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25 March 2011, 15:26

Ubuntu will not default to installing Flash

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Ubuntu logo The Ubuntu Technical Board has decided that the Ubuntu will not enable the installation of restricted third-party software, such as Adobe's Flash Player, by default. When installing Ubuntu a checkbox offers option to "Install third-party software" from the restricted extras repository automatically.

A proposal had been made to select the checkbox by default which would have installed software such as non-free codecs and Flash Player by default. The justification for the proposal was that non-technical users would expect, for example, YouTube to just work but if it did not because there was no Flash Player installed, they would reject Ubuntu because of a "low tolerance for failure".

The Ubuntu Technical Board 02:discussed the issue and voted against the proposal unanimously (0 for, 5 against). It reasoned that the non-free extras were unlike a non-free graphics driver, which would be potentially essential to the operation of the computer system. It also noted that there were free alternatives available and the non-free codecs could be easily installed later through totem or Firefox as needed. Finally, it was believed that HTML5 and free video codecs were a better solution to the non-technical user vs YouTube problem. "This is just a line which we all strongly feel we should not cross" wrote Martin Pitt on behalf of the board. Mark Shuttleworth concurred with the decision and the bug was marked "Won't Fix".


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