VA Linux Introduces Debian-Based 2U Servers

Allows Free, Easy Software Updates Through VA Linux Internet Site

FREMONT, Calif. -- October 11, 2000 -- VA Linux Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: LNUX) today announced the immediate availability of Debian GNU/Linux software on its 2200 series Internet servers, complete with technical support, services and free updates via the Internet. Customers ordering VA's popular 2200 series 2U (3.5-inch-high) rackmount Linux servers will now have the option of choosing between Debian- and Red Hat-based Linux software for their systems.

VA Linux is the first major server vendor to pre-install, deliver and support Debian GNU/Linux--the most popular non-commercial version of the Linux operating system and one of the first major Linux distributions, created in 1993. With over 3,800 software packages maintained by more than 500 volunteer developers worldwide, Debian GNU/Linux is highly regarded for its technical maturity and exceptional level of quality maintained by the Debian Project's extensive network of developers and users. Debian 2.2 is fully compliant with the Linux Development Platform Specification (LDPS 1.0), which allows standardization of application development on Linux.

Efficient Software Upgrade Management via "Apt-Get"

VA Linux customers who choose Debian 2.2 on the VA Linux 2200 series servers will be able to take advantage of automatic software updates via "apt-get"--Debian's Internet-based software update management tool. "Apt-get," an integral Debian feature since March 1998, saves time by automatically identifying required security updates, software dependencies and desirable enhancements. A system administrator can quickly and efficiently download and install the appropriate software packages with a few simple commands, for a single system or across an entire network.

VA Linux customers will be able to install the latest Debian GNU/Linux software updates as they become available--according to their customized specifications--from a VA Linux-maintained Internet site at no additional cost.

"Many of our Internet customers have asked for Debian-based servers because of the high quality, security and seamless update functionality offered by Debian GNU/Linux," said Dr. Larry M. Augustin, president and CEO of VA Linux Systems. "Many of our OSDN web sites, including Slashdot and, run Debian GNU/Linux, and we applaud the Debian Project for its long, outstanding contribution to the Free Software and Open Source communities. We are proud to begin providing Debian on our 2200 series servers and look forward to offering the Debian option on more of our systems--and eventually through our Build-to-Order Software Selector (BOSS[tm]) as well."

As with all systems from VA Linux, the Debian- and Red Hat-based software loads are supported by "Total Linux Coverage (TLC)"[tm]--service and support as a standard feature. Customers who choose Debian software on the 2200 series servers thus have access not only to the extensive network of Debian developers, but also to VA Linux Systems' expert tech support team.

VIBES (, an independent online video game developer headquartered in Paris, France, is a VA Linux customer currently using Debian on its servers.

"We use Debian because we believe it's the most rigorous, coherent Linux distribution--probably the best on the market," said Frank De Luca, CEO of VIBES. "Now that VA Linux has started to install Debian on its servers, this finally gives Debian what it deserves: a powerful platform to show the world what Linux is meant to be."

VA Linux Systems has historically been a strong supporter of the Debian Project and sponsored Debian's successful debut as a major retail package in October 1999, along with O'Reilly Associates and SGI. VA Linux Systems' SourceForge, the world's largest Open Source development center, is also a major mirror for Debian GNU/Linux.

More information on Debian-based software on VA Linux servers is available at Further information on the Debian project is available on

About VA Linux Systems

VA Linux Systems is the world's Linux leader. The expert provider of Linux and Open Source solutions for the Web, VA Linux offers a single point of contact for highly customized Linux servers and storage -- featuring the industry's first Build-to-Order Software -- as well as professional consulting services and support. VA Linux Systems' mission is to make its customers successful through the use of Linux and Open Source -- whether they are e-businesses rapidly expanding their Internet infrastructures, or technology companies leveraging the power and methodology of Open Source software development. As part of its commitment to expanding the Open Source community, VA Linux Systems operates the Open Source Development Network (OSDN). A network of the leading Internet sites for Open Source development, distribution and discussion, OSDN includes SourceForge,, Slashdot and Founded in 1993 and headquartered in Fremont, California, with offices across North America, Europe and Japan, VA Linux is located on the Web at

Certain statements in this press release, including statements relating to future product performance, benefits and services, are forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause results to be materially different from expectations. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, developments in Debian GNU/Linux and Red Hat Linux; industry trends in Linux and free software; the company's ability to attract and retain qualified personnel; the company's continued introduction of new products and enhancements to existing products; and other risks detailed in VA Linux's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, copies of which may be accessed through the SEC's web site at

Note: VA Linux Systems, BOSS, "Total Linux Coverage (TLC)," Slashdot, SourceForge and OSDN are trademarks of VA Linux Systems, Inc. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. Debian is a trademark of Software in the Public Interest. All other trademarks, product names and company names are property of their respective owners.