpful of any linux help forum I've visisted.

      Ubuntu might not be "so special" for Linux veterans who are fine with compiling their own kernels and drivers and whateve
  • by ProteusQ (665382) <dontbother@nowhere . c om> on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @10:52AM (#15105699) Journal
    I remember being on the mailing list years ago. The conversations with Bruce can be summarized this way:

    BRUCE: I can't tell you who I'm working for, but there's a lot of money behind this project. So, we have to be serious about this. What should we call this distro?

    BOB: SuperLinux!

    FRED: Enterprise-D Linux!

    ELMER: CoolNIX!

    BRUCE: No, no, no! You have to be serious about this! There's a lot of money behind this project. I can't tell you whose money, but we have to come up with a name for our distro that they'll like!

    FRED: If they have that much money, why don't *they* pick a name?

    BRUCE: I want this to be a community effort! How about 'UserLinux'?

    FRED: Boring.

    BOB: Generic.

    ELMER: Ditto that.

    BRUCE: But the community has to be serious about this! There's a lot of money behind this, and the companies that I can't name won't use Linux without a professionally named distro!

    ELMER: So, this is a community effort, but the decisions will be made by fiat?

    BRUCE: No, the community has to be a part of this. Now, KDE or GNOME? My clients only want GNOME. What do you think?

    ELMER: That we should take this seriously because there's a lot of money behind this project from companies you can't name?

    BRUCE: Exactly! So, KDE is out!

    Eventually, there was a big rumble and KDE got shoved back in. I dropped the list some time after that, because it was clear that the community was meant to rubber-stamp a project that some large companies wanted to produce on the cheap.
    • by Ploum (632141) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @12:24PM (#15106476) Homepage
      I was on the UserLinux since the beginning and it's absolutely true. Please mod this as "informative", not "funny" !

      In fact, the mailing list was more grumbling about the logo and the name than anything else. The only constructive work was done by an Italian guy who did the paperplane logo because he tought it was a good idea (and it was right).

      Then, for the next two months, everyone was discussing the color of the plane, if it must point to left or right.

      After 6 months of effort, we had ... a paperplane ! woohoo !
  • by Itsacon (967006) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @10:52AM (#15105700) Homepage
    I still think it's funny how there's a new `Holy War' between Linux distros every few months.
    `Back in the day' when I had my first experience with Linux, you had the Red Hat Camp vs the SuSe Camp. (Real hackers used Slackware then, btw).
    Then Red hat became the evil empire, people started yelling `Debian' at each other, while SuSe became something you didn't talk about.
    Around then Mandrake finally made a proper installer (albeit a very limited one if you knew what you wanted) and raked in Windows users by the dozen.
    Then that position was attacked by Lindows(C), which was so effective it got in trouble with Redmond itself.
    In the meantime, Red Hat looked out of the Windows (pun inteded) and started to make some money. So they started Fedora to keep the free code coming (and stay somewhat compliant to the GNU GPL). And Debian went out of the picture again.

    Now I'm hearing Ubuntu on all sides (still sounds like an African dictator to me, but whatever), while my work PC suddenly runs CentOS (where did that one come from?).

    UserLinux? Never heard of it either, so must have been a pretty weak spotlight in the first place...

    Wonder what the next `Must-have-distro' will be.

    I'll make the switch when they stick to one for more than a year, until then, I'll use Windows and BSD.

    Just my $0.02...
    • CentOS has never been a must have. Too bad really it is a very good choice for a server. It is basicly Red Hat Enterprise but free.
      You left out Knoppix and Gentoo from your must have super buzz distro list.

      Of course the good thing is each of those distros actually brought something inovative to Linux. The only holy wars left now comes down to desktops Gnome vs KDE vs something fast and light and package systems apt-get vs emerge vs yum and or yast.

      BTW if you think that only Linux has these issues you must n
    • You also forgot about Corel's version of Linux, which was supposed to be the first real user friendly Linux that embedded WINE to allow native support of Windows applications (namely, Corel's CorelDRAW suite and WordPerfect).

      True, I do agree, Linux distros come and go, but the OS never really takes off. They need one Distro to rule them all, but the Linux camp is so disorganized and filled with too many individuals trying to be the hero that Linux will never be an effective replacement or competitor to Win
      • Except for corporate ownership Corel Linux is still a very user friendly desktop Linux with embedded Windows support, just under a new name [xandros.com].
      • Also forgot Caldera, which was pretty sweet at 2.2 and 2.3. (1999-ish.) Took advantage of Linux' multitasking abilities right in the installer--once it came to package-copying time, you could play Tetris! That distro was awesome, it even found the sound card on my Compaq 5280 laptop. Too bad they put stuff in odd places, so I couldn't trade notes with my RedHat using buddies. But then, so did every other distro back then. No one could agree on things like where to put Apache's docroot.

        When I first started u
    • ...my work PC suddenly runs CentOS (where did that one come from?).

      Tuttle.

      Cheers,
      Ian

    • I still think it's funny how there's a new `Holy War' between Linux distros every few months.

      Well, every time there's a Columbus' egg [wikipedia.org] all the other Linux distros scramble and do it. Despite what all the "one Linux desktop" people want, it's just not going to happen. Imagine that for a little while your distro of choice got a helluva lot of traction, set some groundbreaking standards and united all of Linux desktops under one banner - a rather unlikely prospect to begin with.

      What's going to happen? Ten new d
    • I'll make the switch when they stick to one for more than a year, until then, I'll use Windows and BSD.

      Alas, poor wretch. Then misfortune shall be thy lot.
    • I'm reading this and you don't seem like a guy who was around during the days of Ian Murdock founding Debian. I wasn't either but I was around 2 years later.

      1) Lizard by Caldera was the first graphical installer for a major distribution.
      2) Suse was still in German at that point
      3) At the time Debian came out the big distributions were stuff like Yggdrasil not Redhat.
      4) Suse vs. Redhat (for the US market) was not until United Linux which was in 2000 and by then everyone had an installer
      5) Mandrake's cl
  • Best (Score:5, Funny)

    by AlterTick (665659) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @10:55AM (#15105722)
    This is all too confusing. Can't someone just cut to the chase and tell me what the best Linux distro is?
  • A wise Linux guru (Score:3, Informative)

    by january (906774) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @10:56AM (#15105724)
    I am amazed how pragmatic Bruce Perens is. His paper on the economy of Open Source is much better -- both in terms of being concise, as in terms of being correct -- than anything I ever heard from some other Open Source or Free Software Gurus.

    I highly recommend http://perens.com/Articles/Economic.html [perens.com]this paper to anyone who has not read it yet. It is much more interesting than the interview itself (which is short, and, in my opinion, quite uninteresting given the experience and knowledge of Bruce Perence -- the interviewer(s) did not get as much of him as they could have).

    The article is quite long, but very well researched, and definitely worth spending some time on it.

    Cheers,
    j.

  • by dougmc (70836) <dougmc+slashdot@frenzied.us> on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @11:33AM (#15106023) Homepage
    There's a nice little excerpt in the article, in bold, that says this --
    "I don't believe that Linux distributions are a natural fit for the enterprise."
    ... which seems a strange statement for Bruce to be making. But then I read the article, and see that what he really said is this --
    BP: I actually considered going to work with Canonical when Mark [Shuttleworth] was starting it, and there were a couple of problems with that. I think that Mark is eventually interested in having a successful and profitable company, and I don't believe that Linux distributions are a natural fit for for- profit enterprise. Indeed, if you go on my website I have a very long paper on the economics of open source, and one of the things that you can derive from that is the fact that open source works almost worst for a for-profit Linux distribution.
    Which isn't completely clear, but it seems that Bruce is saying that making a Linux distribution is not a good way to make money. The excerpt that they took makes it sound he's saying that Linux isn't good to use in a business. (And it's made worse in that they edited his words -- they took out `for-profit', which helped qualify his statement a bit.)

    In any event, the writer should consider himself chastized. Excerpts like that are only useful if they give you an idea of what the article is about, and in this case it says (when taken out of context and then edited) something totally different than what the person who said those words meant.

  • You don't have to blame Ubuntu to figure out why UserLinux has gone nowhere fast. The concept was simply doomed to failure: "Lets take a bunch of people too busy to work on this project and give them the opportunity to collaborate!" It's an interesting idea, but its near impossible for a single person to simultaneously develop a distribution of software and OS AND offer contracts to support it. Even Perens admits that he couldn't meet both obligations. You need a team of people, such that some can serve the
  • Bruce says:

    As far as Canonical is concerned, one thing that struck me about Mark is that he really insists on control. For example, when I considered being an employee one of the things standing in the way was the fact that Mark doesn't give his employees stock in his companies. If I'm going to work for someone I'm going to be a little entrepreneurial about it, so I felt that although Ubuntu and Canonical could do a great deal for Debian and be excellent community members, they were never going to be the co
  • While the liveCD concept of Ubuntu is somewhat knoppix-based, and of course Knoppix is Debian-based... I've often wondered what makes Ubuntu so great compared to Knoppix. Running a Knoppix 4.x (or even 3.9) LiveCD with it's KDE-enhanced beauty is a wonderful thing, and even linux newbies can find the web-browser and other commonly used software.

    Why is Ubuntu such a big thing in comparison?
  • UserLinux came closer to being a simple, successful business desktop than anything before it.

    Ubuntu has taken over on my desktop because of better USB integration. Ubuntu handles my USB scanner, printer and camera and UserLinux doesn't.

    UserLinux made the extraordinary Debian software and package environment accessible without the without the inadvertent and uncontrolled negative Gurella marketing presence that has undermined the mainline Debian distribution.

    I'll tell you a UserLinux story:

    Back in the days w

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