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Re: Developing on Debian


Debian GNU/Linux is a volunteer organization that develops a world-class
operating system based on the Linux kernel and GNU project. I'll go
point by point to answer your questions.

Jason Mock wrote:
> I had some questions on your ISV program.  We’re a retail point of sale
> software company that is seeking out a Linux platform to distribute our
> software on.  A few of the questions that I have are concerning the
> “Corporate Server” version of your software.  I need the following
> information:
> *_Original purchase cost_* – Currently we use SCO Unix.  The way this
> process works with them is we buy a development kit, produce a tape that
> contains the OS and our software.  We assign the end user a license for
> the server, and pay SCO on that license.  How does your process work
> when it comes to distribution?  What are the license costs associated
> with this process?

Debian GNU/Linux is free-software, as long as you base your system on
our official components (the 'main' archive) you are free to distribute
the system and have our blessing to use and distribute it with no
license costs whatsoever.

Yes, we _are_ that generous.

> *_Upgrades_* – With SCO we currently buy an upgrade license on a per
> system basis as we determine that an OS upgrade is in order.  How does
> your upgrade process work?  What are the costs associated with this
> process?  How is the upgrade distributed?

Upgrade is performed using our upgrade tools on a live system, the base
tool is apt-get with various wrappers on top of that. If your systems
are connected to the internet it can be done from our servers directly.
Otherwise you can simple distribute the updated packages and upgrade
from a CD.

Adaptation to that is possible and is up to you, there are many
companies and consultants in the Debian eco-system that can help with
your exact needs.

> *_Support_* – As an ISV with SCO we have an account rep that works with
> us to ensure that we are kept up to speed on new versions, end of life, 
> etc.  We also have access to an ISV level support via a 1-800 telephone
> number.  How does your company handle the sales and technical support? 
> What are the fees/costs associated with this type of support?

We are not a company, we are a volunteer organization, as such our
support is provided by mailing lists, IRC channels and web-based forums
by many volunteers.

You can however solicit help and support from the many Debian
consultants and there are quite a few companies that will be willing to
take money for support. The exact costs depend on the consultant or
company and you'll have to negotiate that with them directly.

More information on our support can be found at
http://www.us.debian.org/support and a list of consultants is at

> Thank you for your input,

You are welcome.

You can find more information on our website at http://www.debian.org/

Hope this helps,
Baruch Even
Debian Developer

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