Ubuntu is a distribution based on Debian and we believe that Ubuntu shouldn't be our enemy but rather an important ally. Ubuntu has been initiated by Canonical Ltd, a commercial organisation that employs several Debian developers.

We know those developers and while they have obligations with respect to their employer, they also have the freedom to cooperate with Debian in the way that suits them. Most of them would love to see Debian benefit more from their work, but what can quickly be done inside Ubuntu will usually take longer in Debian (more people to coordinate) and it's thus impossible for them to integrate their work in Debian in their short free time. Furthermore, Ubuntu doesn't have the same constraints as Debian (not the same set of supported architectures, for example) and sometimes the change in Ubuntu may need further refinement before it can be integrated in Debian. That's why integrating Ubuntu's work can't rely only on the shoulder of Ubuntu, and that's why both projects need to have regular exchanges.

Ubuntu's marketing may exaggerate the level of direct contribution made by Ubuntu, but we believe that it doesn't warrant cutting the link with Ubuntu because what matters is free software and our users, and they are best served by a successful Debian-Ubuntu collaboration, whereas confrontation doesn't bring anything.

Ubuntu core developers

We've interviewed all Ubuntu core developers concerning their involvement in Debian and in Ubuntu. Check who they are, what they do, what they don't, and what they'd like for the future. In short, get the facts and make your own opinion: don't you think that we can work with them?

Ubuntu was initiated by Canonical but many volunteers have joined the project since its inception. Out of the 33 core developers (figures of 11th Feb 2006), no more than a half from those listed above are paid by Canonical. And many more volunteers are part of the MOTU group.

Our conclusion

Within Utnubu we already formed our opinion: the situation is not perfect but we can definitely work with the people listed above (and all the other Ubuntu volunteers), and continue to enhance Debian.