Debathena has several "metapackages" -- packages whose sole purpose is to depend on other metapackages. These metapackages are used to organize Debathena software into various "levels" of Debathena.

From highest to lowest (that is, each package is a distinct subset of the one above it):

  • debathena-cluster - for public IS&T-maintained cluster machines. This is the only maintenance-free option.
  • debathena-workstation - "private workstations". People who want their machines to look and feel like cluster machines, but require things like local home directories, different network configurations, etc.
  • debathena-login-graphical - This really only exists because people had Strong Feelings about the auto-updater in -workstation.
  • debathena-login - Allow remote login of other Athena users (configurable) and AFS homedirs, but no graphical components of Athena and no xsession.
  • debathena-standard - The lowest level of Debathena -- Given a working Ubuntu or Debian install, enable OpenAFS and things like "add", "attach", etc. No AFS homedir support (that is -- you can get to /mit/yourusername, but it cannot be $HOME)

These are typically referred to by their suffix (cluster, workstation, -login, etc). -standard itself consists of other metapackages like clients and locker, but really nobody should be running those on their own. Of course, once you have installed a metapackage, you can add other packages yourself. I can install debathena-standard, and then install debathena-auto-update, but it would be particularly pointless. However, you are only running one of the metapackages if that package is installed. For example, let's say debathena-login consists of debathena-standard and debathena-foo, and debathena-bar. If I install debathena-standard and then install -foo and -bar manually, I may have the same functionality as debathena-login, but I am NOT running debathena-login, because if we change the list of packages in debathena-login, I won't get those changes.