Whenever I install Ubuntu there are certain applications I automatically install, instead of using Ubuntu's default (VLC comes to mind).

My question is about how some software is chosen over others to a . Is it by the community? Is there a committee?


4 Answers 4


Generally changes are proposed and debated by the community at the Ubuntu Development Summit. See, for example, the Maverick Desktop Application Selection blueprint.

There are some rules; the application must be in the main repository (which means it will be officially supported) and it and its dependencies must fit on the install CD. Applications can be moved into main by going through the main inclusion process.

The Ubuntu Desktop Team is ultimately responsible for supporting and maintaining the default desktop applications. They conduct their weekly meetings openly on IRC and post the minutes to the ubuntu wiki.

  • Similarly, in Kubuntu the team makes such decisions either during the UDS or if necessary later in the development process in a meeting.
    – txwikinger
    Jul 29, 2010 at 4:20

All applications to be included must be in main, and therefore must undergo the Main Inclusion Process.

If there's a good justification for a specific application, it dosen't pull in too many deps, and provides a increase in usability, it'll get included.

To discuss your specific example, I personally love VLC but its UI can be daunting at first.


Well, first of all, only the applications that are included with the CD / ISO can be set as the default. And because there is little overlap between the included applications, there is little choice to be made as to the default.

The real underlying question is "How are the included applications chosen?"

Here is some helpful information from Wikipedia:

At the beginning of a new development cycle, Ubuntu developers from around the world gather to help shape and scope the next release of Ubuntu. The summit is open to the public, but it is not a conference, exhibition or other audience-oriented event. Rather, it is an opportunity for Ubuntu developers, who usually collaborate online, to work together in person on specific tasks.


Although I'm unsure how it was first done, the default packages that are in each release ISO are the same as the previous release ISO. Sometimes there is a need to change a package (default package is broken, there is a much better package now, etc). If this happens, there will be a session at UDS to discuss changing the default package (reasoning, changing it to what, how would that affect support/upgrades/etc). The discussion is open to anyone that wants to discuss it. It looks like the last time this was discussed was UDS-P (12.04). Here are the notes from it.

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