Transition to Debian GNU/Linux

August 21, 2004

All but seven of the computers in MathLAN have now been converted from Red Hat Linux to Debian GNU/Linux. We have been running Debian successfully on our home-directory server,, for more than a year now, but most of the changeovers occurred at the end of the summer.

When the process is completed, our servers will run whichever version Debian was distributing as its most stable product at the time of installation (currently Debian 3.0, nicknamed woody), and the workstations in classrooms and offices will run the version which is expected to be released in September 2004 as Debian 3.1 (sarge).

Because the Gnome user interface has been extensively revised and does not recognize many of the local customizations that we set up in user accounts under Red Hat Linux, there is a special procedure for a returning student's first login under Debian, to move the previous configuration files aside, allowing Gnome to create new ones. The handout From Red Hat to Debian gives detailed instructions.

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