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Ubuntu is for everyone, not only "leets", says Shuttleworth

Ubuntu smartphones

By Nicole Kobie

Posted on 8 Mar 2013 at 11:26

Ubuntu isn't for "leets" - or "elite" users - but for mainstream users, according to Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical.

Reacting to community criticism over rolling releases and wider moves to extend the open-source OS to mobile devices and mainstream users, Shuttleworth took aim at so-called "leets", saying the attitude that Linux OSes should be difficult to use is "dumb".

"I simply have zero interest in the crowd who wants to be different," he added. "'Linux is supposed to be hard so it’s exclusive' is just the dumbest thing that a smart person could say." Instead, Shuttleworth wants to take advantage of the "once in a lifetime opportunity" that mobile devices offer to extend the use of Ubuntu, making it "the leader across both consumer and enterprise computing".

‘Linux is supposed to be hard so it’s exclusive’ is just the dumbest thing that a smart person could say

Shuttleworth disputed the idea that Canonical has more power over the direction of Ubuntu than the rest of its community, saying all suggestions are considered - but that doesn't mean they'll end up happening.

"Canonical's contribution is massive. It's simply nonsense to say that Canonical gets 'what it wants' more than anybody else," Shuttleworth said in a blog post. "Hell, half the time, I don't get exactly what I want: lots of people work hard to the best of their abilities - the result is Ubuntu."

Shuttleworth acknowledged that the Unity interface had caused some users to "resent" Canonical's work, and said the development group was willing to keep working on other systems. "But if we want to get beyond being a platform for hobbyists, we need to accelerate the work on Unity to keep up with Android, Chrome, Windows and Apple," he said. "And that's more important than taking care of the needs of those who don't share our goal of a free software norm."

"Everyone that I care about in open source has a shared dream: they want free software to become the norm, not the exception," he said, adding: "Ubuntu is the only way I can see for that to happen".

He had a simple message for those who don't follow that vision: "If you've done what you want for Ubuntu, then move on. That's normal - there's no need to poison the well behind you just because you want to try something else."

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User comments

Free software has its place

However, it's a bit dumb to suggest that free software should be the norm. Business software is necessarily written by developers who get paid for their efforts, and this will hopefully never change!

By AnotherScreenName on 8 Mar 2013

Living In His Own World

What is he talking about? None of the people who have deserted and or critised the direction Ubuntu has taken are wanting the thing to intentionally difficult.
It's Shuttleworth and Canonical who've made Ubuntu more difficult with there pig headed insistence on using the dreadful Unity interface!
He's just demonstrating that he hasn't listened to what users are saying and is trying to paint their critisisms as something they're not.
Keep it Marky boy, you're doing more damage to Ubuntu with your genuinely elitist "I know best" attitude than anything else.

By antonravioli on 8 Mar 2013

Living In His Own World

What is he talking about? None of the people who have deserted and or critised the direction Ubuntu has taken are wanting the thing to intentionally difficult.
It's Shuttleworth and Canonical who've made Ubuntu more difficult with there pig headed insistence on using the dreadful Unity interface!
He's just demonstrating that he hasn't listened to what users are saying and is trying to paint their critisisms as something they're not.
Keep it Marky boy, you're doing more damage to Ubuntu with your genuinely elitist "I know best" attitude than anything else.

By antonravioli on 8 Mar 2013

Living In His Own World

What is he talking about? None of the people who have deserted and or critised the direction Ubuntu has taken are wanting the thing to intentionally difficult.
It's Shuttleworth and Canonical who've made Ubuntu more difficult with there pig headed insistence on using the dreadful Unity interface!
He's just demonstrating that he hasn't listened to what users are saying and is trying to paint their critisisms as something they're not.
Keep it Marky boy, you're doing more damage to Ubuntu with your genuinely elitist "I know best" attitude than anything else.

By antonravioli on 8 Mar 2013

@antonravioli

Well I used to hate but now I love it! I think they are doing a great thing for linux in general, they are making linux more mainstream with steam coming to linux and HP making a ubuntu all in one PC.

I love the Unity interface now! The HUD is extremely useful in programs like the GIMP. The global menu bar is just so polished and nice! If you don't like it at all just install another desktop environment or change distros :)

By monotok on 8 Mar 2013

I love the Unity interface now!

As everybody, I was a little annoyed when Unity appeared. It took me 1/2 of a day to understand how to use it, and 3 more days to change my habits. Now I find it very good. It's perfect, ergonomic, it works.

By arturpio on 9 Mar 2013

True reason

@notherScreenName

You're right. The true reason why the so-called "business software" still exist, is the revenue of the "developers who get paid for" and fight for their bucks.

Nothing else...

By arturpio on 9 Mar 2013

Facebook on Linux?

Does anyone know of a linux browser that will do Facebook? I tried like 10 different, and some didn't chat, or message, others failed zynga poker, others got slower and slower and failed after 10 minutes.

By dexadk on 9 Mar 2013

@dexadk

I used Chrome and firefox. Both work fine. Although for chat I use Pidgin.

If you want open source what about Chromium?

By monotok on 9 Mar 2013

@dexadk

Or even Opera?

By monotok on 9 Mar 2013

@monotok

Hi, yeah in Chromium the chat and online friends window is just empty space, other facebook content shows fine tho. Even zynga poker. I searched forums, apparently the chat thing is a known issue. Firefox was my first try, but i dont remember now why it didn't work for FB.

By dexadk on 9 Mar 2013

@AnotherScreenName

I think you've got it the wrong way round. Expensive 'business software' like AutoCAD or Adobe Creative Suite is the exception, it's very expensive and only useful to a small number of people in specialised fields.

There is some pretty decent open source software in Ubuntu that can cover the needs of most users. E.g. Firefox, GIMP, digikam, VLC, LibreOffice etc.

By happyskeptic on 14 Mar 2013

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