GOOGLE ENGINEERS have transitioned from Ubuntu to Debian for their internal machines.
The company, which has been using Goobuntu, a customised version of Ubuntu, for years, announced last year that it would be switching to gLinux, based on Debian Testing.
MuyLinux reports (Spanish) that The Debconf'17 held last August revealed plans for the move as well as a roadmap for the project and plans for a smooth transition.
That process has now begun, as the company moves from a "light-skinned" distro which it has no contribution to. Google used Ubuntu's Long Term Support (LTS) builds as a customer of the Ubuntu Advantage Program but was not active in the community.
In the case of Debian, it will send changes upstream as an active contributor, whilst running on the Test stream so it can take advantage of faster testing of new builds.
This might mean that there are more problems for users than the safe pair of hands of the commercial Ubuntu, but it also means that Google will have complete autonomy over how to fix them, and benefit the community at the same time.
For Canonical, it's a big loss. Though Ubuntu has a huge number of clients in servers, cloud, and remains the biggest distro for the limited PC market, the loss of a paying customer the size of Google won't go unnoticed.
Meanwhile Debian, which is already the default for millions of Raspberry Pi devices, under the Raspian distro, now claims thousands of engineers around the world who work for Google, a company which encourages (though doesn't enforce) use of Linux.
Meanwhile, although gLinux is now ‘preferred', its far from the only operating system you'll see in Google towers. After all, it'd be a bit weird if there weren't a few Chromebooks floating about and then there's Fuschia OS - whatever it turns out to be. µ
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