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The role of the Debian ftpmasters

Apr 15, 2010, 18:34 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier)

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"Linux distributions don't simply appear on mirrors and BitTorrent networks fully formed. A great deal of work goes on behind the scenes before a release sees the light of day. Linux users who aren't involved in the production of a Linux distribution may not fully appreciate all of that work. Take, for example, the work done by Debian's ftpmasters team.

"While it's obvious, or should be, that someone has to actually create the packages that go into Debian and one assumes that there is Quality Assurance (QA) and so forth, the ftpmasters team is largely invisible to users. This was highlighted recently by Joerg Jaspert's call for new volunteers for the ftpmaster team.

"The essence of the job is maintaining the Debian archive, accepting new packages (NEW), maintaining the scripts for processing incoming packages, and pulling packages when asked by QA, among other things. The ftpmasters also move packages from testing to stable when the time comes, though the decision to do this is made by the release managers team. The canonical description of the ftpmaster job is more detailed (unfortunately ftpmaster.debian.org was down at the time this article was written), but the basic gist is that the team deals with new packages and keeps the archive going."

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