Debian is a computer operating system composed entirely of free and open source software. The primary form, Debian GNU/Linux, is a popular and influential Linux distribution.[1] Debian is a multipurpose OS, which can be used as a desktop or server operating system.

Debian is known for strict adherence to the Unix and free software philosophies.[2] Debian is also known for an abundance of options — the current release includes over twenty-six thousand software packages for eleven computer architectures. These architectures range from the Intel/AMD 32-bit/64-bit architectures commonly found in personal computers to the ARM architecture commonly found in embedded systems and the IBM eServer zSeries mainframes.[3] Several distributions are based on Debian, including: Ubuntu, MEPIS, Dreamlinux, Damn Small Linux, Xandros, Knoppix, Linspire, sidux, Kanotix, and LinEx, among others.[4] A university's study concluded that Debian's 283 million lines of source code would cost US$10 billion to develop by proprietary means.[5]

Prominent features of Debian are the APT package management system, its strict policies regarding its packages and the quality of its releases.[6] These practices afford easy upgrades between releases and easy automated installation and removal of packages. Debian uses an open development and testing process. It is developed by 1000+ volunteers from around the world and supported by donations through SPI, a non-profit umbrella organization for various free software projects.[7]

The GNOME default install provides popular programs such as:, Iceweasel (a rebranding of Firefox), Evolution mail, CD/DVD writing programs, music and video players, image viewers and editors, and PDF viewers. A default installation requires only the first GNOME, KDE or Xfce CD/DVD. The remaining discs, which span 4 DVDs or over 20 CDs, contain all 26,000+ extra programs and packages currently available. The preferred method of install is a net install CD, which includes only necessary software and downloads selected packages during the installation via Debian's package manager, APT.

Posted in |