Launchpad Entry: add-on-cd-composer
Users or group of users like Ubuntu LoCo teams should be able to create Ubuntu based distribution add-on CD's without loosing links (apart from a few words like "based on Ubuntu Y.MM ...") to original distribution by creation of territory-/language-/task-specific add-on CD's. Therefore, development and distribution of official Ubuntu Add-On CD Composer is proposed.
The limitation imposed by the choice of delivering Ubuntu on single CD lead to stripping some components from the Ubuntu delivered to final users. Example of some crucial components, lack of which is most noticeable to final users and giving the first impressions on distribution just after installation, is localization-related packages (language packs). Among other things, influencing usability of the system after install, one may mention network-related packages (like pptp-linux) and multimedia codecs absent on the Ubuntu CD's, because of lack of space or software patents restrictions in some countries.
Facts, mentioned above, lead to the situation, when various distribution's were created and developed based on the Ubuntu. In some cases modifications of the base Ubuntu distribution may be as big as adding full localization to the LiveCD and a couple of additional packages from Ubuntu repositories. Moreover, Ubuntu trademark policy also influences this situation, forcing authors of such "new" distributions to choose a different name, replace Ubuntu artwork etc.
This situation weakens Ubuntu as a distribution, as a community, and as a trademark as well.
Proposed Ubuntu Add-On CD Composer aims to fix this drawbacks.
- Andzey receives Ubuntu distribution CD from the Shipit service. He runs Ubuntu for the first time using his native language, but he is very confused after finding out, that the system is not fully localized. Localized system notification message pops up advising him in a polite manner, that this situation is due to a lack of space on the LiveCD and that fully localized system with some additions may be set up after download of official territory-based add-on package, which is just a few megabytes in size. After download and install of the package within the Live session Andzey finds out that he got almost all functionality he needs and decides to get Ubuntu more thorough try.
- After downloading and setup of Ubuntu from the LiveCD, Poulina needs to install localization and some extra-software. To find out the best way to do this, she asks or searches Local community support forum on advice and mentions that her system has limited connection to Internet. She gets reference to the official Ubuntu add-on CD, which she can obtain from various sources (download in Internet cafe, get it via local community team etc) and install additional packages from it. Following the advice, she obtains add-on disk from local community group and enhances her Ubuntu system.
- As an active member of local community team Michiel analyses frequently asked questions and realizes that delivering just a few extra packages from Ubuntu repositories alongside official LiveCD is sufficient to make beginner's user experience much smoother. He grubs Ubuntu Add-on CD Composer and in a few minutes creates an official add-on CD, which he points newcomers to and uses himself on various events like install-parties to spread Ubuntu.
Design and implementation might be based on extention of EdubuntuOnTwoCDs specification, which was implemented. Currently, Edubuntu is delivered as an Add-on CD to a base Ubuntu system.
Related blueprint: https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/edubuntu-on-two-cds
Probably, there should be more then one spec implemented in parallel, taking into account issues like Ubuntu trademark policy, licensing/distribution restrictions and similar.
The following questions should be clearly answered:
- Should Canonical encourage other parties to employ Ubuntu add-on development practices to grow distribution and community around it stronger, especially in the cases, when there are really minor changes required, or follow current practices of "re-branding" instead?
- Should Canonical together with community develop unified naming scheme for localized versions of Ubuntu?
There is might be a need in quantification on what is being done currently for territory related distribution add-on CD's apart from obvious full-localization (examples: Baltix, Runtu, Rubuntu; what extras are added there?).
Other possible issues:
- How Ubuntu support/Canonical will be/might be related to this Add-on CD's?
- What about licensing? For example, with respect to codecs: mp3 is totally free in some areas and forbidden in others, how sophisticated should be the tool to be able to check and warn about licensing restrictions on provided packages, if any might be implied?
- What software will be allowed to be part of the Add-on CD? How keep track of it?
Ubuntu Customisation Kit http://uck.sourceforge.net/
BoF agenda and discussion