Keeping Ubuntu CDs Available

One of the ways in which many people have been able to experience Ubuntu is via Canonical’s ShipIt program, which has shipped millions of CDs to new users. This has provided a valuable opportunity for new users to try Ubuntu and for our community teams to obtain CDs as part of their advocacy efforts.

Due to the sheer growth of Ubuntu, we are making a few changes to ShipIt which I wanted to ensure I share with you. For the details, I am going to turn the mic over to everyone’s favorite Canonical COO, Jane Silber who updated us on the Canonical blog:

The ShipIt program has been at the core of the Ubuntu project since its inception. The goal was to make sure that there are no restrictions, as far as was possible, to people having access to Ubuntu. In the last five years we have shipped millions of CDs and seen Ubuntu’s popularity and reach grow in ways that would be impossible without ShipIt.

And that aim continues. We need to make Ubuntu available to as many people who need it, particularly those for whom the download options are limited. The goal has not been to supply a CD to every Ubuntu user of every version of Ubuntu. Remember, one of the coolest things about Ubuntu is the way you can upgrade from one version of Ubuntu to another – without the need for a CD!

While these CDs are often referred to as “free CDs”, they are of course not free of cost to Canonical. We want to continue this programme, but Ubuntu’s growth means that some changes are necessary. Therefore we are adjusting how we handle CD requests to try to find the right balance between availability of CDs and the continued viability of the ShipIt programme.

We will continue to supply CDs to LoCo teams and Ubuntu members. And we hope to make CDs available to everyone who is just discovering Ubuntu. And we continue to search for additional ways to make Ubuntu and Ubuntu materials available to everyone. But we are limiting shipments to people that we think have alternative paths of getting Ubuntu. For instance,

We will change the language on the ShipIt site to make it clearer what we are doing. We hope that you support this effort and realise that the intent is to continue to make Ubuntu available on CD to everyone who needs it.

Jane Silber, Canonical

Thanks for the update, Jane. :-)

  • ethana2

    The 9.04 CD sleeve artwork was perfect, it should have been used indefinitely altered only for the version number.

    What is the ETA for 64 bit stamped disc availability for purchase?

  • Dennis

    Speaking of CD’s for loco’s: when can the Karmic CD’s be requested?

  • jorge

    Hi Dennis, you can request them now.

    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/LoCoGettingCds

  • http://beginlinux.wordpress.com/2009/10/21/free-ubuntu-cds-shipit/ Ubuntu ShipIt Program Thinking Smarter « Begin Linux Blog

    [...] More on this at Jono Bacon’s blog [...]

  • http://www.nivex.net/ Kevin Otte

    Will the Karmic CD artwork be posted on or before release day?

  • https://launchpad.net/~flimm Flimm

    Just wanted to say thank you for shipit. If it wasn’t for those Ubuntu Dapper Drake CDs, I wouldn’t be using Ubuntu now, probably.

  • Edward

    Any chance of the Canonical shop selling Ubuntu DVDs? Internet connectivity in my neck of the woods is expensive and spotty. Not having to download hundreds of megs to get a basic development machine setup would be great.

  • http://kevix.openid.com Kevin Mark

    I was greeting to a ‘woa, dude, no more CDs for you!’ message a few days ago as I tried to use shipit. I have used it since hardy. I’m not sure of the expected number of contributions required apart from being an ubuntu member to get cds. If I had known there would be this new barrier to getting cds, I would have started my journey to memberhood long ago. Now I have to start at square one. not that I can complain as its not my company or cash. just a bit bummed that I dont have any cds to give to possible new users for at least 6 months.

  • http://www.resborand.co.uk Elliot Hughes

    If you want to encourage people to buy CDs rather than request them for free (something that I’m happy to support) I really recommend you make them available as individual CD purchases. I have no use for 5 , I only keep them as ‘Collectors Items’ and there’s only so many times you can give people ubuntu CDs before they become inundated!So it seems like if I were to buy CDs I’d be paying 5 times as much as I need to! Perhaps an option to pay a little money when you request from ShipIt would work well instead?

  • Craig

    Can you make single cd’s available in the store then? As I understand it right now you have to buy a minimum of 20 (from memory, might be incorrect)

    I have no objections to covering canonicals cost of producing the discs, I just want them :)

  • Donald Janeway

    Thank you for the CD’s you have sent in the past. We are on a slow dial up (28.8 with download speed about 2.0kps and frequent disconnects) so downloading of this size is almost impossible. We have made copies of the received CD’s and distributed to several newbies, and for upgrading. We hope to continue receiving the great Ubuntu CD. Thanks again

  • surfing

    Yes, I’m agree this project. I’m waitting for Karmic in many time.I just use ubuntu nearly half of year,feeling wonderful for this OS .But the shipit have some language problem in chinese.I can’t write down the chinese address at all(it just support ASCII code ,not support chinese),TNT post have shipit in china but local china post maybe feeling wonder for the netherlands language and english address .So make a lot of shipit package in china post in fact, six time just success twice.I hope the shipit project can enclose other language address paper with normal shipit package.

  • http://www.randrinc.com John4

    I find this very interesting for myself. As a FOSS developer of business software, we’ve moved to supplying our software on custom Ubuntu DVDs (OS, middle-ware, and applications are too big for CDs). It’s quite revolutionary for business solutions. Most people are fine downloading the ISO files, but we are finding that it is the international people that are requesting the hard copies (mainly Africa and Asia). We’ll see how long we can keep up not charging for the shipping, but at current rates it’s not bad (there is a reason they call it snail-mail). Glad to help spread the word or OS as the case may be.

  • http://broadbandforum.in/linux/45097-shipit-request-ubuntu-cd-canonical-updates/4/#post356650 ShipIt : Request an Ubuntu CD: Canonical Updates – Page 4

    [...] ShipIt : Request an Ubuntu CD: Canonical Updates official blogs: Keeping Ubuntu CDs Available|jonobacon@home Canonical Blog Blog Archive Keeping Ubuntu CDs available __________________ "Thou shalt not [...]