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SteamOS Didn't Use Ubuntu Over Legal Issues

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  • SteamOS Didn't Use Ubuntu Over Legal Issues

    Phoronix: SteamOS Didn't Use Ubuntu Over Legal Issues

    Last month when SteamOS was publicly made available in beta form there were many surprised that Valve based their Linux distribution off Debian rather than Ubuntu, which they had been heavily promoting up to this point for Linux gaming. There was some speculation why Valve went with Debian, but Gabe Newell has now confirmed the reasoning for not basing their operating system off Ubuntu...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTU2Mjc

  • #2
    Sucks to be Ubuntu.

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    • #3
      Good ridance

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      • #4
        Hmmm... Could this be over the GPLv3? Some ubuntu components use the GPLv3 I believe (besides Mir I mean). I reserve the right to be completely wrong about this.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by hiryu View Post
          Hmmm... Could this be over the GPLv3? Some ubuntu components use the GPLv3 I believe (besides Mir I mean). I reserve the right to be completely wrong about this.
          So does Debian. So very much doubt it.

          I would have thought technical issues would be the cause, but technical issues could have been why developers below stopped pushing for Ubuntu, leaving management time to figure out an idea "completely on their own without the stupid knowledge from their underlings". So yeah, "legal issues". there are always lots of those, likely their fork wouldn't be allowed to be called ubuntu, or allowed to advertise it as ubuntu compatible, leaving the benefit of following the brandname moot.

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          • #6
            Mark Shuttlworth must be some kind of idiot, and Ubuntu is going to die with his new direction, I'm sure just 4 years ago before all this nonsense with Unity they would've gladly let them use Ubuntu for Steam OS, now they want to be paid?

            "Pay us to double our userbase and create games for it" It's not like Valve's not giving you any benefit, in fact what they're going to give you is more beneficial than money, a FUCKING SIGNIFICANT USERBASE. Not just some 1% bullshit.
            Last edited by Jebril; 01-07-2014, 02:52 PM.

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            • #7
              I see no problem for Valve to use Debian as base, but they could have a more complete repository. You can not build packages when they only keep the installed packages and remove the rest. The source is complete however but it could be done better.

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              • #8
                Not sure if this is misleading.

                While there might be a "legal issue", the article actually speaks about an
                unclear legal situation concerning some additional components.

                So this might be -again- one of those constellations where it's just not perfectly
                clear what's allowed and what's not. Think of proprietary driver modules.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by hiryu View Post
                  Hmmm... Could this be over the GPLv3? Some ubuntu components use the GPLv3 I believe (besides Mir I mean). I reserve the right to be completely wrong about this.
                  Unlikely. The legal problems are most likely to be Canonicals "Contributor License Agreement" (CLA)
                  http://www.canonical.com/contributors

                  As I understand it, you sign away some of you rights when agreeing with this CLA. Especially section 2.3 in the "enteties" CLA, that basically allows Canonical to re-license everything under a closed source commercial licence if they wish to.

                  And you can't really contribute to Canonical/Ubuntu without signing such a CLA.

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                  • #10
                    For the non-german speakers, does the linked article explain which kind of legal issues there are?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mrugiero View Post
                      For the non-german speakers, does the linked article explain which kind of legal issues there are?
                      No, there is no further information.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jebril View Post
                        now they want to be paid?
                        Source?
                        Ubuntu is Free software, no one can force you to pay Canonical to use/fork/distribute it.
                        The only Canonical power is about the trademark "Ubuntu" but Valve named its OS "Steam OS" so there is no problem here.

                        Also Mir can't be an explanation because Valve already maintains its own patched/up-to-date graphic stack for Steam OS, so they could have done the very same thing against Ubuntu. Same thing regarding the Kernel.
                        Beside, X will remains in standard Ubuntu repositories for at least as long as it will be in Debian.

                        I'm really curious about those alleged "Legal issues". I hope Gabe will give some more details.

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                        • #13
                          They do not maintain an own gfx stack, they reused the Debian experimental mesa package with some lowered/removed depends. But that mesa package is not the best, maybe oibaf could help the Debian strike force a bit as he already packages what i need like vdpau drivers. Compared to the Ubuntu package the used Debian mesa also misses libapi which is needed to compile glamor. And thats needed for radeonsi (which is funnyly inside the mesa package).

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                          • #14
                            "unclear legal situation concerning some additional components"? The only thing I can think of right now would be Unity. Maybe Valve didn't want to include Amazon ads into SteamOS by default, or maybe they didn't know whether Ubuntu would be OK if they changed Unity's hardcoded "Ubuntu Desktop" name to "SteamOS" or such. And then decided that instead of having to rely on a non-default configuration, it's just easier to use the upstream Debian...

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                            • #15
                              I swear all these hate mongering Ubuntu h8rs are so friggin' stupid. Who the hell said that "Canonical wants to be paid"? If that's the case then Linux Mint has been leeching off of Ubuntu for so long I'm surprised that they haven't been sued over it since 2006.

                              Originally posted by Jebril View Post
                              Mark Shuttlworth must be some kind of idiot, and Ubuntu is going to die with his new direction, I'm sure just 4 years ago before all this nonsense with Unity they would've gladly let them use Ubuntu for Steam OS, now they want to be paid?

                              "Pay us to double our userbase and create games for it" It's not like Valve's not giving you any benefit, in fact what they're going to give you is more beneficial than money, a FUCKING SIGNIFICANT USERBASE. Not just some 1% bullshit.
                              If Canonical kept the same difference in a dominant form of a freakin' desktop that's universally better than the traditional way, then we would have absolutely NO reason for Linux Mint to exist. Ubuntu is more popular than ever btw. China's pretty much got an Ubuntu phone in production at the moment.

                              By the way, try using Linux Mint or Debian on a tablet, then tell me how much Unity sucks. "Oooo big icons, must be for a tablet!" Such a sad mentality that the majority of the world has these days. So far Windows 8 is the ONLY contendor that exceeds the requirements of a tablet interface, since it's Modern interface is much more than just having big friggin' icons..

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