‘Ubuntu Linux’, ‘Ubuntu GNU/Linux’? No, use ‘Ubuntu’!

Reading the title you might wonder why I would want to risk the possibility of yet another flame war between “Linux” and “GNU/Linux” proponents. The reason for this is that I am not only choosing neither side, but also because your brand name is very important.

When people talk about Ubuntu, they usually have two ways of referring to it. Most frequently people use ‘Ubuntu’, but at some places you’ll find ‘Ubuntu Linux’ very consistently. This may be a relic of the past, after all the Ubuntu 4.10 Warty Warthog release announcement has links to www.ubuntulinux.org rather than www.ubuntu.com. In this blog post I want to argue here to stop calling Ubuntu ‘Ubuntu Linux’. There are several reasons to do so.

The first, and the most important argument considering we’re trying to market a product here, is that using simply ‘Ubuntu’ makes the brand name a lot more attractive and easier on the mind. Because of the Linux in ‘Ubuntu Linux’, people will associate it with the legacy of past Linux distributions, and I think that ‘Ubuntu’ is a more attractive name on its own.

The second argument is about being sensible about attribution. Several people have said that Ubuntu should very purposely be marketed as ‘Ubuntu Linux’ to give credit to the Linux developers. Other people, who feel that GNU contributed a lot of code to the base of most operating systems using the Linux kernel, even say that we should try to promote Ubuntu using the impossible name ‘Ubuntu GNU/Linux’. However, why would we attribute GNU and Linux, but not GNOME, FreeDesktop, Mozilla, The Document Foundation, Novell, Red Hat or any of the other projects and companies that all contribute to what is ultimately integrated into one Ubuntu? Does GNU really deserve more to be in the name than GNOME? Isn’t the browser the most important tool of the desktop nowadays?

Putting either Linux or GNU and Linux in the name is not fair at all. There is no reason why those vital projects should be attributed, whereas other projects that are just as vital are not.

The third argument is practicality. Your headlines will be a lot shorter when writing ‘Ubuntu’ instead of ‘Ubuntu Linux’.

The fourth argument is conformity. If we want to bring a consistent message, we all should follow the same naming scheme. This is very important. When someone is talking about ‘Ubuntu’, and another person is discussing ‘Ubuntu Linux’, then you create confusion. “Is Ubuntu the same as Ubuntu Linux, or is it something different?” a person might wonder. Ubuntu Linux could very well be a derivative of Ubuntu! We should pull our act together and make sure we deliver a consistent message. Canonical and most people are using ‘Ubuntu’, therefore it makes sense to stick to ‘Ubuntu’.

Why write this blog post about to propagate a convention that is already dominant? The reason for this can be found in the fourth argument: ensuring consistency. Use ‘Ubuntu’, not ‘Ubuntu Linux’! When you see ‘Ubuntu Linux’ being used somewhere in a description, on a wiki page or elsewhere, fix it! Make sure the public knows we’re all talking about the same product!

82 thoughts on “‘Ubuntu Linux’, ‘Ubuntu GNU/Linux’? No, use ‘Ubuntu’!”

  1. Absolutely.

    I've been very careful to do this for a few years now. Honestly, I don't care what kernel I'm on as long as my hardware works. I'm more of a gnome user than anything else if one is going to be too picky.. but yeah. I like keeping things simple.

  2. "Does GNU really deserve more to be in the name than GNOME?"
    Do you even know that GNOME is a GNU project?! You see. That is the problem. When you misname things, you just get them wrong. GNU is a whole operating system and clearly amounts for the largest number of work on your system. Nevertheless, the main point for calling the operating system GNU/Linux (instead of Linux) is the philosophy it supports and that started everything in the early 1983. If you call the system in another way, you do not help the social/ethical problem to be solved. Just read that: http://www.gnu.org/gnu/why-gnu-linux.html

    1. GNOME is indeed officially still a part of the GNU project. This is not very well known, in fact it is such an obscure fact that there was a discussion on Planet GNOME a while ago in which people debated the use of being a GNU member, since it only seemed to mean that Richard Stallman asked to not mention non-free software on the Planet. Apart from that I haven't seen much of what being a part of the GNU project means to GNOME, what it does for the project.

      I'm not sure whether GNU really is a whole operating system. Rather, it's just a bunch of tools that are used on top of the kernel produced by another project, together with other elements, to create an operating system.

      1. Not very well known? That's an amusing comment.

        The fact that there's a debate about something does not change the project's status, history or facts.

        Finally I'm glad you think GNU is "just a bunch of tools." It screams to your ignorance about how these things work.

        1. Where is the GNU's kernel? Will my graphics card work on it? Will my wifi driver (Intel's)?
          So this makes GNU as a bunch of tools. How can you call it an OS.

          And yes, even I have the habit of calling "you are ignorant dude" when I am short of words to debate or feel I am losing in the conversation. You too did the same.

          1. Where did I claim GNU had a kernel, graphics or wifi driver? Or for that matter an Operating System?

            EVERYTHING that makes up the operating system called Ubuntu is "just a bunch of tools." Ignorance means "lack of knowledge". Period. So yes, his statement does scream out his lack of knowledge about how these things work.

          2. He was replying to the claim that GNU is a complete OS. What Sense meant by bunch of tools is that GNU does not have a whole stack made themselves comprising of GNU applications/tools/libraries.

            Wel, if you goto workplay there is no end. Everything is a software. Even an OS is a system software, a user application is also a software. If you look from a higher perspective then you can make out some difference. At lower level many things look same (if you go by strict definition)

          3. "He was replying to the claim that GNU is a complete OS."

            No one has made the claim that it is a "complete os". It was a false argument that Sense provided to knock down. An argument that none of us ever made.

            "What Sense meant by bunch of tools is that GNU does not have a whole stack made themselves comprising of GNU applications/tools/libraries. "

            Which is entirely true of it all, no one has claimed otherwise.

            "At lower level many things look same (if you go by strict definition)"

            If you go by strict definition, Gnu is more than *just* a bunch of tools. It, like the Linux kernel, the X-windows stack, Gnome, and others, are critical to the thing you call Ubuntu.

            I said "Where did I claim GNU had a kernel, graphics or wifi driver? Or for that matter an Operating System? " in response to your statement "Where is the GNU's kernel? Will my graphics card work on it? Will my wifi driver (Intel's)?". A question which you neatly sidestepped in your answer.

  3. Yes, product needs consistency. In this regard, I doubt if it is good to call every Ubuntu version by name. Or to have so many versions whatsoever. Developers and experienced users talk more about Maverick then about Ubuntu.
    Imagine these questions one might have: Is Maverick Ubuntu? Everyone talks about Natty. Is this Ubuntu and shall I use it? What the hell is LTS and why is called Lucid? Something works in Maverick. Does it work in Lucid too?

      1. There's a convention for this too.

        Prior to release it's “Ubuntu natty”. You can abbreviate that to “natty” if “Ubuntu” is already mentioned nearby. “natty” is lowercase because the OS uses this internally as its release name, which is case-sensitive. “The Natty Narwhal” is titlecase.

        After release, it's “Ubuntu 11.04”, which is the proper product name. LTS releases are either like “Ubuntu 10.04 LTS” or “Ubuntu 10.04.2 LTS”. The codename is no longer used for anything designed to be user-facing.

        This matches what the OS calls itself: When you drop to a console (Ctrl+Alt+F1; Ctrl+Alt+F7 to return), Ubuntu announces itself as “Ubuntu 10.10”, “Ubuntu 10.04.2 LTS” or “Ubuntu natty (development branch)”.

        This is documented at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/DevelopmentCodeNames

  4. You are totaly right, Ubuntu is Ubuntu. For those who want an Ubuntu Linux or Ubuntu GNU/Linux, I always ask, why don't you call it "Ubuntu Gnome Debian GNU/Linux" if you want to refer to the most important parts of this distribution?

    @RadekB : the code names are only for development, when it's released, you (we) should use only the version number.

    1. OMG! Help us!

      BECAUSE GNU IS THE OS, AND LINUX IS THE KERNEL (UNLESS YOU USE SOMETHING ELSE LIKE FREEBSD KERNEL WHICH I’M SURE “YOU” CAN’T)
      Nobody uses GNOME, because you don’t HAVE TO use GNOME! Oh, forgot that’s all you might have ever seen…
      Nobody says Debian Ubuntu because Debian users would commit suicide if they see something like that! (Joking, nobody says that because it’s not necessary, Ubuntu is another distro, which is based on Debian, combined with some huge load of crap which makes us make fun of it)

      1. You're adding confusion indeed. Your point is helping the fragmentation FUD that says that Linux market is inconsistent and full of incompatibilities, when the truth is that you can find and use almost the same software no matter the Linux distribution you're using. Ubuntu is a distribution of free software, and is part that something bigger than just "a brand". That's a fact we shouldn't ignore.

        Personally I use just Ubuntu, but when speaking with someone that it's not aware of Linux, free software, etc; I like to explain the whole story, not just saying that Ubuntu is a free (as is free beer) operative system.

        1. The problem of things like this is that if we want to cross 'the chasm', then we need to stop assuming every potential user is interested in the very important freedoms that often come together with Linux distributions. Most people want to have something pretty that works well. They don't care too much about their personal freedom, they don't always consider the widespread image that Linux currently has very positively.

          No, Aoirthoir, I don't think that this is disrespecting the intelligence of consumers. It is about being realistic. People *will* get confused, not everyone is like you or your friends. I know plenty of smart people who do not want to know this, who will get confused and not try to understand. But why would we make them, if they don't want? If Ubuntu is about freedom, then it is also about the freedom to be ignorant if you wish so.

          1. and you want such users?
            for your "product"?
            in my opinion, you rather want brain-washed consumers to milk-out whatever you will from them, like a very well-known company does.
            people, however, are not mindless sheep to be herded and told what to do or say, lest they get confused
            if their predisposition is such, then they are better off using something else, that does not value freedom (talking about pearls and …)
            gnu/linux is about freedom, it is not about "products", and leaving the ethical/philosophical part of it out for the sake of "branding" is reproachable, in the least
            of course, just because it is free, you can do it, but you should not expect others to be quiet about it and have their own opinions

          2. Wallach,

            Thanks. The thing is I keep seeing the same attitude from techs. They have convinced themselves that people WANT to be ignorant, instead of placing the blame square where it belongs, on their own misplaced sense of superiority over users, consumers, business professionals and others.

          3. " They don't care too much about their personal freedom, "

            Nonesense. In fact every time I have sold any business on Free and Open Source Software, freedom was absolutely PARAMOUNT in their minds and conversation.

            Let me say this again for those of you that despise business persons, salespersons, corporations, any money making endeavor, and who think that all the toys you have came out of thin air without the financial contributions of real live money making people:

            Freedom IS IMPORTANT to business people and company owners and consumers. Any one of us that has had our data LOCKED OUT from us due to VENDOR LOCK IN, will attest that FREEDOM is one of the major reasons for choosing free and open source software. Do you think businesses decide to purchase software ENTIRELY based on DOLLAR cost? Every day businesses evaluate many needs and features of software in making their purchase decisions. Tell any of those busienss people that they will NOT BE ALLOWED to access their own data (or MIGHT NOT BE) at some point in the future, or that tools (software) they DEPEND UPON to MAKE THEIR LIVING, might be STRIPPED FROM THEM, and you can be sure they WILL care about freedom.

            I know this because it's HOW I MAKE MY LIVING. And every time I show one of my customers arguments like the ones you just made that businesses don't care about freedom, they just roll their eyes. In the real world, businesses absolutely care about their freedoms, including software freedom.

            "No, Aoirthoir, I don't think that this is disrespecting the intelligence of consumers."

            Yes it is, as you are about to demonstrate…

            "It is about being realistic. People *will* get confused, not everyone is like you or your friends."

            Correction YOU will confuse people. People who are spoke to intelligently, with respect, don't get confused.

            "I know plenty of smart people who do not want to know this, who will get confused and not try to understand."

            Really? You know plenty of people who cannot understand the statement "Ubuntu is software that runs your computer. It's a competitor to both Windows and Mac. It uses Linux, the same thing that runs Tivo, so sometimes we call it Ubuntu Linux. Sometimes we just say Ubuntu."? And you are convinced that you are not disrespecting their intelligence…

            "But why would we make them, if they don't want? If Ubuntu is about freedom, then it is also about the freedom to be ignorant if you wish so."

            Please. Just because you are unable to articulate these nuances to professionals in the business world, does not mean they deserve to be disrespected further as choosers of ignorance over knowledge. Again I'm going to tell you, that actually, ACTUALLY respecting them, will result in the experience I have with business professionals, that of persons who listen to what you say, and understand it.

            You are not respecting your potential users or customers. You are treating them with an incredible disdain. I know this, because I have yet to have a single person NOT understand these things. NOT A SINGLE ONE.

      2. Ya know I have yet to have one single person be confused when I said Ubuntu Linux. In fact, quite the opposite. Many more people have heard of Linux than Ubuntu. When I introduce them to Ubuntu they are always confused and I have to explain that it is a distribution that uses Linux and they are like AH. Even NON-Techs. But if I say simply Ubuntu Linux, I don't have to explain further.

        This "preventing confusion" argument is just more of the same disrespecting the customer's intelligence that I see on an on-going basis from techs not ACTUALLY in the business world. "Can't use 'free software' because businesses won't understand what you mean…." "Can't call it Linux, or GNU because people will get confused! OMG!" Please… People not in you line of work are far more intelligent than you closed minded, little world techs keep giving them credit for.In ALL my years of dealing with ACTUAL BUSINESS and CONSUMER people, non-techs, I've never had a SINGLE PERSON confused when I used the terms Ubuntu Linux, GNU/Linux or Free Software. But then, hey I respect them as intelligent, capable human beings who don't need me to dumb down my language for them….You might want to give it a try.

    1. I'm with you. Had the title been "Why not just call it Ubunut?" I might have been with the op. But it was "No, Use Ubuntu!" I hardly like to be commanded in such rude fashions to my form of language. I also grow tired of the continued false argument that we who use any form of GNU in the name are the ones commanding. A quick review of Planet Ubuntu will find that it's exactly the opposite, those telling us NOT to use it are most vocal. Personally I give a rip, as do most who use GNU. If you call it Ubuntu I don't demand you speak as I think you should speak.

      Branding is important to Canonical. It's not MY job to maintain their brand and advertise for them.

      1. It is indeed not your job to do Canonical's advertisement. However, contributors to Ubuntu who care about its image and branding, might want to make sure the product name makes sense and is workable. Not everyone who cares about Ubuntu is paid to do so.

        1. "It is indeed not your job to do Canonical's advertisement. However, contributors to Ubuntu who care about its image and branding, might want to make sure the product name makes sense and is workable. Not everyone who cares about Ubuntu is paid to do so."

          Except you provide a false dichotomy here. I can care about Ubuntu and yet likewise think that people will understand me if I say Ubuntu or if I say Ubuntu Linux. Now to your statement about contributors, LOTS of people contribute to Ubuntu, including the Linux Kernel folks, the GNU folks, the Debian folks, the X-Windows folks, Mozilla folks, and more and more and more. So, do they have to refer to it as Ubuntu only? What about me, if I make a PPA for Open Cobol, do I have to refer to it as Ubuntu and not Ubuntu Linux? After all, ALL of those, and me, and others, ARE contributing to Ubuntu.

  5. Ok I get the picture, brand development and brand recognition. But no matter what we call it it is still Linux and Linux is itself a brand and recognised as such. Including Linux in the brand serves to separate it from other operating systems and right from the start new users know it's not Windows with little instruction. I'll go with the foregoing and get rid of the code-names and just go with a version number. I've lost count of the number of times I've answered the question, "What's Lucid Lynx?"

    1. You are absoutely right, my friend. What first got me into Linux is that early in 2008, my father mentioned that he would like his new computer to run Linux. It was up to me to make a recommendation on what new computer with Linux preinstalled he should get (at the time I knew next to nothing about Linux.) In the course of my research, I came across a mention that Michael Dell runs Ubuntu on his personal machine. Because it was not described as Ubuntu Linux, I did not realize until later that Ubuntu was a Linux distribution. In describing it to others including prospective new users, I will continue to refer to it as Ubuntu Linux.

  6. The name "Linux", and especially "GNU/Linux", have held back the more general adoption of this operating system for years. "Linux" because of its association with command-line geeks, and "GNU/Linux" because it's ugly, cumbersome, and arcane. Want proof? "Android" is Linux and is being adopted worldwide at a breathtaking pace, on all sorts of platforms. The new name is one of the biggest reasons; it jettisons all the old associations (doesn't even sound like an operating system) and replaces them with something that sounds cool.

    RMS should have done this a long time ago…

    1. Correlation does not imply causation. Android's popularity can be attributed to a number of factors including, a large company able to compete actually against the dominant consumer OS, the utter failure of the dominant consumer OS on phones, the control that phone companies have over their hardware, and many other factors. It could have been called poopiehead OS and a good marketing team (which Google has) would have been able to make it popular.

      That's the problem with people that don't really know marketing, how it works, and how to gain brand recognition despite so called "obstacles" like riding the coat-tails of another brand.

    2. Well, the question is to then know if you prefer to have command line geeks and people that do create your OS in your community, or just want them in another and later try to use their work without them. IE, that's nice to try to bring all Windows users on Ubuntu, but that would also mean that Ubuntu will become like Windows ( cause I am convinced that the clients drive the product, and in the case of Microsoft, the clients are ISVs, and for Canonical, that's the same goal since end users do not pay anything to use the OS, Ubuntu software centre is not much targetted at users than software creators ).

  7. @Anthony: I agree, Ubuntu should get rid of the code-names. They are often ugly and hard to associate with the actual version. On the other hand the version numbers based on the year and the month of the release are really handy.

    @Cherax: You are kidding, right? The success of Android has definitely nothing to do with the name. There are other reasons. Motorolla, HTC, Samsung,… wanted to produce smart phones and compete with the Apple. Therefore the market was looking for an IPhone alternative and Google provided it together with his (still for many peoples) positive image, good integration with tools many people use (gmail, maps, gtalk,…). And all this with a quite open infrastructure for the mobile carrier to tweak the OS as it fist. _That_ (among others) was the reason for the success of Android and not the name.

    PS: For a specific distribution I find it quite convenient to just call it Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, RedHat, SuSE,… Talking about the general operating system everyone is free to decide by his own. Personally I use "GNU/Linux" (IMHO the most precise term) in writings and in conversation I often say just "GNU" (short, convenience and the name of the main system-level component regarding the whole OS).

  8. From a marketing and brand-recognition standpoint, abandoning the term "Ubuntu Linux" would be a major mistake. I haven't done any formal research on the subject, but my personal experience shows that the name "Linux" has a lot better brand recognition among non-geeks (i.e., the people who just want to use their computer to get work done) than the name "Ubuntu". I've never encountered a single person who knew the name Ubuntu but didn't know the name Linux, but I've met plenty of people who recognized Linux but had never heard of Ubuntu. If they want to try out a Linux distribution, they're not going to be typing "Ubuntu" into Google, they're going to be searching for "Linux".

    1. Linux may currently be more well-known indeed. However, we should ask ourselves whether we want to associate Ubuntu with the already existing image of Linux, or whether we want to give it the chance to build a new image.

      You're saying that people will have trouble finding Ubuntu, without Linux in its name, when they search for a Linux distribution. Considering Ubuntu's popularity I don't think that this will be a problem at all, don't forget that the official material has already dropped Linux from all references. Moreover, I don't think that our greatest opportunity lies with the people who want to install a Linux distribution. Our potential audience is much wider, much more diverse and probably not at all interested in Linux distributions.

      1. Well, whether you want to or not, Ubuntu is always going to be associated with Linux, considering it uses the Linux kernel to boot

        "Considering Ubuntu's popularity I don't think that this will be a problem at all,". You are right. Why? Because Ubuntu is already associated with Linux.

        "Our potential audience is much wider, much more diverse and probably not at all interested in Linux distributions."

        And that audience is far more intelligent than your post and those like yours would lead us to believe. The group you just spoke of probably has no idea about Linux, never having heard it. My conversations with people fall into two veins:

        "I use GNU. (or Ubuntu or Linux or some other variation…) You've heard of Linux maybe?" If they answer yes, then I say, well it is a type of Linux, and it's really robust and easy to use. If they answer no, I say well it's an operating system that competes with Microsoft Windows, kind of like how Mac competes with Windows. It's really robust and easy to use. Then I explain a couple more things about it, and perhaps show it to them.

        In all these years, I've never had a single person get confused. Not one. Nope. As I said in several posts, I respect my audience. If the Ubuntu community started respecting its audience a bit more, they'd stop worrying about people being confused all the time, and start using words to explain things to them.

    2. True,
      Linux as a term is better known amongst geeks, but you fail to tell what kind of image they have. It's mostly of hard-to-use command line OS used RTFM screaming geeks. Ubuntu as a brand is smaller but does not have the image of the typical image people have when you mention the term *Linux*

      You must have met people knowing the term Ubuntu but also knowing Linux, but how many know that Ubuntu is actually Linux? My experience says that not all of them know. This is because, they just want to get their work done, where friendly distros come in picture.

      1. Right. So in the case of those that don;'t know, why not act responsibly and say what I do "Yeah it's kindof a myth that Linux is for techs only. I mean, you ever have the chance to use Tivo? That's based on Linux. Here, let me show you just how easy Linux is…"

        Simple.

  9. Finally. the question is, whom is the Op speaking to? The marketing team at Canonical? The volunteers that are marketing Ubuntu? The volunteers who are creating software specifically for Ubuntu? The volunteers that are creating software that is included in Ubuntu without their intervention? The consumer of Ubuntu? The recent new user? Everyone else? These episodes which occur sporadically are incredibly elitist, demanding and frankly ableist. Over the past few years I've picked up a stutter and a "noun deficiency" as a friend calls it. So when I have a particular would (or series of words) to describe something, I just speak that. But now, I'm told NO USE UBUNTU! So yet AGAIN my language is policed. This is offensive on EVERY level.

    But this instance of ableism, like every other one in the "friendly" and "accepting" Ubuntu community, will go un-challenged.

    Consider, would we accept even for a moment if a user of Clorox bleach wrote a similar article? No, use Clorox! Of course not. Clorox, or its fans, or its users, don't get to tell me the exact wording I must use when i speak or write about Clorox. Nor does an Ubuntero.

    But will any apologies for his ableism be forthcoming? Indeed will anyone tell him, hey, you were offensive? Since it's Aoirthoir informing you all, I doubt it. Let's just dismiss the facts and let it slide.

    1. Judging from your reactions to this blog post you seem to be offended indeed. However, I don't understand why someone would consider a blog post that merely advocates a certain opinion to be offensive. I'm baffled you manage to drag 'ableism' and 'elitism' to the scene. Could you care to provide any arguments why I would be behaving in such a fashion?

      Yes, I am saying that it would be better if everyone would use 'Ubuntu'. No, I am not saying everyone *has* to. I am not forcing it unto other people. The title of this blog post was not intended as an order, but as a wish. I hope you can understand that not all sentences written in the way the title was are orders. I am just a community contributor, I do not have any authority to issue decrees.

      I am calling on the volunteers who contribute to Ubuntu, to use 'Ubuntu' in conversations, blog posts, written material, etc. Of course, you are free to call it 'GNU' if you want to, but please keep things clear for everyone involved when the audience is broader, and use a more appropriate name.

      1. "Judging from your reactions to this blog post you seem to be offended indeed."

        I am ALWAYS offended when someone tells me how I must speak. (See my post below quoting extensively from the OP that shows, yes you are ARE telling us how to speak, while out of the other side of your mouth claiming you are not telling us…).

        "However, I don't understand why someone would consider a blog post that merely advocates a certain opinion to be offensive."

        Really? Opinions cannot be offensive?

        "I'm baffled you manage to drag 'ableism' and 'elitism' to the scene."

        "Drag" ableism into it? Your post was absolutely ableist. I didn't have to drag anything anywhere. The person offending the marginalized person doesn't get to tell them that they weren't offended, or that their offensive conduct, isn't offensive.

        "Could you care to provide any arguments why I would be behaving in such a fashion?"

        I don't speculate on why you, or the rest of your Ubuntu community continues to mimic the behavior of the rest of society (often to an even worse degree) in it's rampant practice of ableism. You have to ask yourself why you did it, because only you can answer.

        "Yes, I am saying that it would be better if everyone would use 'Ubuntu'. No, I am not saying everyone *has* to."

        My comments below demonstrate that you really ARE saying everyone has to.

        "I am not forcing it unto other people."

        No, but that is not through any of your doing. You lack the power (as does Canonical) to force anyone to do it. Rather, you resort to insulting shaming tactics, not even implying, but stating outright that people who don't use it "don't have their act together…"

        "The title of this blog post was not intended as an order, but as a wish."

        The title wasn't "Why I use the name Ubuntu" or "I wish people would use just the name Ubuntu." It was "No, use Ubuntu!" Uh, that's a command.

        "I hope you can understand that not all sentences written in the way the title was are orders."

        The title taken with the insulting language of the post, say that in this case, I took the sentence right.

        "I am just a community contributor, I do not have any authority to issue decrees."

        Decrees are not needed.

        "I am calling on the volunteers who contribute to Ubuntu, to use 'Ubuntu' in conversations, blog posts, written material, etc."

        Does that include me? See, I write software. That software can get included in any distribution. I could even create a package for MY software for any distribution. Do I need to call it Redhat Linux instead of Fedora? Or Ubuntu instead of Ubuntu Linux?

        "Of course, you are free to call it 'GNU' if you want to, but please keep things clear for everyone involved when the audience is broader, and use a more appropriate name."

        Perhaps you missed the part about my disability above? I am not free to call it GNU. I am only free to call it whatever noun finally jumps into my mind. Being told in many blog posts that I'm lacking somehow because the word that jumped into my brain any specific moment doesn't fit the criteria of another is offensive and insulting.

        But let me lay bets right now, that no apology will be forthcoming, despite the many claims to Ubuntu attempting to be inclusive.

  10. How about this: Ubuntu isn't part of the GNU project and doesn't always support the same ideals as the GNU project. Thus, calling Ubuntu, "Ubuntu GNU/*" is misleading, as one might think Ubuntu is part of the GNU project. Besides, while the GNU tools which are used in Ubuntu are important, the (desktop) user doesn't ever see any of those tools. What they see is Gnome, Firefox (or other browser), oo.o (or Libreoffice), etc.. They don't even see X.org, they just see the operating system, or desktop, or log-in screen, or a bunch of text flying across the screen.

    Instead of in the name, this information should be available from an "About *" (or whatever) button in the installer, or accessible in "About Ubuntu" under the System menu, in a "Significant Mentions" tab (because the "About Ubuntu" dialogue should focus on Ubuntu as an OS for the user, as it's name implies). That way, the user can find this information at install time if they're interested in such things, or after install if they ever become interested. This information should, of course, be available online also (ubuntu.com would be appropriate, I think), in case the user is interested but doesn't want to run the installer to find out.

    Is this not reasonable?

    1. Ben, what is reasonable is what I and the other GNU/ advocates keep saying. CALL it what YOU will. Why are you asking us what you should call it? Our answers to these posts is not "no no no no CALL IT BLA". Rather our answer is, "stop TELLING ME what *I* must call it." If you feel calling it Ubuntu GNU/Linux is misleading, then don't use that term. Use the term you want, and I'll use my own terms.

      Is this not reasonable?

      1. You keep saying that all you want is the individual freedom for people to call something what they want, but at the same time you attack others who argue in favour of one way of referring to the thing. Why, if you value your freedom so much, are you so offended by this post? Don't I have the right to encourage people to call Ubuntu 'Ubuntu', and to share the reasons why I think it is the better way to refer to it?

      2. I wasn't asking you what to call it, I was giving one reason why it shouldn't be called "Ubuntu GNU*". That doesn't mean you can't call it that or anything else, but at least read what I said properly. It's rather more irritating than someone telling you what to do all the time, because even if you mean well the message doesn't get across.

    2. > How about this: Ubuntu isn't part of the GNU project and doesn't always support the same ideals as the GNU project. Thus, calling Ubuntu, "Ubuntu GNU/*"

      Seriously? I don't think you know what GNU has actually done. Take a look at this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_GNU_softwar

      So yeah, bash, coreutils, gcc, grub, gzip, tar* etc are all made by the GNU project, and most likely you use them everyday. That is why we must credit all the people that created the necessary components.

  11. @markus:

    "@Cherax: You are kidding, right? …the market was looking for an iPhone alternative and Google provided it…"

    And why didn't they call it "Google Linux"? Or "Google GNU", or "GGNU", or "Google GNU Slash Linux" (GGNUSL?) or etc. etc.?

    Why not? Because a true marketing genius decided to call it OS-X, instead. Oh, sorry, that was another marketing genius realizing that folks wouldn't exactly flood to the stores to buy a MacBook Pro running BSD Unix.

    The new name, Android, was a brilliant marketing decision; it has given a completely new life and identity to an excellent operating system that was simply stuck in the tired old nomenclature of its geek past (and with some folks obviously still stuck in the same old loop of which old, tired name to call it).

    "…in conversation I often say just "GNU…"" That's just unbelievably pretentious; has anyone, ever, known what the hell you were talking about?

    1. Why didn't they call it all those other things? Because they were following EXACTLY what WE are saying, call it what you want. And WE will call it what WE want.

      No it's not incredibly pretentious. What is pretentious is presuming that if we don't call something what YOU deem we should call it, we're being bad bad boys. In the real world, people get to speak how they want, not how you say they should. So..

      For the last time, if you want to call something Ubuntu, GO AHEAD. if Bob over there wants to call it Ubuntu Linux, GO AHEAD. If Mary wishes to call it "Mary's Personal OS", GO AHEAD. If Jane wants to call it GNU Linux, GO AHEAD.

      And no, contrary to your claim Android did not succeed because of its NAME. Those people that are REALLY in marketing understand that a name is only PART, of your marketing strategy. Companies have come and gone trying to rebrand Linux and got no where. Google succeeded with rebranding Android because of the things we've already mentioned (and you of course refused to address) and many other things. But why address facts when treating your potential customers as noncompoops is so much easier for you wannabe marketers.

      1. "For the last time, if you want to call something Ubuntu, GO AHEAD. if Bob over there wants to call it Ubuntu Linux, GO AHEAD. If Mary wishes to call it "Mary's Personal OS", GO AHEAD. If Jane wants to call it GNU Linux, GO AHEAD."

        Then what, sir, is your problem? If I'm just propagating a certain way of referring to Ubuntu, what am I doing wrong in your eyes? I am not forcing you to stop calling it 'GNU', no matter how wrong that would be, am I?

        1. I've already answered several times what my problem is. Your response here demonstrates it further.

          The attitude this and like posts maintains towards the potential audience of Ubuntu users. " is that using simply ‘Ubuntu’ makes the brand name a lot more attractive and easier on the mind." is an incredibly condescending attitude. Because I respect my audience I assume that they can understand me when I say Ubuntu, or GNU or Linux or any variation thereof.

          You claim you are advocating for people to call it what you will but statements like " Does GNU really deserve more to be in the name than GNOME?" belie this claim. Yes GNU does deserve to be in the name if the writer so desires. So does Gnome or Libre Office or any other term the writer desires.

          "Putting either Linux or GNU and Linux in the name is not fair at all. There is no reason why those vital projects should be attributed, whereas other projects that are just as vital are not." Again belies your claim. The reason to attribute those or other vital projects is because the WRITER or SPEAKER decides to do so.

          Telling me that there is no reason to attribute or that one term doesn't deserve to be used is a FAR cry from my stance of call it ANYTHING you want FOR ANY REASON.

          "The fourth argument is conformity. If we want to bring a consistent message, we all should follow the same naming scheme. " It's not my job to do Canonical's advertising.

          " When someone is talking about ‘Ubuntu’, and another person is discussing ‘Ubuntu Linux’, then you create confusion." No it doesn't. You know, people in general that are not techs, are far more intelligent than this. They really are. I've used Ubuntu, GNU, Linux, Fedora, Puppy, PuppyOS, PuppyLinux, 'Nix, and many more terms with non-technical, non-nix users. And to date, I've never had a single one get confused.

          That being said, one person saying ONLY Gnu, and another saying ONLY Linux and another saying ONLY Ubuntu, might not create an immediate association in the mind of a person who has never heard of any of them. But a person hearing Ubuntu and then Ubuntu Linux, doesn't create the kind of confusion you speak of. The ONLY time I've EVER seen it, is when a Linux tech has ALREADY prejudiced the mind of a potential user by asking them leading questions "would you be confused if I said Ubuntu, and then Ubuntu Linux?"

          "'Is Ubuntu the same as Ubuntu Linux, or is it something different?' a person might wonder. " Honestly what world do you live in that you think users are that incapable of understanding an addition to a word? Let me tell you my world. I live and work with businesses and consumers every day. I respect them, their intelligence and their capability to learn and do. Because I respect them, I speak to them as my equals, not as persons incapable of understanding the things I do. And to date, none of the things I keep seeing posted in blogs, like this, EVER come to fruition. Rather, the opposite happens. My customers walk away educated and empowered. If you take this view of persons, instead of the incredibly condescending view you espouse when you write that they will get confused, you'll find they are more than you think.

          "We should pull our act together and make sure we deliver a consistent message." There is no 'act" to "pull together." As if somehow the way I speak is wrong (more ableism and dismissive language about my ability or inability to speak as you say I should…)

          "Canonical and most people are using ‘Ubuntu’, therefore it makes sense to stick to ‘Ubuntu’." It's not my job to advertise for Canonical.

          So no, you are not saying the same thing I am. Indeed you are presenting a vastly different message. Call it Ubuntu. I'm fine with that. I'm not fine with you telling me that I don't have my act together if I don't. Nor am I fine with you writing that essentially certain persons are lacking the ability to understand the words coming from my mouth if I don't "get my act together…"

          Finally, let's not pretend that your use of sir at the end was meant to be respectful.

          1. I'm afraid you don't get the point about attribution. I'm not saying that we should not attribute projects like GNU, which have been important to all Linux distributions around. I do think that the name of a product is not the best place to attribute everyone you owe something to.

            Furthermore, this post was not intended to tell everyone in the world how to call Ubuntu, I meant to ask people who contribute to Ubuntu to be consistent in their naming, for the reasons I have mentioned in my blog post.

          2. "I do think that the name of a product is not the best place to attribute everyone you owe something to."

            Yeah cause that's what I said to do…

            "Furthermore, this post was not intended to tell everyone in the world how to call Ubuntu, I meant to ask people who contribute to Ubuntu to be consistent in their naming, for the reasons I have mentioned in my blog post."

            Well I would hope your post is not intended for EVERYONE in the WORLD to call it Ubuntu, because not everyone in the world even KNOWS about it. But your claim presents you with a situation.

            As I said earlier, LOTS of people contribute to Ubuntu Linux. Either those of us doing the things I just mentioned (and more) ARE considered contributors or we are not. If we are not, that'sa pretty bold thing to claim, that people who are contributing to your system aren't in fact, contributing

            On the other hand if you admit that they are cotnributing, by your own admission you want us to "be consistent" in calling it what you tell us. In which case you are doing exactly what I claimed you are doing, TELLING us what to do.

  12. "Putting either Linux or GNU and Linux in the name is not fair at all. There is no reason why those vital projects should be attributed, whereas other projects that are just as vital are not."

    This is one of the most idiotic things I have ever seen, even by Ubuntu user standards. I'd explain this to you, but I doubt you could comprehend it.

  13. "Putting either Linux or GNU and Linux in the name is not fair at all. There is no reason why those vital projects should be attributed, whereas other projects that are just as vital are not"

    This is one of the most idiotic things I have ever seen, even for an Ubuntu user. I'd explain this to you, but I doubt you could comprehend it.

    <Delete it again.>

  14. > However, why would we attribute GNU and Linux, but not GNOME, FreeDesktop, Mozilla, The Document Foundation, Novell, Red Hat or any of the other projects and companies that all contribute to what is ultimately integrated into one Ubuntu?

    Is it just me, or does it read like a somewhat important contributor was left out of the list here?..

    > Ubuntu Linux could very well be a derivative of Ubuntu! We should pull our act together and make sure we deliver a consistent message.

    Then pull your act together and consistently call it Debian Ubuntu.

    1. Debian is probably even more important to Ubuntu than the whole GNU project without GNOME (especially considering we're Debian and Ubuntu use eglibc nowadays), so I should have added it to the list. However, that does not mean the logic consequence would be to name Ubuntu 'Debian Ubuntu', it would only strengthen the case that naming Ubuntu 'Ubuntu Linux' would be unfair to other projects that are important.

      1. Actually it strengthens the case that it should have remained named Debian. Instead of starting an entirely new project, resources could have been funneled to the existing project. The VERY same argument you are making right now about consistency could have been made several years ago when Ubuntu was started. But hey, why remain consistent when we can remain consistent.

  15. Well, Ubutnut is Debian’s child, and Debian never tries to get rid of GNU… In fact, we Debian guys, call it Debian, but we know that it’s officially Debian GNU/[Kernel]. It’s nothing to be afraid of, and it’s something good in my opinion…

    Considering the fact that Ubuntu is based on Debian, it’s not possible to get rid of GNU/Linux inside its name… Well, as long as people know what’s going on, there’s no problem, but every time I see people saying what you say, I will hit my head against the wall hundred times! You are saying that you are not sure if GNU is a complete OS! That’s a Windows-ish point of view, which many Ubutnut users have as well…

    Whenever Ubuntu could get rid of all the things related to GNU in all the software they have (mostly it’s just the Ubutnut “GNU/Linux” distro itself), and they could write their own kernel (I don’t mean customized kernel, I mean a kernel which is really different from Linux), you guys are very welcome to call your precious OS, Ubuntu!

    1. Adel,

      Don't you realize, it's NOT the same OS. It IS completely different. ENTIRELY. It's not even based on Debian or GNU or Linux or..

      oh wait, you're right it is. 😀

      Anyhow, I care not if someone says Ubuntu only. I care when they tell others that's what WE have to say. There's a word for those kind of people in the parts of the U.S. of A. that I grew up in. Flagamadorfians.

  16. Thankfully some people at the top don't feel the way so many of the Ubunteros feel:

    8. What would you like to see happen with Linux in the future? with Ubuntu?

    I’d like to see Linux be the standard platform underlying people’s computing experiences. It already achieves that in many behind the scenes ways, and one of the reasons we focused on the desktop initially was to bring the goodness of Linux and open source in the limelight for a larger number of users. I think that in order to achieve that, the Linux and open source community writ large need to avoid the temptation to tear each other down, but rather realise that a big tent approach strengthens us all.

    That's from Canonicals CEO herself.

    1. Other than a possible relation you made up yourself I don't see why this admittedly admirable statement has anything to do with the subject of this blog post.

      I agree that we should not tear other projects down, and I hope that this blog post did not give the impression I was. I am talking about a name, not about our attitude towards other projects.

      1. Except that Linux ISNT another project. And in answering about the future of Ubuntu, she stuck right with the core of what Ubuntu is, Linux.

        Do you really think Linux is not a part of Ubuntu? That it is one of those "other" projets?

  17. Definitely believe that which you said. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the internet the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get irked while people think about worries that they plainly don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

  18. Please, please, do a little bit of research. You see, GNOME, Firefox, LibreOffice and such are not required for the operating system to run. GNU provides the tools and components for the basis of an operating system. Not every operating system has to have a graphic desktop environment, a web browser and other user tools to be considering an operating system. In essence, it would be the same as saying Windows 7/Firefox. Firefox is not required for the operating system to be useable.

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