Archives par mot-clé : ubuntu-co

Help FACIL improve MultiSystem with UEFI support and produce up to 350 Live USB keys including multiple GNU/Linux systems

FACIL, pour l’appropriation collective de l’informatique libre (FACIL), a Quebec-based non-profit, has decided to crowd-fund the development production of a 16 GB USB key bearing the FACIL logo and capable of booting from a selection of free-software operating systems (such as GNU/Linux and BSD) on a large set of target computers, specifically those using UEFI.

FACIL - 10 ans!Modern systems often won’t boot some Live USB keys created by traditional methods, specially when wanting to combine several systems on one large-capacity USB key. This is a very useful item to add to your advocacy/testing toolkit.

The FACIL key will serve to propagate free software on the computers of ordinary Quebecers all the while providing FACIL with a better source of financing than only selling T-shirts and stickers. This can also be used by any other organization producing their own keys once the project has completed.

The project first consists in developing the prototype of a 16 GB USB key capable of booting different free-software operating systems. The key will be developed using, MultiSystem, an excellent free software application designed to do just that. MultiSystem will have to be modified to allow booting on computers with either a classic BIOS or the more recent UEFI.

Multi SystemThe resulting improvements to MultiSystem source code will be integrated into the project itself, meaning any other organization or individual using it will also be able to produce their own custom USB keys and benefit from this.

The next step will be to mass duplicate the USB key image on good quality devices that will bear the FACIL logo.

For more details on the funding needs and how the money will be used if this succeeds, see the project page at Goteo.

We need your support! Please consider donating any amount you can, and share this information with anyone interested in GNU/Linux and in general free open source software advocacy.

I am posting this as the acting president of FACIL, I can relay / answer any questions about the project to those directly involved.


Debian Quebec is here :)

As many of you already know by now, Debian 7 is here!

I’ve been using Debian as my primary work environment for a few months now and Trisquel at home for the past year and a half or so. My advocacy work has changed as a result, and I stopped focusing on Ubuntu, while still recommending version 12.04 LTS that just works for many. There’s also Ubuntu Gnome (or is it Gnome Ubuntu) now, so there is still a good array of choices for those like me that like the GNOME 3 environment and find it productive. Oh, did I mention Cinnamon 1.8 was just released?


I am happy to announce that there is now a Debian Quebec group, and we just got our mailing list approved in the Debian project. This was not as fast an easy as in Ubuntu-land, and I took the time to fully document the process to get the mailing list going, in case others may want to do the same. It may all seem too slow or difficult, but every step of the way several people helped and I learned a lot. I took this as an opportunity to contribute to the project and at the same time I found that it may be hard for new GNU/Linux users to get started in Debian – or even for experienced ones like me, coming from Ubuntu.

That’s why after a few IRC messages I started working on a Welcome to Debian resource (and team) aimed at people that use other distributions and come to Debian for the first time. It’s still very new and incomplete, but it’s what I wished was around when I started dedicating serious time to this distribution a few months ago.

As luck would have it, Debian 7 was just around the corner, just a few days/weeks after Ubuntu 13.04 and Trisquel 6 were released. This called for an all-distributions Debian 7 release party (we’ll have two locations, Montreal and Quebec City). There will be workshops and presentations from 12:30 to 5:30 PM and then a happy hour with CLibre and Libre Planet. Check the Agenda du Libre if you’re in Montreal this week (or any time soon), perhaps we can cross paths.


Moving on: how?

I am really sad to see so much energy spent by the community criticizing Canonical and on Canonical’s side, trying to explain and justify so many decisions and actions.

My main concern is all this energy being directed where it doesn’t stand a chance to make a difference, as we know all the rocket pieces are being discarded. I invite you to consider focusing on other projects that need people like you:

  • Start a LibrePlanet group in your area. This is very much like a LoCo Team, except its focus is on 100% free open source software. This is sponsored by the Free Software Foundation and staffed with professional, responsive, full-time system administrators. I started LibrePlanet Québec right about when I stepped down from Ubuntu Québec. They also have a mission statement and a code of conduct which will feel familiar to any Ubuntu community contributor/member.. This also means it’s inclusive of Ubuntu users in your area.
  • Trisquel – an Ubuntu derivative focused on removing all non-free software while remaining as close to Ubuntu as possible. There is a lot of work remaining to achieve this. Trisquel 6 which is essentially Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, is just around the corner. I learned a lot when I started using Trisquel primarily instead of Ubuntu, about a year ago. Ubuntu help, documentation, PPAs and resources apply directly, and the community is very friendly and detail-oriented. Ethics and philosophy are valued as much and sometimes more than technical criteria when providing help.
  • Debian – Where it all begun 🙂 I am using this as my primary OS now. Debian is working with the FSF to be recognized as 100% free as per FSF’s guidelines. There are rough edges which I recognize as opportunities to contribute, for example the lack of language-selector-gnome. It’s taking me some time to adjust to the project’s resources but I even re-organized Debian Quebec and requested a mailing list (since approved), and got a very warm welcome from friends and colleagues using it in my area. I guess I miss my LoCo action and excitement, I hope to put my experience in this area to good use in Debian. There are even talks about forming a Welcome Committee for Ubuntu expats there.

There are many more out there, but I wanted to share my path after my past Ubuntu involvement. If you’re on IRC, come join #ubuntu-expats on OFTC, perhaps we can come up with other ideas. Perhaps it will help you actually finding a way you can contribute to free open source software in other ways than you did with Ubuntu.

Life is short!



Ubuntu Spyware: What to Do?

One of the major advantages of free software is that the community protects users from malicious software. Now Ubuntu GNU/Linux has become a counterexample. What should we do?

For the full original English version, see here.

Voici un texte de Richard Stallman. La version originale en anglais est ici.

Update: Une traduction en français est disponible sur Framablog.



Software Freedom Day tomorrow in Montreal / demain à Montréal

Don’t miss it! À ne pas manquer!

This year I was able to bring two simultaneaous events together, in different locations.

Cette année j’ai pu programmer 2 événements différents, ça se passe demain, à deux endroits différents :).

Les détails à / All details at:

See you there! À demain!