The Problems Debian Is Facing In 2020

Written by Michael Larabel in Debian on 4 September 2020 at 05:06 AM EDT. 100 Comments
The virtual DebConf20 concluded last week as the annual main conference for the Debian GNU/Linux distribution. Recently elected Debian Project Leader Jonathan Carter gave his talk at the event as an overview of where the project is at today as well as some of the problems they are facing today.

Debian's finances are sitting at around a healthy $896,065 USD. COVID-19 has helped their finances a bit in regards to less travel/conference expenses. Carter also noted as part of their fund, Debian is in the process of acquiring two new Lenovo servers they were able to obtain discounted to help in their efforts.

As for the health of their archive, Debian is up to offering around 61,071 AMD64 packages and around 31,723 source packages.

One exciting item moving forward is there is the possibility Lenovo could offer a Debian pre-loaded system in the future or other OEMs as well but there are support concerns and other technical issues to work through on that front.

The "problems" of Debian as laid out by current Debian Project Leader Jonathan Carter:

Debian needing to improve in the marketing department is an issue common to many open-source projects and Debian especially with it often serving as an "unsung hero" underneath the likes of Ubuntu and Steam OS. Carter believes they need two to three times their current volunteer levels to accomplish all of their goals. He also feels Debian is too lacking in the area of diversity and not catching up fast enough. He blames Debian's diversity on large regions of the world not being represented enough, failing to put together a timely message regarding Black Lives Matter, and other concerns/ideas.

Among his ideas for addressing the problems is by doing more to promote local Debian teams for mini Debian conferences / sprints / release parties / online events and more. In turn his ideas for local teams is having a delegation to care of reimbursements and creating/distributing merchandise, running a census, and scheduling organized coordinated global events.

While waiting on the video uploads, there is the PDF slide deck for the Debian Project Leader presentation.
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