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

The sponsor was Simon Shapiro (and Mike Neuffer?) of iConnect, a young enterprise located somewhere in the U.S. The host was called 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, 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 This machine was aliased to and later renamed into 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 matching the Infodrom naming scheme) and aliased into for project use. This machine is still the main m68k buildd but hosted a the university of Dortmund these days and became

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, matching the Infodrom naming scheme, and aliased into This machine eventually died because of hardware problems on the motherboard.

Naming Scheme

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]

agricola: Alexander Agricola (1446-1506) [wikipedia]

arcadelt: Jacob Arcadelt (1505-1568) [wikipedia]

argento: Dominick Argento (1927-today) [wikipedia]

auber: Daniel-François-Esprit Auber (1782-1871) [wikipedia]

albeniz: Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909) [wikipedia]

allegri: Gregorio Allegri (1582-1652) [wikipedia]

bartok: Béla Bartók (1881-1945) [wikipedia]

bellini: Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835) [wikipedia]

brahms: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) [wikipedia]

bruckner: Anton Bruckner (1824-1896) [wikipedia]

caballero: Manuel Fernández Caballero (1835-1906)

carver: Robert Carver (1485-1570) [wikipedia]

casals: Pablo Casals (1876-1973) [wikipedia]

chopin: Frederic Chopin (1810-1849) [wikipedia]

cimarosa: Domenico Cimarosa (1749-1801) [wikipedia]

debussy: Claude Debussy (1862-1918) [wikipedia]

dijkstra: Jorrit Dijkstra

faure: Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) [wikipedia]

gluck: Christoph Willibald Ritter von Gluck (1714-1787) [wikipedia]

kauffmann: Georg Friedrich Kauffmann (1679-1735) [wikipedia]

lafayette: Eugenie Lafayette

lebrun: Charles Le Brun (1619-1690) [wikipedia]

leisner: David Leisner (alive)

liszt: Franz Liszt (1811-1886) [wikipedia]

lobos: Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959) [wikipedia]

lully: (Giovanni Battista di Lulli) Jean Baptiste de Lully (1632-1687) [wikipedia]

mahler: Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) [wikipedia]

malo: Hans Malo (1905-1946) [wikipedia]

merkel: Gustav Adolf Merkel (1827-1885) [wikipedia]

merulo: Claudio Merulo (1533-1604) [wikipedia]

mundy: William Mundy (1529-1591) [wikipedia]

nessler: Viktor Ernst Nessler (1841-1890) [wikipedia]

paer: Ferdinando Paer (1771-1839) [wikipedia]

penalosa: Francisco de Peńalosa (1470-1528) [wikipedia]

peri: Achille Peri (1812-1880)

pescetti: Giovan Battista Pescetti (1704-1766)) [wikipedia]

pergolesi: Giovan Battista Pergolesi (1710-1736) [wikipedia]

piatti: Alfredo Carlo Piatti (1822-1901)

powell: John Powell (1882-1963) [wikipedia]

praetorius: Michael Praetorius (1571-1621) [wikipedia]

quantz: Johann Joachim Quantz (1697-1773) [wikipedia]

raff: Joseph Joachim Raff (1822-1882) [wikipedia]

rameau: Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764) [wikipedia]

ravel: Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) [wikipedia]

ries: Ferdinand Ries (1784-1838) [wikipedia]

rietz: Julius Rietz (1812-1877) [wikipedia]

rore: Cipriano de Rore (1516-1565) [wikipedia]

saens: Charles Camille Sans-Saëns (1835-1921) [wikipedia]

schein: Johann Schein (1586-1630) [wikipedia]

schroeder: Friedrich Schröder (1910-1972) [wikipedia]

schulz: Johann Abraham Peter Schulz (1747-1800) [wikipedia]

schumann: Robert Schumann (1810-1856) [wikipedia]

senfl: Ludwig Senfl (1486-1542) [wikipedia]

smetana: Bedrich Smetana (1824-1884) [wikipedia]

spohr: Louis Spohr (1784-1859) [wikipedia]

sperger: Johannes Matthias Sperger (1750-1812) [wikipedia]

spohr: Gaspare Spontini (1774-1851) [wikipedia]

stabile: Annibale Stabile (1535-1595) [wikipedia]

steffani: Agostino Steffani (1654-1728) [wikipedia]

strozzi: Barbara Strozzi (1630-1640) [wikipedia]

tippett: Michael Tippett (1905-1998) [wikipedia]

tosti: Francesco Paolo Tosti (1846-1916) [wikipedia]

unger: Herrmann Unger (1886-1958) [wikipedia]

vaughan: Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) [wikipedia]

villa: Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959) [wikipedia]

vinci: Leonardo Vinci (1690-1730) [wikipedia]

wagner: Richard Wagner (1813 - 1883) [wikipedia]

widor: Charles-Marie Widor (1844 - 1937) [wikipedia]

wieck: Clara Wieck Schumann (1819 - 1896) [wikipedia]

williams: Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) [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

elara: Named after a Jupiter moon, inherited from [wikipedia]

escher: Chosen and sponsored by Thimo Neubauer, named after the dutch artist M.C. Escher [wikipedia]

europa: Named after a Jupiter moon, inherited from [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]

More Conventions

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

auric: Georges Auric (1899-1983) (or chosen by Ben Collins, it is "something golden") [wikipedia], sold after several purchases of

costa: Rodrigo Ferreira da Costa (1776-1825), decommissioned

haydn: Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) [wikipedia], decommissioned

satie: Erik Satie (1866-1925) [wikipedia], burned down in datacenter fire in Enschede of the Universiteit Twente

sarti: Giuseppe Sarti (1729-1802) [wikipedia]

vore: Chosen by Ben Collins, sold after several purchases of

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