This page is of historical interest; it describes the hosting situation in mid-2006 for the locoteam meeting that happened then.
The current sitation is described on the LoCoHosting page.
So, here is a brief summary about the webhosting; as of the mailing list, no one seems to understand clearly what's going on, so I'll try to sum up the whole story as I followed it from the beginning.
Locoteams started at the end of 2004. There were only few at this time; mostly the english forum, already quite big, and the german one, quite big too. The french came after... At this time, there was no hosting provided by canonical to locoteams, they had to provide hosting on their own.
The english forum hosting was paid by donations; the french was hosted by a French not-for-profit organisation (APINC)... Most of the other teams were hosted on Matthias Urlichs' personal dedicated server. A hosting solution on linode.com was already planned.
The LoCoTeams websites continued to grow until may 2005. Matthias Urlichs aka Smurf's server was running slow; the German team started a fundraising action to upgrade it. At the same time, the French team was consuming approximatively 10 times the bandwidth/hits limits set by Apinc. The French team decided to raise approximatively 150 euros to thank APINC for their support.
A few weeks later was created the #ubuntu-locoteams channel, mostly to discuss of those hosting problems. German and French team decided to buy a new server for both teams, as the planned linode hosting was too short in terms of RAM and CPU. We asked Mako if Canonical might finance a dedicated for both teams. As canonical was expecting 200 locoteams in a near future, and as it could simply not finance a dedicated server for every team, we were told we'd have to find something out by ourselves.
A few days later we started a fundraising action to finance our future new server. 200€ were given to Smurf for the upgrade of his server, 150€ were given to APINC as foreseen. Canonical did not gave any monney, in order not to set any precedent, which we could understand but which disappointed a lot of people in our respective communities.
After only a few days, and thanks to a lot of support from French and German opensource websites, the original aim of 2000 euros was achieved. That call for help was so successful we got more support as expected; a french webhosting company: Amen.frgave us a dedicated server (athlon 2500+, 512MB ram, 80GB, 10mbps) located for one year renewable; someone working for a bank in France who was giving away its old servers gave 5 of them to Ubuntu-fr+Apinc, (2 for apinc, 2 for Ubuntu-fr, one as spare; all 5 are Dell servers, bi P3 1GHz, 1GB RAM, 18GB SCSI).
Another very well known company is willing to give us a bi 1.2GHZ, 6*18GB SCSI, 1.5GB Ram, and a bi 833Mhz, 1GB RAM, 3*9GB scsi.
The Amen server is already running; the two dell servers are installed in Apinc's Racks (who is providing rack space and enough bandwidth), the two other servers should be delivered and set up by the end of September. So, we (de and fr teams) will have soon 5 servers... and at this time we had none expense - so approximatively 2800 euros left. I mailed mako asking what we could do with that stuff... if there was a way to officialize those servers to provide hosting to other locoteams.
Since that, mako left canonical, and as I understood it, it's Henrik who's now in charge for Locoteams. The 24th of August, it was announced on the locoteam mailing-list that Canonical would provide hosting, even dedicated hosting, to locoteams that would need it. I discussed that stuff with Henrik, a LoCoTeamMeeting was decided for the 12th of September.
So, to summarize:
- We got 3 servers for free and enough bandwidth to share it with other locoteams
- Canonical provides hosting solutions to locoteams
- We can not give our servers to Canonical; our agreement with the donators stipulates we can not give the servers to a company
- Neither Canonical nor the foundation helped us one monthes ago when we needed some help; I really doubt our users, who gave their money to us, would understand that we will give it to the foundation who was not willing to help us...
- As far as I know, the Ubuntu Foundation do exist, but is not really active yet... and I am not sure that, with all the problem we have to communicate with it, it would be a good idea to give our server and our monney to it. That's still to be discussed, though...
So, I hope things are a bit more clear now... I'm not making any reproach to Canonical, I'm sure Mako, Jane, Henrik and all others are doing their best; I'm just trying to state how the hosting actually is, so that locoteam leaders could better understand what we're discussing about at the LoCoTeamMeeting