Gobuntu: freedom-focused Ubuntu flavour
Gobuntu, a flavour of Ubuntu that adheres to the strictest requirements of the Free Software Foundation's "Four Freedoms", now has daily images available.
Mark Shuttleworth made the announcement on the Ubuntu developer's mailing list and in his blog, where he put the call out for all developers interested in pushing the limits of content and code freedom to join the team and help in identifying places where pieces must be separated from the standard Ubuntu builds.
As Shuttleworth explained, the goal is to provide a cleaner and easier to maintain base for projects like gNewSense. The Gobuntu install disk will only include content and code that is modifiable and redistributable, and for which source elements are completely available. For example, if a PDF is on the disk, then the original document should also be available with modification rights.
Gobuntu is a flavour of Ubuntu, just as Kubuntu and Xubuntu are flavours of Ubuntu. Gobuntu development happens as part of the broader Ubuntu project and shares the same archive, so work done to identify problematic content in the archive and split that up benefits users of Ubuntu, Xubuntu and Kubuntu as well.
The team is working with hardware manufacturers to encourage them to make it possible to use their hardware with an entirely free platform. At the moment the distribution is in the early stages and far from being ready for the average end-user. Gobuntu will work with relatively few laptops and desktops, because of the widespread use of binary-only firmware. The issue of hardware drivers is currently the primary focus of the Gobuntu developers.
Shuttleworth said in his blog, "Gobuntu will not correctly enable much hardware today - but it exists as a banner for the cause of software freedom and as a reference of what IS possible with a totally rigorous approach. The goal is to make it a real point of pride to be able to run Gobuntu on a laptop or desktop or server, because it means that all of the stars have aligned to ensure that you have complete freedom to use that hardware with free software."
Anyone interested in becoming involved in the project is asked to join the Gobuntu mailing list, at https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/Gobuntu-devel.