Randall Ross, widely known as the Ubuntu "Buzz Generator", is the Community Manager of the Ubuntu Vancouver Local Community. He is a curator of the Ubuntu Advocacy Kit, and is the leader of the Ubuntu Evangelists team.


Randall has been using Ubuntu exclusively on his personal equipment since 2006. Before that, he used a long string of GNU/Linux based distro's dating back to approximately 1996. He is a strong Ubuntu advocate and supporter and passionately believes in the need to bring Ubuntu to everyone in the world as quickly as possible.

Stuff Randall Has Done

Randall's Interviews

Contributions to Ubuntu (In Detail)

Continuing the work he begain in 2009, Randall has successfully grown the largest and one of most active city-based Ubuntu groups in the world. At last count, Ubuntu Vancouver had 540 members and since 2009, has held 145 events for people in Vancouver to enjoy. Randall has organized and led over 120 of these events. Randall continues to present Ubuntu topics (the philosophy and the technology) at nearly every meeting. (Refer to http://meetup.com/ubuntuvancouver)

Since joining the Ubuntu community seven years ago, Randall has been and remains active in many aspects of Ubuntu. In addition to the work he does locally in Vancouver, Randall has expanded his contributions to a global scale. He has organized several Ubuntu Global Jams and Ubuntu Community Week. He is the curator of the Ubuntu Advocacy Kit, leader of the Ubuntu Evangelists, and a frequent blogger on Planet Ubuntu, especially on topics that involve the intersection of Ubuntu technology and community.

Randall's Vision for Ubuntu

Randall still envisions Ubuntu as the "next big thing", a project that is right at the cusp of spectacular success. In his mind, Ubuntu is not and never was never just another GNU/Linux variant. Randall envisions Ubuntu as the watershed project/event where that which was once thought of "techie" and "geeky" is taken to everyone, regardless of their means or their level of familiarity with computing technology. Randall recognizes that technology alone will not carry the day. During his long technology career Randall has seen many technologies fail, not through lack of brilliance, but through lack of excitement that would drive adoption and participation.

Randall's Vision for Ubuntu "Governance"

Randall firmly believes that Ubuntu's local community teams provide the foundation for achieving the overall success of the Ubuntu project. Healthy and active teams that can act locally provide "on-the-ground" support of Ubuntu's goals and messaging that no marketing machine can match.

Randall believes that Ubuntu's concept of participatory community teams is its "secret sauce". Others may have technology that challenges Ubuntu, or marketing muscle that exceeds that of Ubuntu and its primary sponsor, but none have the passion and the enthusiasm of the community that makes and enjoys Ubuntu. "Ubuntu is not just software." Ubuntu is born from the blood, sweat, and tears of thousands of remarkable people working together in a way that often defies description.

Randall believes that the Ubuntu community is currently a bit like a baseball "slugger" that has lost his confidence on the field and has become timid. A slugger that is hoping for a base hit or a walk when a grand slam is not only possible, but achievable.

Randall wants to see "a thousand flowers bloom." He believes that the Ubuntu community can grow by several orders of magnitude if we create the right environment for that to happen. Much like a garden, the soil must be fertile. We must seed it. We must nurture young seedlings. We must help them grow and thrive. We must protect them from pests, storms, and drought. We must allow them to cultivate new ideas and approaches and listen to them when they speak from the heart. We must remove obstacles to their growth. We must garden sustainably.

In order to create the largest, healthiest, and most sustainable local community anywhere, Randall views the following actions as critical:

  1. An immediate reduction in community bureaucracy,
  2. An elimination of borders that do not bring value to the project,
  3. Optimization and acceleration of local community team creation,
  4. Creation of culture that is a do-acracy,
  5. Offering a warm embrace to ALL potential contributors, and
  6. Celebrating our successes.

Randall is a pragmatic leader who is not afraid to challenge the status quo and make tough decisions. Randall is a change agent who is dedicated and determined to help change the world, with Ubuntu.

With that in mind, he invites you to support his vision for Ubuntu and to join him in taking Ubuntu everywhere.


Ubuntu community members have endorsed Randall Ross as a potential candidate for the Ubuntu LoCo council and have submitted testimonials in support of this outcome. Please refer to the Testimonials page at this link. He is not currently considering running for a governance position in the Ubuntu community.

. . . Historical info follows.

Supporting Documentation For Ubuntu Membership - Granted 2010

Summary of Contributions to Ubuntu

  • Ubuntu Vancouver Community Manager and Buzz Generator (March 2009 - Present)
  • Grew Ubuntu Vancouver from a handful of members to (nearly) 300 strong!

  • Organized and hosted 34+ meetings of Ubuntu Vancouver (list here: http://www.meetup.com/ubuntuvancouver/calendar/past_list/ )

  • Presented dozens of Ubuntu topics during community meetings
  • Organized Software Freedom Day 2009 Event in Vancouver, marketing Ubuntu "on the street"
  • Active in Launchpad Answers, Launchpad Bugs, Ubuntu Brainstorm, Ubuntu Vancouver LoCo wiki, Ubuntu Canada (ubuntu-ca) mailing list

Contributions to Ubuntu (In Detail)

After attending some of the early meetings of the young Ubuntu Vancouver group formed in 2008, Randall saw an opportunity to spread Ubuntu more rapidly across Vancouver BC Canada. With this objective, he founded the "Ubuntu Vancouver Evangelism, Advocacy & Marketing" team in March 2009. See: Ubuntu Vancouver Evangelism, Advocacy & Marketing At that time the Ubuntu community in Vancouver was still disconnected and "struggling" despite visionary and heroic efforts from the group's founder Kim Kulak. Randall rapidly launched a number of marketing channels including: Meetup, Facebook, identica, MySpace, LinkedIn, and Twitter to get the word out that spreading Ubuntu in Vancouver was a priority.

At last count (late March 2009) Randall had organized more than 34 meetings of Ubuntu Vancouver LoCo in support of local community building and the larger goal of spreading Ubuntu everywhere. (Refer to http://meetup.com/ubuntuvancouver) Ubuntu Vancouver currently averages 3-4 meetings per month. Randall presents Ubuntu topics (the philosophy and the technology) at nearly every meeting.

Randall has envisioned, created, and supported several novel Ubuntu events that are designed to be 'viral' (in the meme sense). These include SupportSaturday, TreatTuesday, and "A Cup of Ubuntu". SupportSaturdays are a successful local community support resource in Vancouver. TreatTuesdays are a successful way to attract people to Ubuntu in neighbourhood settings. "A Cup of Ubuntu" remains a conceptual project with its first instance entitled "Ubuntu Vancouver Ambassadors", currently running as a pilot by RexAlemi. Randall has created Ubuntu "Theme Nights" to bring visibility to Ubuntu topics and speakers in the Vancouver area.

Since joining the Ubuntu ecosystem in 2006, Randall has been and remains active in Ubuntu bug reporting, Launchpad Answers, ubuntu-marketing (creating marketing materials for Spread Ubuntu), and the Ubuntu Canada mailing list and web site.

Ubuntu: My Vision of The Future

Randall envisions Ubuntu as the "next big thing". It's not just another GNU/Linux variant. Randall envisions Ubuntu as the watershed project/event where that which was once thought of "techie" and "geeky" is taken to everyone with a computer, regardless of their level of familiarity.

Randall envisions a city that is a hub of Ubuntu activity. A city where merchants sell Ubuntu-based systems, and the majority of people use those systems. A city where it's easy to get support for Ubuntu, and to meet with people face-to-face that work on aspects of Ubuntu to make it even better.


Seldom I have seen anyone so dedicated to any idea as I see Randall is to Ubuntu. A very gifted, very patient friend who works indefatigably to introduce Ubuntu to a community dominated by high budget marketing campaigns. A charismatic leader, Randall has succeeded in creating if not the most, then one of the most active Ubuntu communities with numerous events and themes. If Ubuntu is going to succeed in Vancouver, Randall is the key, because just like a good programmer who can make a graphic card work with Ubuntu Kernel, Randall can persuade human beings to embrace the Ubuntu culture; and believe me, the latter is much harder. Reza "Rex" Alemi, Ubuntu Vancouver Loco.

Randall is committed to the Ubuntu philosophy, and lives it. His success in growing the Ubuntu Vancouver Local Committee is due to that commitment, and his high energy level. He's a natural leader who moves the group forward. He's open to everyone's ideas and participation. He's a skilled user and teacher of Ubuntu himself, but he stands above the rest of us in his ability to bring together skilled Ubuntu teachers and advocates around the Vancouver area. Larry Reid

Randall is one of the driving forces behind Ubuntu Vancouver. His hard work and wide knowledge of all things (well, marketing and computers) has been instrumental in moving Ubuntu Vancouver from a mere handful of Ubuntu users to just under 300 Ubuntu users in an extremely short period of time. His commitment to Ubuntu is with-out question. The planning and arranging that he has done for Support Saturdays (other places call them install-fests)has made us a leader in providing support for Ubuntu in the Metro Vancouver area. I have been a member in other user groups and Ubuntu Vancouver has been the most helpful and community minded Loco that I know or heard of. Ian "Roscoe" Ross (no relation)

Before Randall, Ubuntu Vancouver was me and a few of my friends getting together once a month to talk about Ubuntu. Over the last year Randall has changed that in a big way! Under Randall's guidance Ubuntu Vancouver is now all about doing. I am totally amazed by this man's energy and enthusiasm. He is totally committed to community and ubuntu. Not only Ubuntu the distribution, but ubuntu the ideal. Everyone is able to contribute to Ubuntu Vancouver in their way. Whether contributing food and drink to our meetings, manning the "Help Desk", hanging signs advertising our events, being a "Support Hero" and helping others, giving "Lightning Talks" during the general meetings, hosting a "Special Event" which is dedicated to one topic, or in a hundred other ways too numerous to list; everybody is empowered to make Vancouver an "Ubuntu City". Thank you Randall! Kim Kulak "Fearless Founder"

I met Randall a couple months after I moved to Vancouver. One of the first things he told me was that he was committed to making Vancouver a world-class hub for the open source software community, particularly Ubuntu. His work on the Ubuntu LoCo here has been awe-inspiring, and has driven the group membership into the hundreds. There's a constant flow of Ubuntu events taking place in Vancouver thanks to his efforts. He is an outstanding and energetic leader, and the Ubuntu community in Vancouver has benefited immensely from it. Brad Bollenbach

I also met Randall at a recent Ubuntu Vancouver meeting dedicated to game development for the Ubuntu distribution. He is well self motivated and committed to seeing Ubuntu succeed. He has a good energy, wants to see the community thrive, and was happy to commit whatever resources the community had available to various projects - including my own free commercial software. He is also well versed in major issues and challenges the community faces, as well as the philosophy of free software - which gives him an edge in the community. Kip Warner

For me Randall defines Ubuntu LoCo here in Vancouver. Even though there are many people who are great contributors, he is the one who motivates everybody else. I am amazed by how much time and effort he puts into this group. Randall sets goals high and does not let go until he achieves them. The rapid growth of this group reflects his devotion. Michal Luptak - Vancouver LoCo member

From the very beginning, Randall was very welcoming, encouraging, and inspiring to us all in the Ubuntu Vancouver LoCo. He brings out the best in people and fosters each member's abilities for the growth of the community. Never before have I seen a group grow so quickly and so positively while remaining so organized. Randall's "ubuntu spirit" has spread to many of the members and his genuine interest, care, and enthusiasm for Ubuntu and the Ubuntu community is truly unique. With Randall, we can only expect things to continue to get better. Joseph Liau - Vancouver LoCo presenter

Randall is a true role model in the Ubuntu community. He works tirelessly to promote Ubuntu by organizing events, corresponding with other community members on mailing lists and helping new users directly at user support events. Though Randall's ability to organize events and promote Ubuntu is truly impressive, it is surpassed by his amazing attitude. Randall embodies the spirit of Ubuntu, one of caring for others and ensuring everyone is included and able to participate in the community. I am continually impressed by Randall and very grateful that Vancouver has such a positive person promoting Ubuntu and all that it has to offer. Thank you Randall! Jamu Kakar - Vancouver LoCo member

Kim Kulak had the right idea that Ubuntu Vancouver LoCo should be about Ubuntu users helping and teaching others about Ubuntu and I was one of the early members he mentions above. I was there when Randall asked if he might do some marketing and help organize meetings and Kim said "Go for it." - and Randall has. He has and is helping us all make Ubuntu known in the greater Vancouver area. Randall's efforts been essential in Ubuntu Vancouver's becoming a real local community. He has given focus and strength to all three words - UBUNTU, more than great software - LOCAL, people in the Vancouver area helping to spread the Ubuntu message and give and get help locally - COMMUNITY, from the earliest days working to ensure Ubuntu Vancouver LoCo is a true community including users of ALL skill levels.

Over the past few decades and in both of my IT careers I have seen and met marketers of all stripes. Randall is the genuine article in the best sense of the term. Randall never ceases to amaze and delight me with his caring professional skills especially in the areas of marketing, organizing, leading and encouraging one and all to become involved in OUR Ubuntu community.

Special meetings and events give focus and activity to those with special skills and interests - and that is great! But, for me, it is the variety and vitality found in our monthly general meetings that helps greatly in bringing our local Ubuntu COMMUNITY together. The organization, content and flow of each meeting are evidence of truly skilled planning and preparation on Randall's part. For me, his skill as a meeting chair is just icing on the cake. It's never about Randall - it's always about UBUNTU and COMMUNITY - something for one and something for all. In something of an echo of our recent Winter Olympics' cheer - "Go RANDALL Go!" Georges Rodier - Vancouver LoCo founding member

Randall has been spreading the love that is Ubuntu to everyone in Vancouver and it shows every time you attend a Vancouver Loco event. His dedication, commitment, care, and concern are the fundamentals for the community. He is not only the buzz generator but leader, mentor, teacher and helper. I don't think there are enough words to really convey the gratitude and thanks each member feels for creating this community of sharing. We all look forward to the great journey ahead with Randall at the helm. -Charlene Tessier, Ubuntu Vancouver Loco Member

In the time I have followed the Vancouver LoCo team, Randall has continuously amazed me with his energy and motivation. He is always striving to teach people — young and old — how awesome Ubuntu is; to pass his excitement, and the Ubuntu spirit, on to others. The Vancouver LoCo is thriving, and I'm sure a great deal of that can be attributed to Randall's contagious enthusiasm and dedication. -- dylanmccall 2010-04-05 01:06:48

Here’s a man who executes everything he sets out to do flawlessly; always well prepared and researched, he delivers with professionalism and care. He calls himself ‘ the buzz generator for Ubuntu Vancouver’ – THAT HE IS!

  • Andrew, Ubuntu Vancouver Loco Member

Randall has been instrumental in the growth of the Ubuntu Vancouver LoCo. Without his dedication to the group, several activities may have not took place. Being the "Buzz Generator", he had made computing fun and with more sense of community, which had kept the group closely. - Mark Cariaga, Ubuntu Vancouver Loco Member

Randall Ross is the Consummate Professional: an excellent presenter who speaks with authority and is a persuasive speaker who commands respect from his attentive audience. He is knowledgeable and provides well-researched, detailed, specific information in written and oral forms that are greatly appreciated by the membership. Randall illustrates good time-management skills and deft finesse in all that he does: oral introductions & presentations and well-honed writing skills that create persuasive brochures, posters and on-line communications that generate progressive, dynamic group growth! He demonstrates a high regard for all members and is very attentive to what they say: responds respectfully and completely to members queries. Randall is an excellent two-way communicator: he listens as well as he speaks. He is trustworthy & dependable: he always shows up for meetings & does what he says he's going to do. He is informative: does his research and presents complete, specific information that can be understood by everybody. Randall has a very strong sense of community that motivates members to be especially friendly and active and become a bigger part of the community by promoting Ubuntu to friends,family and strangers. He is a purposeful, strong leader who works very hard to promote Ubuntu any way he can!


Sidney (Sid) Mickey

Marketing Promotions Assistant & Member - http://meetup.com/ubuntuvancouverloco

A leader, a communicator, an organizer and a dedicated Ubuntu advocate, rarely have I come across an individual who encompasses the variety of skills that Randall has demonstrated at Ubuntu Vancouver Loco. Six months ago I attended my first meeting unsure of what to expect. What I discovered was a strongly organized community of volunteers and Ubuntu-enthusiasts brought together by Randall. Every event I attended thereafter has been conducted in the most professional and timely manner. Not to mention they have simply been fun, educational and evolving in ideas. Among other things, Randall has been responsible for event logistics, planning, volunteer recruitment, MCing and marketing. His great interpersonal skills and dedication to the the group is directly responsible for the continued growth in membership and the reputation of Ubuntu Vancouver Loco as a group dedicated to community involvement. I look forward to a continued involvement with Randall in promoting Ubuntu in Vancouver. Sincerely, James Lang, Ubuntu Vancouver Loco Member

He has been the striving power behind the growth of the Ubuntu Vancouver LoCo. With passion and endurance he managed to build a magnificent group that brings tech geeks and newbies together. His never ending stream of marketing e-mails and activities in the city to spread the ubuntu word and spirit are outstanding. I'm honoured to know Randall and have him in our LoCo. stefan-tjarks

Before Randall the Ubuntu Vancouver Loco was less than 20 memers. After Randall it's close to 300 and growing. To me Randall continously redefeines and challenges what I think of concept of Ubuntu. His subtle leadership has fostered a culture of acceptance in the Ubuntu Vancouver LoCo AND has brought together a diverse group of people of all technical abilities. Nathaniel Senff - Vancouver LoCo Member

I'm pleased to be asked to provide a testimonial for Randall. Under Randall's direction it has been my great pleasure to watch Ubuntu Vancouver LoCo grow from 8-odd people to close to 50 who regularly attend our monthly meetings. In particular I have been impressed with Randall's constant and creative attempts to bring more people from varying backgrounds into the fold. I am very pleased that the gender balance in Ubuntu Vancouver LoCo has grown from 0 to close to 30% at the last meeting. I attribute this in large part to Randall's enthusiasm unflagging support for diversity in Ubuntu Vancovuer LoCo. To me Randall exemplifies many of the values that make Ubuntu great. 'Scott Nelson, Ubuntu Vancouver LoCo Supporter'

I agree with the foregoing testimonials and I highly recommend Randall to you. His enthusiasm is apparent and shines through in all his communication - both in person and online. He embodies the spirit of Ubuntu as someone who is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, and he believes in a greater whole where others are not diminished. As well, his family is wholly supportive of his endeavors and join him in his efforts. I believe Randall is someone who has made a significant and sustained contribution to Ubuntu and the Ubuntu community and that he will continue to do so. Kerry Hall - Vancouver LoCo member

Additional Testimonials (Email Submissions)

RandallRoss (last edited 2014-10-24 15:50:41 by randall)