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HP Announces Support for Debian Linux

samzenpus posted more than 8 years ago | from the helping-hands dept.

145

Bain writes "PC World reports that HP is to offer support for Debian Linux on its ProLiant and HP BladeSystem servers. Support will be provided by HP telephone operators rather than the discussion-group method that current Debian users rely on. The move to support Debian continues HP's relationship with the community-based OS, which stretches back to 1995."

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hooray! (1, Interesting)

doti (966971) | more than 8 years ago | (#15903962)

For me it's useless, but I'm sure it will help give Linux a more serious look for the PHB out there..

Re:hooray! (1)

andrewman327 (635952) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904040)

This is good to hear, but as always implementation is everything. It will be interesting to watch as their service reps grapple with an entirely new system. We all know how great telephone service is for Windows.


"Ok, now open the control panel."
"What control panel?"
"Click Start, then click control panel."
"Start? What Start?"

Re:hooray! (5, Funny)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904480)

> "Ok, now open the control panel."
> "What control panel?"
> "Click Start, then click control panel."
> "Start? What Start?"

Exasperated tech support guy takes a deep breath to stop from screaming.
"Ok, use the mouse, point to the lower left of the screen..."
"What mouse?"
"Arrrgghhh!!!!"

Level two support:
"Do you have ssh?"
"Of course"
"Ok, what the ip address and the root password?"
"Nice try."
"Well, I can't help you if you don't give me the root password."
"You said it."
"I said what?"
"You can't help me."

Level three uber-tech-support from hell:
"Ah, yes, I can see what the problem is."
"You can?"
"Of course. Lemme fix it"
"But how can you get in? You don't even have an account on the server?"
"Correction, it's you that doesn't have an account... anymore. BWAHAHAHA."

Sorry. I'll go back to coding crappy corporate proprietary code...

HP Announced Support for Lesbian Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15905492)

I am not kidding, that is how I scanned the headline and to go back and read it again more slowly. Too much Howard Stern, I guess... :-)

Re:hooray! (5, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904542)

This is good to hear, but as always implementation is everything.
I disagree, in this case it's the declaration of support that matters. Am I ever going to actually call HP for debian support? No, I'll search the web like usual. But when spec'ing out the system, it could help to say my OS of choice is "supported" by HP. And this is a very good indication that all the hardware will work, even on other distros.

UUBBUUNNTTUU is da bomb bozos !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15905097)

UUBBUUNNTTUU is da bomb bozos !! Get it on your drive NOW or be da luzer, geek

Re:hooray! (1)

larstr (695179) | more than 8 years ago | (#15905545)

Finally. HP has had all their internal servers running Debian forever while they only supported the commercial distros SUSE, Redhat and Mandriva.

HP has also had coders inside the debian project and supporting it with coders and money. This has meant that debian has been a breeze to install on HP servers for quite a while.

My guess is that now that Ubuntu (server) is the upcoming OS that takes market shares from the previous mentioned ones, I guess HP has had some pressure from it's customers to bring in Ubuntu support. As each ubuntu release is basicly a snapshot of Debian Testing (with some additional tweaking and adjustments) HP has done a wize decision on taking the challenge at it's roots by first supporting Debian. I guess the next OS they will announce support for will be Ubuntu.

L

Re:hooray! (3, Interesting)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904076)

it will help give Linux a more serious look for the PHB out there..
Now why am I imagining some ominous music and a fade to black?

I feel very, very bad for the poor folks answering the help line in 3-4 years when there are hundreds of small companies without someone who knows what they are doing. You think helpline support for Windows is bad? Wait until you've got to help someone who's only ever used Windows with their Debian install. And no, you can't tell them to RTFM.

/shudder

Troubleshooting Linux is easier than Windows. (3, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904227)

I feel very, very bad for the poor folks answering the help line in 3-4 years when there are hundreds of small companies without someone who knows what they are doing. You think helpline support for Windows is bad? Wait until you've got to help someone who's only ever used Windows with their Debian install. And no, you can't tell them to RTFM.
In my experience, working through the boot process of a Linux box is incredibly simple compared to Windows.

Remember, this won't be troubleshooting Apache/SSL or anything. This will be determining why the OS doesn't like the hardware and whether it is an OS problem or hardware problem.

Re:Troubleshooting Linux is easier than Windows. (2, Insightful)

Dielectric (266217) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904673)

No kidding, is there even a Windows equivalent of dmesg or /var/log/*? I'm genuinely curious. I just looked in C:\Windows\Debug, and there are some empty log files. I found one that was a few KB, so I tried to open it. MS Application Search services didn't recognize the file, which seems like a really bad design to me. (Description: Windows does not recognize this file type).

Re:Troubleshooting Linux is easier than Windows. (2, Informative)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 8 years ago | (#15905023)

The Windows event logs do pretty much what you're looking for, even though they're not plain text files, per se.

If you want to take a raw look at the files, they're located in c:\windows\system32\config\... event, application and security.

This isn't anything new. It's been around for ages.

Re:Troubleshooting Linux is easier than Windows. (1)

alienmole (15522) | more than 8 years ago | (#15905030)

Digging around a Windows hard disk for text files? You haven't grokked the Windows mindset. (Some might consider that a plus.) There's a GUI Event Viewer that lets you browse the logs. See How to view and manage event logs in Event Viewer in Windows XP [microsoft.com] . A similar viewer is available in all varieties of Windows NT and W2K.

In general, randomly browsing around a Windows filesystem won't tell you much, because most system file formats are binary, and system files are treated more like central repositories than documents, which means that they don't have file associations. You're better off randomly clicking around the GUI, if you insist on the trial and error approach, but you'll still miss a lot.

BTW, the only way I know about Windows is from a misspent pre-Linux youth. I'm posting this from a Debian box, honest.

Re:hooray! (2, Insightful)

Curmudgeonlyoldbloke (850482) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904261)

As an ex-HP-support user, sometimes it wasn't obvious that their helpdesk people had ever used Windows. The front-line people had been given a script, and followed it with no comprehension. When (in the case of the laptop hardware problems that I was logging at the time) it was impossible to follow their instructions, the only solution was to box it up and send it back. With a laptop that's feasible; just swap for another one - but with a server it isn't.

I suppose that there are always the HP-UX and ex-Dec Unix people - they're already familiar with some of the software (see http://hpux.connect.org.uk/hppd/hpux/Gnu/ [connect.org.uk] ) and the concept of a package manager shouldn't be too alien to them (HP .depot files).

Re:hooray! (2, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904415)

Years ago, I use to work at HP. While I was a developer, I did know a few folks in the help group for our product. One of the things that I found out is that they had a big QA DB that handled the vast majority of questions that ppl had. That DB was seperate from what was on the internet (it was 1991; no web) and to the best of my knowledge, still is. Combine that with the famous award winning online linux support, and I suspect that HP will offer cheaper superior support to what anybody delivers on Windows.

Re:hooray! (1)

TheLetterPsy (792255) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904515)

Windows Version:

Poor Folk: I have a problem with my Windows computer.
Help Desk: Reboot.

Debian Version:

Poor Folk: I have a problem with my Debian computer.
Help Desk: apt-get update && apt-get upgrade

Re:hooray! (2, Funny)

timeOday (582209) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904622)

I feel very, very bad for the poor folks answering the help line in 3-4 years when there are hundreds of small companies without someone who knows what they are doing.
What, you mean I can't just hire somebody with no clue how to do their job, and rely on the HP helpdesk to give them a free education?

Re:hooray! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15905067)

/usr/share/doc*

Re:hooray! (1)

martinultima (832468) | more than 8 years ago | (#15905467)

Yet another reason I like HP, then. Couldn't care less about Debian itself – I occasionally use their sources if the "stock" ones don't work, their patches can sometimes be useful, but never really used the distro itself – but I definitely like the fact that they've always been so Linux-friendly, and I hope they continue... (note, I'm a bit biased towards HP, my dev box right now is an HP dx5150 MT that I got at an auction for $300, very nice machine, and my other dev box is a COMPAQ DeskPro, not technically an HP since it was before the merger but you get the point...)

<troll>And I'm so glad it's not bloody Ubuntu!</troll>

Anyway, great going HP, keep it up!

Another Layer of goo (4, Funny)

tacocat (527354) | more than 8 years ago | (#15903984)

So when I call HP for support, I can watch for their posting on the Debian mailing list to find out the answer? This should be fun!

Re:Another Layer of goo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15904018)

Now you can hear them say RTFM instead of just reading it.

Re:Another Layer of goo (1)

Reverend528 (585549) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904024)

Supposedly, they've rehired Bruce Perens to operate the 1-man call center.

Re:Another Layer of goo (1)

Orange Crush (934731) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904029)

That's the beauty of open-source software--anybody can support it and become an expert just by examining the code. I'm confident HP's support technicians will have an intimate knowledge of administering and running Debian and will consistently provide helpful and accurate answers to all questions that customers bring to them . . .

*snicker*

Re:Another Layer of goo (1)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904072)

I'm confident HP's support technicians will have an intimate knowledge of administering and running Debian and will consistently provide helpful and accurate answers

It's tough to teach an old dog new tricks. Especially since the HP support folk are just used to saying: Download the latest Windows Update patches, restart your pc, and try again.

Re:Another Layer of goo (1)

Reverend528 (585549) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904109)

You know, this might sound a little crazy, but maybe they'll actually hire new support staff, preferably people with experience using debian.

Re:Another Layer of goo (1)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904123)

Where do I submit my resume? Can I work from home? I'm pretty sure I'd enjoy that position over more than the C#.NET crap I'm doing right now :-)

Re:Another Layer of goo (1)

setantae (103317) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904447)

If the experience of my friends is anything to go by, no, you will not enjoy working for HP.

Re:Another Layer of goo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15904598)

You mean to say that their current staff knows how to use Windows? Those scripts that they read off are their for a reason.

Re:Another Layer of goo (1)

Reverend528 (585549) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904713)

You mean to say that their current staff knows how to use Windows?

No, but they're windows users. A person can have 10 years of experience with windows and not really know how it works.

How many clueless debian users do you know?

Re:Another Layer of goo (1)

EvilIdler (21087) | more than 8 years ago | (#15905648)

>How many clueless debian users do you know?
Was that a trick question? You'd be surprised, unlike people who've
visited the various IRC channels.

Re:Another Layer of goo (1)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 8 years ago | (#15905907)

I'd venture to guess that clueless Debian users are still 100 times smarter than educated Windows users.

Re:Another Layer of goo (1)

vhogemann (797994) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904215)

So,

How hard will it be to teach them say "aptitude update && aptitude dist-upgrade"??

Re:Another Layer of goo (1)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904422)

tech: ok, open a command prompt
customer: you mean like bash?
tech: uh, yeah, sure, try that, now type attitude update
customer: command not found
tech: really? oh wait, this one is weird, try a-p-t-i-t-u-d-e update
customer: there we go
tech: now when that's finished type attitude d-i-s-t minus upgrade
customer: command not found. try it again.
tech: a-p-t-i-t-u-d-e space d-i-s-t minus sign upgrade
customer: there we go
tech: next time RTFM and don't call me. you interrupted my new addiction, frozen bubble

Re:Another Layer of goo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15905462)

tech: uh, yeah, sure, try that, now type attitude update

Well, someone has a poor one of those

Re:Another Layer of goo (1)

brainnolo (688900) | more than 8 years ago | (#15905430)

If you need to examine the source (who does, anyway?) to know how something works, then there are some MAJOR problem (i.e: missing documentation). Support people just have a DB of Q/A, and at higher levels they mostly have hands on usage experience and technical knowledge that doesn't come from the source of a particular program. Or do you think HP support is going to patch bugs on-the-fly for the customer?

Linux support (2, Insightful)

Riding Spinners (994836) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904074)

Knoppix is a linux distroy anyone can use, the automated hardware detection etc is supurb. The DVD 4.0 version does demonstrate a lot of the incompatability issues he's talking about though. because knoppix has about 6 GB of applications (they're compressed on the DVD image) many of the applications are broken.

Debian is the distro Knoppix is based of of, so it has really good hardware detection, but the "stable" version is using the "older" proven stable detection routines. That means it doesn't configure everything perfectly; for instance I had to enable DMA on my DVD-ROM, and I had to use k3b to "configure the system" for CD/DVD burning.

I also have the advantage of having prior experience, So I know how to install Flash support for my secondary browser, and how to configure Java (which isn't included in Debian because it's not FOSS). I knew that the FOSS drivers suck compared to the proprietary ones, so I knew where to find them, and I knew what settings to set in the "install" script for them, because I've been messing around with X11 config files for years now!

So basically, initial set up is probably beyond most users, but the same is true of Windows XP. Most Windows users can't even install applications by themselves, and when they try to the end up with a million spyware programs.

Debian is "ready" for the desktop: the installer is painless for geeks, and simple enough for rice boys. A few noobs might even get lucky with it. The stable version while old, has a very simple gui based app finder that anyone who can use Download.com can learn how to use.

Re:Linux support (1)

civilizedINTENSITY (45686) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904612)

"Debian is "ready" for the desktop...", but what does this have to do with HP providing support for "its ProLiant and HP BladeSystem servers"? Why install a GUI, let alone Flash, for a server? Interesting post, but somewhat off topic...

Other Debian distro's? (4, Interesting)

crunch_ca (972937) | more than 8 years ago | (#15903995)

Does that include support for other Debian distributions (like Ubuntu)? What about testing and unstable? The article is pretty light on what's actually covered.

Still, good for HP.

Re:Other Debian distro's? (1)

Enoxice (993945) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904021)

My guess is they are supporting as little as possible (just the stock, stable, vanilla, debian) so they don't go screwing things up. Good for them. As much as I abhor their Home PCs, their servers and corporate hardware are just fine with me.

Re:Other Debian distro's? (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 8 years ago | (#15905521)

Well, HP offering unix with support for servers is nothing new, really (OpenVMS, anyone?)

The real news would be them providing linux+support for their Home line. Which is extremely unlikely, since this would skyrocket both HP's Windows lincensing costs and the price of chairs at Redmond.

As to their Home PC line, their zv6100 laptop was rather nice: 15.4", AMD64 3200+, 512MB RAM, 12 cell, wireless/burner for $500 a year ago was not a bad deal IMO (selling off a discontinued line). Better than a Dell with the power socket coming off the motherboard (hence the 'standard' 3 month warranty)

Re:Other Debian distro's? (5, Informative)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904053)

From cnet [com.com]

HP's offer will apply to the current "Sarge" version 3 of Debian and to version 4, "Etch," due in December. (Debian versions are named after characters in the movie "Toy Story.")

Re:Other Debian distro's? (2, Insightful)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904165)

"We've had a number of customers continuing to ask us to have broader support for Debian," and HP decided to oblige, said Jeffrey Wade, worldwide marketing manager at HP's Open Source and Linux Organization.

I thought the above quote from the CNet article was also particularly interesting. Hooray for those HP customers that spoke up. When HP says "a number of customers", I assume they don't just mean 5 or 10.

Re:Other Debian distro's? (1)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904672)

When HP says "a number of customers", I assume they don't just mean 5 or 10.

Actually it was 3.14159265 customers who spoke up.

Re:Other Debian distro's? (1)

Skevin (16048) | more than 8 years ago | (#15905221)

> Actually it was 3.14159265 customers who spoke up.

Wow, talk about a Round Estimate...

Solomon

Etch in December? (1)

Dareth (47614) | more than 8 years ago | (#15905155)

As a Debian user for many years... I am not sure if I like this frantic release schedule. I got 3 good years out of Woody... barely got Sarge installed on my test box and a few edge machines, now it almost time to upgrade again.

Sarcasm aside, good job Debian, congrats on earning vendor recognition. News like this does affect hardware purchases. Rather fond of Debian, and a nice blade chasis may be just the ticket.

Re:Other Debian distro's? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904222)

Does that include support for other Debian distributions (like Ubuntu)? What about testing and unstable? The article is pretty light on what's actually covered.

Since it's on servers, I find it natural that they support only stable. Testing/unstable is completely out of the question for that kind of support, too much of a moving target. Maybe you're running some backports on stable because of its age but not as the distro. As for Ubuntu, don't they have their own support program?

Still, good for HP.

A bunch of guys doing support who can do first-line support, and maybe provide qualified bug reports to the developers? If you have an easily reproducible issue, most of the work is done in my experience. And if the developers don't think HP is doing their job and just pushing issues on them, they can always tell them to shove it. It's not like they have a contract with HP, so as far as I can tell good for everyone.

free option (1)

dontbflat (994444) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904038)

At least they are offering a free option for the OS on their servers. Better than nothing, and you get support.

Obligatory "the IT Crowd" quote: (4, Funny)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904054)

*Ring Ring*
Hello, I.T.
Have you tried turning it off and on again?

Are you sure it's plugged in? (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904141)

I'm sorry, are you from the past?

Reboot Hell! (1)

Dareth (47614) | more than 8 years ago | (#15905100)

I got 15 minutes of uptime on this computer and I am not about to lose them because of you!

Everybody Loves Linux (2, Interesting)

Eberlin (570874) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904066)

How many of these do we get nowadays? I've read enough bits about many companies "supporting" linux in one form or another. Dell, HP, Real, even Microsoft has a Linux lab. Yahoo loves the Linux, Google loves the Linux, IBM loves the Linux, SCO owns the Linux.

So where is Linux in all of this? Sure, some of the companies mentioned above have actually shown their support for Linux. Some others seem not to go much further than lip service. Dell comes to mind -- couldn't hunt down a preinstalled Linux box easily. (Not sure if that has changed since I last tried that).

I guess Linux is like that weird looking new kid in school (no offense to Linus) whom everyone just didn't know what to do with so everyone stayed away from him. Hell, some of 'em probably made fun of him and bullied him, too. Then it turns out he's pretty cool and everyone all of a sudden wants to be his friend.

Re:Everybody Loves Linux (1)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904162)

Then it turns out he's pretty cool and everyone all of a sudden wants to be his friend.
yeah....no?

Re:Everybody Loves Linux (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904276)

Show me what Linux can do for a business, and I'll show you how Microsoft does it 20 times better.
Not have a GUI on a server?

Re:Everybody Loves Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15904438)

Ok, while we're at it:

No per-seat/per connection licensing on a productivity suite, servers, etc.

Availability of patches on known vulnerabilities

Availability of CODE to look for unknown vulnerabilities

No vendor lock-in with proprietary data formats

No registry. :)

Re:Everybody Loves Linux (1)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 8 years ago | (#15905533)

So your saying a GUI is bad?

Re:Everybody Loves Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15905601)

Not really. But a mandatory GUI for a server does seem a bit strange since the UI hogs system resources. A GUI is something servers rarely need anyway -- tweak things over SSH on a command line instead of pointy clicky. It's an efficiency thing.

Desktops, of course, are a different thing.

Re:Everybody Loves Linux (1)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 8 years ago | (#15905629)

Well when it comes to resorces you should not have to worry about the GUI taking away resorces on a server. If your that concerned about loss of resorces then your server is well...pretty shitty. Servers should be made to accommodate a wide variety of services and also have room to expand. As far as just even having a GUI from a command line interface thats just matter of preference. If you can type up a command to create a user in AD faster than I can point and click then by all means go for it. Infact Server 2k3 allows you to do most if not all AD tasks from the command line.

Re:Everybody Loves Linux (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 8 years ago | (#15906045)

On a server, yes. A GUI takes up more resources than the whole of the server in almost any case excluding a Slashdotting or a 'lightweight'-style GUI(along the lines of twm but minus X--Windows severely lacks this). Without a GUI a small server(we're not talking Google here) can be decently run from a fracking 486. It can save you thousands of dollars on performance.

Re:Everybody Loves Linux (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904198)

I bought a dell laptop, and they told me I could install linux, but they wouldn't support it officially. That said, they were happy to try and help me sort a few small issues out (soundcard and graphics driver issues), because I had paid for support, it's just that they wouldn't go beyond advice over the phone.

I initially tried to buy the laptop with just linux, no windows, but they couldn't do it. The impression I got was that they weren't able to do it because you still had to buy a windows license with a computer from them, so you might as well have windows installed. This is more likely to be a contractual issue with microsoft tying their hands on the issue.

Re:Everybody Loves Linux (1)

vhogemann (797994) | more than 8 years ago | (#15905072)

I don't that there is any contractual issues...

It's more likely that the HD's they put into these laptops come pre-loaded with an Windows image, it's quicker than installing Windows on the machine after its build. After the machine is ready, probably they are tested using some standart built-in auto-test. So there is no way a Dell notebook will come out of the factory without Windows installed.

It's just industrial scale economics.

I also tryed to argue with them, without success... but in the end is easier to buy the notebook and wipe Windows out of it. Looking around, I've concluded that the price difference won't be that much if they didn't bundled Windows, around U$25,00 ~ 50,00 probably.

Companies selling preinstalled Linux (1)

cyber_rigger (527103) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904551)


couldn't hunt down a preinstalled Linux box easily

Here's the LIST.
Companies selling preinstalled Linux Desktops and Laptops

http://lxer.com/module/forums/t/23168/ [lxer.com]

Re:Everybody Loves Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15905380)

Sorry, didn't mean to disturb your hibernation. If you go back into your cave now, we'll make sure the rock door is sealed shut this time.

Does it run ... (-1)

xming (133344) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904092)

Does it run Linux? Oh wait never mind Debian is GNU/Linux!

what about printers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15904126)

I think they should care more about their linux printer drivers.
i still can't use my printer in my lan.

support for debian?
I think this is a distro for people who already know/whant to learn GNU/Linux.
pretty useless for me.

Hey, It's a start (2, Insightful)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904189)

I think this is a distro for people who already know/whant to learn GNU/Linux. pretty useless for me.

But it's a start. HP offers Debian support. Next comes Company X. Then Company Y. Now there is competition, cause 3 companies support Debian. HP decides they want to jump out ahead of the crowd, so they start supporting Ubuntu and Fedora. Company X and Y slowly follow suite. The process continues. Boom, Linux is now part of every Server company's business plan.

Re:what about printers? (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904443)

this is a distro for people who already know/whant to learn GNU/Linux.

Whell, what else whould you whant from them? Whe need to start somewhere to get Linux mainstream.

Anywhay, I don't think Debian is as hard as some whant to think it is. Those having problems are usually working hard at being clueless. It's like whatching someone try to set the time on a VCR: "What? Press 'setup', select 'set time' and enter the time? Why make it soooooo complicated? I don't understand! If I try that it might exploide! They shouldn't put such dangerous buttons on the control!"

Re:what about printers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15904882)

I think this is a distro for people who already know/whant to learn GNU/Linux.
pretty useless for me.


If Debian is useless for you in spite of its usefulness for those who want to learn Linux and those who already know it, then that means you don't care about Linux? Well then, any Linux distro will be useless for you. What was the point of that statement?

bdale garbee? (5, Informative)

xoundmind (932373) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904168)

I'd be interested to know how much this gentleman had to do with it:
http://www.gag.com/~bdale/ [gag.com]
He's a former Debian Project Leader and now Linux/OSS CTO at HP.

Re:bdale garbee? (2, Interesting)

stu42j (304634) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904323)

It is possible that this guy has something to do with it but HP has had connections to Debian for a while. Bruce Perens was "Senior Global Strategist for Linux and Open Source" for two years at HP until they fired him for "Microsoft-baiting". Bruce Perens was the second Debian Project Leader. (Ever wonder why Debian releases are named after Toy Story characters? Bruce also worked for Pixar.)

apt-get install aclue (2, Funny)

wwiiol_toofless (991717) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904197)

Outsourced HP Linux support? This could get ugly.

Re:apt-get install aclue (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904859)

"Hello my name is Sanj...errr...Kevin how can I assist you"

Go HP! (1)

njdj (458173) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904199)

Somebody ought to say it:

Well done, HP! I hope this boosts your sales!

And on the day HP overtakes Dell in PC sales, I'll be opening the champagne.

Re:Go HP! (1)

DJK (106039) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904922)

> And on the day HP overtakes Dell in PC sales, I'll be opening the champagne.

You don't drink much, do you?

Re:Go HP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15905070)

This isn't about PCs. It's about servers -- the kind that cost about $4100 each.

  "... unit sales of 1.5 million Linux servers generated revenue of close to $6.2 billion..."

Also, despite what some folks here have been saying, HP support has, for the past three years or so, been *quite good* with their Linux support, having a dedicated, American-accented phone team who are Linuxheads themselves. I've been running Debian on Proliant DL380s for a couple years and the support techs have been very "unofficially" helpful with any Debian-specific issues.

Bringing out Debian support as an official offering means, for me, that the smart techs are no longer taking a risk by helping me out with any Debian-specific questions (also, we can look forward to kernel-level tools for things like SMART 5+ RAID controllers).

define "support" (1)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904207)

HP can barely handle the point and click associated with RHEL and Windows. I'm at a loss as to who in that company is going to support Debian. I know it's surely not their L1 or L2 phone techs.

Re:define "support" (3, Interesting)

KokorHekkus (986906) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904302)

HP can barely handle the point and click associated with RHEL and Windows. I'm at a loss as to who in that company is going to support Debian. I know it's surely not their L1 or L2 phone techs.

Only time will tell I guess but they do have the know-how in the company... since Debian is used as an internal development platform for Linux and they also host one full primary mirror site.

HP also has a handful of employees that are Debian developers.

Source:http://opensource.hp.com/opensource_project s.html [hp.com]

Re:define "support" (1)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904560)

Well I assumed as much, most major tech corporations today have their fingers in all sorts of open source projects. What do you think the odds of joe schmoe trying to compile the latest kernel getting help from those guys are though? In my experience I've found there's a VERY large void between the lemmings and the experts at HP, and 9 times out of 10, you get stuck in that void trying to get support.

Re:define "support" (1)

civilizedINTENSITY (45686) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904768)

"What do you think the odds of joe schmoe trying to compile the latest kernel getting help from those guys are though?" What are the odds that "joe-schmoe" has bought a ProLiant or HP BladeSystem server rather than a consumer device? If all you want is to upgrade your kernel, apt-get makes this easy. If you want the "latest" kernel (meaning you want to be ahead of the debian release cycle) then I'd think you were on your own. I don't see how that would be covered "as part of the warranty coverage for its Debian Linux servers", which is how this support is packaged.

Re:define "support" (2, Informative)

KokorHekkus (986906) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904820)

...What do you think the odds of joe schmoe trying to compile the latest kernel getting help from those guys are though? In my experience I've found there's a VERY large void between the lemmings and the experts at HP, and 9 times out of 10, you get stuck in that void trying to get support.

As I said, only time will tell. But this isn't a service for Joe Shmoe. It's only available for HP Integrity and HP Proliant servers with some HP specific programs added to the Debian install. Which most likely means it will not be cheap and cheerful but expensive and serious (as 24x7 support is when it works)

And I would also say that HP seems to have way more than a fleeting interest in Debian. Debian IS their internal development platform company wide and has been since about 2002. They had to pick one distro because there were to many different ones used all over the company. So it's just not just "those guys" that have linux experience, those are only the visible to the outside.

And HP also runs QA testing on servers to make sure they actually work as well.

Re:define "support" (1)

joel_archer (124897) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904981)

Amen. I have "used" HP's RHEL support. The first time I called the guy said he was googling for the answer and when I told him to look at the appropriate man page he didn't have a RHEL machine available! Their business model is confused as well. RHN updates are available from the date you activate but HP support runs from the date you purchase which can lead to gaps in support. Further, you are not allowed to talk to their "backline" support (if it in fact exists) and must submit your request by email which will be "forwarded" to the backline. Not really good when the frontline can't google the answer and you have production down. Worse, Redhat support will not deal with you because you purchased from a third party. Finally, it is pretty pricey.

This is vital (5, Insightful)

Almahtar (991773) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904223)

Support is vital for any OS to be taken seriously where downtime is unacceptable. I know way too many IT guys who would love to run some form of *nix for their servers, but their CEO's wouldn't let them. The reason? If there's a problem they can't fix, they resort to googling, mailing lists, forums, etc: they're pretty boned.

If there's a Windows problem they can't fix they can fly someone in from Redmond to get the job done in a few hours. Unfortunately Red Hat can't compete with that (yet). If minutes of downtime = millions in losses, Official support that always gets the job done is a requirement that can't be ignored.

Re:This is vital (1)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904711)

Unfortunately Red Hat can't compete with that (yet). If minutes of downtime = millions in losses, Official support that always gets the job done is a requirement that can't be ignored.

If a company is in a business where minutes of downtime means millions (of dollars) in losses, then they have the resources to be able to afford a guru on staff and official support is limited to hardware.

Re:This is vital (1)

Almahtar (991773) | more than 8 years ago | (#15905484)

I wish it was as easy as $ == good staff. The problem is that the head of the HR department really doesn't know what a Linux Guru is, the kid down the street thinks he's a linux Guru, and there aren't a whole lot of organizations, certs, etc that can really prove that someone knows as much as they say (and perhaps believe) they do.

In the case of Microsoft, the creator of the product (MS) can guarantee the knowlege level of their techs, so if your employee turns out to be a dud you can fall back on MS's techs.

Re:This is vital (2, Informative)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 8 years ago | (#15905099)

Unfortunately Red Hat can't compete with that (yet)

They sure are ramping up though. They're heavily recruiting. I went through a round of interviews with them for a travelling support position.

When I say travelling, I mean 95% of your job is travelling to other sites.

Re:This is vital (1)

Almahtar (991773) | more than 8 years ago | (#15905363)

Sweet! That's really good news. Keep it up RHEL!

win-win? (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904251)

I would guess this is going to be very inexpensive for HP to do. The article doesn't say, but I assume they're going to be selling the servers with Debian preinstalled, in which case not much should go wrong, and it should be easy to support. And if a lot of their customers have already been buying servers and installing Linux distros on them themselves, HP is probably already getting tech support calls from them (even if they're phrased as hardware support calls). The difference would be that now, the customer gets a machine that has had everything set up correctly by HP, and HP will only be supporting a single distro, which will be easier. Sounds like a win-win.

Servers are a lot easier to configure than desktop systems, too. The amount of software is small, and most of it is relatively mature. None of this insanity with rapidly changing versions of GTK+ libraries, etc.

Debian wins! Debian wins! Debian wins! (1)

Charles Wilson (995273) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904282)

That's what this means. As soon as a winner became apparent in the OSS Distro fog, the major players would join in to try to make a buck. Good for them! Good for Debian. Good for you. Charles

Enterprise Support != Home Support (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904396)

I've read a lot of replies in this thread knocking the HP support by making comparisions with what sounds like (to me) their home support line. The technicans that you talk to when you call for support on a Proliant server are not the same guys you are going to talk to when you call with a problem on your Pavillion Media Center PC. HP has been supporting *nix for a long time now and I'm sure that they will do a good job with Debian. If their Debian SmartStart CD is anything like the Windows and Novell ones, then getting the OS up and running on a Proliant will be SIMPLE. Like another poster said, all the HP techs are going to be doing is helping you figure out why the OS and the hardware aren't getting along with each other. Based on past experience with HP, the only reason something wouldn't work is because of an actual hardware failure. I've never, ever had a problem with an HP driver on a production server.

Debian support means any GNU/Linux should work (2, Insightful)

psydeshow (154300) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904437)

As someone who recently tried to install Debian on a newish ProLiant, and failed miserably because of unsupported hardware, I'm happy to see this announcement. It means that HP will be using hardware for which Linux drivers already exist, and that the Debian installer will be able to load those drivers into the kernel at install-time.

The bigger bonus is that if vanilla Debian can do it, any Linux disto can: Ubuntu, Gentoo, Slackware, whatever.

Better than OpenView I hope (1)

Neil Watson (60859) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904588)

HP's OpenView product mentions support for Debian. Unfortunately, this idea of support means that you have configure your Debian box to work with RPMs and then try and install them.

That makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15904690)

"The move to support Debian continues HP's relationship with the community based os which stretches back to 1995."

That's because it is from 1995.

Oh, wait, I thought this was alt.os.linux.slackware

Security Support (2, Informative)

baggins2001 (697667) | more than 8 years ago | (#15904692)

Are they kidding. The last version was only supported for one year after the previous version. So I'm going to go tell the PHB we should start using a distribution that should be upgraded every other year. Unless they can offer longer version support I don't see this helping.
Those of us working in the real world don't change versions unless we have to, because it lowers our TCO.
I know a data center that was still using RH8 on some of their servers up until 4 months ago and last year I talked with a guy who said they still had RH6.2 on one of their servers.
Heck, until six months ago I had RH7.3 running on 3 servers and still have RH7.1 running on one.
At a minimum I want 3 years security support and prefer 5. Why would I care if I obviously have servers which aren't using security support. Because I don't want multiple flavors of linux, this keeps my training cost down and support cost down.

sweet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15904998)

sweet

Wow! (1, Funny)

CCFreak2K (930973) | more than 8 years ago | (#15905079)

I'm getting a Woody just thinking about this!

.debs?! (3, Insightful)

ldspartan (14035) | more than 8 years ago | (#15905163)

Does this mean I'll be able to get debian packages of the tools for my DL380 Gen4 without having to do magic with alien and their crap ass RPMs?

--
Phil

Woo Hoo (1)

thorkyl (739500) | more than 8 years ago | (#15905206)

IBM & Suse - Cool HP & Debian - Cool Dell & RedHat or Suse - Cool Gateway & Microsoft - Boo Hey 3 out of 4 aint bad

A little too late (1)

slayer99 (15543) | more than 8 years ago | (#15905371)

"The move to support Debian continues HP's relationship with the community based os which stretches back to 1995."


August 16th, 1993.

Have you tryed (1)

jlebrech (810586) | more than 8 years ago | (#15905482)

Have you tryed: shutdown -r now

Oh is this for servers :D

Re:Have you tryed (1)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 8 years ago | (#15905982)

Have you tryed: shutdown -r now
Oh is this for servers :D


Yeah, duh [slashdot.org] . For servers you type: rm -rf /

mod Down (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15905575)

how it was supposed *BSD but FreeBSD man waLking. It's later seen in gains market share in ratio of 5 to FUCKING USELESS Why not? It's quick AT&T and Berkeley have an IRC client

How long before (1)

ScottCooperDotNet (929575) | more than 8 years ago | (#15906069)

How long before a system maker like HP (or someone other than Apple) buys / starts their own Linux distro?
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