I just want to let you folks know about a new addition to ubuntu.com.

For a long time now, many of our users have wanted to financially contribute to the Ubuntu project. For some of our users who don’t have the time to contribute in other areas (such as development, documentation, translations etc), this provides a nice means of supporting the project.

Although these contributions to Ubuntu were possible, the details of how to do so was pretty much buried in a growing ubuntu.com and many folks missed the link. In addition to this, the granularity of how you could contribute was limited; you could contribute an amount of money to the project, but there wasn’t really a way to indicate how you wished that money to be used (such as using it for growing Debian/upstream relations, for desktop improvements, or other areas).

Inspired by the wonderful folks at the Humble Indie Bundle, we now have a contributions page that provides a clearer means in which you can not only contribute but also where you want the money to be used. It looks like this:

Now helping to financially support Ubuntu is easier than ever.

The way the page works is that you can use the sliders to select how much you contribute to the following areas:

  • Make the desktop more amazing
  • Performance optimisation for games and apps
  • Improve hardware support on more PCs
  • Phone and tablet versions of Ubuntu
  • Community participation in Ubuntu development
  • Better coordination with Debian and upstreams
  • Better support for flavours like Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu
  • Tip to Canonical – they help make it happen

Currently the page only accepts PayPal, but other payment mechanisms are currently being explored as we speak. The page appears on the site before you download an ISO (thus making it easier to find) and it provides the opportunity to contribute. For those who don’t wish to contribute in this way you can simply click the Not now, take me to the download › to bypass the page. Obviously our users are not required contribute. You can download Ubuntu here and see the page in action.

When a contribution occurs, Canonical will act as a steward for the money and ensure it is managed fairly and in accordance of the user’s wishes…ensuring it goes to the part of the project outlined in the form. Importantly, Canonical will not be using the money for any Canonical business-orientated functions; all of the contributions will be used to fund the Ubuntu project and continue it’s growth and development.

Some of you may have preferred there to be a finer-grained set of places to contribute, but in the interests of efficiency, the above areas were chosen to ensure that it covers the major areas that our users will be interested in financially supporting.

Naturally I would like to encourage you all to contribute. Over the years Ubuntu has grown to serve more people around the world than ever before with a powerful Free Software Operating System. For us to continue to grow, improve, and evolve Ubuntu we need to ensure we have the resources available to do this work. On one hand Canonical contributes extensively to this work, and this contributions page provides an opportunity in which you can contribute too. Your money will help go towards improving the areas of Ubuntu that you are passionate about, and help us to continue to bring a simple, efficient, safe, and elegant Free Software platform to the world. Thanks!

If you folks have any questions, feel free to post them in the comments.

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