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Re: Proposal for a new CDD sub-project: Debian4Business

On Wed, 2007-04-18 at 15:24 +0200, linux@vaneersel.eu wrote:
> I would like to start a new sub-project called Debian4Business or perhaps
> Debian-Office.I have a slight preference for the first name, but this is
> discussable of course.

Since your are using Debian as a base, have at it. Do you best.

> I have a small company, that provides legal services. About 6 months ago (I use
> linux for more than 8 years already) all desktops are running Linux now. The
> people using those desktops have no prior linux experience. I have tried several
> distributions, but with every distribution I see problems appear with the people
> that use it. These problem appear because no distribution is really focused on
> business use within small and mid-sized companies.

I'd like to know what kind of problem. Just because there are problems
with Debian, doesn't mean you can submit wishlist bugs to help make
things better for your specific issues you see.

> Of course there are some distro's with exactly this goal, however they are
> usually commercial products/forks. Probably all very good distro's but also
> awfully expensive, and that makes them not very interesting for small- and
> mid-sized companies.

Like... which ones? How do we know which ones you are talking about when
you don't specify. Ambiguity really doesn't do anyone any good.

> I believe there is definetely a 'market' for a business oriented linux based on
> open source/GPL/Debian social-contract, maintained for and by it's users instead
> of a commercial base. The open source/GPL/DSC concept works for individuals, so
> why it wouldn't/couldn't work for businesses?

There are already Distro's that do exactly as you say, but maybe perhaps
use CentOS or Gentoo as a base. There are ones that provide these things
in a Debian platform too.

> My goal with this project is to create a CDD that provides it's users with the
> tools they need to easily install and use the things a small and mid-sized
> business needs in their working environment. This goes for both server and
> desktop tasks. A small and mid-sized company often doesn't have a permanent
> system manager, that's exactly why things have to be simple. Of course it should
> also include the common office tools, like an office package (openoffice), email,
> groupware, etc etc.

Debian has "profiles" already. You can search for your applications
available to Debian using "aptitude search yoursearchterm"

        aptitude search groupware

gives (showing only meta packages, or primary packages with deps)


But then that misses many of the packages you can build a groupware
setup with, like evolution, webcal, exim, etc...

> I would very much like to hear the opinions of the developer community.
> The first -and very important- step to be taken is to form a group of people that
> support this goal and are willing to work on it.

Well, there is already work in these kinds of areas, though mainly aimed
at the "system admin areas", much of the ground work has been done

        greg@princess:~$ aptitude search dpsyco
        p dpsyco          - Debian packages of system configurations
        p dpsyco-base     - Base package for the debian packages of system configurations
        p dpsyco-cfengine - Automate applying of cfengine configs
        p dpsyco-devel    - Tools to create configuration packages
        p dpsyco-lib      - Libraries for the debian packages of system configurations
        p dpsyco-mysql    - Automate administration of access to mysql
        p dpsyco-patch    - Automatically patch the debian file-system
        p dpsyco-samba    - Automate administration of access to samba
        p dpsyco-skel     - Automatically install a add-on skeleton
        p dpsyco-ssh      - Automate administration of access via ssh
        p dpsyco-sudo     - Automate administration of sudo privileges

You could create suck a package, something like


I mean the options are endless with 20 some thousand packages in Debian.

> If there are no major objections I will start to get things going.

Have at it man. Many would love to help you, but a basic frame of
reference would be good to start on. And understand you need not build a
whole distribution, just a good subset of installed packages and maybe
some "sane" defaults.
greg, greg@gregfolkert.net

Novell's Directory Services is a competitive product to Microsoft's
Active Directory in much the same way that the Saturn V is a competitive
product to those dinky little model rockets that kids light off down at
the playfield. -- Thane Walkup

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