Why no mention of GNU?

Benj. Mako Hill mako at canonical.com
Tue Apr 12 11:14:09 CDT 2005

<quote who="Tollef Fog Heen" date="2005-04-10 23:46:11 +0200">
> There has been talk of a GNUbuntu with only free-as-in-FSF-free
> software.  Anybody is free to do that, and it should be easy once
> Launchpad is ready.

Ubuntu does a good job of splitting software into different components
by freeness and structuring support so that, with the exception of
restricted, everything that is supported Ubuntu is free. We're not in
a bad situation there. The idea behind GNUbuntu would be to drop those
components and provide a website that did not link to or mention using
non-free software including drivers and firmware. This is something
that RMS has said he would be willing to support and link to from the
GNU project and FSF home page.

This will probably happen at some point in the future after launchpad
is launched.

However, Richard doesn't want us to call the distribution GNUbuntu.

It seems to boil down to the fact that (a) he doesn't want us to use
the GNU name because it might imply that the GNU project and himself
have a closer relationship to us than to other free software
distributions which he likes more and (b) he thinks that the GNU name
would be confusing because it would imply that we were a GNU project
or imply than the normal Ubuntu was not GNU.

/me shrugs


Benjamin Mako Hill
mako at canonical.com

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