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Monolithic

Linux k FreeBSD
FreeBSD
(in development)

Micro:

GNU
GNU
Hurd (in development)[4]

Userland GNU

Default user interface

GNOME XFCE
XFCE
on CD and non-Linux ports

License DFSG and compatible licenses

Official website www.debian.org

Debian
Debian
(/ˈdɛbiən/)[5][6] is a Unix-like
Unix-like
computer operating system that is composed entirely of free software and packaged by a group of individuals participating in the Debian
Debian
Project. The Debian
Debian
Project was first announced in 1993 by Ian Murdock, Debian 0.01 was released on September 15, 1993,[7] and the first stable release was made in 1996.[8] The Debian
Debian
stable release branch is the most popular Debian
Debian
edition for personal computers and network servers, and has been used as a base for many other distributions. The project's work is carried out over the Internet by a team of volunteers guided by the Debian
Debian
Project Leader and three foundational documents: the Debian
Debian
Social Contract, the Debian
Debian
Constitution, and the Debian
Debian
Free Software Guidelines. New distributions are updated continually, and the next candidate is released after a time-based freeze. As one of the earliest operating systems based on the Linux kernel, it was decided that Debian
Debian
was to be developed openly and freely distributed in the spirit of the GNU
GNU
Project. This decision drew the attention and support of the Free Software Foundation, which sponsored the project for one year from November 1994 to November 1995.[9] Upon the ending of the sponsorship, the Debian
Debian
Project formed the non-profit organisation Software in the Public Interest. While all Debian
Debian
releases are derived from the GNU
GNU
Operating System and use the GNU
GNU
userland and the GNU
GNU
C Library (glibc), other kernels aside from the Linux kernel
Linux kernel
are also available, such as those based on BSD kernels and the GNU
GNU
Hurd microkernel.

Contents

1 Features 2 Kernels 3 Installation and live images 4 History

4.1 Founding (1993–98) 4.2 Leader election (1999–2005) 4.3 Sarge and later releases (2005–15)

5 Releases

5.1 Release cycle

6 Desktop environments 7 Debian
Debian
Live 8 Package management

8.1 APT tools 8.2 GDebi
GDebi
and other front-ends

9 Branches

9.1 Numbering scheme 9.2 Code names 9.3 Blends

10 Logo 11 Archive areas 12 Multimedia support 13 Hardware support

13.1 Hardware requirements 13.2 Architecture ports

13.2.1 Official ports 13.2.2 Unofficial ports

13.3 Embedded systems

14 Support for communities

14.1 Localization 14.2 Virtual communities

15 Policies

15.1 Organization 15.2 Developer recruitment, motivation, and resignation

16 Development procedures

16.1 Security

16.1.1 2008 OpenSSL
OpenSSL
vulnerability

17 Cost of development 18 Derivatives 19 See also 20 References

20.1 Citations 20.2 Sources

21 External links

Features[edit]

Debian
Debian
7 installation menu

Text version of the Debian
Debian
Installer

Graphical version of the Debian
Debian
Installer

Debian
Debian
console login and welcome message

Debian
Debian
has access to online repositories that contain over 50,000 software packages[10] making it the largest software compilation.[11] Debian
Debian
officially contains only free software, but non-free software can be downloaded and installed from the Debian
Debian
repositories.[12] Debian
Debian
includes popular free programs such as LibreOffice,[13] Firefox web browser, Evolution mail, K3b
K3b
disc burner, VLC media player, GIMP image editor, and Evince
Evince
document viewer.[12] Debian
Debian
is a popular choice for web servers (cf. LAMP).[14][15] Kernels[edit] Debian
Debian
supports Linux officially, having offered k FreeBSD
FreeBSD
for version 7 but not 8,[16] and GNU
GNU
Hurd unofficially.[17] GNU/k FreeBSD
FreeBSD
was released as a technology preview for IA-32 and x86-64 architectures,[16] and lacked the amount of software available in Debian's Linux distribution.[18] Official support for k FreeBSD
FreeBSD
was removed for version 8, which did not provide a kFreeBSD-based distribution. Several flavors of the Linux kernel
Linux kernel
exist for each port. For example, the i386 port has flavors for IA-32 PCs supporting Physical Address Extension and real-time computing, for older PCs, and for x86-64 PCs.[19] The Linux kernel
Linux kernel
does not officially contain firmware without sources, although such firmware is available in non-free packages and alternative installation media.[20][21] Installation and live images[edit] Debian
Debian
offers DVD and CD images for installation that can be downloaded using BitTorrent or jigdo. Physical disks can also be bought from retailers.[22] The full sets are made up of several discs (the amd64 port consists of 13 DVDs or 84 CDs),[23] but only the first disc is required for installation, as the installer can retrieve software not contained in the first disc image from online repositories.[24] Debian
Debian
offers different network installation methods. A minimal install of Debian
Debian
is available via the netinst CD, whereby Debian
Debian
is installed with just a base and later added software can be downloaded from the Internet. Another option is to boot the installer from the network.[25] Installation images are hybrid on some architectures and can be used to create a bootable USB drive (Live USB).[26] The default bootstrap loader is GNU
GNU
GRUB version 2, though the package name is simply grub, while version 1 was renamed to grub-legacy. This conflicts with e.g. Fedora, where grub version 2 is named grub2. The default desktop may be chosen from the DVD boot menu among GNOME, KDE Software Compilation, Xfce
Xfce
and LXDE, and from special disc 1 CDs.[27][28] History[edit] Founding (1993–98)[edit] Debian
Debian
was first announced on August 16, 1993, by Ian Murdock, who initially called the system "the Debian
Debian
Linux Release".[29][30] The word "Debian" was formed as a portmanteau of the first name of his then-girlfriend Debra Lynn and his own first name.[31] Before Debian's release, the Softlanding Linux System
Softlanding Linux System
(SLS) had been a popular Linux distribution and the basis for Slackware.[32] The perceived poor maintenance and prevalence of bugs in SLS motivated Murdock to launch a new distribution.[33] Debian
Debian
0.01, released on September 15, 1993, was the first of several internal releases.[7] Version 0.90 was the first public release,[7] providing support through mailing lists hosted at Pixar.[34] The release included the Debian
Debian
Linux Manifesto, outlining Murdock's view for the new operating system. In it he called for the creation of a distribution to be maintained openly, in the spirit of Linux and GNU.[35] The Debian
Debian
project released the 0.9x versions in 1994 and 1995.[36] During this time it was sponsored by the Free Software Foundation
Free Software Foundation
for one year.[37] Ian Murdock
Ian Murdock
delegated the base system, the core packages of Debian, to Bruce Perens
Bruce Perens
and Murdock focused on the management of the growing project.[38] The first ports to non- IA-32 architectures began in 1995, and Debian
Debian
1.1 was released in 1996.[39] By that time and thanks to Ian Jackson, the dpkg package manager was already an essential part of Debian.[40] In 1996, Bruce Perens
Bruce Perens
assumed the project leadership. Perens was a controversial leader, regarded as authoritarian and strongly attached to Debian.[41] He drafted a social contract and edited suggestions from a month-long discussion into the Debian Social Contract and the Debian
Debian
Free Software Guidelines.[42] After the FSF withdrew their sponsorship in the midst of the free software vs. open source debate,[43] Perens initiated the creation of the legal umbrella organization Software in the Public Interest
Software in the Public Interest
instead of seeking renewed involvement with the FSF.[39] He led the conversion of the project from a.out to ELF.[44] He created the BusyBox
BusyBox
program to make it possible to run a Debian
Debian
installer on a single floppy, and wrote a new installer.[45] By the time Debian
Debian
1.2 was released, the project had grown to nearly two hundred volunteers.[44] Perens left the project in 1998.[46] Ian Jackson became the leader in 1998.[47] Debian
Debian
2.0 introduced the second official port, m68k.[36] During this time the first port to a non-Linux kernel, Debian
Debian
GNU/Hurd, was started.[48] On December 2, the first Debian
Debian
Constitution was ratified.[49] Leader election (1999–2005)[edit] From 1999, the project leader was elected yearly.[50] The Advanced Packaging Tool was deployed with Debian
Debian
2.1.[36] The amount of applicants was overwhelming and the project established the new member process.[51][52] The first Debian
Debian
derivatives, namely Libranet,[53] Corel Linux
Corel Linux
and Stormix's Storm Linux, were started in 1999.[39] The 2.2 release in 2000 was dedicated to Joel Klecker, a developer who died of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.[54] In late 2000, the project reorganized the archive with new package "pools" and created the Testing distribution, made up of packages considered stable, to reduce the freeze for the next release.[39] In the same year, developers began holding an annual conference called DebConf
DebConf
with talks and workshops for developers and technical users.[55] In May 2001, Hewlett-Packard
Hewlett-Packard
announced plans to base its Linux development on Debian.[56] In July 2002, the project released version 3.0, code-named Woody, the first release to include cryptographic software, a free licensed KDE and internationalization.[57] During these last release cycles, the Debian
Debian
project drew considerable criticism from the free software community because of the long time between stable releases.[58][59][60] Some events disturbed the project while working on Sarge, as Debian servers were attacked by fire and hackers.[39][61] One of the most memorable was the Vancouver
Vancouver
prospectus.[62][63][64] After a meeting held in Vancouver, release manager Steve Langasek announced a plan to reduce the number of supported ports to four in order to shorten future release cycles.[65] There was a large reaction because the proposal looked more like a decision and because such a drop would damage Debian's aim to be "the universal operating system".[66][67][68] Sarge and later releases (2005–15)[edit]

Debian
Debian
4.0 Etch (2007)

The 3.1 Sarge release was made in June 2005. This release updated 73% of the software and included over 9,000 new packages. A new installer with a modular design, Debian-Installer, allowed installations with RAID, XFS and LVM support, improved hardware detection, made installations easier for novice users, and was translated into almost forty languages. An installation manual and release notes were in ten and fifteen languages respectively. The efforts of Skolelinux, Debian-Med and Debian-Accessibility raised the number of packages that were educational, had a medical affiliation, and ones made for people with disabilities.[39][69]

Iceweasel
Iceweasel
logo

In 2006, as a result of a much-publicized dispute, Mozilla software was rebranded in Debian, with Firefox
Firefox
forked as Iceweasel
Iceweasel
and Thunderbird as Icedove. The Mozilla Corporation stated that software with unapproved modifications could not be distributed under the Firefox
Firefox
trademark. Two reasons that Debian
Debian
modifies the Firefox software are to change the non-free artwork and to provide security patches.[70][71] In February 2016, it was announced that Mozilla and Debian
Debian
had reached agreement and Iceweasel
Iceweasel
would revert to the name Firefox; similar agreement was anticipated for Icedove/Thunderbird.[72] A fund-raising experiment, Dunc-Tank, was created to solve the release cycle problem and release managers were paid to work full-time;[73] in response, unpaid developers slowed down their work and the release was delayed.[74] Debian
Debian
4.0 (Etch) was released in April 2007, featuring the x86-64 port and a graphical installer.[36] Debian
Debian
5.0 (Lenny) was released in February 2009, supporting Marvell's Orion platform and netbooks such as the Asus Eee PC.[75] The release was dedicated to Thiemo Seufer, a developer who died in a car crash.[76]

Debian
Debian
6.0 Squeeze (2011)

In July 2009, the policy of time-based development freezes on a two-year cycle was announced. Time-based freezes are intended to blend the predictability of time based releases with Debian's policy of feature based releases, and to reduce overall freeze time.[77] The Squeeze cycle was going to be especially short; however, this initial schedule was abandoned.[78] In September 2010, the backports service became official, providing more recent versions of some software for the stable release.[79] Debian
Debian
6.0 (Squeeze) was released in February 2011, introduced Debian GNU/k FreeBSD
FreeBSD
as a technology preview, featured a dependency-based boot system, and moved problematic firmware to the non-free area.[80] Debian
Debian
7.0 (Wheezy) was released in May 2013, featuring multiarch support[81] and Debian
Debian
8.0 (Jessie) was released in April 2015, using systemd as the new init system.[82] Debian
Debian
9.0 (Stretch) was released in June 2017.[83] At present[update], Debian
Debian
is still in development and new packages are uploaded to unstable every day.[84] Throughout Debian's lifetime, both the Debian
Debian
distribution and its website have won various awards from different organizations,[85] including Server Distribution of the Year 2011,[86] The best Linux distro of 2011,[87] and a Best of the Net award for October 1998.[88] On December 2, 2015, Microsoft
Microsoft
announced that they would offer Debian GNU/Linux as an endorsed distribution on the Azure cloud platform.[89][90] Releases[edit] Main article: Debian
Debian
version history Release cycle[edit] Stable version of Debian
Debian
gets released approximately every 2 years. It will receive official support for about 3 years with update for major security or usability fixes. Point releases will be available every several months as determined by Stable Release Managers (SRM).[91] Debian
Debian
also launched its Long Term Support (LTS) project since Debian 6 ( Debian
Debian
Squeeze). For each Debian
Debian
release, it will receive two years of extra security updates provided by LTS Team after its End Of Life (EOL). However, no point releases will be made. Now each Debian release can receive 5 years of security support in total.[92] Desktop environments[edit]

XFCE
XFCE
is default on CD images and non-Linux ports

Debian
Debian
offers CD images specifically built for XFCE, the default desktop on CD, and DVD images for GNOME, KDE and others.[80] MATE is officially supported,[93] while Cinnamon support was added with Debian 8.0 Jessie.[94] Less common window managers such as Enlightenment, Openbox, Fluxbox, IceWM, Window Maker
Window Maker
and others are available.[95] The default desktop environment of version 7.0 Wheezy was temporarily switched to Xfce, because GNOME
GNOME
3 did not fit on the first CD of the set.[96] The default for the version 8.0 Jessie was changed again to Xfce
Xfce
in November 2013,[97] and back to GNOME
GNOME
in September 2014.[98] Debian
Debian
Live[edit] Debian
Debian
releases live install images for CDs, DVDs and USB thumb drives, for IA-32 and x86-64 architectures, and with a choice of desktop environments. These Debian
Debian
Live images allow users to boot from removable media and run Debian
Debian
without affecting the contents of their computer. A full install of Debian
Debian
to the computer's hard drive can be initiated from the live image environment.[99] Personalized images can be built with the live-build tool for discs, USB drives and for network booting purposes.[100] Package management[edit] Package management operations can be performed with different tools available on Debian, from the lowest level command dpkg to graphical front-ends like Synaptic. The recommended standard for administering packages on a Debian
Debian
system is the apt toolset.[101] dpkg provides the low-level infrastructure for package management.[102] The dpkg database contains the list of installed software on the current system. The dpkg command tool does not know about repositories. The command can work with local .deb package files, and information from the dpkg database.[103] APT tools[edit]

Using Aptitude to view Debian
Debian
package details

Package installed with Aptitude

An Advanced Packaging Tool
Advanced Packaging Tool
(APT) tool allows administering an installed Debian
Debian
system to retrieve and resolve package dependencies from repositories. APT tools share dependency information and cached packages.[101]

Aptitude is a command line tool that also offers a text-based user interface. The program comes with enhancements such as better search on package metadata.[101] apt-get and apt-cache are command tools of the standard apt package. apt-get installs and removes packages, and apt-cache is used for searching packages and displaying package information.[101]

GDebi
GDebi
and other front-ends[edit] GDebi
GDebi
is an APT tool which can be used in command-line and on the GUI.[104] GDebi
GDebi
can install a local .deb file via the command line like the dpkg command, but with access to repositories to resolve dependencies.[105] Other graphical front-ends for APT include Software Center,[106] Synaptic[107] and Apper.[108] GNOME
GNOME
Software is a graphical front-end for PackageKit, which itself can work on top of various software packaging systems. Branches[edit]

A Debian
Debian
4.0 Etch box cover

Three branches of Debian
Debian
(also called releases, distributions or suites) are regularly maintained:[109]

Stable is the current release and targets stable and well-tested software needs.[110] Stable is made by freezing Testing for a few months where bugs are fixed and packages with too many bugs are removed; then the resulting system is released as stable. It is updated only if major security or usability fixes are incorporated.[111] This branch has an optional backports service that provides more recent versions of some software.[79] Stable's CDs and DVDs can be found in the Debian
Debian
website.[23] Testing is the preview branch that will eventually become the next major release. The packages included in this branch have had some testing in unstable but they may not be fit for release yet. It contains newer packages than stable but older than unstable. This branch is updated continually until it is frozen.[111] Testing's CDs and DVDs can be found on the Debian
Debian
website.[23] Unstable, always codenamed sid, is the trunk. Packages are accepted without checking the distribution as a whole.[111] This branch is usually run by software developers who participate in a project and need the latest libraries available, and by those who prefer bleeding-edge software.[109] Debian
Debian
does not provide full Sid installation discs, but rather a minimal ISO that can be used to install over a network connection. Additionally, this branch can be installed through a system upgrade from stable or testing.[112]

Other branches in Debian:

Oldstable is the prior stable release.[111] It is supported by the Debian
Debian
Security Team until one year after a new stable is released, and since the release of Debian
Debian
6, for another 2 years through the Long Term Support project.[113] Eventually, oldstable is moved to a repository for archived releases.[111] Oldoldstable is the prior oldstable release. It is supported by the Long Term Support community. Eventually, oldoldstable is moved to a repository for archived releases. Experimental is a temporary staging area of highly experimental software that is likely to break the system. It is not a full distribution and missing dependencies are commonly found in unstable, where new software without the damage chance is normally uploaded.[111]

The snapshot archive provides older versions of the branches. They may be used to install a specific older version of some software.[114] Numbering scheme[edit] Stable and oldstable get minor updates, called point releases; as of June 2017[update], the stable release is version 9.3,[115] and the oldstable release is version 8.10.[116] The numbering scheme for the point releases up to Debian
Debian
4.0 was to include the letter r (for revision)[117] after the main version number and then the number of the point release; for example, the latest point release of version 4.0 is 4.0r9.[118] This scheme was chosen because a new dotted version would make the old one look obsolete and vendors would have trouble selling their CDs.[119] From Debian
Debian
5.0, the numbering scheme of point releases was changed, conforming to the GNU
GNU
version numbering standard;[120] the first point release of Debian
Debian
5.0 was 5.0.1 instead of 5.0r1.[121] The numbering scheme was once again changed for the first Debian
Debian
7 update, which was version 7.1.[122] The r scheme is no longer in use, but point release announcements include a note about not throwing away old CDs.[123] Code names[edit] The code names of Debian
Debian
releases are names of characters from the Toy Story films. Debian
Debian
9 was named Stretch after the toy rubber octopus in Toy Story 3. Debian
Debian
8 was named Jessie, after the cowgirl in Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3. The Testing branch is currently named Buster, [124] which is the real (not the toy) dog seen in Toy Story 2
Toy Story 2
and 3. Debian
Debian
11 will be called "Bullseye",[125] Woody's toy horse. The unstable trunk is permanently nicknamed Sid, after the emotionally unstable boy next door who regularly destroyed toys.[126] This naming tradition came about because Bruce Perens
Bruce Perens
was involved in the early development of Debian
Debian
while working at Pixar.[41] Blends[edit] Debian
Debian
Pure Blends are subsets of a Debian
Debian
release configured out-of-the-box for users with particular skills and interests.[127] For example, Debian
Debian
Jr. is made for children, while Debian Science is for researchers and scientists.[128] The complete Debian
Debian
distribution includes all available Debian
Debian
Pure Blends.[127] " Debian
Debian
Blend" (without "Pure") is a term for a Debian-based distribution that strives to become part of mainstream Debian, and have its extra features included in future releases.[129] Logo[edit]

The "swirl" logo represents the magic smoke.

The Debian
Debian
"swirl" logo was designed by Raul Silva[130][131] in 1999 as part of a contest to replace the semi-official logo that had been used.[132] The winner of the contest received an @debian.org email address, and a set of Debian
Debian
2.1 install CDs for the architecture of their choice. There has been no official statement from the Debian project on the logo's meaning, but at the time of the logo's selection, it was suggested that the logo represented the magic smoke ( or the genie ) that made computers work.[133][134][135] One theory about the origin of the Debian
Debian
logo is that Buzz Lightyear, the chosen character for the first named Debian
Debian
release, has a swirl in his chin.[136][137] Stefano Zacchiroli
Stefano Zacchiroli
also suggested that this swirl is the Debian
Debian
one.[138] Archive areas[edit] The Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG) define the distinctive meaning of the word "free" as in "free and open-source software".[139] Packages which comply with these guidelines, usually under the GNU General Public License, Modified BSD License or Artistic License,[140] are included inside the main area;[111] otherwise, they are included inside the non-free and contrib areas. These last two areas are not distributed within the official installation media, but they can be adopted manually.[139] Non-free includes packages which do not comply with the DFSG,[141] such as documentation with invariant sections and proprietary software,[142][143] and legally questionable packages.[141] Contrib includes packages which do comply with the DFSG but fail other requirements. For example, they may depend on packages which are in non-free or requires such for building them.[141] Richard Stallman
Richard Stallman
and the Free Software Foundation
Free Software Foundation
have criticized the Debian
Debian
project for hosting the non-free repository and because the contrib and non-free areas are easily accessible,[144][145] an opinion echoed by some in Debian
Debian
including the former project leader Wichert Akkerman.[146] The internal dissent in the Debian
Debian
project regarding the non-free section has persisted,[147] but the last time it came to a vote in 2004, the majority decided to keep it.[148] Multimedia support[edit] Multimedia support has been problematic in Debian
Debian
regarding codecs threatened by possible patent infringements, without sources or under too restrictive licenses,[149] and regarding technologies such as Adobe Flash.[75] Even though packages with problems related to their distribution could go into the non-free area, software such as libdvdcss is not hosted at Debian.[150] A notable third party repository exists, formerly named debian-multimedia.org,[151][152][153] providing software not present in Debian
Debian
such as Windows codecs, libdvdcss and the Adobe Flash Player.[154] Even though this repository is maintained by Christian Marillat, a Debian
Debian
developer, it is not part of the project and is not hosted on a Debian
Debian
server. The repository provides packages already included in Debian, interfering with the official maintenance. Eventually, project leader Stefano Zacchiroli
Stefano Zacchiroli
asked Marillat to either settle an agreement about the packaging or to stop using the "Debian" name.[155] Marillat chose the latter and renamed the repository to deb-multimedia.org. The repository was so popular that the switchover was announced by the official blog of the Debian
Debian
project.[156] Hardware support[edit] Hardware requirements[edit] Hardware requirements are at least those of the kernel and the GNU toolsets.[157] Debian's recommended system requirements depend on the level of installation, which corresponds to increased numbers of installed components:[158]

Type Minimum RAM size Recommended RAM size Minimum processor clock speed (IA-32) Hard drive capacity

Non desktop 128 MB 512 MB

2 GB

Desktop 256 MB 1 GB 1 GHz 10 GB

The real minimum memory requirements depend on the architecture and may be much less than the numbers listed in this table. It is possible to install Debian
Debian
with 60 MB of RAM for x86-64;[158] the installer will run in low memory mode and it is recommended to create a swap partition.[27] The installer for z/Architecture requires about 20 MB of RAM, but relies on network hardware.[158][159] Similarly, disk space requirements, which depend on the packages to be installed, can be reduced by manually selecting the packages needed.[158] As of August 2014[update], no Pure Blend exists that would lower the hardware requirements easily.[160] It is possible to run graphical user interfaces on older or low-end systems, but the installation of window managers instead of desktop environments is recommended, as desktop environments are more resource-intensive. Requirements for individual software vary widely and must be considered, with those of the base operating environment.[158] Architecture ports[edit]

HP 9000
HP 9000
C110 PA-RISC
PA-RISC
workstation booting Debian
Debian
Lenny

Official ports[edit] As of the Stretch release[update], the official ports are:[161]

amd64: x86-64 architecture with 64-bit userland and supporting 32-bit software arm64: ARMv8-A architecture[162] armel: Little-endian ARM architecture
ARM architecture
(ARMv4T instruction set)[163] on various embedded systems (embedded application binary interface (EABI)) armhf: ARM hard-float architecture (ARMv7 instruction set) requiring hardware with a floating-point unit i386: IA-32 architecture with 32-bit userland, compatible with x86-64 machines[157] mips: Big-endian MIPS architecture mips64el: Little-endian 64 bit MIPS mipsel: Little-endian MIPS ppc64el: Little-endian PowerPC
PowerPC
architecture supporting POWER7+ and POWER8
POWER8
CPUs[162] s390x: z/Architecture with 64-bit userland, intended to replace s390[164]

Unofficial ports[edit] Unofficial ports are available as part of the unstable distribution:[161]

alpha: DEC Alpha
DEC Alpha
architecture hppa: HP PA-RISC
PA-RISC
architecture hurd-i386: GNU
GNU
Hurd kernel on IA-32 architecture ia64: Intel Itanium kfreebsd-amd64: Kernel of FreeBSD
FreeBSD
on x86-64 architecture kfreebsd-i386: Kernel of FreeBSD
FreeBSD
on IA-32 architecture m68k: Motorola 68k architecture on Amiga, Atari, Macintosh
Macintosh
and various embedded VME systems powerpc: 32-bit PowerPC powerpcspe: PowerPCSPE architecture, incompatible with PowerPC ppc64: PowerPC64 architecture supporting 64-bit PowerPC
PowerPC
CPUs with VMX riscv64: 64-bit RISC-V sh4: Hitachi SuperH
SuperH
architecture sparc64: Sun SPARC
SPARC
architecture with 64-bit userland x32: x32 ABI userland for x86-64[165]

Embedded systems[edit] Debian
Debian
supports a variety of ARM-based NAS devices. The NSLU2
NSLU2
was supported by the installer in Debian
Debian
4.0 and 5.0,[166] and Martin Michlmayr is providing installation tarballs since version 6.0.[167] Other supported NAS devices are the Buffalo Kurobox Pro,[168] GLAN Tank, Thecus N2100[169] and QNAP Turbo Stations.[168] Devices based on the Kirkwood system on a chip (SoC) are supported too, such as the SheevaPlug
SheevaPlug
plug computer and OpenRD products.[170] There are efforts to run Debian
Debian
on mobile devices, but this is not a project goal yet since the Debian
Debian
Linux kernel
Linux kernel
maintainers would not apply the needed patches.[171] Nevertheless, there are packages for resource-limited systems.[172] There are efforts to support Debian
Debian
on wireless access points.[173] Debian
Debian
is known to run on set-top boxes.[174] Work is ongoing to support the AM335x processor,[175] which is used in electronic point of service solutions.[176] Debian
Debian
may be customized to run on cash machines.[177] BeagleBoard, a low-power open-source hardware single-board computer (made by Texas Instruments) has switched to Debian
Debian
Linux preloaded on its Beaglebone Black board's flash. Support for communities[edit] Localization[edit] Several parts of Debian
Debian
are translated into languages other than American English, including package descriptions, configuration messages, documentation and the website.[178] The level of software localization depends on the language, ranging from the highly supported German and French to the hardly translated Creek and Samoan.[179] The installer is available in 73 languages.[180] Virtual communities[edit] Debian
Debian
provides packages made for virtual communities. The Facebook and Twitter
Twitter
application interfaces are available to programmers;[181][182] the Pidgin messaging client used a custom plugin for Facebook
Facebook
until the networking site added support for XMPP.[183] Debian
Debian
5.0 Lenny was the last release supporting Tencent QQ.[184][185] Communication with Skype
Skype
is possible using software in the contrib area.[186] Policies[edit] Debian
Debian
is known for its manifesto,[187][188] social contract,[188][189][190] and policies.[191] Debian's policies and team efforts focus on collaborative software development and testing processes.[5] As a result of its policies, a new major release tends to occur every two years with revision releases that fix security issues and important problems.[117][77] Organization[edit]

General Resolution

elect↓ override↓

Leader

↓appoint

Delegate

↓decide

Developer propose↑

Simplified organizational structure

The Debian
Debian
project is a volunteer organization with three foundational documents:

The Debian Social Contract defines a set of basic principles by which the project and its developers conduct affairs.[139] The Debian Free Software Guidelines define the criteria for "free software" and thus what software is permissible in the distribution. These guidelines have been adopted as the basis of the Open Source Definition. Although this document can be considered separate, it formally is part of the Social Contract.[139] The Debian
Debian
Constitution describes the organizational structure for formal decision-making within the project, and enumerates the powers and responsibilities of the Project Leader, the Secretary and other roles.[49]

Historical population

Year DD ±%

1999 347 —    

2000 347 +0.0%

2001 ? —    

2002 939 —    

2003 831 −11.5%

2004 911 +9.6%

2005 965 +5.9%

2006 972 +0.7%

2007 1,036 +6.6%

2008 1,075 +3.8%

2009 1,013 −5.8%

2010 886 −12.5%

2011 911 +2.8%

2012 948 +4.1%

2013 988 +4.2%

2014 1,003 +1.5%

2015 1,033 +3.0%

2016 1,023 −1.0%

2017 1,062 +3.8%

Source: Debian
Debian
Voting Information

Debian
Debian
developers are organized in a web of trust.[192] There are at present[update] about one thousand active Debian
Debian
developers,[193][194] but it is possible to contribute to the project without being an official developer.[195] The project maintains official mailing lists and conferences for communication and coordination between developers.[111][196] For issues with single packages and other tasks,[197] a public bug tracking system is used by developers and end users. Internet Relay Chat channels (primarily on the Open and Free Technology Community (OFTC) and freenode networks) are also used for communication among developers[111] and to provide real time help.[198] Debian
Debian
is supported by donations made to organizations authorized by the leader.[49] The largest supporter is Software in the Public Interest, the owner of the Debian
Debian
trademark, manager of the monetary donations[199] and umbrella organization for various other community free software projects.[200] A Project Leader is elected once per year by the developers. The leader has special powers, but they are not absolute, and appoints delegates to perform specialized tasks. Delegates make decisions as they think is best, taking into account technical criteria and consensus. By way of a General Resolution, the developers may recall the leader, reverse a decision made by the leader or a delegate, amend foundational documents and make other binding decisions.[49] The voting method is based on the Schulze method
Schulze method
(Cloneproof Schwartz Sequential Dropping).[50]

Debian
Debian
project leaders[201]

1993 — – 1994 — – 1995 — – 1996 — – 1997 — – 1998 — – 1999 — – 2000 — – 2001 — – 2002 — – 2003 — – 2004 — – 2005 — – 2006 — – 2007 — – 2008 — – 2009 — – 2010 — – 2011 — – 2012 — – 2013 — – 2014 — – 2015 — – 2016 — – 2017 — – 2018 —

Ian Murdock

Bruce Perens

Ian Jackson

Wichert Akkerman

Ben Collins

Bdale Garbee

Martin Michlmayr

Branden Robinson

Anthony Towns

Sam Hocevar

Steve McIntyre

Stefano Zacchiroli

Lucas Nussbaum

Neil McGovern

Mehdi Dogguy

Chris Lamb

Project leadership is distributed occasionally. Branden Robinson was helped by the Project Scud, a team of developers that assisted the leader,[202] but there were concerns that such leadership would split Debian
Debian
into two developer classes.[203] Anthony Towns created a supplemental position, Second In Charge (2IC), that shared some powers of the leader.[204] Steve McIntyre was 2IC and had a 2IC himself.[205] One important role in Debian's leadership is that of a release manager.[206] The release team sets goals for the next release, supervises the processes and decides when to release. The team is led by the next release managers and stable release managers.[207] Release assistants were introduced in 2003.[208] Developer recruitment, motivation, and resignation[edit] The Debian
Debian
project has an influx of applicants wishing to become developers.[209] These applicants must undergo a vetting process which establishes their identity, motivation, understanding of the project's principles, and technical competence.[210] This process has become much harder throughout the years.[211] Debian
Debian
developers join the project for many reasons. Some that have been cited include:

Debian
Debian
is their main operating system and they want to promote Debian[212] To improve the support for their favorite technology[213] They are involved with a Debian
Debian
derivative[214] A desire to contribute back to the free-software community[215] To make their Debian
Debian
maintenance work easier[216]

Debian
Debian
developers may resign their positions at any time or, when deemed necessary, they can be expelled.[49] Those who follow the retiring protocol are granted the "emeritus" status and they may regain their membership through a shortened new member process.[217] Development procedures[edit]

upstream

↓ packaging

package

↓ upload

incoming

↓ checks

unstable

↓ migration

testing

↓ freeze

frozen

↓ release

stable

Flowchart of the life cycle of a Debian
Debian
package

Each software package has a maintainer that may be either one person or a team of Debian
Debian
developers and non-developer maintainers.[218][219] The maintainer keeps track of upstream releases, and ensures that the package coheres with the rest of the distribution and meets the standards of quality of Debian. Packages may include modifications introduced by Debian
Debian
to achieve compliance with Debian
Debian
Policy, even to fix non- Debian
Debian
specific bugs, although coordination with upstream developers is advised.[217] The maintainer releases a new version by uploading the package to the "incoming" system, which verifies the integrity of the packages and their digital signatures. If the package is found to be valid, it is installed in the package archive into an area called the "pool" and distributed every day to hundreds of mirrors worldwide. The upload must be signed using OpenPGP-compatible software.[111] All Debian developers have individual cryptographic key pairs.[220] Developers are responsible for any package they upload even if the packaging was prepared by another contributor.[221] Initially, an accepted package is only available in the unstable branch.[111] For a package to become a candidate for the next release, it must migrate to the Testing branch by meeting the following:[222]

It has been in unstable for a certain length of time that depends on the urgency of the changes. It does not have "release-critical" bugs, except for the ones already present in Testing. Release-critical bugs are those considered serious enough that they make the package unsuitable for release. There are no outdated versions in unstable for any release ports. The migration does not break any packages in Testing. Its dependencies can be satisfied by packages already in Testing or by packages being migrated at the same time. The migration is not blocked by a freeze.

Thus, a release-critical bug in a new version of a shared library on which many packages depend may prevent those packages from entering Testing, because the updated library must meet the requirements too.[223] From the branch viewpoint, the migration process happens twice per day, rendering Testing in perpetual beta.[111] Periodically, the release team publishes guidelines to the developers in order to ready the release. A new release occurs after a freeze, when all important software is reasonably up-to-date in the Testing branch and any other significant issues are solved. At that time, all packages in the testing branch become the new stable branch.[111] Although freeze dates are time-based,[77] release dates are not, which are announced by the release managers a couple of weeks beforehand.[224] A version of a package can belong to more than one branch, usually testing and unstable. It is possible for a package to keep the same version between stable releases and be part of oldstable, stable, testing and unstable at the same time.[225] Each branch can be seen as a collection of pointers into the package "pool" mentioned above.[111] Security[edit] The Debian
Debian
project handles security through public disclosure rather than through obscurity. Debian
Debian
security advisories are compatible with the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures dictionary, are usually coordinated with other free software vendors and are published the same day a vulnerability is made public.[226][227] There used to be a security audit project that focused on packages in the stable release looking for security bugs;[228] Steve Kemp, who started the project, retired in 2011 but resumed his activities and applied to rejoin in 2014.[229][230] The stable branch is supported by the Debian
Debian
security team; oldstable is supported for one year.[113] Although Squeeze is not officially supported, Debian
Debian
is coordinating an effort to provide long-term support (LTS) until February 2016, five years after the initial release, but only for the IA-32 and x86-64 platforms.[231] Testing is supported by the testing security team, but does not receive updates in as timely a manner as stable.[232] Unstable's security is left for the package maintainers.[113] The Debian
Debian
project offers documentation and tools to harden a Debian installation both manually and automatically.[233] Security-Enhanced Linux and AppArmor support is available but disabled by default.[168] Debian
Debian
provides an optional hardening wrapper, and does not harden all of its software by default using gcc features such as PIE and buffer overflow protection, unlike operating systems such as OpenBSD,[234] but tries to build as many packages as possible with hardening flags.[16] 2008 OpenSSL
OpenSSL
vulnerability[edit] In May 2008, it was revealed that a Debian
Debian
developer discovered that the OpenSSL
OpenSSL
package distributed with Debian
Debian
and derivatives such as Ubuntu, made a variety of security keys vulnerable to a random number generator attack, since only 32,767 different keys were generated.[235][236][237] The security weakness was caused by changes made in 2006 by another Debian
Debian
developer in response to memory debugger warnings.[237][238] The complete resolution procedure was cumbersome because patching the security hole was not enough; it involved regenerating all affected keys and certificates.[239] Cost of development[edit] The cost of developing all of the packages included in Debian
Debian
5.0 Lenny (323 million lines of code) has been estimated to be about US$8 billion, using one method based on the COCOMO model.[11] As of 2016[update], Black Duck Open Hub estimates that the current codebase (74 million lines of code) would cost about US$1.4 billion to develop, using a different method based on the same model.[240][241] Derivatives[edit] Main article: Debian
Debian
family Debian
Debian
is one of the most popular Linux distributions, and many other distributions have been created from the Debian
Debian
codebase, including Ubuntu and Knoppix.[242] As of 2016[update], DistroWatch
DistroWatch
lists 126 active Debian
Debian
derivatives.[243] The Debian
Debian
project provides its derivatives with guidelines for best practices and encourages derivatives to merge their work back into Debian.[244][245] See also[edit]

Free software
Free software
portal Open-source software portal Linux portal Computer Science portal Information technology portal

Comparison of Linux distributions Computer technology for developing areas DCC Alliance Free culture movement Debian
Debian
version history

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Sources[edit]

Books

Coleman, E. Gabriella (2013). "Two Ethical Moments in Debian". Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking (PDF). Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-14461-0. Retrieved 2014-07-31.  Hertzog, Raphaël (2013). The Debian
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Administrator's Handbook. Lulu. ISBN 979-10-91414-02-9. Retrieved 2014-06-22.  Krafft, Martin F. (2005). The Debian
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System. U.S.A.: No Starch Press. ISBN 1-59327-069-0. Retrieved 2014-08-04.  Scheetz, Dale (1998). The Debian
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Linux User's Guide. Linux Press. ISBN 0-9659575-1-9. 

Webpage

Wallen, Jack (2014). "Why aren't more people using Debian?". TechRepublic. Retrieved 2015-04-19. 

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