Considerations about official localized editions of Live CDs

Savvas Radevic vicedar at
Wed Dec 16 15:43:21 GMT 2009

Aron, have you tried the DVD iso?

It contains the packages of localized versions of Ubuntu for all languages.
Maybe this is what you need. :)

2009/12/16 Aron Xu <happyaron.xu at>

> Thanks Tom, but I think your suggestion isn't very to the point perhaps.
> I want to talk about *official* localized CDs rather than customized
> versions either done by local governments or other teams and individuals,
> and my concerns have been stated in the initial mail. We have many editions
> that aren't officially approved by our community, and some of them are in
> Distrowatch's list,but that's really not enough. Most of them is just like
> your company makes a tweaked version and only be trusted by a small amount
> of people, and only an official one can be reliable enough to most people
> desiring to have a fully localized environment at the very beginning of
> their experience.
> Can you imagine if Microsoft doesn't provide a localized version of Windows
> for your language, what will their customers do? Ubuntu is free software and
> the situation can be better in some possibilities, but providing the
> localized editions is a big step forward in our progress, which I've
> mentioned at the first thread.
> To ubuntu-devel subscribers, my first mail was posted to ubuntu-devel but
> not approved till this message being composed, please have a look at
> Zhengpeng Hou's mail, which included all my message in a reply.
> Regards,
> Aron Xu
> On Wed, Dec 16, 2009 at 10:55 PM, Tom Davies <tomdavies04 at>
> wrote:
>> Hi :)
>> Many governments already produce their own linux version for their people
>> to
>> use. In many cases governments even employ people to help with such
>> developments. Often Ubuntu is the chosen linux distro to work from but
>> some
>> countries choose other versions of linux, China and Turkey famously
>> developed their own from scratch.
>> Perhaps we just need to support advertising or promoting the Ubuntu
>> versions
>> where they are not widely known? Perhaps we could get links to their sites
>> from the main Ubuntu homepage?
>> DistroWatch is an excellent place to look-up these different versions as
>> it
>> puts a lot of work into keeping their data up-to-date, man other sites
>> look
>> better but fail to be so up-to-date and comprehensive
>> From their front page for today i got to these 2 new releases earlier this
>> week ...
>> As another example a quick search for "Spain" on  their site, using their
>> search feature gave these results
>> Also scroll down their Ubuntu page to their "Related Web Sites" in the
>> table
>> there
>> Perhaps this would be useful to link to from the main Ubuntu homepage?
>> In Community Documentation there are instructions for anyone wanting to
>> create their own Customised Cd although i think it needs translating into
>> human languages as even my own edits of it are almost completely
>> incomprehensible techno-babble
>> I hope something here helps?
>> Good luck and many regards from
>> Tom :)
>> ________________________________
>> From: "happyaron.xu at" <happyaron.xu at>
>> To: ubuntu-devel at
>> Cc: ubuntu-translators at; loco-contacts at
>> Sent: Wed, 16 December, 2009 6:31:56
>> Subject: Considerations about official localized editions of Live CDs
>> Hi everyone,
>> It is a proven fact that Ubuntu, the Linux for Human Beings, is a great
>> GNU/Linux distribution, which enables more and more people all over the
>> world enjoy free software, share their knowledge and joys.
>> Being an user of Ubuntu, I must say all the work done by the community and
>> Canonical is awesome; but as a contributor from a not English spoken
>> country, I would be extremely happy to see we can launch localized edition
>> Live CDs, in other words language specific edition Live CDs for users that
>> have different languages and preferences.
>> For different languages there always be different cultures, and this
>> caused
>> to different user preferences. There are many people don't have enough
>> knowledge about English to use a not localized computer in this world. A
>> user of this kind will find it essential to download and install many
>> thing
>> to complete their language support when they installed Ubuntu from our
>> Live
>> CD in the past and at present. Most of these users have some common usage
>> of
>> software, so install these "language preferred" software is another
>> required
>> task before the system is usable. Do you think such a thing is very
>> annoying? Yes, users would be much happier when they find an operating
>> system designed to be very considerate.
>> We have spent lots of man power on improving the process of installation
>> including language support, and a GNU/Linux distribution always ships not
>> only a system but also a set of selected applications, but I think things
>> are still not perfect for us. Microsoft and Apple make their operating
>> systems have different language's editions, and as a non-native English
>> speaker, I 'd like to say it worth. Users prefer to have a fully localized
>> environment in every corner they can see from the very beginning. But for
>> Ubuntu we can only add translations of software that used during
>> installation. The live session is an exciting feature, but I always here
>> somebody ask "why are those all in English?""is there a fully translated
>> Ubuntu available?" I've explained our current situation times by times,
>> and
>> these people always return to say "Ubuntu  is great, but if there is a
>> fully
>> translated one, things will be even better." The way to solve such
>> problem,
>> is having a language specific edition.
>> So there are teams and individuals appear to make their distributions
>> based
>> on Ubuntu, or we are regarding them as Ubuntu Derivatives. The existence
>> of
>> these derivatives help us spread our distribution in the positive side,
>> but
>> there are really negative side, it's not just a problem on user choice,
>> like
>> between Fedora and Ubuntu, but something influence our build of community.
>> Those derivatives always not only ship language packs but also some small
>> tweaks for specific user groups  (not like Mint, which makes some bigger
>> differences). Due to many reasons, there always be breakages and bugs that
>> never existed in official Live CD. Users have to choose a provider that he
>> or she can trust when they are about to turn to Ubuntu but can hardly
>> accept
>> to start from a global edition Live CD with minor support of his or her
>> language. But who can make sure the quality of these derivatives? Perhaps
>> nobody can tell. For the derivatives provided by non-profit organizations,
>> situations are better than those profit-driven teams. I know some editions
>> have changes that bring security holes, ship Ads (e.g. hard change on
>> Firefox home page which point to a site full of Ads), and of course some
>> of
>> them refused to open there changes. Yes, users are able to drop those
>> unwilling changes, but why he or she tries a derivative if they like to
>> deal
>> with such issues? We may still say it doesn't matter a lot up to here.
>> Then,
>> most of those derivative's authors don't supply support even though some
>> of
>> them have make changes and cause problems, and even some of them push the
>> support work to local community deliberately. Apart from general
>> questions,
>> these users always ask about problems caused by derivative's changes. It
>> is
>> an annoying and overwhelming job to answer, even just tell them "to use
>> the
>> official one" can be an awful thing that few people like to do. This lead
>> to
>> discount to our community, and those users may think Ubuntu and our
>> community are not friendly because most of them don't know the real
>> situation exactly.
>> Making official localized Live CDs can also lead to a new stage of Live CD
>> usage. A Live CD can be used as a demo, a rescue system, or even a
>> temporary
>> working environment, the live session is a feature that many users like
>> very
>> much. As mentioned before, a not English spoken user can find some very
>> limited support in the current Live CD. We need to admit it can hardly be
>> used to do anything other than run a installation. Even for a demo
>> purpose,
>> other will always ask about the nearly all English environment. I've said
>> in
>> the beginning of this piece, users prefer to seeing that every corner he
>> or
>> she can reach is localized. To achieve a better usage of Live CD, a full
>> localization is critical for these users. As for languages that need input
>> method to input characters, for instance CJK languages (Chinese, Japanese
>> and Korean), without a full featured input method, their usage of Live CD
>> can be even more limited. It is really hard to input these complex
>> scripts,
>> though we have ibus with general m17n support by default, but you can only
>> type characters one by one, such thing look very ridiculous for nowadays
>> input method development and usage. When you cannot input a sentence, how
>> can you make it even if you just want to search the web for some articles
>> via live session?
>> Apart from the meanings of official localized Live CDs above, users can
>> save
>> time on downloading and installing language support and perhaps other
>> common
>> software using a localized Live CD. For example, to complete a basic
>> language support of Chinese needs around 100MiB to be downloaded, such a
>> size only count in the language packs and input method without pulling in
>> any other common software like StarDict to land on the system. With a
>> localized Live CD, users can have a usable environment to be installed
>> when
>> they can't access a fast Internet connection, or even without a
>> connection,
>> such feature is obviously welcomed by many users who have desired it for
>> long. With a fully localized environment, we can simplify user's
>> configuration process, and make it really almost ready-to-use once
>> installed.
>> Making the localized Live CDs don't need any changes on our most
>> infrastructures, it is just a matter of default selection of software in
>> the
>> CD. This will cause some more work for CD image team, translation
>> exportation and our ISO building facilities, but I think it worth it. The
>> intention of default package sets and some QA work can be done by the LoCo
>> teams.
>> We can't provide Live CDs for all languages, especially at the very
>> beginning, but starting with having a try for some languages that have
>> special need of care and a big amount of potential users is worthwhile. We
>> can accumulate experience and make the process better. Windows and Macs
>> can
>> have language specific editions, why we can't?
>> Providing official localized editions can be a big step forward on
>> spreading
>> Ubuntu and free software to the world. The progress of making it out is
>> another try on the cooperation of development community and local
>> communities. Ubuntu is Linux for Human Beings, I think such an action is
>> really to that point, which will benefit a lot of users throughout the
>> world.
>> Best regards,
>> Aron Xu
>> --
>> ubuntu-translators mailing list
>> ubuntu-translators at
> --
> loco-contacts mailing list
> loco-contacts at
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