Installing Flash as an option in usb-creator

Matt Zimmerman mdz at
Sun Oct 12 12:12:39 BST 2008

On Mon, Sep 15, 2008 at 11:58:48AM -0400, Evan Dandrea wrote:
> Some background information before we begin.  I've been developing a
> new application this cycle called usb-creator[1].  Its purpose is to
> take an Ubuntu CD or ISO file and write it to a USB disk, making the
> necessary changes required for it to properly boot.
> I had a discussion with the creator of liveusb[2] over the weekend
> concerning the lack of necessity for the two projects to coexist and
> in turn what functionality we could cherry pick from liveusb and put
> into usb-creator.  One point of contention in this conversation was
> his desire to have a "Install Adobe Flash" checkbox in the UI that is
> disabled by default.  I am of the personal belief that including such
> an option violates our legal obligations to Adobe regarding
> distribution (though I don't pretend to fully understand them, so if
> someone has more insight on this point, please feel free to contribute
> to this discussion), that it violates our commitment to open source
> and free software solutions, and that any such change in policy should
> happen in ubiquity or the seeds, rather than here.
> Still, I feel the issue needs a more authoritative response from a
> wider set of Ubuntu developers, and thus I would appreciate any
> comments as to how this does or does not violate the polices we have
> in place.  I originally considered going to the technical board, but
> that now strikes me as being reserved for situations where consensus
> cannot be reached, and I don't believe we are there yet.
> Also, please note that I do not expect to add such functionality in
> Intrepid.  It's far too late to be adding wishlist features.

I can understand the desire to have some ability to customize the live image
from usb-creator.  Distribution terms should not be at issue here, because
usb-creator isn't distributing software, just helping the user to create a
file (right?).

Is the issue that it refers specifically to Flash?  Would you object to a
list box which allowed the user to select additional packages from universe
or multiverse to add to the image?

We should maintain some separation between the policies for official Ubuntu
images, and what downstream users are allowed/enabled to do with Ubuntu.
There exist derivatives of Ubuntu whose main purpose is to add on
software which isn't appropriate for Ubuntu itself, and this is perfectly

 - mdz

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