Linked by Adam S on Tue 31st Jan 2006 16:43 UTC, submitted by jonsmirl
Google The Register is reporting that Google has been working on its own Linux distro, apparently known internally as "Goobuntu." It's not clear whether this distro will be released publically or remain an internal platform, but it certainly is no surprise given Ubuntu's near ubiquitous status as of late and the ever-present reports and predictions.
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Google will deny
by Walter on Tue 31st Jan 2006 16:59 UTC
Walter
Member since:
2005-07-12

These rumours have been going around for about 6 months now, and every time google has denied it. I think they will keep on denying it and probably for a good reason. Why should google launch its own Linux distro for the public?

I doubt they will be the ones who get the average Windows user to switch to Linux.
When it's being made for internal use only, they will be asked to release it to the public which maybe they will do, if the public asks enough for it.

Reply Score: 1

If there is truth...
by yoursecretninja on Tue 31st Jan 2006 17:00 UTC
yoursecretninja
Member since:
2006-01-02

If there is truth to this report, and the development is commercialized, this would be very exciting. Ubuntu is a highly usable distro that is great for newbies. Google might give it that little bit extra in terms of usability (and let us not forget brand recognition) that is needed to foster some wider adoption of linux. I look forward to this new flavour and hope it sees the light.

*EDIT* by commercialized, I mean released to the public not sold for a monetary value.

Edited 2006-01-31 17:01

Reply Score: 1

In addition...
by yoursecretninja on Tue 31st Jan 2006 17:05 UTC
yoursecretninja
Member since:
2006-01-02

I just thought of something, somewhat related to my first post on this topic. Wouldn't it be cool if Google Pack was a test project for a unique download implementation for an operating system. Imagine pre-selecting your packages before downloading the ISO of the OS analogous to how you can add or remove programs from Google Pack. You would save bandwidth and speed your download by not downloading stuff you don't want.

Reply Score: 1

ISO
by audun on Tue 31st Jan 2006 17:11 UTC
audun
Member since:
2005-07-13

I can't see the general public downloading ISOs and installing goobuntu on their computers. It has to come preinstalled...

(My opinion)

Reply Score: 2

RE: ISO
by smitty_one_each on Tue 31st Jan 2006 18:05 UTC in reply to "ISO"
smitty_one_each Member since:
2005-07-07

Yeah, but http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0764544209/sr=1-1/qid=1138730681/r... already exists; sliding a live CD in the back ain't nothin' but a thang.

Reply Score: 1

BUNTU-mania
by Figs on Tue 31st Jan 2006 17:15 UTC
Figs
Member since:
2006-01-31

Whats next? WinBuntu? MacBuntu? If I see another something-buntu thing I am going to go Kunfu-buntu crazy everywhere. Please no more buntus.

Reply Score: 4

RE: BUNTU-mania
by Dark_Knight on Tue 31st Jan 2006 18:09 UTC in reply to "BUNTU-mania"
Dark_Knight Member since:
2005-07-10

As a Linux user I'm annoyed with all the off shoot distributions that appear to be just copying the original with out really adding anything new. While Linux distributions from Novell, Mandriva and Red Hat may seem similar the reality is these developers contribute inhouse tools and tweak the kernel to suit their customers needs. They don't for example just take the vanilla Linux kernel, package KDE with it and call it Kubuntu Linux (based on Ubuntu Linux). What I'm noticing is there are several developers working on their own to create yet another Linux distribution that is not unique or offers little benefit to consumers in an already flooded market (see Distrowatch.com). Instead what these lone developers should be doing is working for one company where they can get paid to develope as well contribute back to the community. Then consumers would see more standards being focused on and an overall better desktop experience.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: BUNTU-mania
by Adam S on Tue 31st Jan 2006 18:34 UTC in reply to "RE: BUNTU-mania"
Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

Wait a second - I thought that was the benefit of Linux, that anyone can roll their own distro and ditribute it?

I have been absolutely FLAME-BROILED in the past when I suggested that too many distros was bad for Linux in general. It seems you're suggesting that if you aren't a "value added" distro, you should release a distro.

Reply Score: 5

Choice is bad (today anyway)
by glarepate on Tue 31st Jan 2006 21:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: BUNTU-mania"
glarepate Member since:
2006-01-04

A famous billionaire once said"

"It's all about offering the user choices."

And also:

"The true communists are those that would limit choice."

But (at least some of) the [potential] software users are saying:

Two Desktop Environments! No wonder Linux can't succeed.

Why all these browsers?

Hundreds of distros! Nobody wants that! (We'll ignore the fact that someone worked to create them as not relevant.)

So choice/diversity is a defense for the monopolist and a defect in the free software field. Another thing that might make one go "Hmmmmm". (;

Reply Score: 1

RE: BUNTU-mania
by fredb1974 on Tue 31st Jan 2006 21:42 UTC in reply to "BUNTU-mania"
fredb1974 Member since:
2006-01-31

Xubuntu with XFCE.

What about "your ass ubuntu" too ? ;) )))

Reply Score: 0

re: ISO
by Shaman on Tue 31st Jan 2006 17:15 UTC
Shaman
Member since:
2005-11-15

I agree with you there. But Google has a serious marketing clout. People may just give it a try if it's free and Google-recommended.

KDE 3.5.x is ready for prime-time. Linux a bit less so (well, not Linux but the tools to configure a Linux system for your average Jane).

Reply Score: 2

RE: re: ISO
by Jamie on Tue 31st Jan 2006 17:25 UTC in reply to "re: ISO"
Jamie Member since:
2005-07-06

KDE 3.5.x is ready for prime-time

If you read the report (and assuming its accurate), Goobuntu is a Gnome based desktop which makes sense as the software they are involved with are largely GTK dominated (IE google employees make significant contributions to GTK based apps like Gaim as well as firefox and friends).

The superior usability of Gnome should also help out more average users get to grips with it (whilst theres no doubt KDE is better for power users they are however not the target for a more mass market which is what Google needs to aim for).

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: re: ISO
by Adam S on Tue 31st Jan 2006 18:09 UTC in reply to "RE: re: ISO"
Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

the software they are involved with are largely GTK dominated

Well, let's see - they really don't contribute to Gaim. In fact, all they did was hire the main Gaim developer, and the latest version of Gaim still doesn't have -vv support, nor does it "talk" to Google Talk.

And Firefox is not GTK-based, so I'm not sure how that counts. In fact, Google really hasn't shown us much on the Linux front. I'm confident they have great people on staff- Gmail is fantastic and has constantly gotten better, but Gnome wasn't chosen because of proven proficiency with GTK+.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: re: ISO
by glarepate on Tue 31st Jan 2006 21:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: re: ISO"
glarepate Member since:
2006-01-04

... nor does it "talk" to Google Talk.

Yeah, still no voice and/or video in GAIM as of Beta 2. It is expected in "the next major release". But I have used 1.5 to connect to to Google Talk servers since it is just a Jabber protocol and it still works in Beta 2.

It was kind of pointless though since no one I know will use gmail due to the terms of service regarding content privacy. So I don't know anyone using the IM either.

Here's their list of compatible client programs:

http://www.google.com/talk/otherclients.html

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: re: ISO
by dumbkiwi on Tue 31st Jan 2006 19:20 UTC in reply to "RE: re: ISO"
dumbkiwi Member since:
2006-01-02

The superior usability of Gnome should also help out more average users get to grips with it

You state that as if it is a sef evident fact. Where is it written that removing functionality, and configuration options, and putting them in a regedit like configuration utility is the be-all end-all of usability. Wake up, and stop listening to the rhetoric.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: re: ISO
by RenatoRam on Tue 31st Jan 2006 20:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: re: ISO"
RenatoRam Member since:
2005-11-14

Some of us used both, and simply decided upon experience: I do not *get* KDE. I find it awkward, cramped, confusing.

Oh, and did I mention *UGLY*?

It took me ages to find an icon theme for KDE that did not look glassy, flashy, cartoony or plain silly.

And guess what? It was a porting of the gperfection2 theme: all gnome icons.

Reply Score: 0

RE[4]: re: ISO
by archiesteel on Tue 31st Jan 2006 22:13 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: re: ISO"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Some of us used both, simply decided upon experience, and went for KDE.

I prefer KDE to Gnome, and disagree that it is less usable. I also don't find it ugly.

Personally, I find that Gnome icons are generally bland and lack unity.

Don't assume that because you chose Gnome that it is the best solution. It's the best solution for you, nothing more.

Reply Score: 3

Turnabout is fair play
by Sphinx on Tue 31st Jan 2006 17:17 UTC
Sphinx
Member since:
2005-07-09

So google would do to unbuntu what unbuntu did to debian. Seems karmically balanced.

Reply Score: 1

Goobuntu
by TaterSalad on Tue 31st Jan 2006 17:21 UTC
TaterSalad
Member since:
2005-07-06

Like the article said, its most likely a couple of engineers playing around with it. I was going to say I'll believe it when I see it due to the enormous amount of rumors about Google, but this lil tidbit from the article makes me not want to say that:

Google has confirmed it is working on a desktop linux project called Goobuntu, but declined to supply further details, including what the project is for.

Aside from that, I only read the key words "internal use only" and "possible". Based on that I don't think they'll be releasing anything.

Reply Score: 1

What a silly name
by rattaro on Tue 31st Jan 2006 17:31 UTC
rattaro
Member since:
2005-08-22

Goobuntu. Come on. Good thing this is just an internal name. If it comes out to the public they should change the name to something more acceptable, like . . . Gubuntu!

Reply Score: 2

RE: What a silly name
by kiz01 on Tue 31st Jan 2006 18:23 UTC in reply to "What a silly name"
kiz01 Member since:
2005-07-06

How about Gewbuntu? Oozing to a PC near you.

Reply Score: 2

RE: What a silly name
by MightyPenguin on Tue 31st Jan 2006 18:56 UTC in reply to "What a silly name"
MightyPenguin Member since:
2005-11-18

I would think "Googunto" would be a more appropriate name. Or there's always "GoogleX" ;)

Reply Score: 1

Google Linux (please no Googix)
by Bonus on Tue 31st Jan 2006 17:34 UTC
Bonus
Member since:
2005-12-23

Hmm, i dont see how it can hurt if Google did this. Maybe people would be more apt to port all the stuff to Linux then.

Or KDE could take over Linux. In the future will their be a KDE Linux and a Google Linux only? Maybe because of their Internet presence.

They should really drop Ubantu, for confusion sake, and just call it Google Linux or maybe Googix but please Noooooooooo.

I would only support it if it would finally get peeps to support Linux for software.

Reply Score: 1

RE
by Kroc on Tue 31st Jan 2006 17:36 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

Is it just me, or is Google software not actually that great?
GoogleEarth they bought off of Keyhole and rebranded, so it's not exactly their work; and the interface still sucks. Google Talk is featureless and Google Desktop Search looks like it came from 1996.

I don't think Google have the time to give support to potential users of a GoogleOS. They use an internal made Linux distro because that just makes plain sense when you need machine preconfigged and ready to go everyday. A public GoogleOS is just streatching the imagination a bit too far; but Google don't need to do anything to make people do that themselves.

Reply Score: 2

RE
by sappyvcv on Wed 1st Feb 2006 13:49 UTC in reply to "RE"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

I agree. Their desktop applications tend to be very weak.

They should stick to mostly webapps, what they are good at.

Reply Score: 1

the beginning of the end
by SEJeff on Tue 31st Jan 2006 17:37 UTC
SEJeff
Member since:
2005-11-05

1.) Firefox takes hold
2.) Google employs firefox developers
3.) Firefox gets more market share
4.) Profit!

1.) Ubuntu has a massive cult following
2.) Google works on Ubuntu
3.) Ubuntu takes over the world
4.) Mark Shuttleworth: Profit!

Edited 2006-01-31 17:57

Reply Score: 2

RE: the beginning of the end
by fredb1974 on Tue 31st Jan 2006 21:46 UTC in reply to "the beginning of the end"
fredb1974 Member since:
2006-01-31

What a c****y comment.

Did you try last trunk or branch build before saying this ?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: the beginning of the end
by SEJeff on Wed 1st Feb 2006 20:19 UTC in reply to "RE: the beginning of the end"
SEJeff Member since:
2005-11-05

What are you talking about? I run Ubuntu Dapper (The development version) on two of my desktops and one of my laptops.

Reply Score: 1

bring it on!
by theGrump on Tue 31st Jan 2006 17:39 UTC
theGrump
Member since:
2005-11-11

damn the torpedoes, desktop linux is ready. and in the sense that it might not be ready, its as "not ready" as windows, which also presents to users an insufferable array of inexplicable crap and bug and weaknesses.

i have played with everything from fedora to freebsd to debian to ubuntu, and ubuntu is by far the closest thing to a consumer friendly free os as you can find. the packaging is pro-consumer, the desktop is simple and easy to use, packages are widely available, and device support is excellent (imo).

at some point folks you just have to say, to hell with it, lets throw this thing out there and see what happens. that time will be the next release of ubuntu.

Reply Score: 1

re: ISO
by Shaman on Tue 31st Jan 2006 17:54 UTC
Shaman
Member since:
2005-11-15

>If you read the report (and assuming its accurate),
>Goobuntu is a Gnome based desktop which makes sense
>as the software they are involved with are largely >GTK dominated

Fair enough but I don't think it's the best choice. Reasons why have been debated to death here and elsewhere all over the Internet.

> The superior usability of Gnome

/me spits out the hook.

That's your subjective opinion, and you're welcome to it.

Reply Score: 4

RE: re: ISO
by Jamie on Tue 31st Jan 2006 22:01 UTC in reply to "re: ISO"
Jamie Member since:
2005-07-06

> The superior usability of Gnome

/me spits out the hook.

That's your subjective opinion, and you're welcome to it.


its also the KDE devs opinion too afterall why else are they trying to create their own gnome like HIG for KDE4?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: re: ISO
by sappyvcv on Wed 1st Feb 2006 13:53 UTC in reply to "RE: re: ISO"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

So when a Desktop Environment project wants to create a HIG, they are copying Gnome? I didn't know Gnome had exclusive rights to creating HIGs.

Reply Score: 1

Symphony OS: A better candidate
by gwen on Tue 31st Jan 2006 17:56 UTC
gwen
Member since:
2005-07-08

If Google is to do a Linux distro, they should help with development and use of Symphony OS, with the use of Klik for software. That's one distro worth waiting for.
Ubuntu has A LOT of drawbacks and too much is tied to that distro.

Reply Score: 1

This will kill OSNews
by setuid_w00t on Tue 31st Jan 2006 17:56 UTC
setuid_w00t
Member since:
2005-10-22

If someone can get Goobuntu to run on an intel iMac then I think every single story on OSNews will be about Goobuntu.

Reply Score: 3

RE: This will kill OSNews
by TaterSalad on Wed 1st Feb 2006 14:34 UTC in reply to "This will kill OSNews"
TaterSalad Member since:
2005-07-06

So we'll have a clone of digg then? ;)

Reply Score: 1

re:
by luke1011 on Tue 31st Jan 2006 18:17 UTC
luke1011
Member since:
2006-01-31

too bad the name Goonix is taken
anyway, many have said it but i'll say it again...
the NUMBER ONE thing that google could bring to Linux is its brand recognition.
http://bwnt.businessweek.com/brand/2005/
this is incredibly powerful. they could probably strip out 50% of the features currently in ubuntu and as long as the name google is associated with it, it would be the number one desktop linux distro.

average U.S. pc user:
"who the hell is shuttleworth?"
"what the hell is canonical?"
"what the hell is ubuntu?"

"i'll google it"

Edited 2006-01-31 18:28

Reply Score: 3

Is it only me.
by Edward on Tue 31st Jan 2006 18:32 UTC
Edward
Member since:
2005-09-17

I downloaded Kubuntu & I thought it not letting you putin a root pass. at install is dumb. Linux has root, but I guess they think noobs would freak out if asked to put in a root pass. No the pass. is a random one, oh joy.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Is it only me.
by bedo on Tue 31st Jan 2006 18:38 UTC in reply to "Is it only me."
bedo Member since:
2006-01-03

Kubuntu is based on debian as you know; and in debian world, there's no root user. to execute under root privilege, type sudo command. then enter password.

only certain power users are allowed to switch to gain root privileges.

The equivelant of "su" in debian is "sudo -H -s"

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Is it only me.
by RenatoRam on Tue 31st Jan 2006 20:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Is it only me."
RenatoRam Member since:
2005-11-14

That's not true. Debian uses root just as every other linux distro *except* Ubuntu.

Maybe you meant that Kubuntu is based on Ubuntu (pretty obvious).

This approach is similar to OSX, iirc.

Reply Score: 1

...
by suryad on Tue 31st Jan 2006 19:15 UTC
suryad
Member since:
2005-07-09

What aboot Googentoo....wonder why they went with Ubuntu. Thinking some hard core compiling and so on made easy with Google's knowhow....sigh I had my hopes up! But either case I cant still wait to check it out!

Reply Score: 1

Ads
by gary1979 on Tue 31st Jan 2006 19:43 UTC
gary1979
Member since:
2006-01-31

My god, could you imagine the amount of information that they would monitor to better create ad revenue? Everything Google does is about ad revenue, it is their only real money making venture. Thank you, but I'll pass.

Reply Score: 1

Goo in hindi
by vikramsharma on Tue 31st Jan 2006 20:23 UTC
vikramsharma
Member since:
2005-07-06

Goo in Hindi (national language of India) means sh*t, no jokes there, btw google uses linux on their server, so in a way google already has a version for linux, but I really doubt that there is going to be any goobunto or gebian being released any soon by google. Also there are so many Linux Distros out there why would google want to become just another Linux distros, I mean there's Red Hat, Debian, Suse, Gentoo also not to forget XandrOS, Mandriva, Linspire, ArchLinux with so much already going on in the Linux world, I don't think google would be making any usefil contibution

PS Sorry as I might have left out many linux ditros

Edited 2006-01-31 20:31

Reply Score: 1

Value added
by Termal on Tue 31st Jan 2006 21:50 UTC
Termal
Member since:
2006-01-04

The only thing that would make it interesting would be if the Google branded version included all the proprietary non-free stuff that gives new Linux users fits when diving into Ubuntu. If it includes all that, and it's both free (as in beer) and legal in the US and other major countries, then I can see some potential, especially if Linux ports of Google Earth were released at the same time and also pre-installed.

Reply Score: 1

'eh..
by helf on Tue 31st Jan 2006 22:34 UTC
helf
Member since:
2005-07-06

who cares? Whats the big deal with google. everyone fantasizes about them...

Reply Score: 1

Why this is just not true
by Joe User on Tue 31st Jan 2006 23:21 UTC
Joe User
Member since:
2005-06-29

Google only releases windows versions of their software. They don't support Linux, so I wonder why they would release a Linux distro...

Reply Score: 1

Official Comment ...
by PLan on Tue 31st Jan 2006 23:59 UTC
PLan
Member since:
2006-01-10

A post on the Register, claiming that Google might be close to rolling out a "Goobuntu" Linux desktop distro, has been making the usual rounds in the tech news circuit today. Despite today being earnings release day, presumably a very busy time at the Google press relations office, technology spokeswoman Sonya Borälv responded very quickly to my query on the topic. She said that "[w]e use Ubuntu internally but have no plans to distribute it outside of the company."

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060131-6087.html

Reply Score: 1

Yet another distro?
by cheeseballoon on Wed 1st Feb 2006 03:40 UTC
cheeseballoon
Member since:
2005-08-30

I love Linux--I use it 99% of the time, especially Ubuntu--, but I must say I'll be a more than a little disappointed if this is Google's debut into the OS world. I was really hoping for an original OS from them, not a distro of a distro.
I'm hoping, at least, that they'll come up with their own original desktop environment for Goobuntu. Otherwise, I doubt it will convert much more people than Ubuntu did.

Reply Score: 1

Google OS
by alucinor on Wed 1st Feb 2006 04:09 UTC
alucinor
Member since:
2006-01-06

If Google is going to release a Linux desktop OS, I'd prefer if they released something truly revolutionary. Here's one idea:

The search field is the primary interface to the computer, and the new command line, all wrapped into one. Typing or speaking commands while pressing a button gains you access to a integrated experience between the files and apps on your desktop, and web services. To see music of a certain artist, or of a certain genre, you merely ask, and a list of ablums and their titles are brought back to you ... perhaps even allowing you to purchase titles you don't own? Apply the same to email, calendar, documents. When a command is typed or spoken, the command's natural language syntax is sent to Google's servers and processed by them, then sent back to your computer as a command parsable (XML) by your Google OS client.

Yeah, sounds awesome in some ways, and in other ways (such as not being so glued to Google's web services), it doesn't. But that's why it's no replacement for Windows/Linux, just something new and fresh, which is what I really want. Mac and Windows and the BSDs and Solaris and Linux can all have their place, but if Google's wants to release their own OS they should really do it in a Googly way.

Everyone knows they're up to ~something~ big. I'm interested in seeing it, myself.

Edited 2006-02-01 04:13

Reply Score: 1

RE: Google OS
by dazmoriarty on Wed 1st Feb 2006 08:59 UTC in reply to "Google OS"
dazmoriarty Member since:
2006-02-01

If Google wanted to "buy" into the OS game (instead of *yawn* releasing another Linux distribution), they should buy Yellowtab's Zeta and get:
1. A mature multimedia-orientated OS, with a...
2. Vibrant community behind it and one that has ...
3. Fantastic search capabilities, just like the BeOS and now Zeta have.

Done deal! And probably well cheap too!

Reply Score: 1

gooboontoo
by Eric Martin on Wed 1st Feb 2006 09:01 UTC
Eric Martin
Member since:
2005-11-11

Didn't they say that word alot in the old Tarzan movies ?

Gooboontoo Chetah. Find Jane. Ahhhhhahhhhhhhhhhahhhhhhhh.

Reply Score: 1

¡Ojala!
by TajHQ on Wed 1st Feb 2006 14:00 UTC
TajHQ
Member since:
2006-02-01

Well, being a fan of linux, and of google, all I can say is ¡Ojala! That is to say, if dreams come true... then someday Google will release a linux-based OS.

Reply Score: 1

End-to-end is the key
by JustThinkIt on Wed 1st Feb 2006 14:19 UTC
JustThinkIt
Member since:
2005-09-04

Linux reminds me of the railways (or interstate) challenge.

Railways are the most cost-efficient land transportation but they only start to pay off when you complete the rail line. Spanning the US by rail was a massively risky investment and took decades to pay off, and only happened because the railways were prepared to be paid with land at first. But in the medium and long run railways have more than proven themselves.

Windows is a taxi, super expensive but available right now for wherever you want to go.

Linux will beat Windows when there is an end-to-end solution -- Linux installed on hardware in packages we all consider more than good enough.

Nothing new so far I admit, but the kicker is how to overcome the chicken and the egg syndrome. Someone with massive street credibility is essential. The first time this happened was IBM (with the OS provided by Microsoft). The second time could very well be Google with the OS thrown in for free.

Just as *buntu is needed to standardize Linux (and just as importantly give that standard more-than-good-enough product away for free), a Google PC is needed to make the switch palatable "for the rest of us".

Apple once promised us all computers but never intended to fulfil that promise. Google on the other hand has consistently offered great free products. Unlike any other company today, they have the savvy to create the type of products we all want to use. If they offer a complete hardware plus software package, I will probably line up to buy version 1.0.

Reply Score: 1