What is Ubuntu Video

Ubuntu Video is a video portal designed to gather and share the best Ubuntu related videos. Videos are primarily pulled from online video hubs such as Google Video and YouTube. The Project Lead is JohnLittle.

Location: http://www.ubuntuvideo.com

Goals and Objectives

Demystify Linux

It looks just like Windows - Only better. Watching a short video that demonstrates that Linux can look and feel a lot like the operating systems people are used to can eliminate a lot of fear.


It's command line only. It can't play games. Linux users are all nerdy white guys with unrestrained beards. You know all the myths. Showing videos featuring, and made by, real Linux users will break those down quickly.

Energize the community

The Ubuntu community is already highly energized. Let's get them excited about making videos - sharing their Ubuntu with the world. This could benefit the community in countless areas.

Spark Discussion

I'd really like to see an "official" set of Ubuntu videos rolled out on a continual basis. Nothing as complicated as the Go Open series but still well done, standardized, branded, and widely distributed. Demonstrate features, educate users about open source, roll out tutorial after tutorial. Give me a studio and a spokesperson and I'd make hundreds of these and set them free on the Internet.

Provide Technical Support

With the right video library and portal to tie it all together this concept could be the most effective support resource for the distribution as it grows. Ubuntu Video isn't quite there yet but hopefully the project will spark some creativity in the community.

Explore the creation of an FOSS alternative to YouTube and Google's Flash based services

The power of YouTube and Google Video is that they don't just host videos. They provide that Flash encapsulation that allows users to post videos for redistribution via blogs, myspace, and other sites. That's why just hosting open source friendly formats on an apache server isn't as powerful. It's the ease of redistribution that matters. Finding a way to do this with a FOSS front to back solution and Ubuntu Video will use it.

Address Bug #1 https://launchpad.net/distros/ubuntu/+bug/1

Operational Guidelines

  • Site should be frequently updated - daily if possible.
  • Educate but do not preach.
  • Draw viewers into the official Ubuntu community.
  • Use FOSS where possible but not at the expense of the message's reach.
  • Promote other community initiatives where possible

What We Have Now

A lot actually. Visit http://www.ubuntuvideo.com

Site Structure

The blog format allows for quick and painless site construction and publishing. It's extensible enough for version 1.0 but other technologies may need to be explored if this evolves into a FOSS alternative to YouTube and Google Video.

Site Content

Videos are categorized as follows:

  • Demos
  • Hardware
  • Open Source
  • Site News
  • Testimonials
  • Tutorials

Subpages will contain useful community links, Ubuntu download links, FOSS information, and insight into the history of the Ubuntu project.


The home page displays the 5 most recently added videos regardless of category.

Location: http://www.ubuntuvideo.com


The page describes the purpose and goals of Ubuntu Video, links to the Get Ubuntu page, briefly describes FOSS philosophy, and includes a biography of the sites author (John Little - https://wiki.ubuntu.com/JohnLittle)

Location: http://www.ubuntuvideo.com/about/


Form that submits an email to John Little

Location: http://www.ubuntuvideo.com/contact/

Get Ubuntu

This direct pitch to potential users. This page includes a user testimonial video and links to official Ubuntu resources. A small number of relevant links are provided in the following categories:

  • About Ubuntu
  • Download/Order Ubuntu
  • Join the Ubuntu Community
  • Ubuntu News
  • Community Technical Resources

The links are followed by excerpts from positive Ubuntu reviews.

Location: http://www.ubuntuvideo.com/get-ubuntu/

Live Ubuntu

This video introduces potential users to the Ubuntu idealogy and the FOSS inspired philosophy behind Ubuntu. A video featuring Nelson Mandela's explanation of Ubuntu is included.

Location: http://www.ubuntuvideo.com/ubuntu-philosophy/

Share Ubuntu

This is a direct appeal to readers and Ubuntu users to produce and share videos that can be distributed via services like YouTube and Google and then Ubuntu Video. It includes links to technical resources useful to content authors and the YouTube Group created to host user submitted videos (http://www.youtube.com/group/ubuntuvideo).

Location: http://www.ubuntuvideo.com/share-ubuntu/

Ubuntu History

This section includes a lengthy video of a Mark Shuttleworth talk on the project and related issues as well as third-party histories.

The sidebar contains the site's navigational elements, links to blogs maintained by Ubuntu community members, and the latest Linux news from Digg.com.

The footer contains links to the site archives and relevant trademark notices.

How Can I Help?

  • Record your own video testimonial
  • Record an instructional screencast
  • Record a demo of something really cool
  • Encourage other users to record and submit videos
  • Promote the site in forums and blogs
  • Develop a FOSS alternative video hosting and streaming service
  • Share your knowledge of FOSS video editing and screencasting tools via video and/or the Ubuntu Forums
  • Create and record your own Ubuntu commercial
  • Film a short film that incorporates Ubuntu software or principles in a creative way
  • Point new users and potential users to the site
  • Find existing video that isn't available via an embeddable player and, copyright permitting, repackage it and upload it to a service that provides the player. YouTube and Google Video are the largest and most accessible of these types of services.


Perhaps a slight mention of Democracy Player and it's online video site is in order, since they are FLOSS and the Democracy Player removes the need for Flash (although I haven't tried Theora in it to be honest). Another point, I am not sure about Google Video, but I know that YouTube forces the submitter to give all rights to the video to YouTube. This makes it VERY hard to find videos which are licensed freely enough to put on YouTube, since the author must not only waive all rights to the work (ie. making it Public Domain), but they must legally transfer all of their rights to you so that you can then transfer all of these rights on to YouTube. If you really want to get into the legalities then I doubt anyone would be willing to give up their work in such a way (and no, it does not make the video Public Domain/Free Content, since YouTube are the exclusive rights holders, and they don't even offer it in a Free Format or in high quality. Even saving them needs an external site or a greasemonkey script!). I look forward to making some screencasts and videos for ubuntuvideo.com, since I cringed the first time I found that video you have on the "Get Ubuntu" page, and was shocked to see that it has been included on something like this. Anyway, I hope I can offer a better replacement soon, and until then, have you seen these videos by Robin Miller? They're pretty good, except for the one involving installing applications (it is not a good idea to choose an application which is already installed, and also the Add/Remove tool should take precedence over Synaptic) -- Warbo


Thanks for the suggestions. I'm looking at ways to push open source solutions on the site as much as possible. YouTube and Google offer the libraries of existing video which make this project possible, in it's intial form, but we might be able to steer video authors to new services as it evolves. However, it's also important to note that YouTube and Google can provide significant amounts of exposure. In my opinion we should work to support open source alternatives but not at the expense of ignoring those huge audiences.

Yes, the "Get Ubuntu" video could be better but props to that kid for making it. If you make one better, in a format I can stream, I'll happily use yours instead. (Update: There's a new video up now - Downloading Ubuntu with Roblimo http://www.ubuntuvideo.com/get-ubuntu/)

I've been in touch with Roblimo and he's granted me permission to use his videos. I think there are some other potential areas for us to cooperate as well but I'll save those until there's something definite.

Thanks for the feedback. I hope to see some videos from you soon! - John

Have you seen Captorials.com I have spoke with the guy running it, he has built debs for Dapper, I really like that he has a nice tool that lets you go back and add nice looking comment bubbles to your video. Anyway I was thinking that if someone (Smarter than I) could put together a howto in the forums (this requires the use of vncserver) you would have more video's than you can imagine in just a short amount of time. When it comes to trying to help people a picture is worth 1000 words so a video with good cations is worth millions. The guy running it seems very supportive of Ubuntu. I just thought that if we could get people using this then it would have a double impact you would get your videos and the already amazingly helpful forums would be even better.

Good luck -- Eric

Michael Felczak is working on a similar project at http://ubuntuclips.org/

MarketingTeam/Projects/UbuntuVideo (last edited 2008-08-06 16:59:42 by localhost)