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Why is linux not sold in stores?

post #1 of 55
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I find ubuntu to be a cinch, and even converted novice computer users to Lubuntu when they have slower pc's....I never hear them having problems and I love it.

But why is a mainstream linux distro not sold in stores? Say for instance a boxed copy of ubuntu with a manual and disc and a year of free customer support?

It would seem the only way your going to make some real market penetration is to make it visible to consumers. Having something like ubuntu in futureshop, or even pc speciality stores would seem like a no brainer!

Any thoughts?
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post #2 of 55
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_an...ource_software


Stores or company's can't legally sell Linux itself, but can sell support for Linux, add-on packages from the manufacture
post #3 of 55
I don't think the general market would even consider Linux.
Especially since it's a 2 horse really in the mainstream market, Windows and Mac OS.
It's like the Republican and Democrat party here in the U.S.

And there's the Green party or whatever party (Linux)
post #4 of 55
Well, firstly it's open source, secondly whilst it could be sold (you'd be buying support, not the code), it just wouldn't be a profitable venture. Your average consumer has minimal interest in Linux.
post #5 of 55
Money for an OS is not a concept a Linux user understands!
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post #6 of 55
There are a "few" distros that are available boxed etc...
Redhat enterprise (i think)
Some server distros
Suse
blah blah.

It kind of would defeat the whole ethos though.


Having said that... it would be GREAT if boxed distros were available for a nominal fee (a few quid or such) with the option to pay the distro-packers for support.


When I was trying out Sabayon (gentoo port) there was a Sabayon-Forum linky installed right on the desktop; BUT support was exclusively for the sabayon distro... "general" *nix questions are a little frowned-upon.
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post #7 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by mothrpe View Post
I find ubuntu to be a cinch, and even converted novice computer users to Lubuntu when they have slower pc's....I never hear them having problems and I love it.

But why is a mainstream linux distro not sold in stores? Say for instance a boxed copy of ubuntu with a manual and disc and a year of free customer support?

It would seem the only way your going to make some real market penetration is to make it visible to consumers. Having something like ubuntu in futureshop, or even pc speciality stores would seem like a no brainer!

Any thoughts?
A free distro being sold doesnt make any sense also linux is open sourced so...
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post #8 of 55
You used to be able to get boxed SuSE from stores, with manuals, disks, 30 day support, the works. I miss those days. SuSE (Or S.u.S.E. as it was known back then) was a commercial distro, compiled and tweaked by the supplier.
You can legally sell Linux, RHEL and SLED make a decent income from it, but you must provide the source code to anyone who asks for it, which is why there is CentOS (which is a free RHEL without the Redhat branding or the paid support contracts).
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post #9 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by savagebunny View Post
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_an...ource_software

Stores or company's can't legally sell Linux itself, but can sell support for Linux, add-on packages from the manufacture
Actually the GPL and even FOSS does not prohibit the sale of any collection of such software because you can justify it as the cost of the media and the effort to put it all together and even a little profit. The only caveat is that you can make no claims about owning the software or transferring ownership and the original GPL documentation must accompany the software even if you modify and add to it, plus you are required to document your changes.

In fact several years ago Comp USA sold RedHat, Caldera, Mandrake, and one or two other boxed sets of Linux. That's how I got Mandrake and started in on Linux. Websites routinely offer minimal cost Official media for sale. I have spent hundreds of dollars over the years to buy commercial Linux distros and to donate to Slackware. It's important to give back whatever and whenever you can. I have also bought a number of O]Reilly Linux books.

It's a bonus that Linux is free but if that were to change tomorrow, I'd still be using Slackware and perfectly OK with paying similar prices to windoze. It's worth it.
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post #10 of 55
I bought Mandrake 6.0 in CompUSA in the mid-late 90s.

If I ever get into Linux again, I'd probably be willing to buy a physical copy just to have some tangible, paper, documentation.
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