-- MikePatterson - 27 Jan 2005

First Meeting - 22 April 2004, 1245, MC4019

Present: Walter, Guoxiang, Fraser, MikeP, Lawrence, Dave, Patrick

Minutes: Lawrence (with supplements from MikeP)


1. Nominate somebody to write a position statement for the use of Linux within the School of Computer Science. This statement should include what distribution we will bless, and why. It should also include things like why we need Linux (or open source stuff) at all. This will probably be Debian, if for no other reason than inertia. We should probably also include a brief statement about CSCF Research Support.

2. Discussion regarding documentation. Many sites have good documentation, but we shouldn't expect our users to find them (because many more sites have very bad documentation, or out-dated documents). See #3.

3. Bless a desktop (this should go into #1 as well). Probably this will be one of GNOME or KDE.

4. Anything else? Automated installation, management of security, xhier?

Meeting started approx. 1250.

* We're going to go with Debian (for the time being, at least). Consensus that we ought to have a formal document (1-2pp) suitable for presentation to those higher up on the food chain (Ken Salem). Content should be per item 1.

* Recognition of the fact that some groups will have special needs and therefore require non-standard installations.

* Patrick has been charged by John to talk to each group on campus to find out which distribution they're using and why. IST will be supporting Red Hat, mostly for servers, although Client Services suggests that they support Mandrake on the desktop. Servers - we will probably continue with Debian Workstation - doesn't have to be the same, but we will use Debian until we find reasons otherwise (update problems, IST has solid installation). MikeP has seen that IST say RedHat, but what they mean is Fedora Core 1.

* Security updates - RedHat does not identify security updates vs other. Debian does. Patrick suggests running Debian (or some other distribution?) within a virtual machine. Should check when either OS is booted on dual-boot machine.

* xhier - Walter has been working on porting xhier to sarge, but is not yet done.

* Resolved - we will run Debian (sarge) for now and review at a later time if and when IST has a documented installation of another distribution. MikeP pointed out (and Walter, Lawrence, Dave, Patrick at least agreed) that what we're looking for is not necessarily a long-term solution, but something to last us at least a year and possibly 3 years.

* Along the lines of documentation, there was some confusion as to who ought to be doing what. Lawrence pointed out that it's really in everybody's best interest if we ignored the divisions of eg. Core vs Research, because anything one group does on this front will help the other.

* Fraser asked about life cycles: at what point is a machine no longer supported? Lawrence and MikeP think (and Dave agrees) that it ought to be the life cycle of the hardware warranty. Standard PCs have a 3 year warranty, and after that they're obsolete anyway.

* Printing - will need to be determined how to do easily.

* Desktop choice - GNOME or KDE - GNOME will be used on Solaris 9 - general principle - minimize number of different software solutions. Dave would like to see the desktop standard extended even to things like Cygwin on Wintel boxes. (He says KDE is much easier to manage this way.) Dave also isn't sure that choosing a desktop is necessarily the task of this working group and suggested that perhaps a different one could be struck. (MikeP thought that's what he meant anyway, but it wasn't discussed any more than in an off-hand comment Dave made.)

* Need to start installation on the 15 new Grad PC's. We also have several CFI machines out now running sarge. (presidio, alpine, marfa, sanderson, royalalexandra, elizabeth, sawyer.)


* Dave said that he and Lawrence will work on the policy document. (Lawrence hasn't agreed to this yet, mainly because he doesn't know.)

* We'll probably need to discuss further who can do what as far

Meeting concluded approx. 1355.

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Topic revision: r1 - 2005-01-27 - MikePatterson
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