Canonical has long made the most popular desktop version of Linux, but actually making money off Ubuntu is easier said than done. When a typical user downloads Ubuntu for free and installs it on a computer with a Windows license that the user did pay for, Canonical gets nothing in the form of payment.

There’s nothing wrong with that—this is the open source world, after all, and many people contribute to Ubuntu with code rather than money. But starting this week, Canonical is presenting desktop OS downloaders with an optional donation form.

“Pay what you think it’s worth,” and “Show Ubuntu some love” are among the messages users will see, and downloaders can direct their donations to specific parts of Ubuntu development. The options are “Make the desktop more amazing”; “Performance optimisation for games and apps”; “Improve hardware support on more PCs”; “Phone and tablet versions of Ubuntu”; “Community participation in Ubuntu development”; “Better coordination with Debian and upstreams”; “Better support for flavours like Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu”; “Tip to Canonical—they help make it happen.”

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via Ars Technica » Technology Lab