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Canonical wants to know what you want from Ubuntu Server

All too often companies decide what you want to see in a program, and only after it’s on the market do you get to see if it’s actually something you even care about, never mind want. Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux, has a different idea. Canonical is running a survey for Ubuntu Server edition users to see how they’re currently using Ubuntu and where they’re using it so they can make the next version even better for Linux system administrators.

The Ubuntu Server survey is not your a “What’s cool about Ubuntu or Linux survey.” It asks specific questions about system administration, directory services, and enterprise software use. The survey was co-authored by RedMonk Research (, which all analyze the survey’s results. ?

While RedMonk analyst, Stephen O’Grady expects CIOs, CTOs, and Linux system administrators to answer the survey, RedMonk also expects others with little experience in Linux servers to answer, but O’Grady explains, “The nature of the questions does little to lend itself to the so-called fanboys, being relatively enterprise-focused.”

The Ubuntu Server community wants a broad set of users to share their experiences. A previous shorter survey from Canonical was completed by those requesting free server CDs, but this is the first time the Ubuntu server team is requesting information from the larger community. Canonical and RedMonk also want to hear from other Linux system administrators, but just Ubuntu server managers.

The survey’s purpose is to gather detailed knowledge in order for Canonical to “improve future product releases; prioritize feature requests; guide technology partnerships and d rive the focus at the next Ubuntu Developer Summit in December 2008, which will be held at the Google Campus in Mountain View, California.

The anonymous survey takes 10 to 20 minutes to complete and is open to anyone deploying Linux servers today, whether or not they use Ubuntu. The Ubuntu Server Community Team will present the results in early December before the Developer Summit.

“Our survey earlier this year provided insight into the diversity and global reach of the Ubuntu Server customer base,” said Nick Barcet, Ubuntu Server product manager at Canonical in a statement. “With this survey, we hope to understand more about them– including how they are using our software in their businesses–in order to better serve them in the future.”


  1. One of the things that was different about the survey was the large number of choices they offered. openSSH, for instance, was a choice for system management among all kinds of smooth packages… I liked that. It reflects the flexibility and diversity of GNU/Linux and its community. Canonical appears to be a company that truly listens to customers.

    Two years ago I set up a system of Ubuntu servers and did talk with Canonical about support. We did our own thing because of a limited budget and the thing is humming along nicely ever since but I would bet Canonical and friends could do a smooth job of setting up a similar system with some of the tools they now include in the server version. If I ever get my present employer to actually plan for IT change, I would not hesitate to invite Canonical to the table.

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