Proposal: Ubuntu Metadistribution

Alex Jones alex at
Sat Apr 21 14:46:02 UTC 2007


One thing to consider here is that the FOSS scene gets enough stick
about fragmentation with the sheer number of distributions we already
have. 4 official variations of Ubuntu is enough for me.

You have to remember why Ubuntu works as well as it does in the first
place - because canonical took a core set of software and decided to
support it. By having lots of variations as you propose, it will make QA
orders of magnitude more difficult.

I think this proposal will have to wait until Ubuntu has grown into
something much bigger and much more mature. While Ubuntu is indeed the
flagship of "it just works" distros, I don't think it's quite at the
level it needs to be before we can start diluting efforts.


On Sat, 2007-04-21 at 08:13 +0200, Gueven Bay wrote:
> > 
> > Your description roughly matches the way that Ubuntu is already structured.
> Yes, it matches the way Ubuntu is structured. But - as you know - Ubuntu is GNU/Linux
> today. The first new proposal of me was to get other free operating systems under Ubuntu's
> project. 
> > That is, I don't see any work to be done on the core OS in order to enable
> > the development of the derivatives you describe.  
> You are very right. For the core Ubuntu as it is today you don't have any work to be done.
> The only work to be done if Ubuntu Metadistribution is going to be reality is to include 
> the other OSes step for step into the Ubuntu structure (repository, live cds and so on). 
> > There is already a
> > derivative of Ubuntu using the OpenSolaris kernel, for example.
> Thank you very much for bringing this distribution into discussion. 
> As cool as Nexenta - the Ubuntu OpenSolaris mix disro - is it has in my eyes one flaw:
> It mixes two worlds - the world of (Open)Solaris and GNU/Linux- on a very low level : It uses the kernel
> of on OS (Solaris) and uses the (low level) libraries and userland of another (GNU/Linux). 
> This mix is not good. 
> For one: The low level libs of GNU and also the userland is today developed with Linux in mind.
> But - staying in this example - (Open)Solaris has its own proven and tested libs and userland which the
> users of this operating system like and know. The mix on this level is - today at least - not good. 
> For two: Users who want to use (Open)Solaris want the full (Open)Solaris "experience" (I hope you can see
> what I want to say here.) There are many who don't like the GNu userland for example.
> (For three: -As the Ubuntu folks come from Debian they would understand this - The mixing of libs and userland
> Nexenta does is not clean as the license questions are stil not solved today.)
> > So what is it that you are proposing specifically?
> What I want is to combine the worlds of several free operating systems with the "philosophy" of Ubuntu:
> ease of use, shiny new releases every eye blink , cool community, "business awareness"  but - with the combination 
> of several operating systems under Ubuntu - the _full_ choice the free software world gives.
> Let me specify this - with the things I wrote above in mind- in the example of Ubuntu/OpenSolaris:
> The original OpenSolaris with its libs and docus and userland (in the OpenSolaris world these are called consolidations) 
> + The packages to get all the functionality of a Ubuntu Release (CD/DVD) from the Blastwave repository (this is
> a repo which gives the Solaris user an "apt-get like structure". 
> + The Ubuntu specific programs and packages ported to OpenSolaris (for example the installer, the update notifier but 
> also the Gnome adaptations of Ubuntu).
> Please have in mind here that the OpenSolaris world stays as it is and it is known to the user (with some very little adaptations).
> This all combined in the Ubuntu repositories , with the apropriate user mailing lists and forums, tested for half year release
> as Ubuntu/GNU/Linux is tested and released every six months.
> ("Port" this example to the other proposed operating systems FreeBSD, NetBSD).
> The end user gets a web-site,
>  where he clicks and chooses the operating system he wants to test/learn/use,
> where he clicks and chooses the desktop environment and "experience" he wants under the chosen OS (Gnome,KDE,XFCE)
> where he clicks and chooses the kind of release he wants to download (CD/DVD, mybe USB sticks in the future).
> So in the end every one would get :
> the __full__ choice  the world of free software gives the user
> but with the community support structure of Ubuntu today.
> I hope that my example made it clear what I proposed.
> Thank you for your questions.
> regards
> Gueven
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Alex Jones

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