HP and Debian Linux may not sound like an obvious pairing, but on August 14 at LinuxWorld in San Francisco, HP announced that it has increased its Linux distribution support options for customers and will now support Debian Linux.
Specifically, HP will be supporting Debian Linux across its HP ProLiant and HP BladeSystem server lines. While Red Hat, Novell SUSE, the Asianux foundation of Miracle, Red Flag, and Haansoft remain HP’s first choice of Linuxes for its customers, it has been working internally with Debian since the Linux community’s beginnings in 1995.
HP will provide Debian technical support for installation and configuration during a server’s warranty period. The company, according to sources close to HP, will also offer “care packs” for Debian in the future. Care packs will essentially be service packs.
This support plan is not wedded to a particular Debian distribution. Debian Sarge will be the first Debian distribution to be supported. Etch, when it’s released, will also be supported.
The company also has no plans to sell, market, or certify Debian on HP hardware. So, why do it?
This new support plan was created to meet customer demand. The new support isn’t just for any server administrator, though — it’s for expert Linux administrators who prefer to use Debian for its cost advantages over commercial Linuxes such as RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) and SLES (SUSE Linux Enterprise Server). At the same time, though, these administrators do want some help from time to time with specific Debian and HP hardware server problems.
HP will also be shipping, with its fully supported distributions, remote monitoring and diagnosis tools with each HP server.
The company is also going to release a Debian Linux-based, thin client — the HP t5725 Thin Client. This trade paperback-sized thin-client can be customized with thousands of Debian applications to meet the requirements of both mainstream users and specialized industries, such as retail and health care.
“HP is continually working to provide customers with the confidence they need to incorporate and integrate Linux and open source into their enterprise,” said Christine Martino, HP’s Open Source and Linux VP in a statement. “Today’s announcement demonstrates HP’s customer successes and opens the door for even more customers to take advantage of open source.”