Canonical, the company behind the massively popular Ubuntu Linux operating system has announced it is to stop financing the Kubuntu edition as of the next release, bringing to an end seven years of funding for the official derivative of Ubuntu.
“This is a rational business decision, Kubuntu has not been a business success after 7 years of trying, and it is unrealistic to expect it to continue to have financial resources put into it,” Kubuntu’s lead developer Jonathan Riddell said on KDE’s official blog yesterday.
Kubuntu is based on Ubuntu, utilizing the KDE plasma desktop environment and applications in place of Unity’s offerings. In many ways the plasma desktop offers an experience that resembles Microsoft’s Aero interface.
The changes mean he will be unable to work on the development of the KDE-based distribution during work hours after the release of 12.4. Riddell remains hopeful however that Kubuntu can continue on without funding from Canonical, and is looking to the community to collectivity take on much of the project in order to guarantee future releases.
“The first question to answer is whether the world needs Kubuntu […] If it does then we need people to step up and take the initiative in doing the tasks that are often poorly supported by the community process. ISO testing, for example, is a long, slow, thankless task, and it is hard to get volunteers for it. We can look at ways of reducing effort from what we do such as scrapping the alternate CD or automating KDE SC packaging,” he stated.
Canonical will continue to offer infrastructure and resources for Kubuntu developers, in much the same way as it does for the other derivatives Edubuntu, Lubuntu, and Xubuntu.
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