Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 5th Oct 2006 20:49 UTC, submitted by Eugenia
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu "Is Ubuntu an operating system? Last week at EuroOSCON, Mark Shuttleworth gave the closing keynote outlining what he believes are the major struggles faced by the open-source/free-software community. During his talk, it became clear that Ubuntu is trying to achieve a radical shift in the software world. Ubuntu isn't trying to be a platform for mass-market application software: it is trying to be the primary provider of both the operating system and all the application software that a typical user would want to run on his machine. Most Linux distributions are like this, and I think it is a dangerous trend that will stifle innovation and usability."
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sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

"""Note that Ubuntu ships and installs proprietary drivers by default without giving users a choice."""

That is incorrect.

I have a few devices on my machines which are not supported in an OSS way, but do have binary only drivers. Ubuntu does the best it can on these devices, installing the xorg nv driver for my nvidia card, the xorg radeon driver for my ati express 200M, and the rather rickety bcm43xx driver for my notebook's wireless.

In no case has Ubuntu resorted to binary only modules on the install.

Ubuntu (and its associated community) *does* make installing the proprietary bits straightforward for the users who have considered the issues and have chosen to install them.

Can you provide some concrete examples to support your claim?

Edited 2006-10-05 21:28

Reply Parent Score: 5

manmist Member since:
2005-12-18

That is incorrect.

The statements were directly taken from the Ubuntu website under the section "software installed by default" . It has been confirmed my Mark Shuttleworth in a recent interview itself that Ubuntu installs proprietary drivers by default.

http://fasmz.org/~pterjan/blog/?date=20060609

Reply Parent Score: 5

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""The statements were directly taken from the Ubuntu website under the section "software installed by default" . It has been confirmed my Mark Shuttleworth in a recent interview itself that Ubuntu installs proprietary drivers by default."""


Ok. I see where the confusion is being introduced.

Yes, there is a package called linux-restricted-modules which does get installed on some machines.

The thing is... it's not used in the configurations.

NVidia's module may be sitting on the disk. But it is not loaded because Xorg is set up to use the free xorg driver.

If the user chooses to use the proprietary driver, he can. He will have to download the other piece of the puzzle: the nvidia-glx package. The situation is the same in the ATI case.

Does that clarify matters?

Edited 2006-10-05 21:38

Reply Parent Score: 5

evad Member since:
2005-09-10

http://packages.ubuntu.com/dapper/misc/linux-restricted-modules-2.6...

Here is an example package, it's got all the non-free binary drivers in it and it's in the restricted section. It's not installed by default. I promise you that by default Ubuntu does not configure nVidia cards using the "nvidia" driver.

Although Ubuntu gives you the option of non-free binary drivers it doesn't force them on you.

In your link they mention drdsl, but as you can see...

http://packages.ubuntu.com/dapper/base/drdsl

...it is in the restricted section. It doesn't get installed by default. You have to enable restricted in your sources before it'll ever get near your computer.

Reply Parent Score: 5