Acquired By KDE-Loving Blue Systems

Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software on 13 January 2016 at 08:20 PM EST. 12 Comments
FREE SOFTWARE, the network of sites like KDE-Look,,, and others, has been acquired by Blue Systems.

Frank Karlitschek, the owner of and more known these days as the founder of ownCloud, announced that Germany's Blue Systems has bought out his network of former KDE/GNOME/Qt focused sites.

Blue Systems is, of course, the company known for backing Kubuntu and KDE along with similar projects while employing a number of upstream KDE developers and is famous for "not having a business model" with being founded by a German meat company heir turned philanthropist Clemens Tönnies Junior.

Frank wrote, "I was looking for a new owner for a while and got interesting offers from the publishing and advertising industry. But I decided to go with Blue Systems because they are an open source minded company and I trust them to do the right thing with the websites, community and source code. I realize millions of users on these websites might be wondering what this means for them. Blue Systems will keep on running and maintaining all the websites so that users shouldn’t notice any change. I even know they’ve got plans to improve things."

He also followed up with a 15 year review of

As one of the areas he struggled with as mentioned in his 15-year review certainly resonates here as well. Frank mentioned among the struggling points, "The reason was the financial crisis and the unwillingness of companies to book advertising on open source websites. Another problem with the growing number of users with ad blockers in the open source space. A discussion that is very hot today again in the mobile space." It's just hearing more about open-source users engaging in ad-blocking and most companies not interested in advertising on an open-source/Linux enthusiast site, an issue I continue to struggle with on a daily basis as well... More than half of our (pay per impression, you don't even need to bloody click) ads are blocked and not many companies being interested in Linux users so at times that's where the less than ideal-looking (or sounding) ads appear due to not enough targeted ads to fill the demand while struggling to make ends meet. So just a humble reminder, if you'd like to see our continued operation, please consider subscribing to Phoronix Premium to get ad-free access while supporting our site and receiving other benefits or please at least consider a PayPal tip. Thanks!
Related News
About The Author
Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

Popular News This Week