Subject: NetBSD Live CD runs ACM Programming Contest
To: None <>
From: Jan Schaumann <>
List: netbsd-advocacy
Date: 11/17/2004 14:58:17
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As some of you may know, I'm a System Administrator for the Computer
Science Department at Stevens Institute of Technology, where we use
NetBSD extensively[1].

Recently, we were asked to co-host the ACM Greater New York Regional
Programming Contest[2].  In order to allow multiple sites to have
identical environments and to facilitate the setup by preventing
intrusive modifications to existing installations, I suggested the use
of a NetBSD Live CD.

After the suggestion was accepted, I developed a CD image suitable for
the competition using the sysutils/mklivecd package, and tuned it over a
couple of weeks to accomodate the setup at both locations.  People at
the remote location were somewhat skeptical about the concept of a CD
developed by somebody who doesn't have acces to their hardware at all,
but in the end everything went smoothly.

Not only was NetBSD used on all contestants workstations, but we also
used NetBSD (of course!) to serve the NFS home directories and provide
YP/NIS services.  The contest itself went very smoothly and once the
software was loaded from the CD for the first time, the startup time
for each application was negligible.  Contestants were able to use gcc,
g++, Sun's JDK 1.4.2, gdb and even GNU Ada (from pkgsrc via the gcc-3.4
package) in combination with their favorite editor (vi, vim, emacs,
nedit) and seemed generally content with the environment.  A short
summary and some pictures as well as links to a description of the the
CD setup is available at [3].

The ACM testified that the contest went very well and have expressed
interest in using the CD for future competitions.

Yet another example of how NetBSD makes things Just Work. :-)



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