Thank you for your response. Please see below some follow-ups.
Post by Chris Lamb
Post by Ritesh Raj Sarraf
Debian as a project is different than others. Most other similar projects, have
a commercial backing and interest. This puts the onus on them (other Linux
distributions) to ensure their support infrastructure is simple, intuitive and
You raise some interesting points especially regarding fragmentation of
support. To be fair to Debian, even projects with "commercial backing" have
this issue. :)
I think we should judge ourselves on our results and not whether X or Y
exists. In other words, it doesn't matter whether the support is operated by
paid operatives or by the community, the key question is whether our users
are acutally getting the support they need.
However, it is very difficult to get concrete answers here. Anecdotes are
not data, but if we hear enough times that "Yeah, I tried using Debian but
my wifi/video/keyboard/smartcard didn't work, but it worked under ZâŠ" then
we might start to question whether we are serving our users best.
I admin "Support" is a much wider topic. So I'll take examples to phrase my
Most major hardware and software vendors have a handful of Linux distributions
marked as supported, even though there's a high possibility that other
distributions would work equally well. I understand marking an item "Supported"
has other challenges, which is what leaves out most of the non-commercial
I myself, with one of my previous employer, had challenges mentioning support.
Back then, we rather chose to cook up a "Community Support Model" for Debian and
similar non-commercial* GNU/Linux distributions.
ISVs have improved over time. Today, 2 of the tools that I use (Crossover and
Skype), do offer a Debian .deb package.
On the IHV front, I am not sure if things are the same:
* We have a very small list of IHVs  mentioning support for Debian.
* We have a Debian Enterprise Mailing List . But I don't see much traffic
Do you think a HW Certification Process should be available for Debian ?
I see all other Enterprise Distributions (including Debian Derivatives) have a
certification process in place.
Should we have a Certification Test Suite (Both Hardware and Software) that our
vendors could run and provide us with the results ?Â
Such results could be validated by our Enterprise Team, and accordingly a HCL
could be set up for Debian.
* Non Commercial as in not backed by a profit making organization
Ritesh Raj Sarraf | http://people.debian.org/~rrs
Debian - The Universal Operating System