With Mark Shuttleworth reorienting his company and the Ubuntu brand towards more “professionalism” and away from human and social values, I was wondering whether I should switch back to my old home distribution, Debian GNU/Linux.
Debian has a social contract and is a 100% volunteer-driven project. It isn’t subject to the whims of a company owner like Mark Shuttleworth, a board of directors or a group of shareholders. The only person roughly in that position of power is the Debian Project Leader (DPL), but we as a community can get rid of that guy or girl when they make mistakes and we want to see them gone. It’s a very democratic and, again, totally community-driven thing.
The Debian Social Contract has only had two minor changes in 13 years, and Debian itself has had only 11 project leads in 17 years. Despite the squabbles and problems making final, stable releases in short order, the project has been in this game for far longer than Canonical and has been steadily forging ahead like a steamboat. Slow, but very steady.
I’m switching my netbook to Debian testing right now, and my work machine will probably follow once I’ve found my sea legs again. It’s been a few years since I’ve had Debian on the desktop. If all goes well, my desktop box can jump right in afterwards.