Chapter 9. Running Debian GNU/Linux


  • Inside Debian

  • Installing Debian

  • Managing your Debian system

Debian GNU/Linux is a creation of the Debian Project. Founded in 1993 by Ian Murdock, the Debian Project is an association of individuals who have made a common cause to create a free, coherent, and complete operating system.


A single Debian GNU/Linux network install CD image is contained on the CD that comes with this book. You can install Debian directly from that CD as described in this chapter. This installation is suitable for setting up a Web server (LAMP server) and a mail server (see Chapters 24 and 25, respectively).


Ian Murdock is now associated with Sun, and continues to be an outspoken visionary on Debian, Linux, and operating systems in general. He regularly contributes to a blog that is worth reading, which you can find at

The principles of the Debian Project are defined in the Debian Social Contract. This contract is a commitment to the free software community that basically states:

  • All software within the Debian system will remain free, as defined in the Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG).

  • The Debian Project will contribute to the free software community by licensing any software developed for the Debian system in accordance with the DFSG, developing the best system it can, and by sharing improvements and fixes with the original developers of any programs incorporated into Debian GNU/Linux.

  • Problems will not be hidden from users, ...

Get Linux® Bible, 2008 Edition: Boot Up to Ubuntu®, Fedora®, KNOPPIX, Debian®, openSUSE®, and 11 Other Distributions now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.