Ubuntu Netbook Edition folded into Ubuntu for next release

One of the benefits of the direction that’s been taken with the next release of Ubuntu is that there is no longer a need for a separate netbook edition. The introduction of the new shell for Ubuntu means that we have a user interface that works equally well whatever the form factor of the PC. And the underlying technology works on a range of architectures including those common in netbook, notebooks, desktops or whatever you choose to run it on. Hence the need for a separate version for netbooks is removed.

To be clear, this is the opposite of us withdrawing from the netbook market. In fact looking at the download figures on ubuntu.com interest in netbooks is not only thriving but booming. It’s us recognising that the market has moved on and celebrating that separate images are no longer a requirement as the much anticipated convergence of devices moves closer.

A return to the Ubuntu name

Which actually got us thinking about our naming conventions in totality. ‘Ubuntu Desktop Edition’ arose in 2005 as a response to the launch of Ubuntu Server Edition and our desire to distinguish between the two. But desktops are no longer the pre-eminent client platform. And actually naming the the ‘edition’ after any target technology is going to have us chasing the trend. Also we were tying ourselves to some ungainly product titles – Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Server Edition for instance. User feedback also told us that people thought the edition was not for them as they had a laptop and spent time looking for a ‘Laptop Edition’.

So we are going back to our roots. From 11.04 the core product that you run on your PC will be simply, Ubuntu. Therefore the next release will be Ubuntu 11.04 and you can run that, my friend, on anything you like from a netbook to a notebook to a desktop. Ubuntu Server will be maintained as a separate product of course and named simply, Ubuntu Server 11.04.

We think this will make things simpler. When we mean Ubuntu for notebooks we will say just that rather than the more confusing, ‘Ubuntu Desktop Edition for notebooks’. We are retaining the concept of ‘remixes’ for community projects and the naming convention therein. And we would love to hear what you think.

28 comments

  1. Ernst Sjöstrand

    It’s _really_ hard to comment on this blog! You have to guess that you should go to /wp-login.php

    Anyway, sounds great, one Ubuntu to rule them all!

  2. Marco Corsini

    Great news. Ubuntu is always a step ahead.
    Simple is always good.
    Keep up the good work

  3. Jon Jenkins

    Really good news – makes it much simpler for people to choose which version to run; I’m about to get a new Samsung netbook – so am guessing will have to start with the current Netbook version – will that automatically upgrade to the new one?

  4. Stefanie

    Great! Makes things much simpler :)

  5. Eric Mesa

    I think that will be very helpful for those who aren’t part of the Linux community to figure out which one to choose.

  6. Albin

    FWIW, I tried the Netbook Remix 10.10 and rejected it as slow as molasses and clogging up the little screen. By comparison, I’ve been running Lubuntu, which seems not to have “official” status yet, with great success. My impression is you are right to concentrate on quality/performance/reliability for a single version, and let other focused dev teams work off it. Looking forward to trying the new edition on LiveUSB

  7. aa

    Hard?

  8. Grant Paton-Simpson

    Simple is good. Now my father-in-law can have the same system on his netbook as on his desktop, which will make it easier to provide support.

  9. azureus

    checking comments

  10. Wayne Tempel

    I guess that this “Linux for Human Beings” no longer matters. I thought Ubuntu was for and about the people!

  11. yours-truly.de

    Yeah! That is a really really nice Message. I think it is the right decision and will save Users like me and of course every “linux starter” / “windows leaver” a lot of time.
    Thank you.

    With nice Greetings,
    yt

  12. Random User

    When running on a system without hardware accelerated graphics, will Unity still run? I mean, will the installer default to the 2D version of Unity. If there’s going to be a single Ubuntu desktop edition, shouldn’t they share more or less the same graphical user experience?

  13. drwily95

    This is much better. Just one word, “Ubuntu”.
    No need to distinguish between the “desktop edition” and the “netbook edition”.
    I’d like to see Ubuntu as a good alternative to either Windows or Mac OS.
    I own a netbook with Ubuntu in it, and is satisfied with the stability and performance.
    Looking forward to future releases… Kudos!

  14. Toso

    I found good initiative. Although English is the language most spoken in the world, that put these names together with the versions of ubuntu in most languages ​​do not have any meaning, it’s the same thing to use for example Ubuntu Onça 11.04, could understand? I think you should only use numbers because that is most universal language, even in Asian languages ​​using Arabic numerals. For people who are of English and those who love the English language that can be cool, but those who do not like or care about the English language these words have no sense of course, which I think would happen to symbols or pictures. If the product you want to be very popular also think that the simplicity and ease helps. Good work!

  15. adrian

    “clear as water in southern”
    Thanks for all masters!

  16. thelonelyghost

    Despite the merging of Desktop edition and Netbook edition, there will always be “remixes” optimized for speed (netbooks) and those optimized for functionality (desktops).

    Here’s what I get that Canonical is doing with this change:
    (1) Merging the teams that upgrade each edition into one, thereby providing more resources for faster development.
    (2) Reducing naming confusion by labelling the unified (*snicker*, Unity…) package “Ubuntu”.
    (3) Reducing required storage space for each release. Less editions mean less redundancy of common data for small variations in disc images, therefore less total storage space needed on the download server.

    The main thing I’d like to see with this merging would be an option to install the default performance, battery-saver, or balanced load-out. Then older machines and netbooks wouldn’t be forced to have processor-intensive graphics for a little eye-candy, but high-power desktops/notebooks wouldn’t have to look like a windows 3.* desktop if they can handle more.

  17. rhbUSBY

    Your explanatin of the reason behind the “switch” back ot “just” Ubuntu is good. I like the concept. I have desktop, laptop and netbook all running Ubuntu. I am very interested in the new UI. I have tried Jolicloud and despite my initial “This is for people who don’t have a clue” I ended up liking the concept, Anxious to see 11.04 when it is released.

  18. Bill Hammond

    This sounds like a great idea, but I’m curious if this will mean that the other flavours of Ubuntu (e.g. xubuntu, edubuntu, etc.) will go the way of the netbook remix?

  19. Paulo

    No #Unity. #Save #Ubuntu!. #Brazil (repassem esta mensagem; reply this message)

  20. Leigh Johnson

    While I understand the thrust of this move (Unity interface and all), I have to say that, as a daily netbook user, I have come to adore Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.04. I really appreciate having a distribution out there that is explicitly Netbook-friendly, in name as well as in practice.

    I am an IT consultant and do a LOT of remote administration, primarily via rdesktop and VNC. UNE 10.04 works perfectly and is such a breeze to navigate.

    I tried running 10.10 when it launched, but it’s impossible to run rdesktop or xvnc4viewer in full-screen mode without Unity trying to take over from behind the active session. I submitted bug requests, but to no avail.

    I have since downgraded back to UNE 10.04 until things start to work better with the new interface. As it stands now, 10.04 is much easier and snappier to use than Unity (although I think there is potential there – It’s just not primetime-ready yet IMHO).

    Having Unity as the Desktop AND Netbook interface is not something I am personally looking forward to (and yes, I know good old Gnome will be an option for those of us too stubborn to adopt).

    As far as editions or remixes go – I like the idea of an Atom Processor, 1024×600 display, SSD optimized OS. I suppose that, being in IT, it’s not hard for me to understand that, under normal circumstances, teh ‘Desktop’ edition of a piece of software will run fine on a laptop – but a Netbook is a special case. No confusion there, but I recognize that many of my customers wouldn’t be so savvy and be confused as to what they edition need for their laptop since there isn’t an edition with ‘Laptop’ in the name.

    In the end, I’m just glad that there’s an OS like Ubuntu out there. No Wintel or Apple OS even comes close to its performance on any platform.

  21. Leigh Johnson

    While I understand the thrust of this move (Unity interface and all), I have to say that, as a daily netbook user, I have come to adore Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.04. I really appreciate having a distribution out there that is explicitly Netbook-friendly, in name as well as in practice.

    I am an IT consultant and do a LOT of remote administration, primarily via rdesktop and VNC. UNE 10.04 works perfectly and is such a breeze to navigate.

    I tried running 10.10 when it launched, but it’s impossible to run rdesktop or xvnc4viewer in full-screen mode without Unity trying to take over from behind the active session. I submitted bug requests, but to no avail.

    I have since downgraded back to UNE 10.04 until things start to work better with the new interface. As it stands now, 10.04 is much easier and snappier to use than Unity (although I think there is potential there – It’s just not primetime-ready yet IMHO).

    Having Unity as the Desktop AND Netbook interface is not something I am personally looking forward to (and yes, I know good old Gnome will be an option for those of us too stubborn to adopt).

    As far as editions or remixes go – I like the idea of an Atom Processor, 1024×600 display, SSD optimized OS. I suppose that, being in IT, it’s not hard for me to understand that, under normal circumstances, the ‘Desktop’ edition of a piece of software will run fine on a laptop – but a Netbook is a different story. No confusion there, but I recognize that many of my customers wouldn’t be so savvy and be confused as to what they need for their laptop since there’s no ‘Laptop’ edition name.

    In the end, though, I’m just glad there is an OS like Ubuntu out there that performs so well on so many platforms – far better than any Microsoft or Apple offering.

  22. Luke

    Eu acho essa simplificação muito boa, desde que o usuário possa personalizar a interface ao seu modo, por exemplo eu prefiro o formato Netbook Edition, mas outros usuários podem preferir a interface Desktop Edition. Na hora da instalação do Ubuntu o usuário escolheria o que usar.

  23. charles

    Hello and tablets …. Chinese have a tablet (hw-702t) and would like to run ubuntu on it …. q abend specifications are low power .. q I know a similar relate to ubuntu 6 ~ 9 so it would perhaps trabalhase comfortavel … and / or a special version for tablets ond any User can install on your device

  24. Bruno

    Nice move!

  25. Sachin

    Hi,

    Lately I have a question to be answered here. Ubuntu netbook edition was advertised as fast and optimized for netbooks.
    Now merging the editions leaves that performance and optimization questions open.
    Could you/some one please throw some light into this area.

    Thanks
    Sachin

  26. Andy Stevens

    If there’s no separate netbook ISO image, perhaps the (broken) link for it should be removed from the BitTorrent section of the download page… http://www.ubuntu.com/download/ubuntu/alternative-download#bt

  27. nEtbook ratings

    Mini netbooks are incredibly light, small-sized notebook computers which are mostly employed for surfing around the web, online shopping, chatting and ultizing your myspace. Most of …netbook

  28. fridge freezer reviews

    Comments are literally free-learning for blog publishers. Those who feel they have little more to discover are going to turn them off.

Add your comment