Over the last few months donations have been trickling in and gradually piling up. Since there's a limit to how much beer we can reasonably drink we've been brainstorming ideas for using that money to help the project.
One of the ideas we liked the most was to try and sponsor an experimental contest which would hopefully stimulate community TKLPatch development, strengthen the community and teach as many people as possible the skills needed to customize existing TurnKey appliances and create new ones. It's not rocket science and you don't need to be a programmer or systems expert. Anyone willing to learn a few basic Linux skills can have fun doing it. If you want we'll even teach you how! (details below).
We're thinking of running the contest for the next 8 weeks. Then allow another 2 weeks to summarize the results and let the community help us decide who should win (e.g., a survey on the web site).
Winners and all honorable mentions will be celebrated in obligatory blog posts, and forever immortalized in the TurnKey hall of fame. They'll also receive full bragging rights, the undying gratitude of billions of TurnKey users, and some of our excess beer money on PayPal, which they can claim for themselves or donate to a charity of their choice.
$1,500$100,000 + pony
- Second prize: $800
- Third prize: $100
Many thanks to everyone who donated to the project! We're hoping this will put your money to good use. If you like the idea and want to increase the contest pot size, feel free to donate now and ask us to dedicate the money to that.
Help us expand the next release
We're hoping to get lots of high-quality submissions, and if we do, the timing will be just right.
As many of you already know we're in the middle of a development cycle for the new Lucid and Lenny based beta appliances and we have our hands full upgrading the existing crop of appliances and introducing new features such as backup and migration. Unfortunately that means this time around we don't have the resources to expand the appliance library horizontally and add a significant number of new appliances from scratch.
Unless... well, that's where our heros come in. Adding a new appliance to the library from a TKLPatch still requires work, but it's definitely easier than creating an appliance from scratch and that means we could get more of them done.
In other words, any high-quality TKLPatch submissions we receive from the community in the next couple of months will have a very good chance of being formally adopted into the library in time for the next release.
After that the appliance library will be frozen again for a while until the next release batch.
List of ideas
In no particular order here's a list of ideas for appliances that have been sitting in our todo list for much too long and probably won't make it into the next release without the community's help:
- By function (components not yet determined): terminal server replacement (I.e., remote desktops for thin-clients), ASP.NET replacement, web filtering proxy (e.g. privacy, ad-blocking, malware protection, content filtering), plug-in e-mail filter (e.g., spam/malware), unified threat management, load balancing reverse proxies.
- eCommerce: Magento, VirtueMart, PrestaShop, Zen Cart, osCommerce, UberCart.
- Content management: Alfresco, SilverStripe, Plone, Knowledge Tree, DSpace, Apache Roller, LifeRay.
- Messaging: DimDim, Asterisk, OpenFire, Mumble, Vanilla forum, StatusNet, Zarafa, Scalix, RoundCube, OpenEMM
- Business: SugarCRM, vTiger CRM, Open HRM, Apache OFBiz, GLPI
- Monitoring: Nagios, Cacti, ZenOSS, Hyperic, Zabbix, OpenNMS
- Infrastructure: OpenLDAP, Radius
- Development frameworks: Zope, TurboGears, jBos
- Management: eBox, ISPConfig
- Data integration: Jasper BI, Pentaho, SnapLogic
- Backup: Amanda, Bacula
- IDS: Snort + Aanval, Snorby
- Virtualization: Proxmox VE, Xen-DTC, oVirt, enomaly, eucalyptus
- Misc: Apache Solr, iFolder, IceCast, OpenVPN ALS
If you have your own ideas for appliances you think would make good additions to the TurnKey library, don't worry if they're not on the list. All contributions are welcome. Work on whatever interests you.
Sign up for a live training session
Creating a TKLPatch isn't hard. Read the documentation and still not sure where to begin? No problem. If there's interest, we'll be giving free live training sessions on TurnKey's IRC channel showing how to build an example TKLPatch step by step and answering any questions.
Click here to sign up and we'll send you an e-mail with the time and date of the session.
UPDATE: The session is scheduled for July 25 2010, 17:00 UTC
A few guidelines
You can improve an existing appliance or create a new appliance by patching any appliance in the TurnKey library, including the new Ubuntu Lucid and Debian Lenny TurnKey Core betas.
If you're creating a new appliance, we recommend patching the new beta of TurnKey Core based on Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid. This is the latest version of Ubuntu so it has the newest packages in its software repositories.
It's preferable to install software through the package management system rather than directly from an upstream tarball. It's usually much easier to install and update software this way.
Unfortunately, sometimes this won't be an option because there's a lot of excellent open source software that isn't in Ubuntu's or Debian's package repositories. In these cases try checking if the software you're looking for is at least available as a Debian package (*.deb).
If not, that's OK. An appliance doesn't have to be perfect to be useful.
In case it isn't obvious, if you include software from outside the official package repositories, make sure it's available under an open source license (e.g., GPL, BSD, etc.). Free as in free beer is not enough. Software in official TurnKey appliances must also be free as in liberty.
Publish results as soon as you have them on the forum and/or development wiki. In general, credit for a result goes to the first person who publishes. This doesn't even have to be a finished TKLPatch, though naturally finished, high-quality submissions count moure than partial results.
To avoid duplicated effort, check the development wiki before you start working on a new TKLPatch. Maybe it's already been submitted. But if you think you can make something better, don't let that stop you!
You can work alone, or collaborate as part of a group. Your choice. There's no need to register. If you're part of a group, just document who should take credit (e.g., Hans Solo, Star Wars group).
Results will be evaluated based on a quality and quantity of all submissions, including any integration notes, TKLPatches, or documentation submitted. At the end we'll summarize the results of all participants and set up community surveys to help us decide who should win.
Don't forget to sign up for the live training session if you're interested. Any questions?