Keeping Ubuntu CDs available

The ShipIt program has been at the core of the Ubuntu project since its inception. The goal was to make sure that there are no restrictions, as far as was possible, to people having access to Ubuntu. In the last five years we have shipped millions of CDs and seen Ubuntu’s popularity and reach grow in ways that would be impossible without ShipIt.

And that aim continues. We need to make Ubuntu available to as many people who need it, particularly those for whom the download options are limited. The goal has not been to supply a CD to every Ubuntu user of every version of Ubuntu.  Remember, one of the coolest things about Ubuntu is the way you can upgrade from one version of Ubuntu to another – without the need for a CD!

While these CDs are often referred to as “free CDs”, they are of course not free of cost to Canonical.  We want to continue this programme, but Ubuntu’s growth means that some changes are necessary. Therefore we are adjusting how we handle CD requests to try to find the right balance between availability of CDs and the continued viability of the ShipIt programme.

We will continue to supply CDs to LoCo teams and Ubuntu members.  And we hope to make CDs available to everyone who is just discovering Ubuntu.   And we continue to search for additional ways to make Ubuntu and Ubuntu materials available to everyone. But we are limiting shipments to people that we think have alternative paths of getting Ubuntu.  For instance,

* you can upgrade to the new release without a CD
* you can download your own CD for free
* you will be able to download the CD wallet artwork
* becoming an Ubuntu member by contributing to Ubuntu, and thereby becoming eligible for more CDs
* And finally, you can purchase CDs.

We will change the language on the ShipIt site to make it clearer what we are doing. We hope that you support this effort and realise that the intent is to continue to make Ubuntu available on CD to everyone who needs it.

Jane Silber, Canonical


  1. JasonBurns

    I think $5 for 5 CDs is very reasonable. I never have used the CDs though, I always download the ISO just to have a hard copy or if I’m about to setup a new PC, but I always upgrade my existing installs over the web…even though on release day it may take one or two days to download.

  2. asuwannarat

    Thank you for your love and kindness for many long years. Things that you do are suitable and realistic. Hope Ubuntu lives long to the future.

  3. John Jeffers


    Can we make it so that we can buy the DVD through paypal from ship it or if I am a Kubuntu member. Also make the DVD label light scribe compatible.

    Try getting the DVD for Kubuntu via torrent (or for that matter any other way) it’s like Tar Sand in Fort McMurry Alberta in winter.

    Regards John

  4. Punky

    Thank you Canonical team for sending CDs every year… I ‘m very grateful! Thanks again

  5. Subsanek

    This is true, as many order a just and not thinking about how much is delivery by mail.

  6. Subsanek

    But at the same time, this free CD with beautiful labels help to show your friend that is Ubuntu and will have great confidence in the system at the official CD, rather than just a blank CD.
    In general, I think it is worth sending only the LTS releases for schools and universities (I’ll put in a school with a stack of official CD that is not tormented about the licenses and at the same time it was possible to run the installation on many computers))))
    Sincerely, Alexander of Russia

  7. sig

    No! dist-upgrade without a CD is a forking bomb! I did it once (8->9), and ended up burning the CD and installing from it. Some things broke badly; for unknown reason, clean install worked quite ok.

    I should still get the partitions together, though…

  8. Tecumseh

    I can see that Canonical spends a lot of money shipping these cd’s. I still would like to be able to receive all cd’s that come out with every release. Not because I need it for my own installations but mostly to introduce others to the fine product that Ubuntu and it’s derived brands are. A bit of marketing in that process would not hurt a bit, so I prefer the original cd’s for that.

    I am willing to pay for the shipment and production of the cd’s I order. So I went to the canonical shop and find that I can only order a multitude of cd’s. I would like there to be an option to get 1 set of all cd’s per release (1x Ubuntu, 1x Kubuntu and 1x Ubuntu Server).

  9. Wayne H

    I guess a decision that needs to be done. As long as you have the CD wallet artwork available so as to make Ubuntu CD’s presentable to the new users.

  10. kcgrad

    Is there an option at the Canonical site where users can “sponsor” a free CD for an anonymous user out there? That might be a good way to help to contribute to the community.


  11. Fahim Murshed


  12. Aradnix

    Well, I can use the artwork for print my own cds, and maybe sell the cds with somethign else and the isntalation service perhaps… but I have not how to doit by the moment.

    I want to know what to do for become an Ubuntu member, it semes interesting, and in the future I will enyoj to help qith the distro and perhaps someday design the artwork.

    Cheers & thanks for all.

  13. DENIS


  14. aqiel

    hey can you deliver me the ShIpit CDs? i need 8 for my students.

  15. Rajaram

    Please send CD for installing Ubuntu in mine and show it to my office

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