How does Linux/Ubuntu get paid?

I've been promoting Ubuntu to friends and the question most often asked, is "How do they make money?"

Friends don't mind paying Microsoft to dictate to them, none mind having stalkers SMRCing them, but shun 'free' because Linux et al "must be doing something to make money." People, it seems, rather pay to be swindled than live free with Linux. Go figure.

So, just how DOES Linux/Ubuntu survive?


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Ubuntu MATE is supported by our sponsors and contributions:

Some of the ways Linux is funded:

As well as contributions from users and companies.


Talking about Ubuntu proper is the company Canonical. Canonical makes money from subscription support contacts for many services they offer, from servers to kubernetes, etc.

Ubuntu MATE for example is a community project that is community donations, sponsors and volunteered time.


There are various ways in which Canonical (the company that makes
Ubuntu) makes money:

Providing their Desktop for free is likely part of their strategy to
drive user adoption of their services (and it has been quite successful,
as Ubuntu is probably the most widely use Linux distro on both desktop
and servers).

Plus they probably have partnerships with other companies to provide
other specific services. I don't know much about their entire business
strategy, but those are some of the easy finds.

As for "Linux" in general, it depends... Plenty of Linux development is
done for free out of love, but a lot of it is done by big companies that
need the improvements for their own enterprise needs.

Ubuntu MATE specifically is funded by donations. These donations really
mostly cover the cost of hosting this website and other infrastructure
things, as I understand it (I actually don't know, I'm just piecing this
together from what I've read around). Some of those donations are used
to pay developers to create features or fix specific bugs. But 99% of
Ubuntu MATE is really done for free and out of love.


Thanks ☛everyone. I have copy and pasted it all to a file I can just post to anyone asking me.
I've so much to learn yet. Ta.

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Daaaaaaamn. I don't believe I've read anything more true about capitalism on this forum than that.