Ubuntu is a free operating system, free as in speech and free as in beer. And Canonical are keen to reinforce this Richard Stallman ethos as they announce a new way for users to optionally contribute to Canonical before they download the desktop version of Ubuntu.
It’s not just a fixed donation though; there are eight categories you selectively give money in. These are done in such a way to let the Canonical folks know which parts of Ubuntu people want improved, with categories for Unity, performance optimization, hardware support, phone and tablet versions, support of different Ubuntu flavours, and a general tip to Canonical.
Obviously you don’t have to make any contributions if you don’t want to – although the page pops up before you can download the ISO, and has a recommended $2 donation to each category already filled in. Next to the big orange contribute button is the link to skip it, but it’s a little in your face.
Either way, with Ubuntu 12.10 coming out shortly, it will be interesting to see what contributions are made, and what they go towards. You can check out the page by selecting Ubuntu Desktop from their download page.