Before you read:
This post was originally written to present the judgement passed on by Free Software advocates in Venezuela about Ubuntu and how We, the Ubuntu-ve LoCo Team, feel about Ubuntu and its commitment to Software Freedom. In our country, this topic has been around ever since Ubuntu was founded, but the health check on some of the statements hadn’t been as publicly as it needs to be. Some of the comments with which Ubuntu is judged by some Free software advocates are very outdated and this post rather highlights Ubuntu’s ever-growing commitment to the Free Software ecosystem. It was originally written in Spanish and part of it still makes references to discussions in mailing list in ubuntu-ve (spanish). Some comments from the Ubuntu community have made me want to put this out in English as well. big thank-yous to all in the community, your synergy really helps in tough times.
With regards my references to Gobuntu.
Jeremy Bicha writes:
“Gobuntu was discontinued as it was believed there is no need for a separate distro for “free software only” as the Ubuntu disk itself (as you mentioned) supports that option. https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Gobuntu“
Thanks to Jeremy and Steve Fagan for this correction.
With this post I would like to publish my ideas on a issue we face when we promote Ubuntu, however I am almost certain that the same applies for various distribution projects. Whenever I participate in events, I hear people say “Ubuntu is not free” and after many years of reflection, I would like to add a comment on this.
Ubuntu is a project of Debian-based operating system, a universal operating system based on GNU / Linux. The project is sponsored by Canonical LTD. Ubuntu allows derivative works and allows collaboration across all aspects of its development. With regards to any ethical considerations in Ubuntu-ve discussed this some months ago and I think the result was an analysis of Ubuntu’s commitment to the free software movement. I don’t seek discuss the phrase “Ubuntu is not free” but I would like to add comments.
Ubuntu does not include “Non-Free” desktop software in a default installation: When installing Ubuntu, there is no desktop software that can be considered “Non Free” and that’s the main premise of Ubuntu today. Ubuntu provides the best free software to millions of people using it daily. Ubuntu never promotes proprietary applications over Free Software. However, it allows people who want to use non-free software, such as Skype. This is something that is true for Debian, Fedora, OpenSuse, ArchLinux, and even in the considered free distributions like gNewSense. The user chooses. Ubuntu does not force the user to use “non-free” software.
Ubuntu allows the user to choose what to do with propietary hardware: With a friendly interface, Ubuntu informs the hardware is not free and even makes the author of the driver responsible if you need support on it. It is important to emphasize that there is non-free modules in the Ubuntu kernel that allow a lot of hardware to just work.
Ubuntu installation allows only Free Software and has a 100% free official derivative: Gobuntu is a distribution made by the Ubuntu project to promote a 100% free operating system, has served as the basis for 100% free derivatives because it is easier than to remove the “non-free” bits to allow some proprietary hardware to work. There is an option in the live CD to install a 100% free (press F6 twice). This easily enables you to have a 100% free system.
Ubuntu highlights the importance of Free Software in its philosophy: As a project, Ubuntu is quite vocal about their role in the world of free software. His philosophy is based on the principles of free software and it is also the task of the local community (LoCo Teams) to disseminate these principles.
There is much judgement passed in Venezuela with respect to Ubuntu and the recurring phrase is “Non Free”, however I am sure many agree with me when I say “Ubuntu is committed to free software”. It has proven for years that is capable of carrying the flag and fight battles side by side with proprietary giants in a less political and legal level and more concrete and tangible basis.
My compliments to those who today can say they have 100% freedom in their desktops and laptops in a world where 90% of users think about bad apples and broken windows.
Our commitment to software freedom is why we will converge on the road.
P.D. I am willing to discuss this matter with the seriousness it deserves and I hope your comments stay up for a healthy discussion.