So this has been the LinuxTag 2005 in Karlsruhe. You have not been there? No problem! Here you can read the most important facts about it!

Short List of Facts

  • 4 days of LinuxTag

  • 2 talks about Ubuntu (1 by Mako)
  • 1 more talk by Mako
  • 2 shipments of CDs (1000 in total); All gone! People loved them!
  • 2 appearances of Ubuntu on TV
  • 1 book about Ubuntu released in Germany

And now the prose ...

Pre LinuxTag

Well this has been kind of stressfull. Two weeks to go till LT and there was no Ubuntu booth. Can this be? Two talks about the Linux distribution but no booth?

OK, the Ubuntu community is very young and the German community is not very big, but this situation had to be changed!

But with some little bumps included, I finally found a home for Ubuntu at LT: The absolut fabulous guys from GNOME Deutschland e.V. graciously offered some of their valuable booth space to offically showcase Ubuntu.

So I'm ready to go - but wait! I need some CDs! No problem: Mako managed to send 500 CDs to LT, which arrived the day before opening. You rock!

LinuxTag, we will rock you!

(As I don't exactly remeber what happened at what day, I'll wrap the 4 days into one story Wink ;-) This was exhausting, dudes! )

Honestly, I was a little anxious because it acctually was the first time I attended as an exhibitor. Additionally it seemed that I would be the only Ubuntu guy at LT. An the last thing I wanted to do in this situation was screwing the thing up...

But the first hello to the GNOME guys was a relief. All ran Ubuntu machines Wink ;-)

From this point it got better and better: More and more people asked about this new thing called Ubuntu, what's the difference to Kubuntu and all the usual stuff your being asked by everyone new to Linux or Ubuntu.

Then the first hit struck me, when a young woman asked whether I could showcase Ubuntu to her in front of a camera. Yes! Strike! Ubuntu on German TV!. It was featured in a TV-magazine called "neues" on 3sat. The realvideo should be online soon and I will place a link here as soon as it's available.

But then I got a message I didn't want to hear: We ran out of CDs. Almost all x86 CDs were gone. And it was just day 2! I started to feel a little bad and certainly got a little pale. Fortunately there was Daniel just sitting some meters away at the booth. He immedately started to contact everyone by IRC. At first they said, no CDs until the evening of next day, but it got better and better until the message was: Next day before noon!

And yes here they were! We got a new shipment of CDs within 16 hours or so! Thanks Canonical!

In the meantime Pearson Germany (or more precisly Addison-Wesley) released their book about Ubuntu, written by Michael Kofler. For those who do not no, he is the author of THE Linux book of the german-speaking community. According to Pearson it must have placed second on list of most wanted items - right after our CDs Wink ;-)

Coming back to the CDs: Soon after they arrived, it was clear that they would not last until the end of the show! Next time I have to plan a little better!

But again there was some good news: Ubuntu was on TV! Again! This time it was the regular news on public TV (ZDF heute). I saw it and can tell you one thing: some people might think now that Ubuntu IS the only Linux distribution around and there is nothing more than Ubuntu Wink ;-) If you understand German you can watch the Video online!

So in the end there were two talks, which had Ubuntu in they title. Just like the saying "The best stuff comes at the end" both were featured in the two last time-slots of the last day.

The Talks

The first talk was held by BenjaminMakoHill, our community dude! He talked about whether Ubuntu is a fork of Debian or not. It held some insight and some new facts, I (and possibly some others) were not really aware about. Maybe you should reformat it for the Ubuntu website, Mako. It would be definitly worth it.

To make things short: Ubuntu is not a fork of Debian. At least not in the classic sense. Ubuntu is "just" another of the more than 150 derivatives of Debian, but definitly one of those, which put a lot of work back into Debian.

If more people see this talk, most of the misconceptions about the Ubuntu-Debian-Relationship will vanish.

The second talk was held by Michael Kofler, a well known author in the German-speaking community, who did THE Linux book and the newly released Ubuntu book. It was a general Ubuntu introduction showcasing the best features of Ubuntu as well as some of its flaws and how it performs in comparison to the other distros around. Some negative points were OK, but other were like "Well, there is a reason for this". Nevertheless it was definitly a positiv talk about Ubuntu and it certainly has drawn the attention of some more users to Ubuntu. You can find the slides and more info about the book at the book's support site (in German).

Upon request, I added some more details about Michael Kofler's Talk in English:

Kofler about Ubuntu

Warning /!\ PLEASE NOTE: Unlike the normal wiki tradition, I demand you to not edit this part, even if you want to comment on some of this points. Additionally, PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT Mr. Kofler to say him this or that point is wrong!!!

Read it, think about it, try to attack the issues. Mr. Kofler is a smart man and even I instantly saw arguable points in his talk when he gave it.

Better do this: Resolve the real issues and think how we can communicate the other things he addressed and you don't agree with. As already mentioned he is a pretty smart guy, so there might be a (communication) mistake on our side. THANKS

Info (!) I tried to keep the points as original as possible, i.e. I tried to write them down without packing my opinion somehow into it. Some points have comments although, especially when I thought they might be usefull for understanding what his point was.

The intro

Micheal Kofler first gave some general information about Ubuntu we all know or can read at the home page and some information about the activity of the community and the distro's technical data, including some of the first pros:

  • Ubuntu's emphasis on simplicity and accessibility
  • The up-to-date packages in main
  • Its excellent support for notebooks and wireless networking
  • Its active community

Before he went on with showcasing Ubuntu a little, he talked about the installation, which led him to some not so positive conclusions:

  • It's textbased, which might be scary to newbies (I have to admit that he's right on this one: somehow people are scared of textual output on a blue background. There must be something in their old OS that makes some users fear text screens with blue backgrounds Wink ;-) )

  • Partitioning is too complicated: Too much dialogs, said that SUSE would perform much better on this issue
  • German localizations just from internet and not (completely) on CD (You have to remember that this talk was given in Germany and this is really an issue for some users in the German-speaking community)

Now we've got his comparisions to other distributions:

Ubuntu vs. SUSE, Fedora, etc.


  • Small is beautiful, which means 1 application for a task and not 5!
  • Debian's package system (He seems to be a Debian fan)

  • Probably the most active community


  • Installation (see point above)
  • Not as many configuration tools (He mentioned ISDN and ADSL specifically, as these are the most used ways to access the internet in Germany)

  • Hard to upgrade without internet
  • No K3B because of limitation to GNOME (I think he addressed the burning of music CDs here)

Ubuntu vs. Enterprise Desktops


  • Free (as in free beer) including updates for 18 months
  • Debian on the server and Ubuntu on the Desktop form a dream team


  • Commercial software must be installed sperately
  • Integration into Windows- or heterogenous networks is not good
  • Boot process is ugly
  • No tools to maintain multiple installations

Ubuntu vs. Debian (Users)


  • Simple installation
  • Good support for hardware
  • More of the latest software


  • Smaller number of supported packages
  • Debian is better suited for servers (He mentioned some server packages which are not supported)

  • Only three hardware platforms, compared to Debian's eleven

Ubuntu vs. Debian (Developers)

  • Ubuntu shows the importance of Debian as a base for new distributions, but
  • Incompatability to Debian packages (like others)
  • Debian could suffer from some developers moving to Ubuntu
  • He gave a pointer to Ian Murdock's blog

Ubuntu vs. Knoppix


  • Userfriendly, non-technical desktop


  • No complete localization without internet
  • Access to Windows partitions is easier in Knoppix
  • Less usfull for administration or maintainace task
  • Less programs compared to Knoppix-DVD
  • Boots even slower than Knoppix


  • Perfect disribution for newbies and desktop users
  • Unlimited expandability through internet ressources
  • Active community
  • Ubuntu is not the perfect distribution yet, but it's on the right way
  • The coporate modell of Canonical is unclear

Post LinuxTag

Well, I learned a lot. Especially about ordering CDs for such an event Wink ;-)

Next events will be better planed from the Ubuntu-side, I will write a checklist soon. If you want to help, write me a short message. You can find the info at JoshKress.

So farewell and till next year (at least when it comes to LinuxTag)

LinuxTag2005WrapUp (last edited 2008-08-06 16:16:27 by localhost)