@DebConf17: Ad-hoc BoF: Debian for the Remote Desktop

On Thursday at DebConf17, all people interested in using this or that Remote Desktop solution on Debian (as a server, as a client, as both) came together for a BoF.

Sharing about Usage Scenarios

Quite some time we informally shared with one another what technologies and software we use for remote access to Debian machines and what the experiences are.

The situation in Debian and on GNU/Linux in general is that many technical approaches exist, all of them have certain features and certain limitations. The composition of features and limitations finally lead the users to choosing one or another technology as his or her favourite solution.

The Debian Remote Maintainers Team

On the developers' side, Dominik George and I set up a packaging team for Remote Desktop related software in Debian. A packaging team that we invite everyone who is maintaining such software in the widest sense to join: https://qa.debian.org/developer.php?login=pkg-remote-team%40lists.alioth...

'DebianRemote' namespace on the Debian Wiki

For users of Debian, the group agreed, we need an overview page (on wiki.debian.org) that provides an entry point for Debian on the Remote Desktop. An entry point that provides user information as well as developer information.

A skeleton of this wiki page, I have just set up (thanks to Vagrant for taking some notes in Gobby during the BoF): https://wiki.debian.org/DebianRemote

However, the page still contains loads of FIXMEs, so the actual work only now really starts. Fill the template with content (and also adapt the template, if needed).

Everyone with experience and know-how about Remote Desktop on Debian systems is invited to share knowledge and improve this wiki namespace. (I will, at the earliest, start working on Arctica, X2Go and NX passages end of August, but I'll be also happy to find passages having been written down that I can review by then).

Tracking Debian Remote Issues in Debian BTS

At the BoF, also the following suggestions came up: The Remote Desktop experience on a GNU/Linux desktop or terminal server can be affected by all graphical applications available. Often it happens, that a change in this or that graphical application results in problems in remote sessions, but not so in local sessions. We agreed on filing and tagging such bugs accordingly. For new bugs, please file such bugs with the following BTS header at the top of your mail and always explain what remote desktop solution is being used when the bug appears:

Package: file
Version: 1:5.19-2
Severity: important
User: debian-edu@lists.debian.org
Usertags: debian-edu


Overall, I was quite happy that the BoF has been attended by so many people and to see that there is quite "a lobby" in Debian. Let's dive into the work and make Debian 10 the first Debian, that mentions the Remote Desktop in its release notes.

Let's, in fact, release Debian 10 as the first Debian with the official announcement as an operating system for the Remote Desktop (like the Fedora people did already for Fedora 20).