By David GiesbrechtThe Globe and Mail, January 28, 2018When the CBC’s Ottawa bureau chief visited the CBC in May 2017, the staff there had an idea for a new way to distribute media to people around the country.
The idea: use a Linux-based distribution to host the CBC Ottawa bureau.
In a bid to keep costs low, CBC staff, including CBC President and CEO Carla Taylor, bought a new laptop, a new wireless router, a server, a storage unit, a CD-ROM drive and a USB drive, among other items.
But the computer was missing a few crucial pieces: a keyboard, mouse, a monitor and HDMI cable.
And so, in January, CBC IT director Ben Fenton and his team took the laptops to the CBC offices and started the job.
They used a Raspberry Pi, a Raspberry-powered microcomputer that can run Linux and has been used by the CBC for several years.
The BBC was interested in the project, too, and so Fenton’s team set about figuring out how to set up a Raspberry box.
The work was fairly simple: Fenton installed a few Raspberry Pi operating systems on his computer and then used an SSH server to install the operating systems.
The software was installed in a Debian-based package called Raspbian, which means “The Best Way to Install a Linux System.”
The server was then configured with the Debian software, a setup that could be customized to meet the needs of the individual user, according to Fenton.
When Fenton went to work on Monday, he said, he noticed a few things.
He was able to run the Raspian software without any problems.
His server had booted up, and he could access his files, email and the newsroom.
The CBC also had a few users running Raspians.
But when Fenton asked them for their credentials, he discovered that the Raspberry Pi was not supported.
And there was no way to configure it to be part of the installation process.
“When we ran into this issue, we decided to create a new server that had a Raspberry PI,” he said.
The new server is running the Ubuntu Linux distribution, which is not available in Canada and has no official release.
“It was an easy thing to do,” Fenton said.
“I don’t think we would have gotten any results had we used a Linux box.”
If we had done it in the UK, it would have been a lot easier, but we were not there yet.
“The Raspberry Pi project has a long history, dating back to the 1980s.
The company has been working on a Linux computer for years.
In 2012, the company announced a new version of its Ubuntu-based operating system, Ubuntu Touch.
The operating system has not yet been released in Canada.
Fenton and others in the CBC are working on other projects that will use Linux and are not yet in the public eye.
One is the CBC News app, which uses the CBC software to bring the news to the world.”
I think it will take us several years to get to that point,” he explained.
But, he added, “I think we have a very good chance.”