[Year 2013 For Linux] 10 Biggest Linux Stories In 2013

Best Linux News stories of 2013

Linux usage is growing, and so is the acceptance of Open Source products. All year round in 2013, we have seen various news stories which hints that popularity of Linux and Open Source is growing. There were also some incidents which were not pleasant. In this article of Year 2013 for Linux series, we shall see 10 biggest stories of 2013 that relates to Linux and Open Source, not in chronological order.

Ubuntu’s legendary failed attempt at $32 millions crowdfunding

Ubuntu edge failed crowdfunding campaign

After announcing Ubuntu for phone and Ubuntu tablet OS (Ubuntu touch, basically), Canonical started a mega crowdfunding campaign to raise $32 millions. The aim was to launch its own smartphone Ubuntu Edge. The campaign could not achieve the desired amount and eventually Canonical dropped the idea of Ubuntu Edge. But the raised amount, in the excess of $12 million, was itself a record in crowdfunding history. While a rather unknown Australian manufacture has announced Ubuntu based tablet, there are no solid information if any major smartphone manufacturer is considering an Ubuntu based smartphone.

IBM to invest $1 billion in Linux

IBM to invest 1 billion dollar in Linux

Technology giant IBM once again pledged its support in the development of Linux by announcing the investment of $1 billion. IBM had invested $1 billion in Linux and related technologies in year 2000 also. Jim Zemlin, Executive Director of the Linux Foundation said:

IBM’s continued investments in Linux for Power Systems is welcomed by the Linux community. We look forward to seeing how the Power platform can bring about further innovation on Linux, and how companies and developers can work together to get the most out of this open architecture,

Valve’s Linux based gaming OS and console

Steam OS and console

After revitalizing gaming on Linux, Valve announced its own Linux based Gaming OS named SteamOS. Apart from the SteamOS, Valve is also interested in its own gaming-cum-home-entertainment console, apparently to take on Play Station and XBox. SteamOS beta is available for developers and enthusiasts to try their hands on it.

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Ubuntu gaming desktops by Alianware

Alianware Ubuntu gaming desktop

Talking about gaming on Linux, Dell’s customized gaming desktop wing, Alianware added a new range of gaming desktop in its kitty: Ubuntu. Gaming on Linux got real boost when Steam for Linux was launched. Steam has hundreds, if not thousands, of games and servers for multiplayer gaming. No surprise that Alianware decided to launch a gaming desktop with Ubuntu OS.

Ubuntu Kylin: The ‘National OS’ of China

Chinese Ubuntu Kylin

In an effort to promote Open Source in China, the Chinese government launched a Linux OS based on Ubuntu: Ubuntu Kylin. First version of Ubuntu Kylin was released along with Ubuntu 13.04. Ubuntu Kylin has Chinese input methods, Chinese music search in dash, integeration witj Baidu maps and the most talked about MS Office clone for Linux WPS office.

French Police saves millions by migrating to Linux

French Police switches to Linux

French national law enforcement agency Gendarmerie migrated 37,000 desktop to GendBuntu, an Ubuntu based Linux distribution customized for Gendarmerie. As perLieutenant-Colonel Xavier Guimard, this switch to Open Source has cut 70% of their IT budget this year. He added:

Most of these savings are on proprietary software licences. Up until 2004 the Gendarmerie acquired 12,000 to 15,000 licences annually. In 2005 it bought just 27. “Since July 2007 we have bought two hundred Microsoft licences. If one of us wants a new PC, it comes with Ubuntu. This encourages our users to migrate.” Guimard estimates Gendarmerie since 2004 has saved 50 million euro on licences for standard office applications, hardware and maintenance.

Spanish Valencia region is liberated with LibreOffice

Spanish Valencia region switched to LibreOffice

French are not alone. The administration of Spanish autonomous region Valencia switched over 120,000 desktop to LibreOffice, an free and open source office productivity suite. These desktops are used in schools, courts and other administrative offices. This migration will save 1.5 million euro per year on propriety software licenses. In the neighboring Germany, city of Munich also switched to LiMux, its own custom Linux OS.

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Ubuntu forum hacked with 1.8 million credential stolen

Ubuntu forums hacked

Canonical had a major setback when its official Ubuntu Forum was hacked, all the users data stolen and database deleted. After defacing the forum, the malicious hacker deleted the database as well. All the users needed to re-register on the forum afterwards.

Canonical tried to intimidate a privacy critic

Canonical send notice to Ubuntu fix for trademark issue

A website named Fix Ubuntu which gave users simple tricks to ensure their privacy while using several features of Ubuntu, was targeted by Canonical. Canonical legal team sent legal notice for trademark violation to the site owner Micah. While the notice was on the “unauthorized” use of Ubuntu name in the domain and Ubuntu logo on the website, it was more of a sign of intimidation to the privacy critic. A huge outcry erupted and Canonical felt the heat from the Linux community. Mark Shuttleworth blamed the fiasco on a new legal team member.

Ubuntu and Linux Mint devs get in verbal dual

Ubuntu vs Linux Mint

A war of words broke out between Ubuntu and Linux Mint devs when the former called Linux Mint an unsecure Linux distribution and unsuitable for online banking. Since security is a major issue in any OS, Linux Mint users panicked a little. Linux Mint responded in strong words and gave the indication as if Ubuntu was an unstable OS.

That covers the 10 biggest Linux stories of 2013. Would you like to add a news story or incident which should be included in the list? Do share your views.


  1. Not exactly. I’m from China.

    I use google translate about our news report here:

    MIIT’s Software and Integrated Circuit Promotion Center (CSIP), Linux system developers Canonical and the National Defense University recently announced CCN open source software innovation lab “will Canonical Ubuntu as a basis for belonging to China’s operating system, the three parties will jointly CCN open source innovation in Beijing set up a joint laboratory, designed to accelerate the development of China to create the Ubuntu operating system.

    another translation:

    The Ministry of industry and information technology under the software and integrated circuit Promotion Center (CSIP), developer Canonical and Linux system of National University of Defense Technology recently announced CCN open source software innovation lab “, will take the Canonical Ubuntu as the foundation,formulate operating system belongs to the Chinese, the three parties will jointly set up in Beijing,combined with laboratory CCN open source innovation, accelerate the development of specifically for Ubuntu operating system Chinese building.

    Chinese government did not take part of it. and the develop team of Ubuntu Kylin is from National University of Defense Technology which in Hunan province.

    this Ubuntu Kylin made some localized plugins so far,the rest part of it is the same with Ubuntu.

    There is another distro named Deepin,you guys shoud take a look at. It developed its own desktop environment,audio/vedio player,software center,screenshot tool,game center and so on.Kylin is far behind them. In my opinion,this Deepin is the hope of Chinese Open Source system.

    • Hi Derek,
      Thanks for putting your views.
      As per your comment: “The Ministry of industry and information technology under the software and integrated circuit Promotion Center (CSIP), developer Canonical and Linux system of National University of Defense Technology recently announced CCN open source software innovation lab ”

      Usually, when there is a ministry involved it gives an impression that government is involved. And if Chinese government is trying to promote the usage of Open Source, it is a good thing.

      For Deepin, it is really good. And true, with its own applications, Deepin stands away from the shadow of Ubuntu.


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