What I want Ubuntu Server to be
What we call “Ubuntu Server” is currently a basic system, released together with a giant set of packages that you can install. Being Debian-based, the result is very close to what Debian also delivers: a powerful base platform that can be customized to do almost anything. We add some killer features and packages that we feel are missing, do some integration and bugfix work, and then release in a predictable schedule.
But I want Ubuntu Server to be different. Ubuntu Desktop was successful by releasing a product that delivers a cool, integrated, user-friendly desktop experience. Ubuntu Server should be a product that delivers a cool, integrated, sysadmin-friendly server experience. I want us to innovate. I want us to boldly go where nobody has gone before. I want Ubuntu Server to be something, rather than be anything. We should have a product that implements industry best practices, rather than just making them possible. Having configuration files under a revision control system, users always defined in a local or distant LDAP directory, screen on network shells, LVM always configured… We should deliver and integrate the right software solutions rather than just making all options available.
Yes, that means making some tough choices. That means having a bigger out-of-the-box install. We must recognize there are two separate use cases, resulting in two separate products. You might want a minimal system and install/pick only the stuff you need. Or you might want something that helps you getting things right. A Product rather than a Platform.
But wait… That’s already the case: we have a minimal/appliance installs, separate from the “server” install ! So all what’s left is to operate a semantic shift in our current users: what you called Ubuntu Server so far is really an Ubuntu minimal platform. And we would continue to deliver that. But Ubuntu Server could be something different, something where we make more choices on behalf of the user, in order to deliver a better and more integrated sysadmin experience.
And let’s get ready to take some heavy flak for the choices we’ll make ?