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NYC LOCAL: Wednesday 17 November 2004 NYLUG Meeting: Benjamin Mako Hill

From: secretary
Subject: NYC LOCAL: Wednesday 17 November 2004 NYLUG Meeting: Benjamin Mako Hill on Ubuntu
Date: 16 Nov 2004 10:51:41 -0500

  what="official NYLUG announcement">

 Subject: [nylug-announce] NY Linux Users Grp. 17 November Meeting: Benjamin 
Mako Hill -or- Fork Yours With Debian GNU/Linux
 Reply-To: Announcements for NYLUG <>

 November 17th, 2004
 IBM Headquarters Building
 590 Madison Avenue at 57th Street
 12th Floor, home to the IBM Linux Center of Competency

 ** RSVP Instructions **
     NEW POLICY: You must R.S.V.P. for *EVERY* meeting.  <-------<<<<
     Register at                  <-------<<<<
     Check in with photo ID at the lobby for badge and room number.

                         Benjamin Mako Hill (Ubuntu Linux)
                         Fork Yours With Debian GNU/Linux

    Debian is the largest GNU/Linux distribution in terms of size and
    participation. That is a declarative statement, no hedging, but oh so true.
    As projects including Ubuntu, Knoppix, UserLinux, Lindows, Debian-NP
    realize. Empirically Debian is a firm foundation upon which to build new
    Linux distributions. Benjamin Mako Hill, free software advocate, Debian
    developer will present this November 17 on Debian as the basis for new
    Linux distributions.

    Customizing Debian has become so widespread that most Debian users (in a
    loose sense of the word) never know their system is Debian-based. The
    benefits of deriving distributions are clear; the hidden drawbacks are just
    as real. This talk engages both perspectives and introduces some possible
    solutions. The rest of this announcement covers the details of the

    To begin, Mako will introduce Debian as a basis for customization and
    describe why it is a useful place to begin work. This is followed by a look
    at the customizers' goals, achieved by breaking down the types of
      * Custom software selection
      * Custom software configuration
      * Software replacement
      * Custom installers/envrionments

    Next. Why is customization (in these ways) problematic? what sorts of
    problems are introduced? The reproduced labor peril? free software can save
    you. There are several solutions that different groups are employing, each
    with their limitations. Three examples serve to clarify:
      * UserLinux -- do all the work in Debian and rely soley metapackages
      * Skolelinux -- working within Debian but creating a seperate
        distribution with a multi-tier configuration infrastructure
      * Ubuntu -- a sort of semi-fork balanced by patching and version control

    Mako will then analyze the nature of customization. As case in point he
    will discuss the following technologies:
      * The Custom Debian Distribution (CDD) framework
      * metapackages (autogenerated and otherwise)
      * DebConf preseeding combined with the addition of low-priority DebConf
      * cfengine tweaks
      * distribution aware version control tools

    Each concept will be pored over, and how projects use them.

    In summation, this presentation discusses some of the tricks and concepts
    that constitute the likes of Xandros, MEPIS, Skolelinux, and by extension
    show you what you need to start considering if you want to create your
    fork. As usual, Stammtisch will be the perfect place to press the flesh,
    meet, and elicit Mako's freed mindshare.

 For More Information Visit:

      * Debian GNU/Linux
      * Custom Debian Distributions:
          a. CDD Wiki Page
          b. CDD Project Homepage
          c. Debian-Nonprofit
          d. Debian-Edu/Skolelinux
          e. Andreas Tille's CDD Talk slides
      * Ubuntu:
          a. Ubuntu Homepage
          b. The Ubuntu Wiki
          c. Free Ubuntu Pressed CDs
      * Mako's Website

 About Benjamin Mako Hill:

    Benjamin Mako Hill is a Debian Developer, Debian Project Leader delegate
    and the Vice President of Software in the Public Interest. He founded the
    Debian-NP Custom Distribution and is the community "dude" for the
    commercial Debian derived Ubuntu. He is a transplanted Seattlite, a writer
    on issues of intellectual property, and "copyrighteous" blogger.

 Swag (Give Away) - During the meeting... unusally terrific swag of
    non-predetermined origin will be given out to all attendees at the regular
    meeting for free as usual.

 Stammtisch - After the meeting ... Join us around 8:15pm or so at TGI
    Friday located at 677 Lexington Avenue and 56th Street, second floor.
    Northeast corner.

 Free Stuff!
     Swag of undetermined value and quantity may be distributed on a
     first-come, first-served basis. Arrive early for the best selection.

     GPG cryptography. Immediately after the presentation and continuing
     at Stammtisch we will be gathering for a keysigning. For those who
     already have keys, please remember to bring paper printouts of your
     40-character key fingerprint, as per the instructions in our howto
     docs. If you haven't created a key yet, and for keysigning details,
     our howto docs are a must read.

     After the meeting ... Join us around 8:30pm or so at TGI Friday's,
     located at 677 Lexington Avenue and 56th Street, second floor.
     Northeast corner.

 Please see our home page at for the HTMLized
 version of this announcement, our archives, and a lot of other good

 Monthly Reminder!
     Please read the NYLUG-Talk Posting Guidelines at:

 November 2004 - The New York Linux Users Group,
 Hire expert Linux talent by posting jobs here ::
 nylug-announce mailing list

Distributed poC TINC:

Jay Sulzberger <>
Corresponding Secretary LXNY
LXNY is New York's Free Computing Organization.

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