We’re supporting Ubuntu MATE

I’m happy to announce that Bytemark is supporting the Ubuntu MATE operating system project, which is based on a traditional computer desktop. We’re providing hosting for its community forums & wiki and bandwidth for its very popular Raspberry Pi distribution.

The MATE project’s admirable goal is “to add support for new technologies while preserving a classic desktop experience”. Ubuntu MATE combines this desktop with the well-tested OS base of Ubuntu – which itself builds on our first love Debian . All of that ensures that anyone who wants a simple computer desktop can get one, on any computer, free of charge.

Personally speaking, Ubuntu MATE feels like a great model for a free software community. They run a crowd-funding campaign and write a monthly report on exactly how those funds are spent. After paying direct costs, they pay contributors to work on much-needed features, and also to developers of other projects that they depend on. While the amounts might be small, this is uncommon ambition, and a sign of a well-managed and motivated community.

Naturally Martin Wimpress, the project co-founder, takes charge of hosting and that meant costs that Bytemark could easily absorb.

I am absolutely delighted that Bytemark reached out to Ubuntu MATE and generously offered to cover all our hosting and bandwidth requirements. We now have a resilient pair of geographically separated Cloud Servers powering the Ubuntu MATE websites, community forums and Raspberry Pi image downloads. This will enable Ubuntu MATE to channel far more of the money raised via our crowd-funding into sponsored development of Ubuntu MATE and MATE Desktop related projects. In Bytemark we have found a company whose commitment and beliefs towards free software are aligned with our own. On behalf of the Ubuntu MATE community I extend my sincere thanks to everyone at Bytemark for their support.

Thanks Martin, and good luck for the future.

(written from the MD’s new Ubuntu MATE desktop – give it a go!)