Ubuntu One in Beta. Wait, WTF ?

Ubuntu One in Beta. Wait, WTF ?

Update: I posted a follow up with more info and answers to common questions and concerns about Ubuntu One. Be sure to take a look after reading this post.

Seems like Canonical just released the Beta of their UbuntuOne service.


Wait… WTF ?! I never heard about it, and Google just threw around a bunch of entries when asked.

At the very moment, it seems to be just Dropbox clone, a free 2gb plan and a pay-for plan which gives you 10gb (less than Dropbox, at least for now). Also, is invitation only for now. I wonder if a service yet exists behind the website. Is this the secret project, Rodrigo ? ;-)

UbuntuOne Plans

I don’t know anything about how the project will evolve, but I really doubt it will just sync files, as it would end up being a clone of existing services with no added value. Assuming I’m right in wondering it’s the project Rodrigo was talking about, his job position may be enlightening:


Extensive experience with the GNOME development platform, desktop environment and technologies such as GTK+, Cairo and X11


Python, Mono

My take is Canonical is planning to deeply integrate the Sync with all the most used applications (O’Reilly just confirmated my guess ;-) ) . That would generate competitive advantage for Ubuntu in the respect of other distribution, and generate a fair share of money income (while still providing a worthwhile free service).

Update: here’s a better description [source]

Ubuntu One is not just a collection of services for Ubuntu, it’s a platform that you can build your own services on. In this talk, Stuart Langridge explains some of the APIs that Ubuntu One offers to developers, what they do, and how you can make use of them. You’ll see some examples of applications you might want to build that take advantage of data storage in the cloud and automatically-synchronised database backing for your apps, and you’ll get a glimpse of how to build programs to help people work collaboratively through Ubuntu One both on the desktop and on the web.

Ubuntu One provides shared synchronised storage and databases for developers: you store your data and Ubuntu One takes care of making it available to every other person and every other machine you’ve shared it to. In addition to this set of simple APIs which you can use to get synchronised data, Ubuntu One also offers services built on top of these: work with your users’ contacts to make it easy to share information with other people, and build services on top of all these APIs which work everywhere, both from the web and from the desktop. There may also be sneak previews of what’s coming up from the Ubuntu One team…

Other link you may find interesting:

Further Info:

  • The server part is probably proprietary, as most of the Canonical infrastructure (including ubuntu.com).
  • The client is released under GPL 3. (information coming from the COPYING file included in their .deb) (no! is not based on iFolder nor Mono, at least not the client)

Thoughts ? Further infos, anyone ? I’m all ears !

I posted a follow up with more info and answers to common questions and concerns about Ubuntu One.

This seems like a great time to subscribe my RSS !

12 responses to “Ubuntu One in Beta. Wait, WTF ?”

  1. Niels Egberts

    If someone has an invite left, I would be happy to beta test :D (niels.egberts@gmail.com)

  2. Stefano Forenza

    @Niels: request it from the site ! https://ubuntuone.com/invitation/1/request/

  3. Hans

    But is the server software proprietary: https://edge.launchpad.net/ubunet ?
    Found it under related projects on the Launchpad link.

  4. Flimm

    I like everything about it except the name.
    It makes it feel like a part of the Ubuntu project, when really it’s a part of Canonical. It doesn’t meet the Ubuntu promise or the Ubuntu philosophy, at least so far, and it hasn’t involved the community. Community driven projects built around Ubuntu have been refused the use of that trademark, so why should a proprietary project use it?

  5. Stefano Forenza

    Probably yes. Most of the software under ubuntu.com is proprietary (or not released), btw. I remember come irc ubuntu channel claiming of not using the http://paste.ubuntu.com/ because is “proprietary”.
    Launchpad itself is proprietary, for now (but some parts have been released opensource, and Shuttleworth promised the full release in July 2009). I should note that in a recent IRC meeting to claim the following:

    (11:45:39 AM) sabdfl: launchpad.net is a front end, all of that code is being released
    (11:45:46 AM) sabdfl: there are a variety of other services and things that talk to it
    (11:45:51 AM) sabdfl: and we’ll release some of those
    (11:46:21 AM) sabdfl: in some cases, licensing of components may preclude release
    (11:46:35 AM) sabdfl: in others, i may want to create competitive advantage for canonical
    (11:47:02 AM) sabdfl: but everything that an upstream uses through the web will be released

  6. Alan Pope

    On the Ubuntu UK Podcast we just recorded an interview with two of the people behind Ubuntu One. We should be releasing this shortly. So get over to the site and subscribe now!

    We are also giving away invites to Ubuntu One, details in the show.

  7. Stefano Forenza

    @Alan: Lol, self shameless promotion :P . Thanks !

  8. Børge Roum

    It’s got a user on identi.ca too: http://identi.ca/ubuntuone

  9. FabriceV

    10$ per month is higher that 99$ per year for Drobox… Which itself is not the cheapest… Hope so there are additionnal services…

  10. JJMacey


    Thanks Stefano.

  11. Vadim

    Looks like the client is open-source and well documented: http://www.theopensourcerer.com/2009/05/12/ubuntu-one/

    Not that I care, but might give an edge to the zealots.

  12. Lachlan

    why would you pay for this? it would be much easier to setup your own webserver on your ubuntu box and use that instead for shared storage…

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