Debian Founder in Trouble, Ubuntu's Wrong Turn

by Ostatic Staff - Dec. 30, 2015

A big story getting a little attention today was the shocking news of Debian founder Ian Murdock's desperation at the hands of law enforcement. Much of the story is unknown, but Murdock was on the verge of suicide Monday evening. In other news, Brian Fagioli reported that the System76 Oryx Pro is the gaming machine of your dreams and Matt Hartley thinks he knows where Ubuntu went wrong.

Ian Murdock founded Debian in 1993 and in those years Debian has become a foundational distribution and key to Linux ecosystem. Since then Murdock has worked for Sun Microsystems, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and (currently) Docker. Monday evening Murdock posted to his twitter account that he was about to commit suicide.

i’m committing suicide tonight.. do not intervene as i have many stories to tell and do not want them to die with me #debian #runnerkristy67
— Ian Murdock (@imurdock) December 28, 2015

According to Aditya Saky the twitter account from which this declaration was made has since disappeared, but not before noting some of the other tweets. Apparently Murdock said his frustrations stem from encountered with law enforcement. He complained of police brutality and said they ripped off his undergarments. Bail of $25,000 for assaulting a police officer was mentioned. Murdock tweeted he had been arrested and beat up for knocking on his neighbor's door. Later they followed him home, pulled him out of his house, and "did it again." Murdock added that he was bruised and required stitches.

Murdock's twitter account has been deleted and the Google cache is incomplete. The story is woefully lacking in rational detail, but that would be understandable under the psychological stress an experience like that would induce. Some are suggesting his account may have been hacked and those posts were not legitimate. Saky said they emailed him but never heard back. No one really knows much more for now, but let's hope it was all a hoax by crackers and Ian is happy, healthy, and unknown to law enforcement.

System76 Oryx Pro is the Ubuntu gaming laptop of our dreams according to Brian Fagioli at He loved the design, the hardware, and especially Ubuntu 15.10. He called it a treat - "an absolute treat" adding it was his favorite operating system of 2015. He listed the impressive hardware with special attention to the NVIDIA 980M calling the Oryx Pro "a gaming beast" and "absolute powerhouse." It weighs in at 5.5 pounds though and battery life isn't but 2 hours. Despite the few drawbacks, Fagioli concluded this was "one of his favorite laptops ever." I want one.

Speaking of Ubuntu, Matt Hartley thinks he knows where they went wrong. First he thinks Ubuntu is too complicated for the masses then he thinks Ubuntu should have a studio service like SUSE so they can just build their own ISOs. Ubuntu isn't advertised enough and with Windows 10 sticking up the place, what are users to do? Ubuntu needs to make sure there are more Ubuntu PCs available, but he doesn't think that will happen. "I firmly believe the future of Linux on the desktop is going to be driven by Google," he concluded.

Speaking of gaming, Bruce Byfield thinks we've witnessed the death of proprietary gaming on Linux, even if we don't know it yet. He thinks Linux gaming is living on "borrowed time. The indications are that proprietary Linux games are unlikely to develop into much of a market."