The Debian Project

Debian is, at its heart, a totally free, volunteer-supported distribution. Unlike Ubuntu, Red Hat, or SuSE, it is not sponsored by any corporation. This does not mean it is any less organized. The Debian project is, in fact, well-organized, with a well-defined government, detailed standards and guidelines, and specified procedures for software release, maintenance, and support.


The name Debian comes from the names of the project founder, Ian Murdock, and his wife Debra.

The social contract

Above everything else, Debian developers believe in free software, as defined by the Free Software Foundation. In essence, this definition ensures that users have the freedom to:

  • Run the program for any purpose
  • Study how the program works and ...

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