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Ubuntu is Censoring Opposition to Mono by Default

Posted in Debian, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Ubuntu at 3:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Debian a step closer to Mono independence, whereas Ubuntu does not quite tolerate Mono criticism

Gnote has just been added to lenny-backports, so there is hope that Debian will remove Mono as a by-default component. Sooner or later it might, just like Fedora.

Although Ubuntu can follow suit and remove Mono as a default component by simply replacing applications, it does not seem likely to happen when pro-Mono people gain positions of power. We warned over a year ago that this might happen to Ubuntu. Being the most ubiquitous distribution on the desktop, it is a preferred battleground for the likes of Novell and Microsoft to advance interests. Rigging of votes, for example, is not far fetched at all.

The longer time flies, the worse it gets because Ubuntu ignores many people's desire to cull Mono out and even suppresses those who dare to speak against Mono.

Now, watch this from Brainstorm. People make the suggestion that Mono should not be included by default and the page gets frozen with the following reason:

This entry was marked as not being an idea the 3 June 09. If this is a bug report, please use the Ubuntu bug tracker.

How is this not an idea? Sounds like an excuse to silence ‘dissent’.

One of our readers (unrelated to the above) told us this yesterday:

Hi Roy, the other day I noticed you linked to my brainstorm thread about keeping RB and not moving to Banshee, I mostly did it because I like RB and Banshee, besides of bringing a Mono dependency, is not really as good.

The thread, out of sudden was declared a ‘duplicate’, what’s worse is that the votes were not just locked (like what happens in brainstorm when something is marked as duplicate) but completely removed:

It used to have many votes for ‘Keep Rhythmbox” and many negative votes for “Move to Banshee” , it seems that the Mono zealots have acquired too much control of ubuntu brainstorm this is a disgrace.

What exactly is happening with Mono in Ubuntu? This is not intended to seem like a complaint about Ubuntu, but maybe a constructive way forward would be voting with the feet and rewarding distributions that do listen and do recognise the problems with Moonlight and Mono. I still have 3 computers running Ubuntu and they give the false impression that Mono is acceptable; even if removed afterwards it’s akin to buying a computer with Windows just to wipe Windows. That would still count as Windows market share, just not installed base. To people who study trends of perceived consumer desire, this may matter a lot and affect future decisions.

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  1. powered_by_tux said,

    June 7, 2009 at 2:53 am


    Quo vadis Ubuntu?

    Is it no secret that the Ubuntu forums is a bunch of sworn in mono advocates. No wonder as Ubuntu is the first distro to try if you came from Windows but don’t hate it enough yet. The sad thing is if you say something in favor of FOSS and against Mono/MS in general you will get flamed and often insulted a ‘zealot’, by users and something by mods/staff as well. Pay more attention to that! Yet, they often like to be seen as supporter of choice. If the majority decides not to adopt Mono, where is the choice?

    Anyway, Banshee sucks as much as any GTK audio player, maybe except for Exaile.

  2. Needs Sunlight said,

    June 7, 2009 at 5:12 am


    ” This entry was marked as not being an idea the 3 June 09. If this is a bug report, please use the Ubuntu bug tracker.

    How is this not an idea? Sounds like an excuse to silence ‘dissent’.”

    It is. Try reporting it as a bug. It will last all of a few minutes before being deleted. Eventually the argument from the Mono boosters will be that it is a wish list item. Classic Microsoft-style circular references and denial of responsibility. Nothing that can’t be fixed with skilled use of a LART.

    There are only a few Mono boosters in the Ubuntu forums, but they are active and worming into key places. They make a lot of noise and do a lot of harm but they are few.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 7, 2009 at 5:18 am


    The following key points were raised half an hour ago.

    <Eruaran> So I was thinking for users who wont upgrade for ages, Debian might be better.
    <Eruaran> And of course it doesn’t have mono.
    <Eruaran> That’s a licensing issue we can do without.
    <Eruaran> I’m not sure if those idiot moderators on Ubuntu forums realise Mono licensing concerns may cause OEM’s to look at other distros instead of Ubuntu.
    <Eruaran> Its a REAL concern for us.
    <Eruaran> If they don’t think Microsoft will use it against us who face the Microsoft machine on the front line, they’re living in la la land.
    <Eruaran> If the Windows 7 release goes well and Microsoft gets a bit of goodwill happening, they will be emboldened.
    <Eruaran> They will be less concerned about negative publicity if they start making IP claims over Mono.
    <Eruaran> And they will hit OEM’s.
    <Eruaran> Those idiots on the forums don’t get it.
    <Eruaran> They will hit the distribution channels, flexing their monopoly muscle.
    <Eruaran> OEM’s will either sign a licensing deal with Microsoft or they will not use Ubuntu.
    <Eruaran> So either Canonical removes Mono, or potentially pays the price in lost OEM’s.
    <Eruaran> And I would say to those guys on the Ubuntu forums: “I’m the guy who faces Microsoft and their claims, and how it affects me and my customers directly – Not you”.
    <Eruaran> Furthermore, Microsoft will still favor such “indirect” action rather than going after distributions as it might not generate the same level of negative publicity. Always a bonus for the Vole.
    <Eruaran> Maybe schestowitz should do a post on this.
    <Eruaran> Because I doubt the penny has dropped.
    <Eruaran> I’m not sure how many FOSS people (especially at Canonical) realise how concerned about this OEM’s are going to be.
    <Eruaran> Purely on a pragmatic level – you’re going to lose at least some OEM’s.
    <schestowitz> I think they already pay some tax
    <schestowitz> Like Dell
    <fewa> really wtf
    <fewa> more US v Microsoft violations
    <schestowitz> Microsoft doesn’t care about the law
    <schestowitz> Unless it gets caught

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    Of course Debian is better in many ways, especially for those that like a long support cycle. However, Canonical seems to see the merit in that and releases Long Term Support versions periodically:

    They don’t get quite the attention from the Ubuntu team as needed. Usually the replies to bug reports are “try it in the latest testing version” But at least in principle the long term support is there.

    As far as M$ not wanting to follow US law, some of what the executives have been having their workers do can be dealt with under the RICO ACT. Organize crime is nothing new. Hiding it behind “IT” is.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Some of it is also accounting-related.

  4. c said,

    June 7, 2009 at 9:27 am


    hahaha, I wonder if Roy is someday to get a job someday


    Myfraudsoft Reply:

    haha, I wonder why does microsoft hire only high school dropouts like you?

  5. benfrank said,

    June 7, 2009 at 5:31 pm


    The solution seems obvious and easy: don’t make Mono or Mono apps part of the default install. Leave them in the repos for the users who want them. Easy as falling over. Not wanting to even discuss such a simple solution makes it credible that Ubuntu is being corrupted by Mono fans. IMono is controversial, and who needs the bloated Mono runtime just to run a few marginal apps? The importance of Mono to Ubuntu is greatly overblown by a small but very determined minority.

    ushimitsudoki Reply:


    That is almost my exact position. The reason it won’t work is because mono-boosters well understand the value of having software installed by default.

    It’s the same reason companies pay to have shovelware installed on Windows desktops – most users will just use what come “out of the box”.

    Mono can’t win on merits, so they need vocal supporters pushing it into the defaults – then they make the argument “Why are you against including *MORE* mono apps, there are already some in the default”

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    They use the same logic to spread Mono to other distributions.

    sankaran Reply:

    it is real chance for Fedora 11

  6. reya276 said,

    June 8, 2009 at 10:17 am


    The real question should be; Why isn’t Canonical doing something about this issue? Honestly these Mono advocates should stick to windows and stay the F……..out of Ubuntu or any other FOSS OS. They clearly have no good intentions towards FOSS. So why is Canonical just standing by and letting this kind of Sh……happen. Oh wait let me guess they don’t get involved in community business although this is happening in the main Ubuntu forums. Yeah yeah freedom of speech an all that crap but if this is going to hurt the community and Ubuntu then they need to be silenced.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    It’s a tough situation to be honest. Ubuntu fosters open discussion, but this also means that Microsoft people must be listened to. ODF/OASIS suffered from the same problem.

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    Gosh, yeah, those darned open discussions! The world would be a much better place if people would just shut the heck up and be “free” the way you tell ‘em to.

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    Freedom of speech “an all that crap” except when you disagree with it…?

    Wow. Just wow.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:


    We never censored anything in this site. In fact, in certain ways it works against us.

  7. Phil said,

    June 8, 2009 at 1:23 pm


    Well this is good info to know. I did not realize the Ubuntu community was filled with Mono zealots. I guess I didn’t notice since they seem to pop up anywhere Mono is not being praised. I often wonder how many of them are just noobs fresh out of college that are excited about Mono and C# only because they lack experience in the many other languages that do the same things or better.

    Any way Canonical and Ubuntu…read this….if you are going to support Mono I WILL SWITCH!!. I have been taking looks at Debian recently anyway. Or better yet I hope someone does a downstream mono free distro. Even if mono wasn’t tied into patents I’d get tired of the ridiculous zealotry around it anyway.

  8. eet said,

    June 8, 2009 at 4:42 pm


    Get it guys, YOU’RE BEING LED! You are falling for one crazy jerk’s personal paranoia, which has go nothing to do with either reality, nor being a ‘good Linux citizen’. Go read some serious Linux sites, not this piece of trash and pulp.

    Pete H. Reply:

    Well, that was an articulate and informative argument for mono!

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    “eet” has been trolling this Web site for 2 years.

  9. a person said,

    June 8, 2009 at 6:19 pm


    I don’t use Mono because of it’s license, someone that think just a little bit, will not use Mono at all.

    In my Linux systems, if Mono is installed by default, the first thing I do is remove it.

    Ubuntu guys, you are crazy people, remove Mono and I will think again that Ubuntu deserves respect.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    It’s not “Ubuntu guys”, it’s a minority of cronies that captured a position at the top. Ubuntu guys want to get rid of Mono.

    Dan O'Brian Reply:

    That’s not what it looks like to anyone who has bothered to read the mailing-list threads. Canonical employees are arguing pro-Mono – you and your trolls are the only ones arguing against Mono. Are you sure you live in the real world, Roy?

  10. FreeBooteR said,

    June 8, 2009 at 9:26 pm


    I might go the route of Arch. I like the idea of selecting what packages you want rather than getting junk shoved down your throat. If i wanted crap on my system i’d load windows.

    Yaro Reply:

    I switched to Arch largely for that reason, though largely because of PulseAudio. Mono sucks and if I ever install a Linux distro that installs it by default I remove it, but Mono, at least, doesn’t cripple my sound.

    I was vocally against PA in the Ubuntu Forums and got banned for it.

    I run Arch with GNOME. No Mono or PA. GNOME itself has no real Mono encumbrances aside from a few extra apps.

    Oh, and a note to those who think that Mono is harmless, you need to brush up on Microsoft’s history. They are notorious for tactics like this. I think the only reason Microsoft hasn’t patent-trolled Mono and projects that use it is because it didn’t take off as much as they hoped, likely because the vast majority of the FOSS community was smart enough not to use it.

  11. Mark said,

    June 9, 2009 at 12:17 am


    Just run Kubuntu.

    It is = Ubuntu – Mono – GNOME + KDE4.

    Problem solved. It has arguably better applications (Gwenview, Okular, Digikam, Amarok, VLC, Kdenlive, Kate, Kontact, Dolphin) and it runs faster too, as a bonus.

  12. Vikram said,

    June 9, 2009 at 12:03 pm


    I was a Suse and Open Suse user and loved it. I switched to Kubuntu after the Novell deal with the evil empire.

    I have raised the mono issue many times and found most people in the Ubuntu forums were very pro mono. I also found that Kubuntu was getting very little care and feeding from Canonical with lots of bugs and app crashes and the last staw was the upgrade to 9.04 which screwed up my laptops network.

    Finally switched to Mandriva 2009 – it was so easy to install and use (no pain with wireless networking ), drake config GUI tools that I installed it in my sisters and friends machine and they didnt need ANY handholding to switch to Linux.

    to cut my rambling short – never used Mono, dont need Mono and dont plan to install it as well.

  13. Gani Albany said,

    June 13, 2009 at 6:58 am


    There should be little doubt that Microsoft’s and Novell’s pushing for Mono is subverting the Linux order. One of the first things I do when I install Ubuntu with gnome is to completely purge Mono from the system. Heaven forbid is this kind of freedom of choice is taken away from Linux users.

    eet Reply:

    You could always build your own, mono-free Linux distribution – it’s free software.

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