Due to the demand and popularity for Open Source Software (OSS), the Numerically Intensive Computing (NIC) group of the Center for Academic Computing will implement an OSS mirror site.
One of the main reasons for the rapid expansion of OSS has been its accessibility. Traditionally, OSS has been distributed electronically, mainly through ftp servers. When the OSS movement was small this type of access worked well, but as its popularity grew, these distribution sites became overloaded, sometimes to the point where it was impossible to successfully connect. To alleviate this overloading, the mirror site was born.
A mirror site is a site that monitors one or more main distribution sites and keeps a local copy of everything that resides on the main site. While this relieves the main site from excessive connections and bandwidth saturation, it also benefits people who are close to the mirror site by providing them with greater, more efficient access to the software. Penn State faculty, staff, and students currently must look elsewhere for their OSS needs. A significant mirror site that hosts copies of popular OSS sites can provide the Penn State community with access to what they need, when they need it.
OSS is present at Penn State in many areas. For example, the Personal Web server http://www.personal.psu.edu, which provides faculty, staff, and students with Web space of their own, runs Apache Web server software. While many servers at Penn State do not directly run from an Open Source operating system, they rely on many Open Source applications such as TeX, emacs, gcc, perl, apache, ghostscript, and pbm to function effectively. Student interest and use has increased so much that an informal Linux Users Group (PSULUG) was founded for both the sharing of ideas and for fostering the continued growth and interest of Linux users across campus.
The mirror site is currently under development. Please see
the NIC group Web site at
http://cac.psu.edu/beatnic for updates and additional
information. Inquiries may be directed to email@example.com.