The release of Ubuntu 8.10 Alpha 1
is running a few days behind schedule, but an interesting announcement has come out of the Canonical camp this morning. Gobuntu is an official Ubuntu-based distribution that's funded by Canonical and its mission is to ship a distribution composed entirely of software packages that are approved by the Free Software Foundation. Even the artwork and sounds must be fully free and permitted to be modified, and in addition, this distribution ships with no firmware for hardware devices or any binary-only drivers. During Gobuntu's short history there hasn't been much excitement surrounding it compared to the mainline Ubuntu and the free software alternative presented by the Free Software Foundation known as gNewSense
The news coming out of the Canonical camp is that developers will be trying to merge as many of Gobuntu's changes back into the mainline Ubuntu code-base as possible. By default though, Ubuntu will continue to ship with firmware, binary-only drivers, and the rest. One example of the changes to come, however, is that during the installation process the user will be asked whether they want to install only free-libre software. The plans surrounding the Gobuntu changes that will be pushed back into Ubuntu will be discussed in the coming weeks.
These changes were reported by Ubuntu's Community Manager, Jono Bacon, on the ubuntu-devel-announce mailing list