Feeds

Ubuntu board rejects slippery Flash installs

YouTube sensations no justification

High performance access to file storage

Ubuntu won't be updated to quietly slip third-party apps like Flash Player onto your PC, regardless of the app's popularity.

The Linux distro's technical board has unanimously ruled against a change that could have allowed third party software to install by default if users weren't paying attention and that seemed aimed at greasing the skids to putting Adobe Software's Flash on more Ubuntu PCs.

The technical board voted Thursday afternoon five to nothing to defeat the idea.

It had been proposed that a check box in Ubuntu's Ubiquity installer that gives you the choice to install third-party software should be selected by default. This would have required users downloading the latest version of Ubuntu to proactively de-select the box should they not want the non-Ubuntu options installed with their fave Linux distro.

The justification for the proposal was YouTube: people would be deterred from using Ubuntu if they fired up their machine, hit the Tube, and found it didn't work, according to the thinking.

The problem is that most video on YouTube is streamed using Flash, a proprietary media player that uses the royalty-encumbered H.264 video codec.

YouTube owner Google has its own problems with Flash and H.264. Last May, Google released the source of its own video codec as WebM, which it now wants people to use when playing the video tag in HTML5. In January, Google said it planned to drop H.264 from its Chrome browser, although the web giant has yet to follow through on this promise.

When it came to Ubuntu, technical board member Martin Pitt said that ticking the box by default "is by and large equivalent to always installing the software by default, as it would now require an informed decision to get only free software installed."

Pitt noted that while Ubutu's made some concessions on hardware drivers, Flash doesn't meet the same requirement. Flash is not required for most of the work done on a computer. Free alternatives to Flash are widely available, and Ubuntu already makes it easy to install non-free codecs and Flash plug-in via totem's codec and Firefox's plug-in installer.

Further, Pitt noted the board felt they should support the emerging trend way from Flash towards free codecs and HTML5. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.