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Cognitive Dissonance

Ubuntu is the distro people love to hate. That is ironic, as it’s spawned a larger number of currently forked
distros than any other flavour of Linux. Just take a look at the GNU/Linux Distribution Timeline from It’s a truly nuts diagram of just how forked the Linux world has become. Totting up the currently live distros, Ubuntu is easily the most fertile with 70 forks. Debian and Red Hat have just over 60 each, and as for the total? We lost count after 280...

True, Ubuntu is a fork of Debian, but without the hard work of Canonical and its contributors I doubt those 70 distros would exist as forks of Debian. So I puzzle over the level of animosity that Canonical stirs in some sectors of the Linux community. The recent Debian debate on Systemd or Upstart generated a lot of noise against Upstart, but why would Canonical do anything but put Upstart forward as its primary choice? Why
hate a company for putting its own developed project first?

Certainly, Canonical does make some odd decisions, but then many large companies do. Internal politics, lawyers, and the personal preferences of charismatic owners can sway decisions that look odd from the outside. That’s why this issue we’re going to fix Ubuntu. It’s the ideal time, too: the latest long term support release, 14.04 Trusty Tahr, is out, and you’ve likely installed it. So now’s the time to put right all those things that annoy you about Ubuntu. You can get started right now with this issue!

We’re not just concentrating on the cutting edge of Linux, but this issue there’s a double-dose of expert guides to the best low-resource Linux distros and FOSS software. So if you’re running older hardware like the ASUS EeePC then we’ve got the know-how to keep it ticking over.

Finally we interview the head of the Linux Professional Institute UK, Bill Quinn, to discover how demand for the LPI Certification has rapidly grown over the last few years and how the LPIC is helping shape UK education in schools, colleges and universities, to a point that Linux will start driving our children’s computing education. It’s an exciting development that’s going to have long-lasting and dramatic implications for Linux and the UK economy, spreading computer literacy and the use of Linux. It’ll take a few years, but we’re excited to help play a little part in this revolution.

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