Speaking at the LinuxCon conference this week, Google engineer Thomas Bushnell detailed his company’s use of Linux for desktop users.
Bushnell’s team is responsible for providing a Linux engineering platform for Google’s internal employees, including graphics designer, managers as well as software and system engineers.
The system that Bushnell deploys is known to Googlers as ‘Goobuntu’ and it is essentially a light skinning of the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution.
“Just go get Ubuntu and run it and you’ve got Goobuntu,” Bushnell said. “The only thing we’re adding are special tools to access Google specific resources that our engineers need.”
Some of those specific resources include, Google’s own LDAP authentication for user access across the Google infrastructure. Bushnell stressed that Google does not have a fully custom user interface for Goobuntu either.
Aside from the Google specific customizations, there are also some specific security precautions that have been taken. Bushnell said that any apps that phones home or have known security issues have been removed from Goobuntu.
From an updating perspective, Goobuntu also utilizes Google’s own internal software repository framework instead of relying on a public Ubuntu resource.