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Linspire CEO Considers CNR for Ubuntu 92

bored2k writes "Kevin Carmony, President and CEO of Linspire, Inc., is using the Ubuntu Forums to ask for input and explain why he thinks a popular and heavily focused on usability distribution like Ubuntu needs Linspire's $20 per-year CNR service. From what he says, both him and Mark Shuttleworth (Canonical/Ubuntu's founder) like the idea. Would CNR honestly help Ubuntu grow, or is it just a scheme to cash in on it's success?"
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Linspire CEO Considers CNR for Ubuntu

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  • Free (Score:3, Insightful)

    by omeg ( 907329 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @04:54AM (#14841348)
    Nonsense. Ubuntu is free, and will always be free. Their principles state that there can't be "extra" versions that cost money in addition to the free version, too. CNR is nice, but it's not Ubuntu.
    • Re:Free (Score:4, Informative)

      by Raphael ( 18701 ) <quinet&gamers,org> on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:05AM (#14841371) Homepage Journal
      Their principles state that there can't be "extra" versions that cost money in addition to the free version, too.

      This does not prevent another company (Linspire) from offering optional services on top of Ubuntu. Just like any company can offer free or non-free software that can be installed on top of Ubuntu or on top of any other Linux distribution or even any other operating system.

      • Re:Free (Score:4, Interesting)

        by dhart ( 1261 ) * <dhart@sftower. c o m> on Friday March 03, 2006 @06:24AM (#14841538)
        This also does not prevent another company like Impi Linux [impi.org.za] (65% owned by Mark Shuttleworth) from offering optional services on top of Ubuntu.

        Impi has a deal with CodeWeavers (the commercial contributors to WINE) and other commercial Linux players; I'd be surprised if they're not also talking to Linspire.

        It's an interesting dance between the FREE and commercial software worlds!
    • Ubuntu will always be free, but it's an operating system. There's no way they could ever hope to package every single application for it in a repository. I'd much rather see them embrace something like AutoPackage rather than the CNR store though.
  • "nice" "summary" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Onan ( 25162 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:03AM (#14841366)
    And would it have killed you to throw in some mention of what the hell a "CNR" is?

    • Re:"nice" "summary" (Score:5, Informative)

      by caffeination ( 947825 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:11AM (#14841382)

      I've been reading Mr.Linspire's post about it. It's Click N Run software installation. It's like a frontend to apt/emerge/pacman, but more polished at both ends. Because it already has the billing system, and because Linspire isn't tied to purely free software, it can do things like proprietary game installations too.

      It has an extensive software repository too: it would provide *all* an average user would need, which is in fact more than any other package system can say (because of the non-free part).

      Unfortunately, its advantages are *all* in its non-free nature (though I'd install it in a flash if it became fast as well as fluffy).

      • its advantages are *all* in its non-free nature

        I agree, If another distro like Ubuntu should adopt this they shall only take the non-free parts of it. It would be nice to be able to pay say $40 to download and install a new game or program into /opt, of course with no DRM. I do not however wantsthis in my standard installation and it should be kept VERY separate as an addon.

        I don't no why they need distro support, Linspire could just have an installable .deb at their site for people to download to get acces
      • by dpilot ( 134227 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @08:55AM (#14841831) Homepage Journal
        I have mixed feelings about something like CNR, and perhaps it's because I don't fully understand it.

        My impression is that it's like one-click shopping for sofware. Find software on a web browser, push a button, it gets installed, and you get billed. I guess that's ok, for someone who feels a little scared to type "emerge doom3". But that's not what I'd really like to get out of something like CNR.

        First off, I like the idea of a subscription service. In these days of security issues, it's downright stupid to adopt a sales-without-service model for computers. Any computer which will be connected to a network needs some form of regular service plan. My mom's system runs "emerge sync" weekly, "glsa-check" nightly, and emails the results to me. Even if glsa-check is only tied into the portage database, and thus only does something new weekly, at least the nightly emails will nag me into taking care of it. When there's a security issue, I ssh in and fix it. When I visit, I bring her system fully up to date. That's a "policy."

        I'd like to see some sort of update/security policy out of a service like CNR. In particular, something like emerge is very good about upgrading packages and identifying config files that may require updating. But it doesn't update them, it just tells you that it needs to be done. IMHO, THIS is where the real effort needs to be in a subscription service, in tweaking configuration files after update, yet not breaking the system.
        • From what I understand from the website, CNR is subscription-based, not pay for each program. It also does updates and security fixes as well. You also get "Priority Support" with CNR Gold. So I'm pretty sure it does everything you say you want it to do.
      • I've been reading Mr.Linspire's post about it. It's Click N Run software installation. It's like a frontend to apt/emerge/pacman, but more polished at both ends.

        Personally, I'd rather see something like GNU's AutoPackage [autopackage.org] software put into a major distro; of course, that relies on more developer support for it, but that's also a good thing (IMHO). Additionally, it would have all the benefits of a nice polished front-end, with the additional benefit of install-time linking (no need to enter DLL/RPM hell sinc

    • it's a typo. he meant to say DNR, about linspire.
      [DNR == Do Not Resuscitate] :)
    • CNR stands for "Communication and Networking Riser", an interface standard developed by Intel that mostly flopped.

      Link 1 [webopedia.com]

      Link 2 [interfacebus.com]

      Oh wait, is that not the TLA (three-letter acronym) that the submitter intended? Should have specified then, instead of assuming that everyone know what the hell "Click-n-Run" is.
  • CNR (Score:2, Funny)

    by Ash-Fox ( 726320 )
    No! You will never stop me from "compiling linux tar file"! (Google "Lindows Rock")
  • New to Ubuntu (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jgoemat ( 565882 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:16AM (#14841394)
    I wouldn't mind something like CNR (click-n-run) being available. I'd probably shell out the $20 a year also. I like Ubuntu a lot, but it took me about 2 hours the first night to be able to play and rip MP3 files. I don't want to install the newest JDK from SUN either because I don't really know how or if it would interfere with Ubuntu. I tried installing the new Firefox 1.5.0.1 over 5.10's default 1.0.7 and hosed it pretty good, I couldn't install or remove firefox then. I was finally able to get it working by doing an uninstall and then manually removing the /usr/lib/mozilla-firefox directory, then doing an install again. Now I just run 1.5 from a separate directory. It would be worth $20 just to save me an hour of messing around and it would already have saved 4-5...

    What I want to know is why Sun doesn't get together with the Ubuntu team to create a package for the new JDK 1.5. They have a binary installer for Linux, why not have a '.deb' file for Ubuntu? It's free, you just have to click-through Sun's license to get it...

    • Re:New to Ubuntu (Score:4, Informative)

      by chicagotypewriter ( 933271 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:22AM (#14841413)
      I used Ubuntu for a few weeks and installed JDK right off of the java.sun.com site. The directions are plain as day on there, and are pretty easy to follow: http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.5.0/install-linux.html [sun.com]. It did not mess anything up either, worked just fine from the command line and from within Eclipse.
    • Re:New to Ubuntu (Score:5, Informative)

      by jbrader ( 697703 ) <stillnotpynchon@gmail.com> on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:36AM (#14841441)
      For things like the newest firefox and JDK. As well as some handy non-free stuff you need Automatix. It's easy to install and will let you choose several non-.deb apps from a simple list. Just search the Ubuntu forums for mor info.
      • Use EasyUbuntu... NOT Automatix... there are issues with Automatix in that it makes irreversible changes and screws things up...
        • AFAIK, that's incorrect. As a lark, I installed a clean version of U-5.10 (sounds like a submarine, dunnit?), installed Automatix, proceeded to install everything on the list, then uninstalled it all (also via Automatix). To my knowledge, it broke nothing.
          • ( Sing along, kids! )

            We all live in a yellow submarine,
            Ubuntu submarine,
            We think it's pretty keen...

            We all live in a yellow submarine,
            Yellow submarine,
            etc.

    • > What I want to know is why Sun doesn't get together with the Ubuntu team to create a package for the new JDK 1.5.

      Because Sun never gets anything together concerning JDK on Linux. Honestly, as nice as the language is, the packaging is just plain horrible. For example, have you noticed how much slower 1.5 is than 1.4, despite Sun's claims to the opposite effect?

      My situation is even worse than yours: I have a pure64 system with a 64bit mozilla. Sun does provide a 64bit Java package, but without the browse
    • Re:New to Ubuntu (Score:2, Insightful)

      by bheer ( 633842 )
      > I wouldn't mind something like CNR (click-n-run) being available.

      I'm sure click-n-run works for you, but the notion of using a free (and Free) Operating System and then paying $20 a year to _install software_ sounds hilarious to me.
      • Well for me it's not so much about using a free (or even Free) operating system, but about using a good one. I like a lot of things about Linux and Ubuntu that don't have to do with it being Free or having no cost. However, I would like an easier experience getting things to just work such as DVD, MPEG, and MP3 playing.
    • tried installing the new Firefox 1.5.0.1 over 5.10's default 1.0.7 and hosed it pretty good, I couldn't install or remove firefox then.

      What's so hard about
      # cd /usr/local
      # wget (mirror-of-your-choices)/firefox-1.5.0.tar.gz
      # tar xzvf firefox-1.5.0.tar.gz

      and 30 seconds of clicking to add it to the Gnome/KDE menu?
      • You're right, but that's not the point. Parent's point (I think) seems to be that you don't really know how much crap is tied into Firefox via Gecko in Ubuntu, and if you ignorantly try to install 1.5 over 1.0.7, you break your system pretty badly (yelp uses Gecko, for instance).
        • Ok, that's right. But parent misses the point. If you use a packet system, then you don't mess with it manually. That's what /usr/local is for, and it's quite obvious that you will break things if you bypass the package manager.
      • Others were right, I did try to install over the old Firefox, which wasn't smart. I didn't know why not though, in Windows I just installed the higher version over the old one. Now is it ok to untar a new version over 1.5.0 since I didn't use apt-get to install it?

    • Re:New to Ubuntu (Score:3, Informative)

      by Zepalesque ( 468881 )
      "I like Ubuntu a lot, but it took me about 2 hours the first night to be able to play and rip MP3 files."

      Have you looked at Easy Ubuntu?

      http://easyubuntu.freecontrib.org/ [freecontrib.org]
  • Not bad at all. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by miffo.swe ( 547642 ) <daniel.hedblom@ g m a i l.com> on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:25AM (#14841420) Homepage Journal
    There are som things open source just cant supply legally. MP3, WMA, and some other media formats are amongst those. To be able to get those from CNR would be wonderful. CNR can license those things in another way than an open source dist can. It would be a nice complement and make it easier for the users.
    • This is something I don't get. In distros like SuSE and Fedora Core, I've had to spend hours finding and carrying out grandiose hacks to play my legal mp3 collection. In Slackware and Arch, mp3 playback works out of the box.

      Is this supposed to be a big secret? Why can the less commercial distros get away with such treasonous blasphemy in this post 9/11 world?

      • Re:Not bad at all. (Score:3, Informative)

        by MarsLander ( 742092 )
        The joy of software patents. MP3 is a patented format. Ubuntu, SuSE and Fedora Core respect this. Slackware and Arch evidently do not.
        • Ubuntu breezy: xmms (from main), includes libmpg123 for mp3 playback

          mpg321 & lame (mp3 encoder) are available from universe

          Doesn't look like Ubuntu is particularly worried by the mp3 patents

          This is probably partly because Debian has never been particularly worried by the mp3 patents - see the (many) discussions on the issues in debian-legal [debian.org] for example.

          • I believe the rationale for removing MP3 support "by default" from FC (and numerous other distributions) is that the MP3 patents are free for non-profit use. i.e. if you give your software away for free, no patent royalties apply (at least for players.)

            But you say these OSes are free? Not quite, nothing in the GPL (or most other FOSS licenses) prevents you from selling something which includes the software. Take a look at cheapbytes.com, or any other company that sells pre-burned Linux distros on CDs. F
      • In all fairness my friend, enabling mp3 support for Fedora/KDE is approximately 3 commands long.
      • Re:Not bad at all. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by miffo.swe ( 547642 ) <daniel.hedblom@ g m a i l.com> on Friday March 03, 2006 @06:39AM (#14841562) Homepage Journal
        "Why can the less commercial distros get away with such treasonous blasphemy in this post 9/11 world?"

        Because they can be subject to legal action at any time if they include support for mp3, wma and whatnot. A hobby distro maker might take the chance but RedHat management would be liable for suits from its shareholders if they do something illegal on purpouse.

        Software patens suck but until they are gone we have to live with them. CNR makes that pretty easy for the end user.
        • So, I ask how smaller distros can get away with out of the box mp3 support, even ones based in the US.

          You reply that it is because they can be subject to legal action, and at least three people decide that this is an answer worthy of modding up.

          You're not the only one to misunderstand me either. Maybe the treasonous blasphemy phrase is a little ambiguous, but I specifically said less commercial distros.

      • As I understand it most of the less commercial distros get away with it by the amazing legal loophole of being based in teh EU, where software patents are illegal.

        What a headache the global village causes for honest lawyers trying to figure out who they can sue. :)

        (part of it may also well be that no one is going to make money by suing slackware)

    • There are som things open source just cant supply legally. MP3, WMA, and some other media formats are amongst those. To be able to get those from CNR would be wonderful. CNR can license those things in another way than an open source dist can. It would be a nice complement and make it easier for the users.

      And they do this already for Linspire users. If you purchased a subscription to CNR, then a legally-licensed DVD-CSS plugin to Xine is $5. I believe MP3 comes free with a purchased Linspire account. The
  • Good idea (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Guspaz ( 556486 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:26AM (#14841421)
    apt-get is darned easy to use, but there are many things available through CNR that aren't in the apt repositories. It is certainly a nice supplement.

    Look at it this way; it is optional. If you don't want it, you are in exactly the same situation as before. If you do want it, you get something extra. It is a win-win situation; you either ignore it, or benefit from it.
  • by Xtifr ( 1323 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:29AM (#14841425) Homepage
    > "Would CNR honestly help Ubuntu grow, or is it just a scheme to cash in on it's success?"

    Why can't it be both? Sheesh, you guys are so narrow minded! :)

    I have zero personal interest in this, even though I like Ubuntu, but I can imagine many people who might find it useful.

    One thing that I would be interested to see is if they can make CNR work (for its target audience) without Linspire's terrible always-run-as-root misfeature.
    • One thing that I would be interested to see is if they can make CNR work (for its target audience) without Linspire's terrible always-run-as-root misfeature.
      It would require the user to enter their password (for sudo) when it's run. That's pretty much as any other admin tool.
    • I agree with you, but I think that it would be even better if CNR could be installed on any Linux distribution. Of course some code tweaking would be necessary, but this could become a great tool for newbies.
  • by NZheretic ( 23872 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @06:59AM (#14841606) Homepage Journal
    Commercial user support services, like Linspire's Click and Run service, and non-freely redistributable code, such as proprietary software and plugins, should not and in most cases cannot be included on Ubuntu's CD/DVD distributions.

    However, there is no reason why Ubuntu could not host Digitally Signed Shell Scripts ( DSSS ) on their website, and by default, include a MIME setting so that web-browsers will pass the script along to a plugin that checks that it has been signed by Ubuntu before executing the shell script. The script would then perform the one click download and install of the required software. The advantage of this is that the DSSS could be linked to by any Ubuntu website, FAQ , help, page etc.

    Two precondition:
    1) Ubuntu should not preselect any one service over another, but include scripts to install competeing services.
    2) Any Ubuntu "affiliated service" that wants a Ubuntu DSSS would be required to sign an agreement to not use it to install any badware [stopbadware.org].

  • by Anonymous Coward
    A quick and easy way to get licensed software (for a fee of course) without having to spend hours looking for unofficial versions. I'd go for it, if the price is right.
  • Hmm.. (Score:1, Insightful)

    It's been stated before, and I agree with it.
    CNR is ok in Ubuntu, since the apt-tool will still be available, for the users amongst us that use Ubuntu and are very happy with it (like yours truly), CNR isn't going to be used. But for the other users who want more apps and easy of use, CNR is going to be the solution.
    Personally I think Ubuntu is great as is, but adding new futures to it that make other people use Ubuntu too, is a great step forward.
  • by advocate_one ( 662832 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @09:19AM (#14841923)
    Computer, User or household...

    I have six Ubuntu boxes at home, would I be expected to pay $120 per year or would I be able to get away with just the one CNR subscription for the household?
  • Hrmmmm (Score:5, Informative)

    by brunes69 ( 86786 ) <[gro.daetsriek] [ta] [todhsals]> on Friday March 03, 2006 @09:48AM (#14842036) Homepage

    CNR for $20 / year for outdated software.

    Or I can use Klik [atekon.de] for free, which does the same thing, is constantly up to date, and is guarenteed to never interfere with my system since all the packages are installed in theor own chroot directories.

    Why doesn't Ubunto adopt Klik? Is it just not as well known?

    • Re:Hrmmmm (Score:3, Informative)

      Ubuntu can use Klik. Most Debian based distros can. There's nothing else for Ubuntu to do.

      Linky [ubuntuforums.org].

      But there's still the problem of obtaining completely legal DVD playing and such.
  • Or at least a few of us did. I know I did. Carmony's ideas are grandiose and thoughtful, but they arent thought out properly. Right down to his inclusion of Doomsday (game dev yagisian noted that the game was not for commercial distribution, and Carmony had to turn around and eat his own words, something I personally loved to see). The idea of including CNR , a pay as you go service, into a fairly all inclusive project like Ubuntu would be at best asinine.

    KingBahamut
    Forum Moderator - ubuntuforums.org
  • I've been following the conversation at ubuntuforums.org with great interest, and, despite early pre/mis-conceptions as to what it's all about, I've got to say I like the idea. For myself, probably not, although if it comes with the same 15-day free run that Linspire users get, I may install it just to see if it lives up to the hype (and Kevin did hype it a lot). I'm fine with apt (and Synaptic, when I'm feeling particularly lazy), but this would be something I could easily reccommend to n00b friends. $2
    • What would be at best to do then, is to port concepts of CNR into Synaptic or other such interface. What Carmony doesnt understand is , how can you do this without charging money, which is his ultimate aim. This is not whole disimiliar to Apple's woes about releasing some of its code to the Open source community (rightly so, OSx86 popped up pretty quick). If Carmony released CNR code to the FOSS community, Id back him. But not at a charge to his benefit. KingBahamut, Ubuntuforums.org
  • I am really considering putting Ubuntu on my Desktop. I think I have enough knowledge about it now (and I can run World of Warcraft via Wine =P) and I was going to use Ubuntu. Personally, $20 a year isn't that bad. If there will still be a free version, thats fine too. Windows costs what, $300 for XP Pro Full, and $200 for the upgrade version. I can go 10 years at $20 a year for Ubuntu for the price on an upgrade for Windows. I really like its free, but since I am used to paying a lot for an OS, a lit
  • FYI... 1. This is just an idea we're kicking around. Someone on the Ubuntu forums asked me if we'd ever do such a thing, and I responded with my post. Don't read too much into this gang, I just wanted to honestly ask the question that posed to me. 2. Mark and I have discussed this. We'd never do this if Mark wasn't OK with it, and Mark would not be OK with it if it goes against the values and mission of Ubuntu. 3. Even if we did this (and that's a big if =), it would NOT be in the Ubuntu distribution.
    • Kevin, I don't know why my modpoints had to disappear in the last week without my noticing (oh, yes I do - I only regularly log in to slashdot on my media center pc, and that's just because I've got my settings all graphically-unobtrusive), but I call for a mod++.

      Also, wtf is wrong with you people? Someone reports on someone else suggesting that a company can offer a for-pay service that is usable by an Ubuntu user out of the box, not bundled in, not directly tied to the software, etc. Result? Four hundr
  • Obviously CNR is a wonderful feature, as is clearly evidenced by all the dozen or so people still using Linspire.

    I kinda get the feeling that I'm the only one who's noticed a problem with the man who stands to gain direct financial benefit from the inclusion of subscription fee-based technology in another distro being it's primary proponent. If instead, Linspire were to mount a covert campaign to infiltrate shills into the Ubuntu forums, people would onto them like white on rice.
  • Ubuntu is FREE. It will always be free. Even if CNR was optional I don't think many people would buy it. I have used Ubuntu and I love it although I currently use SuSE 10.0 (YEAH LINUX!!!!). Even if I had the money, I would never pay for the CNR service. The software you get on it is out of date and quite honestly with a bit of time, you can much better install it by yourself (for FREE!). I am thinking this is just some plan by Linspire to try and get some money out of Ubuntu's success.

"More software projects have gone awry for lack of calendar time than for all other causes combined." -- Fred Brooks, Jr., _The Mythical Man Month_

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