New cdbuilder server improves Debian infrastructure

March 16th, 2010

Today, the Debian project administrators are activating a new cdbuilder server. The server computes the official Debian ISO images once all software packages are ready for a new Debian release. While the old system needed 20 hours to build the ISOs, the new server needs less than two hours for the same job.

Debian users download ISO images and burn them on CD or DVD to create their Debian installation media. Building ISO images in a fast way is a critical task for every Debian release. Once all the packages are ready, everyone is waiting for the new ISO images to become available. With over 25.000 packages for twelve computer architectures this is a very challenging task, says Steve McIntyre, Debian Project Leader.

Debian's new SC846 server from Thomas Krenn utilizes two Intel® Xeon® Processors E5540 to compute the ISO images, which get written to an high-performance RAID array. The array uses 24 Toshiba 15k SAS disks, connected to an Adaptec ASR5445Z controller. After the ISO images have been created, they are copied to multiple mirror servers where they can be downloaded by Debian users. On the old system, we would expect to take roughly 20 hours for a full build for all architectures. The new system is much more powerful and will allow us to do much more work in parallel, reducing that time to less than 2 hours. That will make a huge difference when we come to make the next Debian release, explains Steve McIntyre.

Max Wittenzellner, supervisory board chairman of Thomas-Krenn.AG, explains why his company supports the Debian project: Many of our customers use Debian for critical IT services, and so do we. As we benefit a lot from Debian and the whole Open Source community, we want to give something back, too.

With this new hardware the Debian project has enough computing power to build the ISOs of the upcoming release squeeze reliably and in a timely manner. Even in case of an unexpected power loss all data including RAID-cache is proteced, thanks to Adaptec Zero Maintenance Cache Protection (ZMCP). Debian thanks Thomas-Krenn.AG, Intel and Adaptec for donating this server.

About Debian

Debian GNU/Linux is a free operating system, developed by more than a thousand volunteers from all over the world who collaborate via the Internet. Debian's dedication to Free Software, its non-profit nature, and its open development model make it unique among GNU/Linux distributions.

The Debian project's key strengths are its volunteer base, its dedication to the Debian Social Contract, and its commitment to provide the best operating system possible.

Contact Information

For further information, please visit the Debian web pages at or send mail to <>.

About Thomas-Krenn.AG

Thomas Krenn is Europe's leading online shop for server systems and high-quality hosting. The portfolio ranges from rack-mountable servers, silent and low-noise servers, storage systems to virtualization solutions. Thomas Krenn is the only hardware shop who delivers individually configured servers within 24 hours across Europe.

Contact Information

For further information, please visit or contact Marlen Eder <>.