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Re: is Debian Alpha ready?

On Thu, 11 Dec 1997, Ferenc Kiraly wrote:

> The department wishes to purchase a couple alphas for
> computational work. As I am a Debian fan and some Linux PC
> workstations here run Debian, I would also want the new alphas
> to run Debian, the only alternative being Red Hat. I never 
> used Red Hat, so it would save me some work if I could install
> and take care of a familiar system. Besides, if these workstations
> would prove to be a success, I am sure the department would
> by more.

Being a Debian fan myself, you can imagine what I was like when I first
put RedHat on my UDB -- fish out of water.  The two distributions are
similar in alot of ways, but the "creature comforts" that I was used to on
my Debian systems just weren't there.  That's why I work on this project

> I know Debian-alpha is still in development, so I don't
> expect a flawlessly running system. I also wouldn't mind some
> hard work when installing and maintaining the system. But I do 
> require a more or less
> usable system for the researchers for whom the system is being
> purchased.

I recently reinstalled on my UDB, partially because my HD died and
partially because I wanted to see how the install process behaved, and it
seems rock solid after a few tweakings here and there.  I run
bleeding-edge kernels and haven't had ANY downtime at all.  In fact, my
UDB has been up over two months without a hiccup.

> So here is my question: Is Debian-alpha ready for use in an
> environment like this, taking into account that the administrator
> is familiar with Linux and Debian in particular?

I would say yes tentatively.  If you're willing to consider that the
distribution is still labeled "unstable" and that alot of the software may
not be compiled yet, then you could probably use Debian on your Alphas
without a problem :)

> All of the most important development
> packages seem to be available. The only utility that seems
> to be missing is autofs. I will need some kind of automounter.

I'm having pretty severe problems compiling amd right now.  I hope to get
these resolved before the new year (holidays are wrecking my free time),
but if you want to help with it.... :P  Also, fyi, a few of us are testing
egcs right now in hopes of having a better compiler suite to use.

> I would also expect some help from this list while installing and in 
> return I could serve as a tester for Debian-alpha.

Not a problem :)  Let us know if you have any questions or problems and
we'll see what we can do to help.


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