2004/08/20 1330-1430h



  1. Standardized desktop: Walter has been working on this. What sort of applications would be useful to see installed on every desktop PC? What about window managers? Would it be worthwhile to specify one (or two) that we will be able to support better, and if so, which one?
  2. Hardware: the new standard PC may have an Intel 915 chipset. How well will Debian support this?
  3. Pros and cons of sticking with testing vs stable on desktops, particularly csgradpc*.
  4. xhier packages versus vendor packages. Regardless of the distribution we choose, we can virtually guarantee that the vendor will beat us to rolling out new versions of packages (ok, maybe not Debian stable). We need to draw a line somewhere, or everybody will be using twm for eternity. Where ought the line to be drawn? Do we maybe want to concentrate on making use of xhier to ship around configurations rather than binaries (a la ssh-config package)? Bonus question: can or should we apply this to other arches as well? That's likely a good way to start a fight.
  5. Printing: we need to figure out how to make desktop PCs talk to department printers. Is CUPS the solution?


  1. Intel 915 chipset
    • MikeP tried to get it working and was able to, but had problems with the USB 7-in-1 floppy. (Lockups during kernel load). This also happens with FC2, so it seems to be a general 2.6 kernel issue, not restricted to the default Debian ones. (See: IssuesWithKernel26)
    • Mike's concern is whether we will go ahead and start ordering machines with the Intel 915 chipset.
    • Dave says that we will get one in to test, but will not order machines with it until we have it working with both the Windows and Debian images.

  1. Standardized desktop
    • Walter setting up standard images for the graphics machines. Images can be reloaded if necessary. uses rsync to transfer files, using System Imager (see: http://www.systemimager.org/ ) to manage it.
    • Mike thinking maybe we can use PowerQuest to build machine, then use System Imager to make all the updates
    • Dave suggested using DejaGnu to run a standardized test suite
    • Walter creating a fairly restricted set of applications for CS488 courses
    • we would want a much richer set of applications for GradPCs
    • the users of GradPCs do have the ability to change their own systems, so we need to be aware of that
    • ssh keys - need one for cscf-adm user

  1. Testing vs stable - which should we be using?
    • Lawrence: my understanding is that the security updates are the concern
    • Walter: we should make an archive, but perhaps someone else is already doing that
    • we should be going to stable as soon as possible (once sarge is stable)
    • will need to go to all of our current csgradpc* machines and update /etc/sources.list and point to sarge

  1. xhier - should we be using xhier to distribute packages?
    • Dave: we don't have control of all of the packages
    • Dave: perhaps best to just use xhier for config files and use apt-get for vendor packages (eg: ssh-config)
    • Lawrence asked for clarifications about how xhier is used in groups such as PLG. Mike said one of the key issues is for accounts. WatForm's interest in it arises from consistency - they would like every machine they have everywhere to be as identical as possible
    • Fraser summarized that for the next year, at least, we will need a hybrid system - xhier and vendor packaging
    • Walter has a package, "debian-1" that can do the admin updates

  1. Printing - should we CUPS or something else to print to departmental printers
    • this will need to be discussed at a later time
    • issues with authentication

  1. The Debian Twiki
    • Lawrence encouraged all members of the group to make use of it

-- LawrenceFolland, MikePatterson

-- MikePatterson - 27 Jan 2005

-- DanielAllen - 21 Feb 2005 : merging in notes from WorkingGroup

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Topic revision: r3 - 2013-08-16 - DrewPilcher
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