This is now called Gobuntu.

Ubuntu-libre (derived from a proposal for an Ubuntu version called Gnubuntu) attempts to become an official version of Ubuntu that will protect user freedom by default. When a user installs default Ubuntu-libre system they can be sure that only free software will be installed on his system during the installation and later while using the package manager for installing additional software.

Ubuntu-libre doesn't try to prevent user from installing proprietary software or adding package repositories for proprietary software, but the user has to explicitly break their own freedom by doing so.

Use cases

  • X likes Ubuntu technically, but is concerned about his freedom.
  • Y is a system administration at an organization, which has a commitment to use only free software.
  • Z runs a system with high security requirements, allowing only software with source code available to be used.


In short this means that Ubuntu restricted and multiverse components will not be parts of Ubuntu-libre default installation. Future goals will probably include work for filling the gaps left by removing restricted component. As the guarded freedom of Ubuntu-libre may attract some current users of GNU operating system, work enabling Ubuntu-libre user to choose between HURD and Linux, is another possible future distinctive feature. How ever it is not that easy and is probably not going to happen any day soon.

Open Issues

  • Linux source distribution includes non-free software which is included in the source repository for Ubuntu Main component. Thus Ubuntu-libre fails at guarding users freedom, in case user downloads Linux source from the repository.


A 100% free (libre) Ubuntu distribution cannot be created unless some reorganising is done to the vanilla version of Ubuntu. (See Open Issues chapter for details.) It is yet to see, if such reorganizing will ever happen. Until then using gNewSense as a completely free alternative to Ubuntu might make sense because of its similar goals.

Contacting developers

Some Ubuntu-libre developers can usually be found on IRC channel #ubuntu-libre at Freenode IRC network. #gnubuntu redirects.


Feel free to publish and comment Ubuntu-libre related artwork here.


An early logo idea mockup by Toni Ruottu cyberix-ubuntu-libre-logo.png

  • I like the fist. The name placement and enclosure, however, doesn't seem appropriate since Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, and Edubuntu (as well as nUbuntu and Ubuntu Lite) do not have their names over the circle of people. They instead place the name to the right without being enclosed in anything, if the name is present at all. (Also, even though the only other official flavor of Ubuntu that uses GNOME - Edubuntu - uses red, orange, and yellow in the logo, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, nUbuntu, and Ubuntu Lite all use alternate colors, so it may be worth considering changing the color scheme.)
    • Could you create an alternative version and post it here?
      • I'm not very experienced with graphics design, but here is the logo I suggested: ubuntu-libre_logo_mockup_2.png and here is another idea: ubuntu-libre_logo_mockup_3.png The gray heads improve recognition at smaller sizes, and the removal of the black lines make it simpler and less busy.

- Wow, i really like this one. Perhaps the gray color looks a little dull, but you won't go wrong with that hand when trying to convince FSF-like minded people about this. A question though, what about Launchpad? Can Gnubuntu use a non-free bug tracker etc? Mathias-K of Ubuntuforums

- Love the logo, I like the agression.

- this is a good idea, but see also EthicalInfo which would enable the average (non-GPL extremist!) Ubuntu user to make informed decisions on a package by package basis, possible 'upgrading' to ubuntu-libre style derived distro in the future. Of course, Ubuntu mainstream could be derived from an Ubuntu-libre, not the other way around. My argument would be that everyday users just don't care enough, but providing some information can increase awareness and promote making decisions which are in line with the principles of free/libre software. I think this would have more impact than a purists' distro.

- Jrnd: Hello all, I do NOT like the fist in the logo. It passes an idea of violence, rant, extremism, fight. This is not what Ubuntu, FSF and freedom are about. Indeed, I would never use any product which suggests violence in any form (even implicitly), even in a logo and for a good cause. What I would SUGGEST is the use of an icon transmitting the idea of OPENNESS, RECEPTIVITY, HOPE, FUTURE, for instance:

these icons appeal to everyone and are the true soul of the FSF movement.

- Although a fist doesn't necessarily suggest violence/extremism, I agree that it could easily be taken that way and thus might not be the best choice. What about an open hand with the fingers spread out, like reaching up towards the sky?

-- jrnd: I like the open hand idea.

- Maybe it is not a good idea to use any body parts at all. See "Do not include body parts in the icon" from http://developer.gnome.org/projects/gup/hig/2.0/icons-design.html for details.


Ubuntu-libre (last edited 2008-08-06 16:19:16 by localhost)