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Ubuntu Friendly Wasn't So Friendly After All

Ubuntu

Published on 09 May 2012 12:16 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu
13 Comments

Ubuntu Friendly -- the Canonical-spawned initiative for the community to try to provide information on computer hardware that's "friendly" to run Ubuntu Linux -- is not being actively maintained.

Just months after it launched, Canonical QA engineers are more or less letting Ubuntu Friendly stand still and wanting to hand the work off to others. Ubuntu Friendly basically came down to a hardware database that listed computer systems and their components known to be compatible with Ubuntu. Ubuntu Friendly never really took off as a community success and evidently have too much on their table to maintain, so a session on Tuesday was held where they were kicking around some ideas or how to make it a success. They want to "hand the project to better hands."

One of the figures heard is that they were only getting around 6,000 unique visitors per month, which is extremely low. For comparison, OpenBenchmarking.org, which is the Phoronix Test Suite version of a centralized and collaborative database of test information and Linux hardware compatibility information (and not limited to just Ubuntu) easily does much more than six thousand uniques in any given day.

Ubuntu Friendly is just driven by Canonical's Checkbox software to ask the user for various questions if a given component is working or not and how they would rate its support. This isn't so friendly itself with being largely user-driven and not fully automated nor actively promoted by Canonical/Ubuntu -- at the same time as this they try to push the Ubuntu Certification to hardware vendors and their component catalog, etc.

The user front-end also isn't friendly with limited search capabilities, not parsing the components in a user-friendly manner, etc. There's also just not a lot of results -- 109 three-star friendly systems for Ubuntu 12.04 at the time of publishing this article. The information exposed also isn't overly useful or in-depth.

Over in the Fedora camp, they're also in the process of decommissioning Smolt, their their five-year old equivalent. Fedora Smolt is expected to be replaced by a Fedora Census initiative.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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