Feeds

Canonical kills free Ubuntu CD program

Try-before-you-don't-buy moves to cloud

Boost IT visibility and business value

Say goodbye to Ubuntu on CD. Canonical is killing the free distribution of its Linux on disc, while ramping up cloud trials for penguin-curious Windows fans.

On Tuesday, Canonical said it's stopping the six-year-old ShipIt and CD distributor programs, as technology has moved on and they no longer make sense. The move will also save Canonical money on shipping discs.

ShipIt dates from 2005, when broadband wasn't as ubiquitous and discs were the best way to put software into the hands of devs and end users. Canonical reckons it has shipped millions to CDs to every country in the world.

The service stops with Ubuntu 11.04 later this month. Once the code, currently in beta, is finished, you'll no longer be able apply for a free CD via Canonical's web site.

Canonical is now planning a free online trial for Ubuntu "using the goodness of the cloud" that marketing manager Gerry Carr promised would be a "great first step for Windows users in particular" to wet their toes on the Linux desktop.

He promised "much more this year" designed to reach out to mainstream markets during 2011. He did not provide further details on what cloud Canonical will use or what other activities Canonical has planned to reach the mainstream desktop user.

Canonical's online consolidation follows last year's free, 55-minute trial of Ubuntu 10.10 on Amazon's EC2 compute cloud, paid for by Canonical. Users had no need for either an EC2 account or a credit card and got an EC2 instance equivalent to a 1.2GHz processor, 2GB RAM, 160GB disk space with some pre-configured WordPress, MoinMoin, and Drupal 7.

Carr said on Tuesday that Canonical has been slowly easing back on ShipIt over the last two years, limiting the number of CDs per person and the number of times a person could apply for a CD. As for the CE distributor program, Carr said the volume of CDs distributed is relatively low but the administrative burden for the program is "surprisingly high" for Canonical.

For those who still want their penguin served on a disc, Canonical said you can still download and distribute without its specific blessing. Meanwhile, the company is asking local communities to "find creative ways to get CDs to those that need them" through what Carr called a "ShipIt-lite" program. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Cloudy CoreOS Linux distro declares itself production-ready
Lightweight, container-happy Linux gets first Stable release
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.