General

A Case of How NOT to Remaster A Distro

While browsing through TuxMachine’s articles, I read this article. Budding people interested in creating a Distro, make sure you read this.

One of the core principles of open source development is “freedom”. As such, there are few limitations for developers and end users to take the work of others and move it into a direction they deem better. This has led to a proliferation of Linux distributions, remasters and scores of applications that sometimes are hard to distinguish from other
distributions, remasters or applications. It’s not an ideal situation but somehow quality material always seems to stick around, while the rest sinks back into oblivion.

Another core principle is perhaps “respect”. Freedom is never an absolute. You can fork a distribution or an application, but you don’t have the freedom to remove or change the underlying licenses. You respect that. Why this introduction?

The case of Ultumix


In preparation for the series about PCLinuxOS I ran into Ultumix, a remaster of PCLinuxOS. I have nothing against remasters. In fact, I created a customized version of Ubuntu for the book about Linux. Hence, I know it is not easy to do, though far easier than to create a new distribution of your own. I wouldn’t dream of rebranding it with another name. It’s Ubuntu and it stays Ubuntu. However, bread crumbs of Ultumix do give an insight into why it’s website says the following:

WARNING! PCLinuxOS Forums and IRC Chat
The PCLinuxOS community has informed me that they do not want users of
Ultumix getting support from their forum or IRC chat. If you want
assistance please use the links at the top of this page. Thanks.

What caused this stern stand by the PCLinuxOS community? Well, the first iteration of the Ultumix remaster had Cedega in it. Cedega is a commercial implementation of Wine that enables Linux users to play a selection of Windows-based games. It’s subscription-based and it is definitely not allowed to distribute it with your distribution unless You have persmission to do so (and -most likely- paid Transgaming for it). For this reason Ultumix was banned from Linux Tracker in November 2007.

Learning from your mistakes?
Now, everyone is entitled to make a mistake. What would you do after a foul up like this? Yes, you would read up on free and open source licensing and make sure that the next iteration would at least be free of problems. Apparently, the producer of Ultumix forgot to do that, because early December 2007 he released a new version of Ultumix
without Cedega, but with a nice logo that stated that this distribution was released under the GPL v3. “Say again?”. Yes, he decided that the kernel, the tools, the applications everything should be released under the GPL v3. Fortunately a few people got in touch with him, so he could post in the Linux Questions forum:

Some have pointed out that I will make people angry if I
release this under the GPLv3 so as of this moment on 12/03/07 at 04:23
PM Pacific Standard Time any software that is released under the GPLv2
will stay under the GPLv2. Also any software I created or released
myself will be under the GPLv3. I just needed to get that out of the
way.

People getting angry? You mean: getting sued for blatant violations of underlying licenses. Ignorance is not bliss. Too bad that this tainted version was released via The Pirate Bay where it will be available for quite a long time.

Continue Reading at OpenSourceLearning

8 Comments

  1. Wow! These internet trolls are sure being fed by everyone on the net. Search for “The Case of Ultumix or How NOT to Remaster PCLinuxOS” without the “” and see just how far this slander has spread. It’s nice to be one sided. Especially when you don’t have all the facts.

    Read the Truth here.
    http://nixedblog.thenixedreport.com/?p=158

    Also read the junk these same trolls have been putting in our forums. It’s easy to find it because they spam my forums every day.

  2. @Justin seems like you’ll go anywhere to defend that little “distro” of yours. Flash news: Have already done my research before posting this. You have no idea how many people have ROFL’d at your “attempt” to make Linux Kernel GPLv3, amongst other things.

  3. @Sathya
    It’s good to see you have your eyes peeled. Mr. Justin goes around bamboozling everybody, cussing and shouting and carrying on about how he is discriminated against.

    His own forums are a blast! You should spend some time reading some of the gibberish that’s spouted there. Will keep you in a good mood for days on end, I can’t get rid of the grin on my face after reading the stuff there.

  4. Don’t worry about it. I think any blogger who claims he or she isn’t happy with page hits is lying through his/her teeth. If you put yourself in the public spotlight (like I do), you have to accept some undeserved, sometimes harsh judgments. From where I am standing it becomes funny to be called a M$ basher, a Microsoft FUD spreader, a PCLinuxOS hater and someone with a bias towards PCLinuxOS over the course of months. I know I am not writing to get more page hits, I write because I like writing about open source and Linux. Or BSD as I did in the last couple of months.

    Justin’s post is a testimony to himself, one that is safely preserved in this thread. Whether he will still like it in ten years time…. well, only time will tell ;)

  5. Who Posted this on my behalf?

    “Wow! These internet trolls are sure being fed by everyone on the net. Search for “The Case of Ultumix or How NOT to Remaster PCLinuxOS” without the “” and see just how far this slander has spread. It’s nice to be one sided. Especially when you don’t have all the facts.

    Read the Truth here.
    http://nixedblog.thenixedreport.com/?p=158

    Also read the junk these same trolls have been putting in our forums. It’s easy to find it because they spam my forums every day.”

    I don’t mind your post but use your real name please.

  6. Sathya, a question. Have you been making changes to your weblog recently? I see a post with my name dated February 4th. The words are mine, verbatim, but I did not post them yesterday.

    I posted them on my own weblog on December 29th, 2007. If you want to include the comments in this thread, please refer to the original link:
    http://opensourcelearning.info/blog/?p=720#comment-53251

    I made the decision not to continue the discussion with Justin Breithaupt some time ago and have no intention of stirring up a new round of inflammatory posts.

    Kindest regards,

    Jan Stedehouder

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