Hacker News new | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

All Linux distros should be free charities and their developers should eat catfood and ramen.

Bzzt, logical fallacy - "either work for free, or snoop around in user's data for monetizable content." Hint: there's a very, very wide spectrum between these extremes.

Bzzt, middlebrow dismissal. How about you make a concrete proposal on how you think Canonical's business model should be constructed, instead of "computer says no"?

Bzzt, capitalism fallacy. I fondly remember Ubuntu being a charity of Mark Shuttleworth. Not everything needs a business model.

The mindset of the time is reflected in an announcement [1] of the /Ubuntu Foundation/:

""" "It's important for us to distinguish the philanthropic and non-commercial work that is at the heart of the Ubuntu project, from the commercial support and certification programs that are the focus of Canonical Ltd." said Mark Shuttleworth"""

These new pushes to monetize the home user is what is really annoying.

[1] https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-announce/2005-July/...

Honestly, the world doesn't owe Canonical a business model. They don't get to do whatever they like and not suffer criticism.

I like Ubuntu and want them to keep surviving, so they get to pick a business model. If you don't like it, don't use their product.

I don't, and I also reserve the right to say that I don't like this aspect of their business model.

And you feel proud to use a well polished system that Canonical prepared for you without paying? Motto: I have my OS, it's free & I owe nothing, Canonical can look for themself?

The alternative (well polished, reasonably easy/user friendly) is apple and windows. No more free.

I think much criticism is shallow.

Nope, I don't use Ubuntu.

So you're not concerned about Ubuntu. Why don't you then let Ubuntu try _their_ thing and be happy with the Linux ecosystem which provides so much choice? Why the strong critisizing?

It was an apt-get remove --purge .. to remove the things I didn't like. The things I like I can download from everywhere, much much more difficult with Mac/Windows (how would I e.g. get XCode other than through iTunes?)

> Bzzt, middlebrow dismissal. How about you make a concrete proposal on how you think Canonical's business model should be constructed, instead of "computer says no"?

They should offer a ad-free system, which you pay $10 for, or a free version, supported by ads.

Yes; why not learn from sites / apps here; you get ads/data sales, it shows that you do after installation. For $10/year you don't get either. Most people don't care about $10/year. Look at mobile; people install for $100s/year of apps/games they use/play once. Who cares about $10/year for a good looking, well supported desktop? Otherwise, us another distro. I just like Ubuntu on the client and Debian on the server.

Paid professional phone support.

While I see why people are unhappy with the sale of their data and ads, I have to agree with you on this. While obviously I don't enjoy having my information collected and sold without me really knowing by default, they do need to get money somehow.

I feel like we're in a weird transitional period where the "free internet" in which all major apps and services we used were VC funded and growing, completely free with no ads and nothing you have to pay for, and are suddenly starting to realize that they have to make money. So they start selling data, serving tons of ads, etc and then people get angry that their data is stolen, they are being showed ads, posts from people they don't follow are getting injected into their streams, etc.

There's nothing to be angry about here, it's just this now gigantic company putting in work on something you love and use all the time trying to get the funds to continue working on it.

I understand that a lot of people just won't pay for things no matter what, and you know what, that's fine - they can use the versions that are packed full of ads and sell your data. But what I would really love to see is when you use a service for them to give you an option between the two. You can either use this for free and we'll sell your data and show you ads, or you can pay us and we won't do any of the above. At least that way it's clear, and if you choose to use it for free then you are conscious that they are making money off you somehow.

I think the closest model I've seen to this honestly is in the app store - a lot of apps release 2 versions, a free and a paid version. The free version is somewhat limited and has ads all over the place, and the paid one has none of the aforementioned flaws.

We are just so accustomed to not paying for anything, and I feel like when reality comes crushing down that oh wait, now that the VC funds have dried up and the company needs to actually be profitable, the money has to come from somewhere.

tl;dr pay for the things you use, because they are worth it. and if not, stop using them.

Somehow, every other publicly available Linux distro doesn't need to include spyware in order to do their job.

And is every other publicly available Linux distro working on the same scale and trying to accomplish the same goals Ubuntu is trying to?

Also, is it just me or do most HN users now do not know what spyware means? Openly conducting a search that is clearly sending that data over the internet is not a covert way of collecting data, quite the opposite it's very much in your face.

Alot are community projects produced by people in their spare time, and a few (openSUSE/SLES/SLED, Fedora/RHEL) are backed by large commercial entities who make money selling services and support. Canonical is the only one giving away their commercial distro for free... (openSUSE and Fedora are slightly different from their SuSE and Red Hat cousins)

Personally I'm partial to openSUSE, but I certainly don't fault Canonical for the way they choose to do business.

Hey man, reinventing the wheel is a surprisingly expensive proposition!

> what I would really love to see is when you use a service for them to give you an option between the two

It's an interesting theory, but with something like a Linux distribution I don't see it working too well. Of course you will have a small percentage of fans who will be happy to pay, but everyone else will just use the free version. Of those who want the paid features, they will just find command strings like this to toggle the ENABLE_PAID flag (remember Linux users are usually quite savvy). Unless the paid features are closed source...

That's a good point. But at the same time, people have figured out ways to disable the way they try to monetize off free users, and on top of that the sentiment is that this is a good thing. "Hey ubuntu ius evil and selling our shit! Protect yourself!" is the general sentiment I'm getting from this thread. I feel like if it was a "here's how to avoid paying ubuntu, just disable the PAY_US_FOR_OUR_HARD_WORK flag it is all free", it would be somewhat of a different sentiment.

There's no way to make software un-stealable really, the best you can do is offer an easy, inexpensive, and convenient way to pay for it and make stealing it difficult and make you feel guilty for it. I feel like spotify/rdio took over music piracy in this fashion.

No - I'm actually willing to pay for a good fast, stable linux with multimonitor support (that doesnt suck), has excellent suspend/hibernate/resume behavior and has very good compatibility with multimedia (TV HDMI, etc.)

I'm in India - and I cannot afford a Mac (and maybe dont want to). Build this system on top of SteamOS or Android or something (for hardware compatibility) and you will get my money.

Exactly. I live in Indonesia, and the price of Apple product here is ridiculously expensive. I want Ubuntu to be the equivalent of OSX, but can support as many hardware configuration as possible

Or maybe they should have a strategy that doesn't violate user rights. Mindblowing I know.

It's funny how the history repeat itself when the company that support certain disro want to monetize it. A long time ago, it's Redhat. Then, SUSE with their licensing deal with Microsoft. Anyone knows what happens to Xandros and Mandriva?

I think Canonical should be more honest that they need money. People would gladly pay for stable OS that is supported long enough. I think the combination of Stable OS, lots of Apps that is close to the current upstream relase, and good hardware support is the winning formula here..

My dream is that I want Ubuntu to be essentially the equivalent of OSX, but I can install it on as many hardware configuration as possible, not just Mac

They are quite open, you can pay on the download screen http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/questions?distro=desk...

>People would gladly pay for stable OS that is supported long enough.

Do you see the amounts of complaints they are getting from who paid $0? Imagine the outrage they will face when people who paid $10 start asking for their money back because they don't like feature X of the new release.

It is worth recognizing that our economic system fails to monetize the development of quality software.

Software Freedom is a highly regarded aspect of software (users want it, developers want to provide it), but we can't find a way to monetize its development without destroying the product. This has always been the problem, and it's worth recognizing it as such.

Hey, have you tried some of the catfood that's available in stores these days? A couple of cans of Nature's Best, and not only are you ready to code for hours, but your coat will be shinier and you're less likely to develop a urinary tract infection.

Canonical has monetization models that don't turn a Linux desktop experience into a billboard for Amazon. I use Amazon often and like it. I understand they mine the hell out of my interactions with Amazon, and that's fine.

But it is a mistake for Canonical to hook Amazon, which can be very intrusive, into practically every interaction with an Ubuntu desktop. It's jarring and objectionable to find a vendor who would aggressively data mine you wired in to an OS you used to be able to count on to be security-oriented and non-intrusive.

It isn't even right for Ubuntu Touch devices. When I use a Google-logo Android device, I make a knowing bargain, trading information for convenience and capabilities. The only thing Ubuntu does better than Android is to leave me alone.

It's kind of sad that this is the only way Ubuntu figured they can make money.

No, it's sad that they don't take a holistic view of how they make money: They serve enterprise users and help create Ubuntu-based products for a fee, which business they would not have if Ubuntu was not the leading Linux distro, which it won't be if they screw up privacy issues.

Ubuntu has lost quite a bit of share to Mint. I have not been cranky enough about Unity to switch, but if I do find search data leaking despite the "privacy" settings that would about do it.

It's not, it's one of a number of ways they monetize their product.

Cat food (tinned meat, not kibbles) is more expensive than vegetables. If you're eating catfood to advertise your poverty, you're doing it out of a twisted sense of pride.

Does anyone have data on earnings from the pay what you want model that Ubuntu is using?

Most distros make it really easy to donate. It's a worthwhile investment!

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact