Debian Hosts Naming Scheme
There was a time, must have been about 1996 or 1997, when the Debian project became known enough to be offered a hosted machine to use. Before this, we only used mailing lists and ftp archives. The mailing lists were run on Bruce Perens' work site so they ended in @pixar.com.
The sponsor was Simon Shapiro (and Mike Neuffer?) of iConnect, a young enterprise located somewhere in the U.S. The host was called master.iconnect.net and became the Debian master server. (I remember a second host to which I had access for administrational reasons named bullet, which wasn't offered Debian, though.)
After quite some time, Bruce met Ean Schuessler of Novare (now Brainfood), and we learned that the traffic caused by master did cost iConnect a lot of money. Since Ean offered the same service and Bruce was able to decide these things, master.novare.net was set up and all data from iConnect moved.
A while later, Bruce met some people from VA Research, most probably at an exhibition, and they offered the Debian project one of their machines hosted in their colo. That machine became debian.varesearch.com. This machine was aliased to va.debian.org and later renamed into klecker.debian.org in memories of Joel Klecker, a dedicated Debian developer who passed away much too early. Eventually this machine was moved to the Netherlands.
The next important stage in the Debian hosts history was most probably the invention of porting machines. I purchased an Amiga 3000 machine from a friend and Frank Neumann set it up with Debian. I finally moved it into my attic where I had installed the main network components (hub, router, servers) anyway, since I fully-connected an entire dormitory in Oldenburg.
This machine became the first buildd which had a permanent network connection. It was named kullervo.infodrom.north.de (kullervo matching the Infodrom naming scheme) and aliased into m68k.debian.org for project use. This machine is still the main m68k buildd but hosted a the university of Dortmund these days and became kullervo.debian.org.
In 1997 we were offered a PowerPC machine to start and push the PowerPC port of Debian GNU/Linux. At the congress we decided that it was best to hook it up to my network since I was able to offer the best connectivity at that time (144kBit/s through a special SDSL line). This machine was named tervola.infodrom.north.de, matching the Infodrom naming scheme, and aliased into tervola.debian.org. This machine eventually died because of hardware problems on the motherboard.
At some time later, Debian was offered more hosts to split services over more machines and in order to facilitate porting efforts. Sure we were in need of a real naming scheme now. I don't remember exactly why, but we finally ended up using a scheme I proposed. Maybe it was because I named the first couple of hosts. I chose classical composers (including baroque, romantics and impressionists) of choir music, preferably those writing pieces I sung in my childhood.
However, not all new host names match this scheme. This is because sometimes the sponsor / hoster already chose a name when he approached the Debian project and we weren't in a position to choose a good hostname anymore. Also several other people chose hostnames this time. See the list of exceptions below.
ancina: Giovanni Giovenale Ancina (1545-1604) [wikipedia]
argento: Dominick Argento (1927-today) [wikipedia]
caballero: Manuel Fernández Caballero (1835-1906)
carver: Robert Carver (1485-1570) [wikipedia]
casals: Pablo Casals (1876-1973) [wikipedia]
dijkstra: Jorrit Dijkstra
faure: Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) [wikipedia]
kauffmann: Georg Friedrich Kauffmann (1679-1735) [wikipedia]
lafayette: Eugenie Lafayette
lebrun: Charles Le Brun (1619-1690) [wikipedia]
leisner: David Leisner (alive)
malo: Hans Malo (1905-1946) [wikipedia]
merkel: Gustav Adolf Merkel (1827-1885) [wikipedia]
nessler: Viktor Ernst Nessler (1841-1890) [wikipedia]
peri: Achille Peri (1812-1880)
piatti: Alfredo Carlo Piatti (1822-1901)
ries: Ferdinand Ries (1784-1838) [wikipedia]
rietz: Julius Rietz (1812-1877) [wikipedia]
schroeder: Friedrich Schröder (1910-1972) [wikipedia]
schulz: Johann Abraham Peter Schulz (1747-1800) [wikipedia]
stabile: Annibale Stabile (1535-1595) [wikipedia]
steffani: Agostino Steffani (1654-1728) [wikipedia]
strozzi: Barbara Strozzi (1630-1640) [wikipedia]
tosti: Francesco Paolo Tosti (1846-1916) [wikipedia]
unger: Herrmann Unger (1886-1958) [wikipedia]
widor: Charles-Marie Widor (1844 - 1937) [wikipedia]
wieck: Clara Wieck Schumann (1819 - 1896) [wikipedia]
crest: Chosen by our m68k porters, in memory of Klaus 'crest' Burkert who passed away in April 2001 and sponsored the network card for kullervo
escher: Chosen and sponsored by Thimo Neubauer, named after the dutch artist M.C. Escher [wikipedia]
klecker: Named after the enthusiastic and dedicated young Debian developer Joel Klecker, who died at the age of 21
kubrick: Probably named after Stanley Kubrick [wikipedia]
kullervo: Named by Joey after the Infodrom naming scheme
master: Historical name for the master Debian server (which is not the master server anymore since important services were split among a dozen hosts)
murphy: The first service split off of master, named after the creator of Murphy's Law [wikipedia]
raptor: Named by Gerhard Tonn after a raptor dinosaur [wikipedia]
samosa: Named by Mike Shields, it's Indian food (it's vegetable or meat, wrapped in shortcurst pastry and not fried potato, though there is often potato inside) [wikipedia]
tervola: Named by Joey after the Infodrom naming scheme
trex: Named after the T-Rex dinosaur [wikipedia]
voltaire: Named by Dan Jacobowitz after Francois Marie Arouet (1694-1778) alias Voltaire, a French philosopher and writer [wikipedia]
Matt Taggart picked a name starting with the same letter as the mnemonic for that particular architecture or processor:
- Alpha: "A" as mnemonic
- IA-64: "M" as mnemonic after processor names "merced" and "mckinley"
- PA-RISC: "P" as mnemonic
- RFC 1178
Historical / Decommissioned machines
costa: Rodrigo Ferreira da Costa (1776-1825), decommissioned
sarti: Giuseppe Sarti (1729-1802) [wikipedia]
vore: Chosen by Ben Collins, sold after several purchases of visi.net