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Re: Debian on Azure - vmdepot

On Wed, Jan 09, 2013 at 05:29:47PM +0100, Arnaud Patard wrote:
> Microsoft Open Technologies has announced today a new site [1] to store
> and share virtual machine images for Windows Azure [2]. We've uploaded there
> a minimal Wheezy image. The only extra package installed in it is the
> waagent package which is currently in review in this list.

Hi Aranaud and Jose Miguel, thanks for sharing with us the news, for the
work you poured into it, and sorry for the delay in my reply.

I've a few questions and comments about the Wheezy image at
http://vmdepot.msopentech.com/List/Index?sort=Date&search=Debian :

- How can people on this list play with that image? I ask because, say,
  the issue with contrib/non-free enabled by default in the Amazon image
  has been discovered only by playing with it, and I'd like to have
  someone (possibly even myself, as I did in the Amazon case) do similar
  checks before announcing the image more widely.

  In particular, it would be nice if you could provide guidance on how
  to retrieve the corresponding disk image and mount it, it would be
  much appreciated.

- Can you also tell us where is the "recipe" used to build that image?
  Is the procedure documented at
  http://wiki.debian.org/Cloud/WindowsAzureImage the one you followed
  yourselves to generate the Wheezy image or is it only for custom
  images? In the former case --- and please excuse my ignorance of the
  Azure infrastructure --- what is the "azure" command I see in there?
  Is it something DFSG-free or not? If not, we'll have to consider the
  Azure images non-free as they cannot be built with an entirely free
  toolchain. Comments and guidance are very welcome!

- I also do wonder what is the relationship between VM Depot and other
  ways of obtaining Azure images. Ideally, I'd like for Debian images to
  be prominently listed in any public cloud "marketplace". Is VM Depot
  that sort of marketplace for Azure, or is there somewhere something
  more prominent we might want to get into?

- Last but not least, I'm worried that you've chosen to call the image
  "Debian Wheezy". That's surely what it is. But Wheezy has not been
  released yet, and by advertising it as such we risk quite a bit in
  terms of PR, e.g.: a journalist doing a review of "Debian Wheezy"
  based on that image, finding out that things are not yet ready and
  making a bad review on something based on a faulty initial assumption.

  You've correctly explained in the description that this is the
  "upcoming" Debian version, but I'm still worried. For comparison, have
  a look at http://www.debian.org/releases/testing/ and you will notice
  that we have been a bit more conservative in the language there.

  How about calling the image "Debian Testing" as a title, and getting
  inspiration from the text at http://www.debian.org/releases/testing/
  to be even more clear that Wheezy is still work in progress? You can
  surely mark "Debian Wheezy" in the long description, and that would
  undoubtfully make people that search for that string find the image;
  but ending up on something entitled "debian testing" would make even
  more clear which kind of not-yet-released OS they're using.

Thanks again for this very good news!

I'd like to clarify the points above, but once done I'll be happy to
push for some project-wide PR to announce Debian presence on several
clouds, hopefully including Azure!

Stefano Zacchiroli  . . . . . . .  zack@upsilon.cc . . . . o . . . o . o
Maître de conférences . . . . . http://upsilon.cc/zack . . . o . . . o o
Debian Project Leader . . . . . . @zack on identi.ca . . o o o . . . o .
« the first rule of tautology club is the first rule of tautology club »

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