Ubuntu Business Remix update

Jeremy Bicha jbicha at ubuntu.com
Sun Jan 29 18:38:01 UTC 2012

On 29 January 2012 10:49, Mark Shuttleworth <mark at ubuntu.com> wrote:
> On 25/01/12 17:28, Iain Lane wrote:
>> This is where we have problems. As far as Ubuntu developers are
>> concerned, these packages are very much not as much of a part of
>> Ubuntu as the rest of the archive.
> Which Ubuntu developers? Please avoid a simplistic us-and-them response ;-)
>> They live on archive.canonical.com, not archive.ubuntu.com. They're
>> managed by Canonical employees, without (as far as I am aware) any way
>> for the community to get involved. Most importantly, there are
>> (secret) commercial agreements in place between Canonical and the ISVs
>> in question that govern distribution. The rights that users receive
>> are not the same as those they get from software in the main archive.
> Most of those things are true, but the whole misses the point.
> We have actively steered a course of open-ness when it comes to software
> in Ubuntu, modulated by a clear constraint that we should ship only
> non-free applications in the image of standard Ubuntu editions. So, we
> include binary drivers, but not Flash.
> Some of the applications that are important to that whole ecosystem may
> not be redistributed. Partner serves as the vehicle to make those
> available on Ubuntu. Rather than going down the road of seeking to
> marginalize Canonical's role, with prejudicial language like "(secret)
> commercial agreements", please recognise that this is precisely the
> point of building a project which has both community and commercial
> teams working together. Our goal is not to compete with Debian for
> Debianness, we cannot do that and it would not be constructive. Our goal
> is to offer a platform that combines those values with access (easy but
> optional) to the full range of what's possible on Linux.
>> Don't get me wrong, partner is a valuable service to its users, it's
>> just that it is fundamentally different to the Ubuntu archive as far
>> as I can see. It's a service that Canonical provides for Ubuntu, sure,
>> but that doesn't make it a part of Ubuntu itself.
> Yes, yes, and no. Yes, it is different to the standard Ubuntu archives.
> Yes, it is a service provided by Canonical. And no, we disagree, it *is*
> part of Ubuntu. It's a good reason for people to choose Ubuntu, and a
> good reason to recommend it to friends who want the benefits of a free
> and open system but who must also, for whatever reason, have access to
> items that cannot be in the Ubuntu archives.

Mark, you were surprised that a significant number of developers don't
consider the partner repository part of Ubuntu. In addition to what
Laney has pointed out, /etc/apt/sources.list has for years said:

## Uncomment the following two lines to add software from Canonical's
## 'partner' repository.
## This software is not part of Ubuntu, but is offered by Canonical and the
## respective vendors as a service to Ubuntu users.
deb http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu oneiric partner
deb-src http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu oneiric partner

The python-apt template says nearly the same thing:

Suite: precise
Official: false
RepositoryType: deb
BaseURI: http://archive.canonical.com
MatchURI: archive.canonical.com
_Description: Canonical Partners
Component: partner
_CompDescription: Software packaged by Canonical for their partners
_CompDescriptionLong: This software is not part of Ubuntu.


Also, because redistribution of partner apps is "not possible", I
could make a remix of any of the official Ubuntu flavors but I could
not remix a Ubuntu Business Remix with partner apps pre-installed.
That alone is an indicator that this is a major change.

Jeremy Bicha

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