Blue Systems

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Blue Systems
IndustryFree software
FounderClemens Tönnies, Jr.
HeadquartersBielefeld, Germany
Area served
OwnerClemens Tönnies, Jr.

Blue Systems is a German IT company. It is most prominent as a major KDE supporter and previous driving force behind Kubuntu with a number of KDE developers working for Blue Systems. According to Blue Systems employee Aurélien Gâteau, "Blue Systems does not have a business model, at least for now".[4]


Blue Systems was founded by German businessman Clemens Tönnies Jr. He is a son of the deceased Bernd Tönnies who founded meat production heavyweight Tönnies Lebensmittel in 1971.[5][6] Clemens Tönnies Jr. inherited 25% but left the company by transferring his shares to his brother Robert, who now owns 50% of Tönnies Lebensmittel.[7] The other 50% are owned by Bernd’s brother Clemens Tönnies Sr. who is also the chairman of FC Schalke 04's board of directors. Tönnies Lebensmittel generated 4.3 billion Euro revenue in 2011.[8]

German IT website did a feature about Tönnies Jr. in July 2012. According to the feature, Tönnies Jr. studied computer science, was 36 years old at the time of publication, and was described as a philanthropist.[4]


Blue Systems became first known as creator of Ubuntu/Kubuntu-based Linux distribution Netrunner whose first release was in March 2010.[9]

In February 2012, Clement Lefebvre of Ubuntu/Kubuntu-based Linux Mint announced that Blue Systems would become a sponsor to help Mint's KDE edition.[10][11]

After Canonical Ltd. stepped down as the main sponsor of Kubuntu in February 2012,[12] Blue Systems stepped into that role in April 2012.[13]

In 2012, Blue Systems gained more attention by hiring at least nine KDE developers.[14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22] Among the hired KDE developers are former Canonical employees Jonathan Riddell and Aurélien Gâteau, who joined in April 2012,[22] as well as long-time KWin developer Martin Grässlin who announced in October 2012 to switch to Blue Systems to work full-time on KWin beginning January 2013.[23]

On 13 January 2016, founder Frank Karlitschek announced that his company hive01 GmbH along with and related web sites has been bought by Blue Systems.[3][24][25] Later that year, in September 2016, KDE e.V. announced that the former site "" now operates under KDE’s umbrella as KDE Store, operated by Blue Systems’ “sister company” Pling GmbH.[26][27]


  1. ^ "Ubuntu based Netrunner becomes Maui Linux". 14 August 2016. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  2. ^ "Netrunner". Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  3. ^ a b " Acquired By KDE-Loving Blue Systems". Phoronix.
  4. ^ a b "Clemens Tönnies: Der neue Philanthrop hinter Kubuntu" (in German). Retrieved 2012-10-08.
  5. ^ "RHEDA-WIEDENBRÜCK: Familienstreit bei Tönnies lähmt Schlachtkonzern" (in German). Neue Westfälische. Retrieved 2012-10-08.
  6. ^ HDNET GmbH & Co. KG. "About Tönnies Lebensmittel GmbH & Co. KG". Retrieved 2012-10-08.
  7. ^ "Landgericht Bielefeld: Wende bei Tönnies: Onkel und Neffe stimmen Mediation zu" (in German). T-Online.
  8. ^ "Tönnies steigert Umsatz auf 4,3 Milliarden Euro" (in German). Neue Westfälische. 2011-02-16. Retrieved 2012-10-08.
  9. ^ Clemens Tönnies Jr. (using Starbuck as alias) (2010-03-18). "Netrunner 1.0 (Albedo)". Retrieved 2012-10-08.
  10. ^ "Linux Mint signs a partnership with Blue Systems". Linux Mint. 2012-01-07.
  11. ^ "Blue Systems becomes Linux Mint partner and sponsor". 2012-01-09. Archived from the original on 16 January 2012.
  12. ^ "Kubuntu Status". 2012-02-06.
  13. ^ "Kubuntu to be Sponsored by Blue Systems". Kubuntu. 2012-04-10.
  14. ^ Ignat Semenov (2012-02-20). "Polishing KDE: FolderView Fixes Part I".
  15. ^ Shaun Reich (sreich) (2012-03-07). "Runners? Internets? YouTube? Both". Archived from the original on 2013-03-30. Retrieved 2012-10-08.
  16. ^ "Explore applications with Muon Discover". TheBlindCow. 2012-04-27. Retrieved 2012-10-08.
  17. ^ Àlex Fiestas (2012-06-04). "Joining the Blue". Retrieved 2012-10-08.
  18. ^ Vishesh Handa (2012-07-24). "A few updates". Archived from the original on 2013-03-29. Retrieved 2012-10-08.
  19. ^ "Joining Blue Systems". shadeslayer's Blog. 2012-07-25. Retrieved 2012-10-08.
  20. ^ "Blue Systems, the Muon Suite, and Kubuntu". Jonathan's Blog. 2012-08-19. Retrieved 2012-10-08.
  21. ^ "KDE Telepathy 0.5 released". Marty's typepad. 2012-08-29. Retrieved 2012-10-08.
  22. ^ a b Aurélien Gâteau (2012-04-11). "Into the blue". Retrieved 2012-10-08.
  23. ^ Martin Grässlin (2012-10-07). "KWin Hacking++". Martin’s Blog. Retrieved 2012-10-08.
  24. ^ Frank Karlitschek. " changes".
  25. ^ Frank Karlitschek. " 15 years in review".
  26. ^ "KDE Software Store Announced, AGPL Licensed". Phoronix.
  27. ^ Jonathan Riddel (3 September 2016). "KDE Software Store". KDE.