Answers to Outstanding Questions from my Q+A session (Feb. 11)

Hey folks,

Jono passed along a few more questions that were in the queue, that we couldn’t get to due to time constraints.  So with that said, here they are:

  • <sebsebseb> QUESTION: For web servers or in general, what would the main advantages be of using Ubuntu Server for a company, but also home users, instead of say Debian?
    • ANSWER: For web servers, I’d say up-to-date security features (from a technical standpoint) and the option of purchasing access to support personnel from Canonical.  In general, there’s integration and support for eucalyptus and openstack, tuned images for deployments in Amazon EC2, the ability to integrate a Landscape solution, and access to orchestra, our simplified installation service for sysadmins.
  • <sebsebseb> QUESTION:  Since kapcom01 mentioned Ubuntu One:  Whatabout providing Ubuntu One for many other distro’s as well? Not just Windows for example.
    • Unfortunately, our team isn’t involved in any commercial development for Canonical, which includes the development of Ubuntu One, so I cannot speak to anything they have plans to do.
  • <sebsebseb> QUESTION: Why does a Ubuntu Server LTS version get fiveyears of support, but the desktop version only three?
    • So having not been around when the decision is made, I can only speculate that it has to do with the different hardware trends we see in the consumer electronics trends market versus the server market.  I think most people expect to upgrade their OS on their desktop or laptop at least every 3 years, to get the latest eye candy or feature, while server users are less about the new stuff and more about stability, hence the extended 5 years support.  Now why we don’t support servers longer than 5 years is probably because when you release every 6 months, like we do, each year of support you add is a HUGE multiplier on resources for rolling out fixes and security updates…and costs to Canonical to go beyond 5 years currently outweigh the benefits.
  • <Brumle> Question:   Ubuntu and Canonical has got some critics aboutthe lack of contributions to upstream projects like the Linux kernel.Do you have any comment on that?
    • So this sounds a bit like trolling, and I have strong opinions on this topic, but I’ll try to answer without ranting.
      1. check out upstream contributions to apparmor, plymouth, upstart, and grub
      2. I suppose Canonical could just ignore the uphill battle of attracting new users to Linux, give away the Desktop, and charge licensing fees for the Server.   Then we could use that revenue to hire huge numbers of developers to contribute more, so that we can then meet our own self-interests for growing our Server alliances…..but we chose a different route, and that decision comes with certain trade-offs if we are to stay viable as a business.
  • <IIPL> QUESTION: Are you considering merging ubuntu desktop with ubuntu server?
    • I think I already answered this in the Q+A session….which was “No”.  I believe having two distinct “flavors” is a huge plus for us, as it provides the flexibility to focus on the different (and sometimes conflicting) needs of the users of each product.
  • <torstein> QUESTION are you familiar with the highpoint rocketraidsand ubuntu issues?
    • No, sorry I am not.  If there is a specific bug you have, please shoot it over to the ubuntu-server mailing list, and we’ll have a look.

About Robbie

I live in the awesome city of Austin, TX and work for Canonical, sponsors of the best damn operating system in the world...Ubuntu.

Posted on February 17, 2011, in Ubuntu and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Robbie,

    we should think about increasing the support times from 5 years to at least 7 years, like other Enterprise Distros (e.g. RHEL or SLES).

    Many government near organisations (e.g. german DFS (the air traffic control company in Germany) are using RHEL or SLES because they need rock solid stability. Using Ubuntu Server in Enterprise and SaaS environments myself, it could really be a benefit to have a Debian based, rock solid, enterprise ready Server distro supported for more the 5 years.

    What we also should do, is to sort out some software in our main archives, which we don’t want to support for so long, because it’s not necessary, but e.g. the kernel, glibc, and all other essential things could be supported.



  2. The response to the first question reads quite strangely. Do you want to imply that Debian doesn’t offer up-to-date security updates? I would very much think that this is not what you aim at, so can you please rephrase your answer or explain it more clearly? I would guess that the security updates in Ubuntu are in no way flowing in faster (or slower) than they are flowing in in Debian …

    Please explain.

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