On Thu, 29 Dec 2005, Adrian von Bidder wrote:
> Hi Milan, Jon,
> As discussed, 'the Debian project' as such has huge difficulties accepting
> hardware donations - offers are often turned down. (tangent - in my opinion
> donations should be accepted more liberally and if the Debian
> administrators can not be bothered to administer yet another machine, I'm
> sure somebody can be found on case-by-case basis to administer these
> machines and give out accounts to developers as needed.)
> For Sun machines, the best place to ask is probably the Debian sparc porters
> mailing list (email@example.com) - if anybody is interested in
> this machine, he's bound to hang out there. I guess you could donate the
> machine to the Debian project and have it be taken care of some individual
> developers. Especially since you (Milan) are ready to host it, you can
> somewhat control that it's really being used for Debian work (or at least,
> you can cut access again and donate it to somebody else or whatever.)
> Another possibility is local Linux user groups - especially since (I'm
> thinking of Milan) international shipping may be a major problems.
A machine *donated* to the debian project has to be *maintained* and *hosted*.
The DSA(Debian System Administrators) do not want to maintain machines, unless
it can be shown that the machine in question is of great benefit to the entire
project, at large.
Also, hosting can be a sticky situation. First, bandwidth issues, due to
people downloading packages, is there a local mirror for the arch, etc. Then,
a machine allowing 1000+ people may be an issue to some hosting companies.
In addition, a machine for use by the project at large generally needs to be
able to support lots of random developers logging in, and leaving stuff lying
around. This means disk space.
Another problem is who does the work when the hardware fails? All hardware
will fail, at some point. This requires a local admin to tend to the machine.
It is also helpful if the local admin knows a bit about the architecture in
question(altho, this isn't always a requirement).
These reasons outline(1), in a nutshell, why individual people donating
individual random old machines get turned down, time and time again.
1: this list is not complete, and only has the most obvious items.