Debian Stretch Release Party

I was able to speak at the swecha office via Riot screen sharing about Debian GNU/Linux during the Stretch Release party [1] .

Summary

  • About Debian and its importance by me
  • Showcasing Debian desktops by Sai Krishna
  • Volunteers of swecha told their Debian experience.
  • Debian Stretch Install Fest
  • Cake cutting

Details

We started around 2 PM by checking the Riot call with the volunteers to see if it works. After some introductions I started the presentation introducing myself and how I am connected to the Debian community. My co-speaker Sai Krishna also did the same.

Debian is a GNU/Linux distribution with its main asset being a pure community πŸ’ͺ distribution. Debian also has quite strict rules about how we percieve the "software" which we release.

Any package which when has to enter Debian list of packages must ahere to Debian Social contract [2] given by Debian Free Software Guidelines[3].

Debian does understand that we live in a real world where not every software can be completely free. We have the painful case of device drivers remaining non-free for a long time. The solution from Debian is give a non-free😐 repo which is not a part of main release. Non-free packages should be manually enabled by the user. Its the choice of the user himself to select the non-free packages. Yes it might get painful to newbies but its very important to understand the Debian Free Software Guidelines and why it is so essential for the future of Debian and also Free Software movement in general.

Sai Krishna on the other hand talked about new features in the stretch release. He showed the Debian Jessie Desktop (which became old stable on the release day) and then compared the UI with Debian Stretch Desktop. He made sure that all 6 Desktops offered by Debian were showcased.

I later pitched Debian as the distrbution to choose compared to other distributions which are liberal over Free Software ethics. I do understand that many people do understand the word Free but I intentionally had to repeat for the sake of clarifying the DFSG. I also was explaining the technical benifits of having pure Free Software drivers.

The session was concluded by Swecha volunteers telling their experiences. I was very excited to hear that they never heard about Debian with emphasis on the Social Contract. Another exciting volunteer was a user of Debian derrivative distribution who after my talk is installing Debian Stretch[4] at the install fest which followed later.

So Sai Krishna and other volunteers Sahithi, Raviteja Manchala, Hari, bobby, narendra, dasarad and pranith have helped the newbies install Debian Stretch. πŸ‘

After that they had a cake cutting ceremony where they sang a song in telugu welcoming Stretch. πŸŽ‰

There is a Telegram group bridged with Matrix group[5] where we had discussed with the extended Swecha community about the release, events and doubts. There are still students coming back with questions and we are trying to support them every way we can.

Call for more events

We only made 1 event at Hyderabad but this is a chance for the volunteers to contribute to the Debian project by organising more release parties πŸŽ‰ and install fests.

  1. Event URL at Debian Wiki https://wiki.debian.org/ReleasePartyStretch/India/Hyderabad
    Debian Social Contract https://www.debian.org/social_contract
  2. Debian Free Software Guildelines https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DFSG
  3. Debian Installation Guide https://www.debian.org/releases/stable/amd64/
  4. Debian DVD for download https://cdimage.debian.org/debian-cd/current-live/amd64/iso-hybrid/
  5. Matrix Group https://matrix.to/#/#debian-swecha:matrix.org
Pavithran

Loves freedom in computing ;)