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The DSA Team

There are two roles in the DSA (Debian System Administration) Team: Member and Trainee.


Interacting with the team

  • Read the FAQ first: FAQ

  • In case you are having an issue with a specific machine, check the “Admin contact” field of the entry for the machine in machines.cgi to find out whether there is a better contact than DSA (e.g. for alioth.debian.org, contact the alioth team).

  • Email contact:

    • <debian-admin AT debian DOT org>: DSA members (use this address ONLY if the mail contains confidential data). As this address is spammed by cron and other error mails, your mail is likely to be overseen here.

    • <debian-admin AT lists DOT debian DOT org>: DSA members and local admins of all debian.org machines (use this address for non-confidential data, almost every request falls here)

  • Request tracker: introduction ( current DSA tickets)

  • Public IRC channel: none (there's a private channel however)

Members and Trainees

See the list of members on the Debian website.

Task description

Debian System Administrator team members handle the basic infrastructure of the project. They are responsible for tasks that include:

  • Maintaining the central user (LDAP) database listing all the Debian developers. This includes:
    • account creation and deletion based on requests from the Debian Account Managers
    • correlation of GPG keys to the according accounts based on requests from the Debian Keyring Maintainers
  • Setting up and administering most of Debian-owned machines, ensuring that they are kept secure, operational, and running
  • Coordinating with local admins of the machines regarding network connectivity and (if needed) asking for remote hands
  • Granting required rights to other developers who need them to maintain a particular service
  • Handle standard services like the debian.org email alias that each developer has or keeping DNS up to date
  • maintaining the Debian Machine Usage Policies (DMUP), within the following limits:
    • the DMUP cannot directly cause the expulsion of a developer from the project; it can however propose the developer for expulsion to DAM, on the basis of DMUP violation
    • changes to the DMUP shall be announced to the debian-devel-announce mailing list at least 2 months in advance with respect to when they are supposed to become effective


DSA team members are DPL delegates (as per Debian Constitution §8). The delegation text is linked from the Debian website.

Get involved

  • {*} Find a task in the request-tracker and send a patch.

  • {*} Find a bug that affects DSA and send a patch

  • {*} Find a DSA project on alioth and send a patch

Hardware replacement plan

DSA has a hardware replacement plan covering approximately until 2016. As it contains quotes and numbers from vendors which they've asked not to be made public, this plan is not public. Tollef Fog Heen and Luca Filipozzi nevertheless gave a preview of the plan on debian-project.

More stuff

Some documentation

DSA specific software / tools / configuration files

DSA has a package repository with customized/specific software. The corresponding APT sources.list entries are:

deb http://db.debian.org/debian-admin/ jessie main
deb-src http://db.debian.org/debian-admin/ jessie main

VCS repositories for DSA can be found at https://db.debian.org/bzr/ and https://db.debian.org/git/. Some mirrors can be found on git.debian.org.

Ideas of things to document

The DSA team doesn't have much documentation. It would be interesting to use this space to provide some more information. Here are some ideas of what could be interesting:

  • define what responsibilities local admins have and what is the resort of DSA only
  • define criteria of acceptance of new services on debian.org hosts
  • explanations on userdir-ldap and how to replicate the setup on db.debian.org

Ongoing Tasks


  • Oslo sprint (March 2012. Hardware & Sponsorships, Hosting & Virtualization, Service Changes, User & Group Management)

  • Essen sprint (June 2013. Hosting & Virtualization, Content Delivery Networks, Single-Sign-On, Disaster Recovery, User & Group Management, Configuration Management, Points of Contact, Team Meetings, Monitoring, Archive Qualification, Experimental VMs, Hostnames, Mail Infrastructure, Account Management Tools)

  • more

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