A brand new server

Thanks to all the people who made donations, thanks to our sponsors who help us financially on a monthly basis and thanks to the income generated through ads we’re now in a much more comfortable position than we were a year ago and as our community and our needs have grown it was time we invested in a second server. So we went ahead with Michael from lintelligence.de (which you probably know as “d00p”) and bought a brand new machine which we’re now using for file hosting.

The server we were using so far is now fully dedicated to web hosting and supports our website, our forums, and all the services under www.linuxmint.com.

On the new server we’ve migrated the upload service used by the maintainers to upload the ISOs, the rsync service which lets our mirrors synchronize with our releases and importantly enough, we’ve also migrated our repositories. Of course, in order not to break anything the Daryna (and previous release) repositories are still at the same place, but starting with Elyssa we’ll be using http://packages.linuxmint.com instead.

The main advantage that this new server brings to us is that the web server (forums, website..etc) is consequently faster since it doesn’t have to deal with the mirrors, the downloads/uploads of ISOs, and soon enough the repositories anymore. It’s now fully dedicated to only one thing: Web hosting. The same thing goes for the second server as well, since it doesn’t have to deal with community web services, the file serving and the repositories will also be faster.

The other advantage of doing this is that in case of downtime only some of the services are down. So if the repositories are down and mintUpdate can’t do its job, we can still access the forums and the website, and vice-versa.

I’d like to thank the community for financially supporting us. Whether it’s through ads, sponsors or donations, Linux Mint is a project which funds come 100% from its community. This lets us focus on the distribution itself without spending time on developping associated salable products or services (Powerpacks, support..etc). It also lets us invest now and then like we did now with this new server and this is very positive.

The future will tell if this income coming from the community will be enough for Mint to grow into a full limited company and to start hiring. As we’re setting up a business here in Ireland new challenges will arise (12% corporation taxe, 20% VAT, 40% income tax, administrative paperwork..etc) but we’re also confident that the release of Elyssa will push Linux Mint to even higher grounds, increase the size of its community and hopefully let us be the 100% community funded project we’ve been so far.

12 comments

  1. Congrats, Clem! Glad things are going that well, and here’s hope for continued growth and prosperity!

  2. I cant admit to understand what any of this means, but I look forward to Mint becoming a pro thing.

  3. Very good news! πŸ™‚
    I really hope Mint stays such a community driven and quality distribution; that’s for sure a winning setup.

  4. Thanks Clem for keeping us informed.

    I feel that Mint is in safe hands with you at the helm.

    Regards

    John H

  5. “So… the big question is… is the new server running Mint??”

    No, actually it’s Gentoo, cause I’m the admin and I’m a gentoo guy πŸ˜›
    (seriously, all my servers are gentoo based so it’s easier for me to administrate all them)

  6. Kody: It’s using Gentoo (I’m not a big fan… :)). We had a long debate d00p and I about this as I was pushing for a Debian-based platform but in the end he’s the one fixing it every time things go wrong and as he pointed out it doesn’t make much difference to me what hosts our files. I also have to admit, it provides the Debian tools I need to maintain the repositories and so far it’s been doing pretty well.

    Chris: I’m not going to lie about this, of course I looked at tax heavens πŸ™‚ The Isle of Man in particular is where Canonical is registered and it happens to be just next door from here in Ireland, so it’s the first place I actually looked at. There are two reasons why I chose Ireland though:
    – Income tax is income tax, no matter where the money comes from so for me as an individual it makes no difference whether the money comes from Google or whether it goes to IOM and then from there to Ireland. I still pay income tax either ways. The only difference is corporation tax, which is actually quite low here in Ireland (12.5% as compared to 0% I believe in IOM), but again a corporation is handy to get limited responsibility (which at this stage isn’t needed) or to keep the money and reinvest it (which I can do directly from paypal without the money ever coming to Ireland). So until this business becomes a limited corporation no corporate tax is to be paid, in other words there are no real tax advantages to go somewhere else.
    – Peace of mind and durability: When we do actually become a limited company I really don’t want to waste time in paperwork and tax manoeuvres. I want to be able to look at hiring, pensions, insurance, tax, and everything a business needs to address in a very standard, clear, honest and by-the-book way. If we do like everybody else (for once) in this country, we get access to a lot more resources, a lot of help, and we can even go and, as an Irish company, get help and funding from the state. Imagine what the procedure is for an IOM company, when it comes to hiring, renting a place, etc.. things in Ireland are mostly made for Irish businesses and using an alternative which is often seen as a way to evade tax and as some kind of underground solution doesn’t help in making things simple. The deciding factor here also was that Ireland has one of the lowest corporation tax in Europe (12.5%) and this is pure luck as I happened to live here for complete different reasons. To actually go and seek lower taxation when the rate is already so low is quite greedy, and although it’s intelligent and human, it’s probably not worth the hassle in the long run. But yes, I get your point, Linspire is from Delaware for instance, Canonical is from IOM… so the day we become a limited company we basically start with a handicap of 12.5%, no big deal πŸ™‚

  7. Oh, I almost forgot.. I don’t think we’ll have to pay VAT (as our “clients” in tax terms are Google and Paypal, which are US companies outside of the EU). We’re seen as selling a service to Google for instance which consists in selling them advertising slots. That basically means we’ll pay around 40% tax in total, VAT won’t add to that.

  8. When i first started using Mint, I had no idea it was created by Irish people. I’m from Carlow myself. Where can i find out more about the people behind it.
    Oh look, I’m gonna google, but just in case, I don’t find the answers I’m looking for.
    M

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