Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 9th Sep 2006 19:54 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Mark Shuttleworth writes on his blog: "I'm of the opinion that Ubuntu could not exist without Debian. So it's absolutely my intention to see that Ubuntu is a constructive part of the broader Debian landscape. It's vital that Ubuntu help to sustain and grow Debian, because it's the breadth and strength of Debian which make up the 'shoulders of greatness' on which we in the Ubuntu community stand when we reach for the stars."
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evad
Member since:
2005-09-10

No, I'm sorry I don't think the following is true:

"Ubuntu has a narrower target group -- Windows users who want to switch to GNU/Linux"

First of all, if these Windows users want to switch to GNU/Linux then they're more likely to want to try other things, including looking at other Linux distributions.

Perhaps you mean Ubuntu tries to appeals to Windows users who may not want to switch. Even this isn't true. Ubuntu makes it clear: Ubuntu wants to be GNU/Linux for human beings.

Quoting their website: "a clear focus on the user and usability (it should "Just Work", TM)". They don't try to be the universal operating system, but they do depend on the universal operating system, debian.

I used to use nothing but Debian but now I use Ubuntu on my main desktop because things "Just Work" (in the way I want) and it is easier to use. I could, easily, use Debian sid, but, I'd rather not waste time setting stuff up when Ubuntu does things pretty much perfectly anyway. Except sound. I hate sound in Ubuntu (and GNU/Linux in general!) ;)

I still use Debian for some of my machines, and all of my servers - because Debian rocks. Ubuntu rocks too, but it meets my needs better on the desktop.

By the way, I can't wait for Debian Etch! I love Ubuntu, and I love Debian. I wish that these Debian dev's and Ubuntu dev's would stop hating the other side and love both operating systems.

(Oops, did I just become a hippy? :S)

Reply Parent Score: 5

da_Chicken Member since:
2006-01-01

Ubuntu makes it clear: Ubuntu wants to be GNU/Linux for human beings.

Quoting their website: "a clear focus on the user and usability (it should "Just Work", TM)". They don't try to be the universal operating system, but they do depend on the universal operating system, debian.


Don't you see any contradiction between the statements that Ubuntu wants to be "GNU/Linux for human beings" and that Ubuntu doesn't want to be "the universal operating system"? "GNU/Linux for human beings" is the kind of description that embraces all possible target audiences and all possible purposes. It doesn't exclude anything and, in practice, this description becomes synonymous with "the universal operating system".

But Debian is already "the universal operating system" and it's also pretty easy to use. How can Ubuntu make Debian even easier (for its narrower target audience -- the new GNU/Linux users)? How can Ubuntu make things "Just Work"? Have you thought about this? My perception is that Ubuntu tries to make Debian easier by removing some choices that its main target group rarely needs. This removal of choices makes Ubuntu less flexible and Ubuntu's pre-selected set of packages are actually hardwired to the meta-package that provides the Ubuntu desktop. Users can of course remove this meta-package if they want. This removal would clean the system from a heavy baggage of extra cruft (like international fonts and laptop stuff that desktop users don't need) but it would also mean that users have to say goodbye to some Ubuntu goodness (artwork & desktop polish) that comes hardwired with this meta-package.

So, I'm sorry but I think that my point remains valid. Ubuntu's target group is new GNU/Linux users (even if Ubuntu defines its target group non-exclusively as "human beings") and Ubuntu tries to make Debian easier by removing confusing choices, which makes Ubuntu less flexible than Debian. Luckily for the more experienced users, Ubuntu cannot get rid of much of Debian's flexibility because every Ubuntu release is built on top of a snapshot of Debian Sid. But if Ubuntu was to detach itself from Debian and stand on its own, Ubuntu would very quickly become so inflexible that it would drive more experienced GNU/Linux users away because experienced users aren't really Ubuntu's target group.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Tang Member since:
2005-08-19

Yes Debian is universal operating system, like Ubuntu. But Ubuntu main goal is simplicity and it does it well. So if you want desktop platform that "just works" choose Ubuntu, if you want more choises choose Debian or Ubuntu server.

P.S. Yes, what you can do in Debian you can do it in Ubuntu, it depends on your knowledge.

Edited 2006-09-10 10:34

Reply Parent Score: 1

Pfeifer Member since:
2006-02-20

I think the problem lies in defining the term "GNU/Linux for human beings". You define it as a "kind of description that embraces all possible target audiences and all possible purposes".

Well, this (your) definition is not the definition Mark Shuttleworth has in mind.

You are right, however, when you say that Ubuntu's main audience is new GNU/Linux users. And that's what the "human being" part means by Ubuntu's definition. Computer users with few (or even none) experience using computers. Not the seasoned hackers, not the enthusiastic geek crowd, but the simple and unexperienced "human beings" out there who have never gotten into programming or electronics.

Ubuntu doesn't want to be a "universal operating system". Mark and his fellas never intended Ubuntu to be a Universal operating system. Ubuntu's intentions are not to cover (as you define a "universal operating system") "all possible target audiences and all possible purposes".

You are also right in calling Debian GNU/Linux a "universal operating system." Heck, in my opinion Debian is _the_ universal operating system. Debian is my first choice for embedded systems and servers. And if I'll have to manage a corporate desktop environment ever again, Debian will my fist (and almost only) candidate.

But since Debian is a "universal operating system", it's also a "jack of all trades". And when it comes to the home desktop, Ubuntu delivers, exactly because of it's focus, because of it's limitations, a better user experience.

Developers and hackers will, of course, choose GNU/Debian over Ubuntu on they desktop systems, since Debian offers exactly the thing they need (a full fledged swiss army knife) whereas Ubuntu would maybe only get into their way.

To sum it up:
- While Ubuntu calls itself a "GNU/Linux for human being" that doesn't imply they want to cover every possible purpose or/and all possible target audiences.
- Debian is a (maybe _the_) universal operating system.
- Ubuntu is not, it focus is to be easy to use and easy to manage. It's a very good choice for the hassle-free home desktop.
- Experienced users prefer Debian for it's fexibility.

Edited 2006-09-10 10:45

Reply Parent Score: 4