Google is bringing Debian to Google Compute Engine and is making it the default OS for developers using the service. Google will support both Debian 6.0 and 7.0, which was released this week.
There are some pretty clear reasons why Google is making Debian the default OS. First of all, it’s free, said Krishnan Subramanian, a cloud analyst and founder of Rishidot Research. “With Ubuntu and Red Hat, Google has to deal with the vendors who want to make money themselves,” he said. Further, Debian has a large customer base. And it fits with Google’s geeky culture.
In its blog post about the announcement, Google cites improvements in the Debian 7.0 “wheezy” release. It has hardened security, better 32- and 64-bit compatibility, and it addresses community feedback.
Google states that it will evaluate other operating systems that it can enable with Google Compute Engine.
It’s important to note that Google Compute Engine is only available for subscribers to the $400 Gold Support package.
This all looks like a tune up for next week’s Google I/O event where there are expected to be announcements about Google’s cloud computing strategy.
Debian competes with other Linux-based operating systems, such as Ubuntu, Mint and Fedora. According to DistroWatch, Debian ranks fifth in page hits. Mint is in the top spot.