Ubuntu fans may be passionate geeks when it comes to free software, but last night’s happy love fest at the Globe Bar & Grill in Copley Place was more about enjoying the moment and being together than serial computer installs. Nearly two dozen members of the Massachusetts Ubuntu LoCo (Local Community) cozied into the mezzanine of the downtown Boston night spot to celebrate the launch of Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (Long-Term Support) for desktops and servers.
“I’m here for the cake,” joked Craig Andrews, a software engineer with girlfriend in tow. “I want to see who’s here. This is a social opportunity.”
And Andrews got his wish.
A highlight of the event was the arrival of Jono Bacon and his London entourage midway through the event. Bacon, the Ubuntu community leader worldwide, made his way from the office in Lexington, Mass., which he had been visiting on business, and stopped in to mingle with the crowd and cheer the troops. No doubt, Bacon’s appearance was due in part to the hard work by the active, certified local chapter, which generally meets across the river, in Cambridge at MIT.
Although there were a few laptops running Ubuntu 8.04 on tables about the room, the kickoff event was more about clusters of Ubuntu fans, mostly longtime users but also a smattering of newbies, talking up the new release and sharing the excitement of Ubuntu’s growing popularity and added features.
“There’s more people than I thought,” said Martin Owens, a programmer and one of the leaders of the group. “I see a lot of new faces.”
Owens, who prides himself on “not working for anybody who doesn’t use Linux,” added that he particularly appreciates that the new release includes a Likewise Open plug-in to Microsoft’s Active Directory.
Michael Rushton, leader of the group, said the event was one of many worldwide all celebrating the new Ubuntu software release.
Rushton explained his love for Linux in just a few words. “You install it,” he said. “And it just works.”
The refreshments may have been a mite on the skimpy side, but the “Hardy Heron” cake was a feast, indeed.