What if Ubuntu goes away

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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby SurfaceUnits on Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:09 pm

Seems to me, Ubuntu is a distro without a hardware platform. The majority of Linux users are desktop/laptop users, whereas every tablet made today is made for a specific OS platform. Ubuntu needs to have Acer or Asus, etc build a tablet or Ubuntubook for them if they insist on Unity being its DE.
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby igor83 on Mon Dec 31, 2012 11:36 pm

SurfaceUnits wrote:Seems to me, Ubuntu is a distro without a hardware platform. The majority of Linux users are desktop/laptop users, whereas every tablet made today is made for a specific OS platform. Ubuntu needs to have Acer or Asus, etc build a tablet or Ubuntubook for them if they insist on Unity being its DE.


Actually that's happened and it's making a buzz.
Pretty clear to me that Canonical is pursuing the "gadget" market and not caring much about the desktop users, and Microsoft's doing likewise with Windows Ache.
Fortunately Linux Mint is and probably always will be desktop-friendly. So who needs Ubuntu? Not me. But if it's packaged and redesigned within Linux Mint, then that is acceptable.
My desktop runs 64-bit Kubuntu 13.04, my htpc runs 64-bit Linux Mint Nadia Xfce, my answering machine runs 64-bit windows 7, and my laptop runs 64-bit Linux Mint Nadia KDE. Each seems suited to its purpose.
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby SurfaceUnits on Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:40 am

When they come out with a consumer edition(Chromebooks selling for 2 bills), maybe.
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby Thaeri on Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:41 pm

I don't understand why they couldn't just have made an additional interface for phones and tablets instead of forcing desktop users to use it too. Sure, it would probably have taken a few more resources, but seeing how many different editions with different desktop environments they already have it's a bit inconsistent not to.
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby mfluder on Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:50 pm

I think the proper question is, "What is the future of Canonical?" I can see Canonical going the path of Microsoft and company. What happens to our precious Ubuntu base then? Don't lose heart. I'm sure Clem and team considered these things years ago. :D
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby dee. on Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:28 pm

Now that Canonical is considering further fragmenting the linux ecosystem by creating their own display server instead of using wayland... this to me is much more worrying than Ubuntu dying and leaving Mint without a base.

All these corporate systems are showing up that use the linux kernel - Android & ChromeOS basically exist only to pad the pockets of google, they use the linux kernel but have nothing to do with the desktop linux per se, they're not compatible and don't use the same technology. You can't run the usual linux/gnu/x11 programs on either system. Now if Ubuntu wants to go to the same direction, it would be a major blow against the linux ecosystem, because all the developer attention towards ubuntu (steam, et al) would then be directed ONLY towards Ubuntu and not other distros. We'd get another incompatible linux-based OS, whose apps would be written for Ubuntu's display server and wouldn't run on other distros.

At that point, Mint would have to choose between two options - stay with X/Wayland and forget all apps that are written for ubuntu (in which case there'd be no point in basing the distro on ubuntu anymore), or go for ubuntu's display server and enable their bad behaviour...
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby catweazel on Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:15 am

Condorman wrote:As it is, with Ubuntu seemingly losing its status as the go-to Linux desktop, this could put Mint in a precarious position.

lol - the irony... according to distrowatch, Mint _is_ the goto Linux.
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby KBD47 on Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:22 am

I would not want to see Ubuntu go under, but I'm not the least bit worried that Mint could not survive without it. Mint has already proven with support of MATE and the Cinnamon desktop it can make it on its own terms. There are hundreds of Linux OSs Mint could build on, including Debian.
My concern is the changing landscape to mobile devices. I am not confident Ubuntu is going to succeed there, and if it fails in that last hope, you have to wonder where Ubuntu/Canonical will end up.
I would love to see Mint take a hard look at WebOS and/or Chromium OS or some other open source mobile/cloud platform and build for future mobile, cloud based devices, and hook up with more hardware vendors. Though there will be millions of old computers around for a long time able to run Linux, the technological landscape is changing very fast.
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby tdockery97 on Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:48 am

I really think that the Mint development team, under Clem's guidance, is fully capable of continuing on with or without Ubuntu. They have developed Mint using this base for 6-7 years now, so they should be able to keep both Mint and the underlying base going on their own.
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby igor83 on Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:20 pm

tdockery97 wrote:I really think that the Mint development team, under Clem's guidance, is fully capable of continuing on with or without Ubuntu. They have developed Mint using this base for 6-7 years now, so they should be able to keep both Mint and the underlying base going on their own.


For real. If ubuntu went wacko and LM had to abandon it, then guess which distro would love to serve as ubuntu's replacement? You guessed it, Open Suse. They'd think they'd died and gone to heaven if Linux Mint started using Open Suse as the base instead of ubuntu. Open Suse needs help for sure, and ubuntu/LM has figured out a lot of things that OS is still wrestling with, like package updates. But I'm sure there would be a lot of issues and complications arising from that. I don't think OS has kept pace with ubuntu over the years.
My desktop runs 64-bit Kubuntu 13.04, my htpc runs 64-bit Linux Mint Nadia Xfce, my answering machine runs 64-bit windows 7, and my laptop runs 64-bit Linux Mint Nadia KDE. Each seems suited to its purpose.
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby mfluder on Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:07 pm

open suse? I hope not. check out this article: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/mic ... pact/10164

Your future linux mint distros could end up having Microsoft branding if they go with open suse!
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby cwwgateway on Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:51 pm

openSUSE is funded by SUSE, but it is a community project and not technically affiliated with SUSE (besides the name). openSUSE basically has no official position on that issue.

As for a base, TBH Mint doesn't contribute that much to the underlying technology of the system - for the most part they provide tweaks and utilities for the graphical part of the OS, which is very important, but I don't think it addresses the problems you were talking about. While openSUSE could benefit from more attention and utilities Mint develops, at the same time it would still have other problems that may be outside the scope of Mint. Many Mint ideas went upstream in the earlier days, but many more did not. openSUSE has a solid following and base, and it improves fairly consistently. It definitely needs improvement, but I don't think it's in that bad of a shape. I love what Mint does, but in some of the areas (such as package updates) what Mint has done hasn't gone upstream to Debian or Ubuntu. Mint could make them work better on openSUSE, but I'm not sure if it would go upstream.

Personally, my favorite bases go in the following order: Debian, Arch, Ubuntu, openSUSE, Fedora... For Mint, assuming Ubuntu went away, I'd go with: Debian, and then openSUSE. Fedora is often too bleeding edge, and Arch isn't user friendly (but I personally like the model). Mageia is a possibility (I've never tried it but it apparently is good and stable-ish). Personally I like the idea of Fuduntu, and Sabayon is nice, although I don't like the package manager at all (it is very slow, which is a problem when you perform many updates very often with a rolling release).

Edit:
Quote from openSUSE wiki on the microsoft deal:

The SUSE-Microsoft Deal

We recognize that some people have issues with the deal made between SUSE and Microsoft. However, it is important to understand that openSUSE is a community project that is sponsored by SUSE, not controlled by SUSE. We have more sponsors, including B1, Heinlein and IP Exchange.

The reality is that openSUSE itself had no relationship to the deal and in this instance we are similar to any other major distro. We have bits that may be considered controversial, (e.g., Mono-based software) but this is the same for other major distros such as Fedora or Ubuntu.

We, as a Project, have no official position on the deal, nor are we an agent of SUSE, and any opinions about the deal are expressed by the individual.
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby dee. on Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:57 pm

KBD47 wrote: I would love to see Mint take a hard look at WebOS and/or Chromium OS or some other open source mobile/cloud platform and build for future mobile, cloud based devices, and hook up with more hardware vendors. Though there will be millions of old computers around for a long time able to run Linux, the technological landscape is changing very fast.


Despite the claims of tablet/smartphone enthusiasts, desktop computers are not going to go anywhere. We still have radios even though TV's have been available for decades. It's just a case of right tool for the right job, and there are still going to be plenty of use cases where tablets or even laptops are inadequate for the job, for the foreseeable future.

I don't think it would be beneficial for Mint to "go mobile" - firstly, because the competition there is brutal, and it's a much more volatile market than the desktop space. Without huge resources it's very hard to penetrate that market. And secondly, because the current unfortunate situation is, that without OEM AND carrier support you have snowball's chances in a really hot place of making it in the mobile market. What we really need is open hardware tablets and smartphones, mobile devices that behave just like desktop computers in that they'd have a bios (or equivalent) and the possibility to install whatever OS you want. Currently it's just hard to accomplish, because all the different ARM platforms are incompatible with each other, and it's impossible to make a single ISO that would run on any ARM device. ARMv8 will probably (hopefully) help with that problem, but it's still probably a year or two away. And carriers are going to resist this, because their business model is partially based on locking up and controlling what goes on people's devices.

Anyway, I don't think it would be wise for Mint to go for the mobile computing space. I think Mint should stick with what it does best, providing a clean, usable and fast desktop/laptop-oriented system for desktop/laptop computers. Too many are getting their fingers burned chasing the latest trends. If and when we get mobile hardware that is truly open, in that you can install any OS you want on it, then the situation might be different, and a spin-off mobile version of Mint might be appropriate. But right now, I don't think it'd be wise.

As for cloud-based computing, it's still highly problematic due to various reasons - privacy concerns, erraticity and varying quality/bandwidth of internet connections, etc. Google makes chromium profitable because the minute you open your chromebook, you start using google's web services and producing more data for them. You use an open source OS locally, but you connect to google's closed and proprietary server-side applications. That's just another type of lock-in, and not an example that Mint should follow.
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby cwwgateway on Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:44 pm

KBD47 wrote: My concern is the changing landscape to mobile devices. I am not confident Ubuntu is going to succeed there, and if it fails in that last hope, you have to wonder where Ubuntu/Canonical will end up.
I would love to see Mint take a hard look at WebOS and/or Chromium OS or some other open source mobile/cloud platform and build for future mobile, cloud based devices, and hook up with more hardware vendors. Though there will be millions of old computers around for a long time able to run Linux, the technological landscape is changing very fast.

I have to agree with dee. for the most part. Clem and the Mint Team are very good at making a desktop distribution, but they don't have the expertise required for a mobile OS. Carriers aren't going to ship a product created by two men (clem and fredg - I'm sure there'd be a community around it but carriers are going to look at the official team) with no serious commercial backing. This goes for hardware vendors too, although to a somewhat lesser extent (linux hardware vendors might ship Mint; some already do). Whether you agree or disagree with Canonical, it is a serious commercial entity backing a product, and it has a much better potential for penetration in the hardware market (both phone and laptop/desktop). And even with commercial backing and a larger dev team, the success of Ubuntu Phone is doubtful (although I would like to be cautiously optimistic - I'm hoping it can find a niche in emerging markets). WebOS is from HP - I'm not sure what LM would do with it. ChromeBooks are starting to interest me, but they seem to have a limited appeal considering the lack of a real office suite (google docs doesn't count). I think desktops and laptops will be necessary for certain forms of work in the mid-/long-term. Eventually, it's very possible new devices evolve to the point where they are as, if not more, productive than today's desktops and laptops. However, that ability doesn't exist currently so I think desktops should continue to be the focus of Mint.

At the same time, integration with the cloud is an interesting idea - building cloud integration into Cinnamon would be an interesting proposition.
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby dee. on Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:42 pm

cwwgateway wrote:At the same time, integration with the cloud is an interesting idea - building cloud integration into Cinnamon would be an interesting proposition.


Thing is, it's (for now) still very expensive to provide worldwide cloud-based services reliably, and for Mint to be able to pull that off, they would need a large userbase that would be willing to pay for the service. Google is only able to provide cloud services for free because they monetize their users in ways that Mint probably (hopefully) wouldn't be comfortable with.

The cloud services would also have to satisfy some kind of need, in order for users to want to use (and pay for) them. With Mint running primarily on desktops/laptops that have sufficient local processing power and storage to run pretty much everything locally, cloud computing or web apps seem kind of pointless. Chromebooks don't offer local apps and have relatively low powered CPU's, which they compensate for their low price, so the cloud solution makes somewhat sense from the user perspective there. Since Mint doesn't have comparable hardware offerings, I don't really see this kind of cloud service working for Mint.

Cloud storage would be one possibility, similar to Ubuntu One - that would be one service I could pay a reasonable (ie. small, I'm poor) amount for if that money went to support Mint. Email boxes would also be one thing that could be done relatively cheaply (although most people seem to be satisfied with crappy webmail services these days).

Web hosting and virtual servers - now this would open up some very interesting possibilities. Think about it - you configure your Mint installation locally, maybe on a separate partition or in a VM, then you copy that to the remote virtual server and sync it with the local one, so that you can make any changes you want locally and they will show up on your remote web server. That'd be cool. Even if you don't want to host any webpages, you could set up a remote virtual system that you could access anywhere, which you could tweak locally when you'd be home, there's surely all kinds of things you could use that kind of setup for.
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby KBD47 on Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:13 pm

I would not suggest Mint give up on the desktop/laptop market :-) But I do think it would not be a bad idea to keep an eye on where computing is obviously headed. KDE Plasma Active is preparing for this. I expect we will see a flood of white box tablets around $99 and less over the next few years and I see Linux as a good fit for some of those. Right now you can buy tablets that dual-boot Android and Linux. You can buy Chromebooks that will run Linux as well. You can't think of tablets/Chromebooks like phones, they mostly run on wifi and there is no carrier lock in. Any hotspot, anyplace with wifi and you are ready to go. What does Mint do right now? It polishes open source Linux and makes it user friendly. It doesn't make all the apps, it makes a nice interface and gives it polish and usability and a good out of the box experience. Open Source Chromium OS does not offer out of the box usability, doesn't even have flash. And with all apologies to Plasma Active, it is an ugly, rather horrible tablet interface that sits on top of Mer, Meego, Kubuntu. Mint could do a better job in my opinion, use Google's store and apps, but do what Mint does great now, provide an open source, user friendly interface that could be easily installed or booted from an sdcard. Why wait for someone else to do it when Mint could do it better :-)
But I'm not suggesting Mint should drop everything and immediately jump into the tablet/Chromebook space, just that it might not be a bad idea to take a good look and consider a few years down the road how Mint could expand. Small, compact, portable computing is here and there is no stopping it IMO.
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby cwwgateway on Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:05 pm

@dee.
I actually meant easier integration with already existing cloud services. I'm not sure if it should be default, but integration with one or multiple cloud services would be really interesting - You could have Google Docs integrated into nemo, ability to automatically save files to the cloud (dropbox or google docs or other), etc.

@KBD47
I think that's a very valid point. However, maybe while everyone else is going mobile-y, Mint could stay desktop-y. Small compact forms of computing are great, but I think they aren't really the purpose of Mint. I would be interested in a chromebook edition, but even that seems like a different goal than Mint's. When Ubuntu went unified-experience with Unity, Mint stayed traditional, and that seemed to cause an increase in users. Not that there are any particularly reliable stats, but donations went up fairly dramatically with Mint 12 and have stayed up at that level since. If you watch distrowatch (which is, admittedly, not an accurate source), Mint skyrocketed to No. 1 after Mint 12. I think a better play for Mint is to be conservative and go after more of the traditional desktop space.

At the same time, I think it would be very interesting for some project (including Ubuntu) to go for a really good mobile experience. Lately I've been leaning towards getting a tablet and going back to a desktop for my work computing. I have to wait a number of years to get a new computer (just go my last one a year ago on the 21st), and I'm hoping the mobile market will have solidified by then with solid linux alternatives. I just don't think that's Mint's job. Mint could do a great tablet thing, but I don't see it getting enough traction due to it being rather hard to install and get hardware manufacturers on board. Unity was designed for a tablet/phone form factor, whereas Cinnamon and Mint's ideals are designed for a Desktop and Laptop form factor.

Edit: I meant to add that if Mint could offer a good sd card installer that was easy to use, it would take A LOT of time away from other aspects. I think that would be better left in the hands of those who are trying to make mobile OSs with larger dev teams.
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby dee. on Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:17 am

KBD47 wrote:But I do think it would not be a bad idea to keep an eye on where computing is obviously headed.


Great, let me know when you figure that out. And let the rest of us borrow your crystal ball...
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby cwwgateway on Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:39 am

dee. wrote:
KBD47 wrote:But I do think it would not be a bad idea to keep an eye on where computing is obviously headed.


Great, let me know when you figure that out. And let the rest of us borrow your crystal ball...

I think the large growth in the mobile sector shows that there is an increased focus on mobile devices as well as portable devices such as ultrabooks, chromebooks, and tablets. It is fair to say that, based on past growth, computing is going mobile (or maybe it already has). However, at the same time, I think it's important to recognize that desktops (and desktop-replacement laptops), are still required for productivity and will be required in the foreseeable future. I think that, while there is little growth in traditional PC sales, the industry will remain large because there's still a significant demand for it. The industry isn't going to disappear overnight, and it doesn't show any signs of disappearing over the next few years. It is obviously very important to keep an eye on new technology and the direction computing is headed, but I also think that Mint should remain focused on the desktop for the time being.
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby igor83 on Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:00 am

cwwgateway wrote:openSUSE is funded by SUSE, but it is a community project and not technically affiliated with SUSE (besides the name). openSUSE basically has no official position on that issue.

As for a base, TBH Mint doesn't contribute that much to the underlying technology of the system - for the most part they provide tweaks and utilities for the graphical part of the OS, which is very important, but I don't think it addresses the problems you were talking about. While openSUSE could benefit from more attention and utilities Mint develops, at the same time it would still have other problems that may be outside the scope of Mint. Many Mint ideas went upstream in the earlier days, but many more did not. openSUSE has a solid following and base, and it improves fairly consistently. It definitely needs improvement, but I don't think it's in that bad of a shape. I love what Mint does, but in some of the areas (such as package updates) what Mint has done hasn't gone upstream to Debian or Ubuntu. Mint could make them work better on openSUSE, but I'm not sure if it would go upstream.

Personally, my favorite bases go in the following order: Debian, Arch, Ubuntu, openSUSE, Fedora... For Mint, assuming Ubuntu went away, I'd go with: Debian, and then openSUSE. Fedora is often too bleeding edge, and Arch isn't user friendly (but I personally like the model). Mageia is a possibility (I've never tried it but it apparently is good and stable-ish). Personally I like the idea of Fuduntu, and Sabayon is nice, although I don't like the package manager at all (it is very slow, which is a problem when you perform many updates very often with a rolling release).

Edit:
Quote from openSUSE wiki on the microsoft deal:

The SUSE-Microsoft Deal

We recognize that some people have issues with the deal made between SUSE and Microsoft. However, it is important to understand that openSUSE is a community project that is sponsored by SUSE, not controlled by SUSE. We have more sponsors, including B1, Heinlein and IP Exchange.

The reality is that openSUSE itself had no relationship to the deal and in this instance we are similar to any other major distro. We have bits that may be considered controversial, (e.g., Mono-based software) but this is the same for other major distros such as Fedora or Ubuntu.

We, as a Project, have no official position on the deal, nor are we an agent of SUSE, and any opinions about the deal are expressed by the individual.


Come to think of it, I agree that Debian would be the more obvious choice as a base, because their Synaptic Package manager rocks. In fact the only area where I think Open Suse may have some kind of advantage may be in the installer. I tried out Open Suse 12.3 beta and was impressed with the way that it created, by default I think, a little 20 gig partition for the root, and then created a separate partition for /Home. Sensible, no? That should make future installs easier because /Home does not need to change during any upgrade. Another thing I liked about beta was the very nice dark wallpaper and dark themes available. For those who prefer less eyestrain at the computer, OpenSuse seems tailor-made, whereas Ubuntu and Linux Mint I think still don't get dark backgrounds. I often find that the dark themes in those distros leave some text or graphical components in certain areas invisible. However, the package updater in the beta version still had a lot of problems, as it did in all previous versions of OpenSuse. It seems a shame they can't borrow the one that is used in Debian or ubuntu because obviously those teams have figured out package updates, and why go on with a kludge when you can swap it out for something that works?

I'm not too worried about the Microsoft/Novell thing myself. I think that issue was a bit overblown although it may have hurt the feelings of some and was certainly insensitive and arrogant of both companies. But of course the relationship to OpenSuse is indirect.

I don't plan to try Fedora because of the reviews I've read about its problems, and Arch, well I don't want to poke around the command line much more than I have to or want to. But Arch surely has the best documentation available of all the distros, and I use it to figure out my Linux Mint problems. :mrgreen:
My desktop runs 64-bit Kubuntu 13.04, my htpc runs 64-bit Linux Mint Nadia Xfce, my answering machine runs 64-bit windows 7, and my laptop runs 64-bit Linux Mint Nadia KDE. Each seems suited to its purpose.
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