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Lessons from Debian-NP for Ubuntu-NGO


Hi Mako,

I'm an Ubuntu MOTU and a member of the Ubuntu NGO team. In our recent
discussion at UDS, it was pointed out that there had previously been a
Debian Non-Profit group that had simular goals to our current efforts
in Ubuntu NGO. In my investigation of the group, I noticed that you
were an active member and administrator of the project. I was hoping
that you could take the time to share with us some of your experiences
with Debian-NP.

Unlike, Debian-NP we don't currently aim to create a derivative
distrubution. At this point, we are still very much in a discovery
phase of our project. We are focusing on investigating the specifics
needs facing NGOs (broadly defined to included non-profits, charities,
ect...), documenting best practices, and identifying where our efforts
will be most helpful.

Any lessons or insights you might have from your work with Debian-NP
(or for that matter your experiences as an activist and Free Software
advocate in general) would be greatly appreciated. I have a few
questions. They're really just intended to get you thinking about the
issues. Please don't feel obliged to respond to each of them.

>From some of the things that I came across in the list archive, it
seems as if many of the issues you were attempting to deal with no
longer exist for the modern Linux desktop (i.e. easy install for
non-sysadmin types). Were there any specific pain points for
non-profits that Debian-NP identified that still exist? Building off
what Ubuntu now brings to the table are there things that you once
considered out of scope that can now be addressed?

Did you work with partners in the non-profit world directly? Are there
organizations which still exist that you think we should get in touch

Was Debian-NP more involved with the technical aspects of building a
derivative, or did you also engage in advocating the use of Linux in

What stumbling blocks did you encounter in your work? Why did the
project fade out?

Are there any folks still active in Debian that you think would be
interested in our work?

I could go on, but as I said I'm really most interested in your
general insights.

Of course, you're invited to subscribe to our list if you're
interested. You can sign up on Launchpad:

For more information about what we're up to, check out our wiki page:


 - Andrew Starr-Bochicchio

PS: For those CCed on the list, if you haven't gotten a chance to
check out Debian-NP here are some links: