On Leaving Ubuntu

My last day as a contributor to Ubuntu in the various areas that I contribute will be September 30th.

Wow, that was hard to say…

So yeah, I have made the difficult decision of leaving the Ubuntu Community and it was a decision I have been rehashing over and over again for months now.

I'm Benjamin Kerensa, I used to be from Ubuntu
I’m Benjamin Kerensa, I used to be from Ubuntu


I’m amazed that you have read this far and I would like to explain why I have decided to leave the Ubuntu Community that way I do not have to explain it over and over a million times and can just point people to this nicely written blog post.



For the past six months or so I have been burnt out. I know don’t know what exactly caused it but it was likely a number of things happening over the past year. Having burnout happen is not a great feeling: its like “The Force” not being strong within you any more.


Different Directions

Ubuntu has changed as a project quite dramatically from when I started as a contributor and it is clear that some of the new focus Canonical is moving forward with conflict with why I joined Ubuntu as a contributor in the first place. I joined to contribute to a community-driven operating system that valued community foremost and I think that is no longer the case.

I think the Ubuntu of present is Canonical-driven and not much of a meritocracy and is focused on catering to the expectations of users of non-free operating systems versus keeping their existing users satisfied.

Letting people down

The most difficult part about leaving has been my concern that I will be letting people down in the community by leaving tasks unfinished or even resulting in a certain team or two to go inactive which I really did not want to see.

I know those members on the teams that I work on will ultimately forgive me.


Now What?

I have already been stepping up my contributions in other projects and I am very fascinated and excited about Firefox OS, Open Web and Open Source in Education and I have a big plan for 2013/2014 that will focus on all those things.

I really think the key to a better web is focusing on open web technology like HTML5 and JavaScript and I think both of these technologies are going to revolutionize mobile and web as we know it.

I  will close with this quote….

If you’ve done what you want for Ubuntu, then move on. That’s normal – there’s no need to poison the well behind you just because you want to try something else. – Mark Shuttleworth









  1. Jef Spaleta says

    firefox os. Did you get one of the dev phones when they were on sale?
    I was able to get in on the zte open sale…lasted long enough for me to actually order one before they sold out. Should be here by the weekend.


  2. TheGhost says

    Unfortunately you are right. Ubuntu takes a lot of controversial directions where community concerns have no influence anymore and are simply ignored. Future will tell if this strategy works out for Ubuntu.

    I can understand your decision and wish you good luck for your new Open Source contributions. :)

        • Kuuuuubuntu says

          They also didn’t consider the community when it came to Mir or Amazon Scopes or UDS being cancelled.

      • doctormo says

        No, sense! You’ve crafted a community that fits Canonical’s goals. That’s fine, but the shifting around has left some wilting aspects that are just not interesting to Canonical at the moment.

  3. jonobacon says

    Sorry to see you go, Ben. Thanks for your contributions to the community, and best of luck and future prosperity in your contributions with our friends in Mozilla!

  4. costales says

    Thank you for all your dedication Benjamin and good luck in the future projects! 😀 Cheers!

  5. Frankie says

    Benjamin, Thanks so much for all you did for Ubuntu. You were key in me becoming a contributor and I know Mozilla will benefit from your full attention!

  6. tinhed says

    Hello ben. greetings from India. I am new to your blog. In fact this is the first post I’ve read. Its sad to see active contributors like you move away from projects like ubuntu, which was the first linux OS i used, back in 2007. Man, people like you are the messiah of windows converts like me. Thanks for everything. Just on a finishing note, i would like to know your views on the direction Linux mint has taken, vis-a-vis ubuntu. They refused to go with unity, instead coming up with the highly successful cinnamon, threw their weight behind Mate as well. They will not go with Mir. IMHO they are much more community driven than Ubuntu. What are your thoughts?

  7. says

    I have been closely watching the Elementary project and like what I am seeing. I’m not keen on distro hopping at the moment but if I ever do it will be to a Ubuntu-based distro like Elementary.

    I also have much love for the Ubuntu Flavors which are very independent and have mini versions of the Ubuntu Community I used love.

  8. Ricky Reed says

    As a fellow Oregonian, it’s sad to see you step away from the community. Very glad to see that time was put into the decision and it appears you are making the right choice.

    Hopefully you’ll leave your blog up so to keep tabs on your ventures you spoke of briefly in this post.