Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 10th Aug 2010 16:35 UTC, submitted by Michael
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu This is typically one of those things that could start to lead a life of its own if it doesn't get handled properly from the get-go. As it turns out, Canonical is interested in tracking Ubuntu OEM installs, and it has decided to do so by installing a tracking package on OEM machines running 10.04.
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Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

...even tho' it seems innocent enough.

I don't really like the idea of my computer performing any acts of inter-computer communication without my knowing it or my approval.

That being said, our computers are actually pretty verbose and chatty on the network to begin with... so I suppose I am just being silly (altho' the general network chattiness is not sending specific information to a specific server like this).

Reply Score: 3

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

At first, I thought Canonical was going to be tracking OEM installs; kind of confusing as any business would already be tracking it's inventory. Direct downloads remain outside the stats due to the same issues every other distribution has.

This is more like Debian's Opt-In Popularity-Contest package for tracking what packages are installed and updated. If Canonical can do this in an anonimous way then I'm all for it due to the "market share" issue also cased by distributions outside of MBA clean retail channels.

But yeah, any information given out will inevitably be used for something it was not intended for. Canonical and *nix can benefit from the resulting stats if Canonical can do this right.

Reply Score: 4

the data should be interesting.
by Adurbe on Tue 10th Aug 2010 17:32 UTC
Adurbe
Member since:
2005-07-06

basically what it will tell us and the OEMs exactly how much of a hold linux is starting to build.

I have no problem with them being sent the data as its realistically the only way to get accurate information.

I would be interested in seeing netbook/desktop/server separation as I think the netbook market hasnt gone as well as people 'think' it has for linux

Reply Score: 3

vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26


I have no problem with them being sent the data as its realistically the only way to get accurate information.

Yeah, you have to weed out the ones that install pirated windows from the stats.

Reply Score: 2

Also for other installs...
by spinnekopje on Tue 10th Aug 2010 17:54 UTC
spinnekopje
Member since:
2008-11-29

I think it would be very interesting to see the results, certainly when the package would be installed as default on all systems, unless the user chooses to disable/remove it.

I know that would be a difficult point for a lot of OSNews readers, but I can't think of another way to get 'reliable' numbers. Maybe you would even get nice numbers to show hardware vendors to convince them to share good drivers with the community.

Reply Score: 2

Seriously PING?!?
by Karitku on Tue 10th Aug 2010 20:36 UTC
Karitku
Member since:
2006-01-12

Seriously couldn't it be handle in updating process? I mean all machines will be updated some point, why not add simple "I am Ubuntu OEM" in that process. I mean it's much better since
a) You can tell that they are unique machines since who crazy installs same update twice (well unless you reinstall whole system)
b) It's user prompted, not automatic.

I'm not paranoid that they will collect IP addresses(Q:how else would you make difference between machines? A: SERIAL CODE) or something like that, but there would be better ways.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Seriously PING?!?
by kklimonda on Tue 10th Aug 2010 21:33 UTC in reply to "Seriously PING?!?"
kklimonda Member since:
2010-08-10

How is update a better way? There are hundreds of independent (as in not controlled by Canonical) Ubuntu mirrors, probably just as many private mirrors for corporations. Some people are using apt-p2p to update their machines at home to save some bandwidth.
There is also a problem of people hiding behind the NAT, how to count them reliably?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Seriously PING?!?
by Delgarde on Wed 11th Aug 2010 00:30 UTC in reply to "Seriously PING?!?"
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

Seriously couldn't it be handle in updating process? I mean all machines will be updated some point, why not add simple "I am Ubuntu OEM" in that process.


Which of the two will the mob scream louder about? Code like this 'hidden' in the update system? Or as a standalone process, which is clearly visible, and easily removed?

I can't speak for Canonical, but the latter is the approach I'd use if I wanted to track how many users I have - the former would surely receive a *much* more hostile reception.

Reply Score: 4

ntp
by braddock on Tue 10th Aug 2010 20:41 UTC
braddock
Member since:
2005-07-08

I always figured Canonical could keep pretty good estimates by looking at ntp traffic to ntp.ubuntu.com, or the repository update traffic for that matter.

I wish they would publish what they DO know, it would be good to have some Ubuntu usage hard facts.

Reply Score: 2

RE: ntp
by shotsman on Tue 10th Aug 2010 21:07 UTC in reply to "ntp"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

Neither of them are in anywhere close to being accurate.
Why?
1) Many *untu users change the NTP to use the 'pool' ntp servers.
2) Some rsync the repos so that they update their machines locally. apt-get also works totally in an intranet. In these days of capped broadband there is often a 'free' period in the middle of the night. Cron the rsync and you can update over your cornflakes in the morning.

This may be the straw that breaks my camels back. I've been unhappy with the last few releases so I might jump ship. Quite a few of my friends have already done it with Debian being the biggest winner.

Edited 2010-08-10 21:08 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Tinkerers
by gloucestershrubhill on Tue 10th Aug 2010 21:01 UTC
gloucestershrubhill
Member since:
2010-08-10

I don't know about anyone else, but the main attraction of getting a new Ubuntu machine is the low overheads and the attractions of tinkering. New tinkerers also have a habit of messing up their Linux installs; I've certainly never kept a laptop or netbook OS running for more than a couple of months. This doesn't so much measure brand loyalty or customer satisfaction; it just measures how many people are incurious. But Linux users, by and large, are always off down the rabbit hole.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Tinkerers
by Sabon on Tue 10th Aug 2010 21:06 UTC in reply to "Tinkerers"
Sabon Member since:
2005-07-06

"I don't know about anyone else, but the main attraction of getting a new Ubuntu machine is the low overheads and the attractions of tinkering. New tinkerers also have a habit of messing up their Linux installs; I've certainly never kept a laptop or netbook OS running for more than a couple of months. This doesn't so much measure brand loyalty or customer satisfaction; it just measures how many people are incurious. But Linux users, by and large, are always off down the rabbit hole."

People do that with Windows servers too.

Reply Score: 2

Sheesh
by Wodenhelm on Wed 11th Aug 2010 07:29 UTC
Wodenhelm
Member since:
2010-07-16

Much ado over nothing. With MS, Apple, Google, Facebook, pages with Flash elements that can do anything they want, etc, etc, you people are getting fired up over something a LINUX company is doing as a move to help show where Linux needs to be worked on, as far as getting it out there.

Remove the tin foil from your heads, please. It looks ridiculous.

Reply Score: 1