Time to move on


After a bit over 12 years working for Canonical, Friday 7th of July was my last day.

It’s a bit of a bittersweet moment leaving a company after you’ve invested so much of your time into it, but I believe that now was the right time for me. As I’ve told colleagues and upper management, Canonical isn’t the company I excitedly joined back in 2011 and it’s not a company that I would want to join today, therefore it shouldn’t be a company that I keep working for either.

I’ll most miss working with the LXD team. Canonical is truly lucky to have such a great team of engineers going above and beyond to support a project like LXD. It’s quite unique to have a small team with such a wide variety of skills ranging from kernel development, to distributed systems, to web frontends and documentation, all working together to make a project like LXD possible.


Following the announcement of my resignation, Canonical decided to pull LXD out of the Linux Containers projects and relocate it to a full in-house project.
That’s the news which we announced last week.

I obviously wish that this particular change hadn’t happened, I strongly see value in having a project like LXD be run in a more open, community environment where everyone’s opinion is valued and everyone’s contribution, no matter the size, is welcome. Having the “LXD community experiment” be labeled a failure within Canonical seems unfair to me and to everyone who contributed over the years.

As for my particular involvement in Canonical’s LXD moving forward, I will definitely remain an active user of LXD and will likely still be filing issues and the occasional fix. However, I don’t intend to ever sign Canonical’s CLA, so should that become a barrier to contribution for the project, I will have to stop contributing to it.


On the Ubuntu front, I’m currently a mostly inactive member of the Ubuntu Release team, Ubuntu Archive team and Ubuntu SRU team. I will be stepping down from all of those as I struggled to find any time to help them out while working for Canonical full time and don’t expect things to improve now.

I will remain an Ubuntu Core Developer and may contribute the occasional bugfix, package updates or new packages here and there. I don’t have any plans to move away from Ubuntu for my own systems.


As for what I’ll be doing next. One thing I can share immediately is that I’m not joining another company nor do I have any intention to join another company at this stage.

I’m going to start by working on a number of pet projects that I’ve either neglected or been unable to even start so far. Some of those could lead to a source of revenue, some others will just be for the community’s benefit.

I’m also getting setup for freelance work, so will be able to accept the occasional consultancy or training contract where those make sense for me.


It’s a bit of an end of an era for me, a lot has changed over those 12 years both personally and in the industry, so I’m looking forward to have some time to reset and figure out what’s next!

About Stéphane Graber

Project leader of Linux Containers, Linux hacker, Ubuntu core developer, conference organizer and speaker.
This entry was posted in Planet Ubuntu and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

50 Responses to Time to move on

  1. adamcstephens says:

    Thanks for all your leadership, Stéphane. LXD has been amazing tool for me in my homelab and I would happily use it in a work setting given the chance. Good luck in your future endeavors and I look forward to seeing what other amazing things you can create!

    1. Cameron Glegg says:

      While I am incredibly sad that I won’t be seeing any new LXD video’s from you, I am incredibly excited to see what you do next.

      Congratulations on LXD, it is a fantastic piece of technology. I will be monitoring this log to see what cool tech you work on next.

      Thank you for your hard work!

  2. Keith says:

    I hope Canonical keeps going with the project and it doesn’t slowly disappear. LXD made far more sense to me than docker which the whole world unfortunately started to use way back and now Kubernetes. Your contribution to this project over the years is much appreciated and I enjoyed the Youtube videos which I’m going to miss.

    I wish you all the best for the future and this is a sad day for the project.

  3. Eric says:

    Can you expand on the “LXD community experiment” failure comment? Do you mean that they expected more code contributions from the community? What do you think this means for the future of LXD? Do you think it will still be a viable project 5-10 years down the road?

    1. Yes, Canonical upper management apparently expects a community project to have the majority of its code contributed by external parties which LXD obviously didn’t. With a team of 10 or so to the engineers, Canonical likely contributed 90% or so of LXD’s code.
      I do strongly disagree about this being the main metric of the success of a community though…

      As for the future, Canonical has a lot depending on LXD’s success and there’s a pretty large team behind LXD at the moment with plans to grow it even more (as can be seen from open positions), so I wouldn’t worry about that part. Canonical will certainly keep investing in LXD for years to come.

      1. Gabriel Reiser says:

        Sad that they no longer understand the open source model and expect the community to get behind uninspiring leadership. LXD will live on. Canonical however, needs to find itself again.

      2. Considering LXD is one of the few things outside of Ubuntu that I use on a daily basis from Canonical I find this definition from them incredibly short-sighted and worrisome. The fact that it works and works well is a testament to your and your team’s stewardship of this.

        And I say this as someone who suffered through Ubuntu One and it’s brief “we’re a Dropbox” thing.

        Best of luck to you and whatever projects come your way.

  4. GDR! says:

    Woah! Good luck with your future endeavours, I will remember your contributions to LXD and the support you gave very fondly.

  5. George Oremo says:

    Since I got to learn about LXD, it has formed a very central part of my long term cloud system that I hoped to share with developers in the course of this year. I have always appreciated the devoted lxd support team. I followed and learnt a lot from your posts.
    The emerging developments are disappointing but I am still optimistic there is light at the end of the tunnel. Given your in depth knowledge on lxd, I have always hoped one day I would be able to have to share with you some of my work. I thought this would happen while you were still with lxd. I would want to believe that this will still be possible.
    I wish you well in all your endeavors.
    [the content of website link attached is under development ]

  6. Gilles says:

    I’ve been using LXD extensively for a long time on my NAS. It’s by far the best fit for my needs and it was a pleasure to see LXD developed in full transparency and with so much commitment by the developers and the incredible responsiveness on the forums.
    Thank you so much for all your work! I wish you all the best for your new endeavours.

  7. I’ve been a beneficiary of your code and help for many years – since at least the LTSP project if I remember correctly. In my mind, containers have always been closely identified with your contributions.

  8. Lox says:

    Thanks heaps for your work and for being so helpful on the forum ! You’ll be missed.

  9. Pierre Slamich says:

    Thank you Stéphane for all the energy you poured into Ubuntu, including the support on the DDTP translations many many years ago.

  10. Kapil Thangavelu says:

    End of era, really missed working with you and serge, best wishes on what’s next.

  11. Rob says:

    Best wishes for the future, Stéphane. You’ll be missed.

  12. Tom says:

    Running Unifi software via LXD on my NAS is how I learned to use Linux in the first place! I appreciate all you and your team have done for me as I’m running my business on Linux now.

  13. Cem says:

    You will be missed Stéphane, thanks for the contribution to LXD community. I have learned a lot from your youtube videos. Regards.

  14. Nathan says:

    I am not surprised to hear this perspective.

    Based on decisions I’ve observed that were made in the last few years in other areas it seems upper management has very intentionally lost their way, and removed any obstacle in their way to that vision (whatever that is).

    As a system’s admin/engineer we stopped using Ubuntu in production because of a number of boneheaded decisions.

    Its also really hard to contribute when the bug report system which used to allow OAuth (external email addresses) was suddenly disabled showing a nondescript error in favor of collecting more customer information (for whatever purpose). I still occasionally receive internal updates to open tickets I made 3 years ago, but that system has been down for at least that long, and then there’s the issue with corrupting the package repository with snap fixup scripts instead of it containing only software.

    The people making the decisions don’t seem to understand who their customer is, and what they need, and they’ve isolated themselves in an echo chamber of sycophants. Not a good place to be if you want a successful product.

  15. Alexandre Paes says:

    Ohh Stéphane… A lot of thanks and best wishes for you. Your work and leadership made LXD an incrediable piece of software.

    Good luck !

  16. Clèm says:

    Merci pour cet énorme travail sur LXD et pour toutes les fois où tu as pu sauver mes serveurs auto hébergé en trouvant la solution à mes problèmes bizarres postés sur le forum. Je te souhaite plein de réussite pour la suite !

  17. Ant says:

    I’d like to say thank you for all the help you have given me, over the years. It has been pleasure working and learning from you. Wish you all the best in the future Stéphane.

    1. JonnyP says:

      All the best, I’ve always enjoyed watching your youtube videos and seeing what you and your team had been working on. I’m sure you’ll do well in your next endeavour 🙂

  18. brian mulllan says:

    Stephane this is bitter sweet news!

    You are someone I respect for their knowledge, dedication and leadership.
    Whatever you choose to do next, I am sure, will be both interesting and challenging.

    Thanks for so much for so many years now.


  19. jonathan says:

    Hi Stéphane,

    Bummer, sad to see you leaving. Just wanted to say thank you very much for all of your hard work and dedication to lxc/lxd. Watched your youtube sessions and it was always great to see someone so enthusiastic about what they are working on, also times logging
    some question to the forum and getting answers from you and other dev guys was great.

    Great work, so long and thanks for all the fish.


  20. Ruben Espadas says:

    It’s a sad notice but everyone must follow the path that he loves. Your articles and enthusiasm in LXD that can be feeling in your words taked some people like me to use LXD how the unique and real viable containers solution.
    I wish the best for you in every new step that you decide.

  21. Rolando Cruz says:

    Really sad to see you go. I looked forwards to your YouTube videos and seeing what new enhancement or feature you’d speak about.

    Your leaving Conanical does not sound very friendly though.

    I wish you high winds in your sails and much success in everything you do going forwards.

  22. Alexandre Paes says:

    Ohh Stéphane… A lot of thanks and best wishes for you. Your work and leadership made LXD an incrediable piece of software.
    Good luck !

  23. lds says:

    This is very bad news.
    Thank you very much stéphane for all your work and your involvement.
    I use lxd in my company, and for me it’s the most beautiful and complete free software project I’ve used
    good luck with your new projects 🙂

  24. netizen says:

    Thank you for all your efforts Stéphane. I wish you best for the future to come.

  25. Ford Clancy says:

    Stephane, Canonical has lost one of its greatest assets!

    Can’t wait to hear what you’re doing next.

  26. Raphaël says:

    Sad to see you leaving Stéphane!
    I’d like to say a huge thank you for everything you’ve done. Your amazing work, your open source contribution and leadership on LXD!
    I use it a lot from years now, pushing in prod to my compagny. This technology is unique!
    All the best for your next projects.

  27. Christoph says:

    Hi Stéphane,
    Sad to see you leave and a bit worried about the future of LXD. We use LXD for our development environment since 2.0 (and used lxc before that as our first containerized dev env).

    I wish you all the best for your future!

  28. Jaime Perea says:

    Dear Stéphane Graber,

    Thanks for the good job done. LXD is helping users like us in scientific research for having a new alternative for accessing our servers with all the possible tools without changing all our environment each time. I enjoyed a lot learning (even I’m not a computer scientist) about this topic. And this was posible only because of the good explanations and documentation provided by you and your team. So good technology and easy learning, the best results.

    Wishing you the best in your future!


  29. jellium says:

    Thank you for your immense involvement in the LXD project, both from a technical and communication point of view, enabling us to democratize (a little) the use of this super-powerful tool for so many uses in computing and server management.
    I hope you find the job and occupations that make you happy!
    Merci beaucoup !

  30. > However, I don’t intend to ever sign Canonical’s CLA, so should that become a barrier to contribution for the project, I will have to stop contributing to it.

    Another option would be to fork the project. Considering you are the father of LXD, it is likely that a significant portion of the LXD community would follow your fork instead of Canonical’s.

  31. nobody says:

    Hey, Steph! Will miss you in LXD project! Love u bruh!

  32. Andy says:

    Just found this looking for your next video on LXD. You’ve built something amazing with LXD for the world and Canonical can never take that away. I also admire your decision — takes guts to leave but I think it’s right rather than staying somewhere that isn’t right.

    Thanks for all you passion, effort and taking time to help people. Good luck for the future and can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

  33. Jason says:

    Sorry to hear about all of this. Wish I would have contributed to the project now. The guilt is now overwhelming. I don’t follow much of Ubuntu, I was just very fond of the Linux Container’s project.

    There are a few angels among us and Stéphane is definitely one of them.

  34. John Hammell says:

    Just reading this news now. I’m on the Linux containers forum as @John, active from time to time but not much very recently. Anyhow, Stephane, just wanted to say that you’ve been very helpful over the years when I had questions and was trying to figure some things out. You and the team have built a great product! Thanks for everything!

  35. Oliver says:

    Hi Stéphane,

    Little late to the “party” but just wanted to say thank you for your and your team’s efforts! They are much appreciated.

    Years and years ago I moved from a headless VirtualBox setup to LXC/LXD and have never looked back. My whole network is based on it now. Dozens of containers etc. I even bought my QNAP NAS mostly because of it’s LXD support.

    Hence any change to the status quo makes me nervous. I don’t follow the ins and outs of Canonical or OSS teams and I keep my layman opinion to myself. I just hope that your baby continues safely on it’s path to the teenage years and later adulthood.

    For you I wish you all the best and by now you have probably found your next steps.
    All that remains is to say a big THANKS for your work.

    Regards Oliver

  36. Mohammed says:

    Hey Stéphane,

    I’ve just this minute heard that you left the LXD project last July. Oh my God! Terrible news!

    It was because of your detailed video tutorials that led me to learn, love, and use LXD on my production servers. Although I could barely understand a word you were saying, I was in awe of your LXD engineering skills.

    Are you not able to fork LXD?

    You will be missed!

    I wish you the best in your future projects.

    1. Hey Mohammed,

      Yes, LXD has been forked and that fork, Incus, is now part of Linux Containers.
      I’m working almost full time on it and the team of maintainers on that project is pretty much all the initial LXD contributors.


      I also have a new Youtube channel at https://youtube.com/@TheZabbly

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