I, Jonathan Carter, apply for MOTU rights for uploading LTSP Cluster

Who I am

I'm a 27 year old from Cape Town, South Africa. I believe in the ideas behind free software and that it can unlock great things in the world. I promote Ubuntu because it brings the goodness of Debian and the best that the free software world has to offer to the masses. I've wanted to work with operating systems since I was 4 year old, I even learned to read while typing BASIC programs from a magazine on a ZX-Spectrum.

My Ubuntu story

I got started on Red Hat Linux and used Slackware quite a bit. I first heard of Ubuntu when it was just called "warty" and it was still hosted at I've just been introduced to Debian a few months before and got hooked to the unstable branch. When I just started working full-time at the Shuttleworth Foundation in 2004, one of my first jobs was to check if was available and register it (it was already taken so someone at Canonical took it over the task and negotiations). Since then I've installed Ubuntu on hundreds of individual machines, in hundreds of schools, in libraries, non-profits, government organisations and more. I'm inspired by Ubuntu. It's a revolution in progress and I want to be part of it.

My involvement

I created the initial Edubuntu and Xubuntu websites. I do testing on the Edubuntu images, and I'm currently figuring out how the seeds work so that we can ship something shippable for Karmic. I'm interested in the sociology behind Ubuntu and the health of the community. I'm the co-leader of Ubuntu-ZA. I've worked with my mentor Stephane Graber to package LTSP Cluster, and if it counts for anything I also wrote the man page for gnome-open. I have many interests but I don't always get to everything, it's been a lot better since I left my day job about 10 months ago, I believe that my available time to Ubuntu will continue to improve.

Examples of my work / Things I'm proud of

  • LTSP Cluster Packaging - 6 packages I uploaded to universe, I was very proud of this.
  • In 2006, I created a custom system for the then ~120 tuXlab schools running a mix of Fedora/Ubuntu/(and some others) systems based on Ubuntu. You can read more about it on <>. We've moved the schools to Edubuntu since and I'd like to eventually get all of our old tuXlab features into Edubuntu one day.

Areas of work

Let us know what you worked on, with which development teams / developers you cooperated and how it worked out.

In terms of packaging I've mostly worked with StephaneGraber on the LTSP Cluster packages. I've worked on some things that haven't come to fruition yet, like working on ubuntufying the LXDE interface. I learned quite a bit from Emmet Hickory while working on that.

Things I could do better

I could certainly focus better and improve on my time management, things I've been working on. I'm on the Edubuntu Council and it has happened before that I've forgotten to follow up on some issues and things I needed to get back to. I'm currently using Getting Things Gnome, a GTD application that helps keeping track of things simpler.

In my primary school, we were taught that we can always do better. It was our school's motto, to always strive towards excellence and to try to improve on your best. I suppose we can always do anything better, and shouldn't just settle for good enough, although a good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow (sorry for the preaching).

Plans for the future


  • Get more involved in LTSP and thin client related work.
  • Get Edubuntu at least on par with the other major educational distributions.
  • Work closer with other educational distributions and help solve common problems. Currently we have relationships with Qimo and Guadalinux Edu. We want to work more closely with Skolelinux/Debian-edu and K12-LTSP.
  • I want to make sure that every executable in main, and possibly eventually in universe, has a manual page. (currently working on one for do-release-upgrade).
  • Often, users post scripts for thing they often do in Edubuntu, I think it would be great if some of them could be packaged in some form.

What I like least in Ubuntu

I'm not extremely fond of Ubuntu One's inclusion by default in Ubuntu. It's very nice software, but I don't like that Ubuntu sells itself as a completely free system when it depends on non-free server software for its full functionality. I don't think it's my place to tell Canonical how to run its business, but I'd like to work on things like packaging snowy for Ubuntu so that users like me who would rather self-host their data, for which there are many good reasons, will be able to do so.


If you'd like to comment, but are not the applicant or a sponsor, do it here. Don't forget to sign with @SIG@.


As a sponsor, just copy the template below, fill it out and add it to this section.

St├ęphane Graber

Jonathan is a well known Ubuntu member who has been around for ages, helping people and contributing to everything he can.

I have been sponsoring Jonathan for all his LTSP-Cluster packages mainly because of lack of time on my end and because of Jonathan's willingness to become a MOTU. I quickly introduced him to how LTSP-Cluster works back in May during the UDS, a few months after half of it was already in Karmic and today the last package entered archive.

He has been of great help and did an amazing, fast, yet very good job on packaging these and updating the packaging according to comments made on REVU. More generally Jonathan is deeply implicated in the Edubuntu project and I think that having a MOTU with interest for education will be of great use for Ubuntu.

-- stgraber 2009-08-25 19:32:21


General feedback

Jonathan has been a long time Ubuntu contributor and a good friend for several years. He has a deep understanding of Ubuntu philosophy, culture, and development. He has good technical abilities and is very mature in his approach to problems. I absolutely think he'd be a great addition to the MOTU team and will make valuable contributions to Edubuntu. He is very trustworthy and is very careful about how his actions affect others.

Specific Experiences of working together

Jonathan and I have worked together at several UDSes. He's quite good at spec'ing out problems and finding good technical solutions. I've helped him pick up packaging over the years and he has always picked things up quickly. I reviewed his LTSP cluster packages. He was quick to respond to minor issues and fixed them straight away.

Areas of Improvement

I think he just needs to get out there and start uploading. Jonathan is very much an experiential learner, IMO, and he picks up things very quickly as he's actually doing them.


=== General feedback ===
## Please fill us in on your shared experience. (How many packages did you sponsor? How would you judge the quality? How would you describe the improvements? Do you trust the applicant?)

=== Specific Experiences of working together ===
''Please add good examples of your work together, but also cases that could have handled better.''
=== Areas of Improvement ===


JonathanCarter/MOTUApplication (last edited 2009-10-22 17:08:23 by 41)