The FTP archive on gatekeeper.dec.com, later to become
gatekeeper.research.compaq.com, first went on-line in the
It was assembled from spare parts and brought to life by Paul Vixie.
Digital Equipment Corporation's
Western Research Laboratory (DECWRL) in Palo Alto, California, it was
maintained by a handful of volunteers from Digital Corporate Research.
The spare parts were eventually replaced with production hardware.
In its heyday, gatekeeper was a prominent Internet FTP site. Just
about any public domain software package you wanted or needed could
be found on gatekeeper. One of gatekeepers' primary functions was to
give Digital software developers, living on the DECNET based internal
corporate network, access to public domain software available from
the Internet. (The Digital internal DECNET host, DECPA::, mounted
the gatekeeper FTP archive via NFS.) Gatekeeper was also used by
Digital product groups to provide software updates and patches to
Over the years, acqusitions, mergers, and business needs have changed
the role of gatekeeper. Early in 2008, gatekeeper.dec.com and
gatekeeper.research.compaq.com were redirected to apotheca.hpl.hp.com,
a shiny new server at HP Labs in Palo Alto, California. ftp.hpl.hp.com
is also directed to apotheca.
Apotheca doesn't mirror any of the public domain software repositories
that were mirrored on gatekeeper. Now days, there's plenty of Internet
sites that do a fine job of serving those bits. This is why you'll
find ~ftp/pub rather sparce, compared to what you use to find on the
The legacy content from the Digital and Compaq research labs
is available in
Gatekeeper Archive Administrator 1993-2007