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Debian Developer's Reference - Mailing Lists, Servers, and Other Machines
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Debian Developer's Reference
Chapter 4 - Mailing Lists, Servers, and Other Machines

In this chapter you will find a very brief road map of the Debian mailing lists, the main Debian servers, and other Debian machines which may be available to you as a developer.

4.1 Mailing lists

The mailing list server is at lists.debian.org. Mail debian-foo-REQUEST@lists.debian.org, where debian-foo is the name of the list, with the word subscribe in the Subject to subscribe to the list or unsubscribe to unsubscribe. More detailed instructions on how to subscribe and unsubscribe to the mailing lists can be found at http://www.debian.org/MailingLists/subscribe, ftp://ftp.debian.org/debian/doc/mailing-lists.txt or locally in /usr/share/doc/debian/mailing-lists.txt if you have the doc-debian package installed.

When replying to messages on the mailing list, please do not send a carbon copy (CC) to the original poster unless they explicitly request to be copied. Anyone who posts to a mailing list should read it to see the responses.

The following are the core Debian mailing lists: debian-devel@lists.debian.org, debian-policy@lists.debian.org, debian-user@lists.debian.org, debian-private@lists.debian.org, debian-announce@lists.debian.org, and debian-devel-announce@lists.debian.org. All developers are expected to be subscribed to at least debian-devel-announce@lists.debian.org. There are other mailing lists available for a variety of special topics; see http://www.debian.org/MailingLists/subscribe for a list. Cross-posting (sending the same message to multiple lists) is discouraged.

debian-private@lists.debian.org is a special mailing list for private discussions amongst Debian developers. It is meant to be used for posts which for whatever reason should not be published publically. As such, it is a low volume list, and users are urged not to use debian-private@lists.debian.org unless it is really necessary. Moreover, do not forward email from that list to anyone. Archives of this list are not available on the web for obvious reasons, but you can see them using your shell account master.debian.org and looking in the ~debian/archive/debian-private directory.

debian-email@lists.debian.org is a special mailing list used as a grab-bag for Debian related correspondence such as contacting upstream authors about licenses, bugs, etc. or discussing the project with others where it might be useful to have the discussion archived somewhere.

As ever on the net, please trim down the quoting of articles you're replying to. In general, please adhere to the usual conventions for posting messages.

Online archives of mailing lists are available at http://lists.debian.org/.

4.2 Debian servers

Debian servers are well known servers which serve critical functions in the Debian project. Every developer should know what these servers are and what they do.

If you have a problem with the operation of a Debian server, and you think that the system operators need to be notified of this problem, please find the contact address for the particular machine at http://db.debian.org/machines.cgi. If you have a non-operating problems (such as packages to be remove, suggestions for the web site, etc.), generally you'll report a bug against a ``pseudo-package''. See Submitting Bugs, Section 10.2 for information on how to submit bugs.

4.2.1 The master server

master.debian.org is the canonical location for the Bug Tracking System (BTS). If you plan on doing some statistical analysis or processing of Debian bugs, this would be the place to do it. Please describe your plans on debian-devel@lists.debian.org before implementing anything, however, to reduce unnecessary duplication of effort or wasted processing time.

All Debian developers have accounts on master.debian.org. Please take care to protect your password to this machine. Try to avoid login or upload methods which send passwords over the Internet in the clear.

If you find a problem with master.debian.org such as disk full, suspicious activity, or whatever, send an email to debian-admin@debian.org.

4.2.2 The ftp-master server

The ftp-master server, ftp-master.debian.org (or auric.debian.org), holds the canonical copy of the Debian archive (excluding the non-US packages). Generally, package uploads go to this server; see Package uploads, Chapter 6.

Problems with the Debian FTP archive generally need to be reported as bugs against the ftp.debian.org pseudo-package or an email to ftpmaster@debian.org, but also see the procedures in Moving, Removing, Renaming, Adopting, and Orphaning Packages, Chapter 9.

4.2.3 The WWW server

The main web server, www.debian.org, is also known as klecker.debian.org. All developers are given accounts on this machine.

If you have some Debian-specific information which you want to serve up on the web, you can do this by putting material in the public_html directory under your home directory. You should do this on klecker.debian.org. Any material you put in those areas are accessible via the URL http://people.debian.org/~user-id/. You should only use this particular location because it will be backed up, whereas on other hosts it won't. Please do not put any material on Debian servers not relating to Debian, unless you have prior permission. Send mail to debian-devel@lists.debian.org if you have any questions.

If you find a problem with the Debian web server, you should generally submit a bug against the pseudo-package, www.debian.org. First check whether or not someone else has already reported the problem on the Bug Tracking System.

4.2.4 The CVS server

cvs.debian.org is also known as klecker.debian.org, discussed above. If you need to use a publically accessible CVS server, for instance, to help coordinate work on a package between many different developers, you can request a CVS area on the server.

Generally, cvs.debian.org offers a combination of local CVS access, anonymous client-server read-only access, and full client-server access through ssh. Also, the CVS area can be accessed read-only via the Web at http://cvs.debian.org/.

To request a CVS area, send a request via email to debian-admin@debian.org. Include the name of the requested CVS area, Debian account should own the CVS root area, and why you need it.

4.2.5 Mirrors of Debian servers

The web and FTP servers have several mirrors available. Please do not put heavy load on the canonical FTP or web servers. Ideally, the canonical servers only mirror out to a first tier of mirrors, and all user access is to the mirrors. This allows Debian to better spread its bandwidth requirements over several servers and networks. Note that newer push mirroring techniques ensure that mirrors are as up-to-date as they can be.

The main web page listing the available public FTP (and, usually, HTTP) servers can be found at http://www.debian.org/distrib/ftplist. More information concerning Debian mirrors can be found at http://www.debian.org/mirror/. This useful page includes information and tools which can be helpful if you are interested in setting up your own mirror, either for internal or public access.

Note that mirrors are generally run by third-parties who are interested in helping Debian. As such, developers generally do not have accounts on these machines.

4.3 Other Debian Machines

There are other Debian machines which may be made available to you. You can use these for Debian-related purposes as you see fit. Please be kind to system administrators, and do not use up tons and tons of disk space, network bandwidth, or CPU without first getting the approval of the local maintainers. Usually these machines are run by volunteers. Generally, these machines are for porting activities.

Aside from the servers mentioned in Debian servers, Section 4.2, there is a list of machines available to Debian developers at http://db.debian.org/machines.cgi.

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Debian Developer's Reference

ver. 2.11, 08 April, 2002
Adam Di Carlo, current maintainer aph@debian.org
Christian Schwarz schwarz@debian.org
Ian Jackson ijackson@gnu.ai.mit.edu