Change in Policy for Shipping Free Ubuntu CDs

Everyone who has posted on this has titled it, “Keeping Ubuntu CDs Available.”  I am not going to go so far as to use that title.  The Ubuntu Fridge has an official message from Canonical explaining the change. It involves who will or will not be able to get a free CD shipped from Canonical via the Shipit page.

Right now, the Shipit page is making copies of Karmic Koala CDs available via pre-order. The change has not shown up yet, but a forewarning is there: the page lists the other orders you have put in for an Ubuntu CD. Canonical has found that due to the growth of Ubuntu, the company cannot afford providing CDs for people who are currently running an Ubuntu version that they can upgrade via update-manager, but still knows there is a need to provide free CDs for people who are just discovering Ubuntu.

According to the release, Canonical is limiting shipments to people that they think have alternative paths of getting Ubuntu. The examples are people who can:

– upgrade to the new release without a CD

– download their own CD for free

– become an Ubuntu member by contributing to Ubuntu and thereby become eligible for more CDs

– can purchase CDs.

I am probably misunderstanding the article a bit – it sounds as if, if you have a small amount of spare change after feeding your children, you will be expected to buy your CD. I pray that what they really mean is that people like me who have sent for CDs of previous versions should not expect to get Karmic on a free CD with all the CD wallet artwork. I am willing to concede that I have burned the beta on a CD, and can simply wipe the disk and burn the final release.

I am thankful that Canonical is looking into ways to continue to make Ubuntu CDs available, at least to the people who most need them. My own preference is that they come up with a way on Shipit that people can buy the latest CD if they want the distinctive cover and the distinctive CD artwork that will keep them (er, us?) from losing the latest copy.

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