Chapter 19. 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.


Ian Murdock later became associated with Sun (now owned by Oracle), 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 and can be found at The name Debian is a combination of Ian's wife's name (Deb) and his own.

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 the following:

  • 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, and any bug reports filed against Debian components will be made promptly available to the public through the Debian Bug Tracking System (BTS).

  • The Debian Project will focus on the needs of its ...

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