Please don't leave or fork Kubuntu

David Lang david at lang.hm
Thu May 28 18:47:19 UTC 2015


On Thu, 28 May 2015, Steve Riley wrote:

> On 2015-05-28 at 08:43:38, O. Sinclair <o.sinclair at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> I don't see any benefits in "going Debian" or other suggestions I have
>> seen on the net.
>
> Numerous benefits exist for rebasing on Debian.
>
> Kubuntu strives to be as pure of a KDE distribution as practicable. This means 
> that some of what Canonical/Ubuntu develops is unnecessary for us. LightDM, 
> Unity, Mir, Compiz, Scopes/Lenses, and Snappy come to mind, of course. Kubuntu 
> packaging work has largely transitioned from Launchpad to Debian's Alioth (and 
> then just copied to Launchpad). All that we rely on is the core of Ubuntu, 
> which is essentially Debian.
>
> Rebasing on Debian would eliminate unnecessary distraction and the bitter 
> politics that continually accrete around Canonical/Ubuntu.

only to replace them with Debian politics.

One advantage of Kubuntu vs kdebian is that it's easy for Ubuntu folks to try 
KDE (apt-get install kubuntu-desktop). If Kubuntu goes away, getting Ubuntu 
users to try Kdebian will be a lot more work.

Ubuntu is making inroads in the Corporate/Datacenter/Enterprise space. I think 
that this is largly due to the same reason RedHat got into the space, people 
running Linux desktops build servers with the same OS. The Ubuntu LTS versions 
have 'long enough' support cycles to satisfy management, and predictable 
upgrade/end-of-support schedules (very much unlike Debian). I'm also seeing more 
proprietary tools supporting Ubuntu as the base OS, in some cases as the first 
choice (and in a couple, not even listing RedHat as a supportedOS).

Now, you may be opposed to proprietary software, but the reality is that in an 
Enterprise environment, you are going to find some. There are niches that FOSS 
software doesn't do as well (or doesn't do in a way that makes Management feel 
warm and fuzzy regarding support for example). Such choices do end up driving 
which Linux Distro is used. Back in the day, Oracle only supported RedHat, so if 
you were a serious shop that wanted to run Oracle, you had to have RedHat, and 
if you had RedHat for some things, why not use it for everything?

Yes, Kubuntu is a desktop offering, not a datacenter offering, but the value of 
running the same thing is there.

Walking away from this space will cost quite a bit of potential.

For example, Google runs a customized Ubuntu on their desktops. Many of their 
users run Kubuntu. Those users won't be able to switch to Kdebian, so if Kubuntu 
goes away, some of those users will still install KDE manually, but I'll bet 
that most will just switch to a different desktop.

David Lang




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