Ubuntu should be promoted on public domains such as universities, government offices etc.


  • Connect new users to Linux via promoting Ubuntu usage in public domains such as libraries, government offices, working places (offices), and universities.

Use cases

  • Before: towsonu2003 is a university student. He never used anything other than Windows in his life. His university is also using Windows. So he will not be using Linux because he is not familiar with it... There is no reason for him to switch.

  • After: towsonu2003 is a university student. He never used anything other than Windows in his life. However, his university is using Linux. He gets familiar with Linux by using university computers, and switches to Linux because he no longer wants to keep switching between Windows and Linux for his everyday work.


The feature asks to promote Linux / Ubuntu use in the following areas:

  • Libraries
  • Government Agencies
  • Universities
  • Working places
  • Other public domains


Research into the requirements for this industry:

  • Observe and list existing software in use (particularly special 3rd party software)
  • Identify unmet needs that could be met by open source software

Integrate appropriate software into Ubuntu:

  • Identify software applications to be packaged
  • Identify changes to make applications interoperate cleanly
  • Package applications
  • Test applications and integration

Develop marketing materials that:

  • Show that Linux / Ubuntu provides the functionality they require
  • Highlight features they'd gain that they do not already have
  • Illustrate how easily ordinary users can learn Linux / Ubuntu
  • Demonstrate how easily it is to administer a deployment of Linux / Ubuntu installations
  • Provide case studies of cost savings achieved through use of Linux / Ubuntu
  • Explain the moral and ethical benefits of FLOSS

Outstanding issues

  • Public domain is resistant to Linux due to misunderstandings of Linux costs.
  • Public domain is resistant to Linux due to its (obscure) financial ties to Microsoft.


The Origin of This Spec

My girlfriend wrote me the following email so I can send it to Ubuntu users and developers. I decided that it should be properly documented for implementation. So this spec is hers:

Dear Linux creators, improvers, and users,

I am writing this email to explain to my boy friend why I refuse to use Linux instead of Microsoft in spite of my political support and appreciation of Linux and my despise of Microsoft and Bill Gates. I believe what I write here might help you formulate some strategies to challenge the Microsoft monopoly and to turn more and more people into Linux users.

I have to be upfront from the beginning that I am a computer dummy, which means that once I learn how to use a computer program I want to stick to it. I insist on using Microsoft in my computer simply because Linux is not widely used in public domains such as libraries, government offices, working places (offices), and universities. Although I live together with a computer geek who is literally in love with Linux and who is never tired of asking me whether I would like to try Linux at least once, I still say "no" because I do not want to deal with using two softwares in different settings (I can hardly use one). I sometimes use my boy friend's computer, which works with Linux, and I usually get lost because I do not know where to look for what. The point is that, if Linux were used in the public domains mentioned above, I would easily say, "Screw Microsoft, I am going to learn Linux and stick to it" (yes, I have to stick to one thing). But I cannot use Linux at home, and then use Microsoft at work and school. It is just too much for a computer dummy like me! So what I suggest for you Linux "policy-makers" is that if you want to spread Linux to the world, go from top to bottom, for instance, from universities to students, or from cities (government agencies) to citizens. This does not mean that you should forget about individual Linux-lovers, but rather you should put more effort into extending the public domains where Linux is the main language of computer.

Unresolved issues

  • I feel that this is never going to happen until Linux becomes more popular. The institutions will say the same as above, but in reverse: "Why should we confuse our users, who are more likely than not using Windows? We don't want to make their lives difficult!". So we need to get vendors to ship with a Linux option, and the starting point for this has to be the EU. They are the ones who have taken action against Microsoft previously, and they are the ones who will do so again. -- T_Smithe 2006-11-03 21:39:05

  • There is a subject missing here: "The feature asks to promote Linux / Ubuntu use..." Asks who to promote Linux/Ubuntu use? If this specification isn't going to be implemented by anyone in particular, why does it exist? -- MatthewPaulThomas

    • Excellent question, and fair enough, I do not have an excellent answer to that... I would answer: the CommunityCouncil (or some team, entity, or person who represents Canonical or Ubuntu) by directly getting in touch with such institutions and negotiate with them so they consider switching to Ubuntu. Incentives by Canonical (who can consider this as a good future investment) might also work, incentives such as discounted or free support for educational, non-governmental, and governmental offices who are installing Ubuntu for the first time. Any other suggestions as per the "subject" issue? -- towsonu2003

      • If you think Canonical's business development team aren't already working full-time to encourage institutions using Ubuntu, what do you think they're doing all day? Smile :-) Perhaps one way this specification could turn into something useful would be to develop marketing material and methods for LoCo teams to contribute to the effort. -- MatthewPaulThomas

        • The marketing material would be ubuntu-marketing team's job then. But more importantly, may be a procedure to get "Certified to represent Canonical" for LoCo teams so they can really negotiate with institutions on behalf of Ubuntu/Canonical? For example, a Towson LoCo team should be able to go to the Towson University representative and negotiate with her/him the conditions of switching some / most / all campus computers to Ubuntu in such a way that the team's promises are Canonical's promises... Providing just marketing materials won't work: institutions want other institutions to deal with, not individuals. --towsonu2003


  • Just do what I do, and refuse to use proprietary software on University computers. Since I had not previously read the EULA for Microsoft Office 2000 I once spent an entire Physics computer lab session going through it (well, actually there are 2. Microsoft's knowledgebase tells you how to access the license which is included by going Help>About (which means to read it one must open up Excel and "use" it, which constitutes an agreement to the license!) and the other is on I read both, of course after reading the license for Adobe Acrobat Reader 7, since the online version is in PDF format, and also the Apple Public Source License since parts of Acrobat Reader are under that). It only took me about 3.5-4 hours to thoroughly read them, and I made about 3 A4 pages of notes, noting down confusing, contradicting and just plain evil sections of the licenses. By doing that I showed what a stupid waste of time all of these proprietary licenses actually are, and even the computer technician gained a little respect for me (he originally thought I was being a smart-ass by asking for license terms on a piece of Physics software. After I showed him my notes on Excel he saw I was deadly serious). OK, I might not have achived any of the objectives of the computer lab session, but there was absolutely nothing anybody could do to force me to stop reading the license terms. If anything, I was more in the right than them. Even if it comes back to haunt me later, it just means I can take it up a step and annoy even more people with my strict adhedance to the law. If you are going to do something similar then remember, Free Software has NO usage terms. Licenses like the GPL only give conditions for redistribution and modification, the software can be USED for any purpose, therefore no licenses need to be read. (Oh, and by the way, it turns out I am not allowed to run Excel 2000 anyway, since I have previously used Office XP and the included version of the license says that by using any newer or upgraded versions I can no longer be granted a license to use the older one (however, the online version contradicts this, so I noted down this irregularity and showed it to the computer technician)). If you are at University then now is the best opportunity you will ever have for non-violent resistance to institutionalised proprietary software! -- Warbo


InstitutionalLinux (last edited 2008-08-06 17:01:38 by localhost)