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Debian LogoAbout Debian

Debian GNU/Linux is the result of a volunteer effort to create a free, high-quality Unix-compatible operating system, complete with a suite of applications. The idea of a free Unix-like system originates from the GNU project, and many of the applications that make Debian GNU/Linux so useful were developed by the GNU project.

Debian is a mature Linux distribution (distro), started by Ian Murdock in 1993 with an initial stable release subsequently being made available in October 1995.  Its name was derived from its creator, Ian Murdock and his (now) wife, Debra. Since 2000, there has been 3 major releases of Debian, with almost two years elapsing between version 3.1 and the current release, 4.0. 

It is widely regarded as one of the most important distributions, in part because its efforts have spawned other highly popular distributions such as Ubuntu and the commercial Xandros, and also because of its excellent package management system.  It has continued to maintain a policy of excluding 'non-free' packages, thereby ensuring that each release can really be said to be free to use and redistribute.  Nevertheless, Debian 4.0 ships with more than 18,000 different software packages ready for installation, making it one of the most comprehensive distributions available.

Debian 4.0 Key Facts

The Debian Project consisting of over 1060 volunteers
Entire distribution is available for download free of charge; 3rd party vendors sell CD and DVDs for nominal sums
8 April 2007
Installation Media:
CD (21), DVD (3), Business card CD, USB sticks, floppies, and network (via jigdo and BitTorrent)
Architectures supported:
Alpha, AMD64, ARM, HP PA-RISC, Intel x86, Intel IA-64, MIPS (big and little endian), PowerPC, IBM S/390, SPARC
(Support for Motorola 680x0 ('m68k') architecture dropped in 4.0)
Package Management:
Aptitude (for console based management); Secure APT - featuring strong cryptography and digital signatures to validate downloaded packages
Official Website:

2.6.18 (no support provided for 2.4 kernels)
GNOME 2.14
KDE 3.5.5a
XOrg 1.1.1
Xfce 4.4
OpenOffice 2.0.4a
Evolution 2.6.3
Firefox 2.0
Gimp 2.2.13
Python 2.4.4 and 2.5
Apache 2.2.3
PostgreSQL 8.1.9
GNU Compiler Collection 4.1


4.0 (current release)
Free Software MagazineTechno WizaheWEEKLunarpark6,,, (Czech), (French), (in Spanish), Linuxoid (Russian)
3.1,,, NewsForge, Linux Journal

Selected Websites

Other Official Websites
Getting Debian, Debian SupportEmbedded DebianVendors of Debian CDs/DVDs
Debian Weekly News,, Debian GNU/Linux Community's Journal
Debian AdministrationDebCentral, Dwarf's Guide to Debian GNU/Linux, Debian Tutorials, debianHELP, Debian Forums, Debian User ForumsMailing List Archive

Recommended Book

Last Updated Sunday, March 23 2008 @ 04:44 AM EST

We have written a range of guides highlighting excellent free books for popular programming languages. Check out the following guides: C, C++, C#, Java, JavaScript, CoffeeScript, HTML, Python, Ruby, Perl, Haskell, PHP, Lisp, R, Prolog, Scala, Scheme, Forth, SQL, Node.js (new), Fortran (new), Erlang (new), Pascal (new), and Ada (new).

Group Tests
All Group Tests

Top Free Software
5 Office Suites
7 Document Processors
6 Lean Desktops
6 Desktop Search
9 Project Management
9 Groupware Apps
14 File Managers
10 Databases
21 Backup Tools
21 DVD Tools
21 Window Managers
21 Productivity Tools
9 Terminal Emulators
21 Financial Tools
21 Text Editors
21 Video Emulators
21 Home Emulators
42 Graphics Apps
6 CAD Apps
42 Scientific Apps
10 Web Browsers
42 Email Apps
12 Instant Messaging
10 IRC Clients
7 Twitter Clients
12 News Aggregators
11 VoIP Apps
11 Remote Display Apps
42 Best Games
42 More Games
21 More Games
21 Notable Games (1)
21 Notable Games (2)
21 Notable Games (3)
8 ASCII Games
9 Educational Games
42 Audio Apps
42 Video Apps
6 Screencasting Apps
80 Security Apps
9 System Monitoring
6 Family History Apps
11 PDF Tools
6 Music Servers
6 Collection Managers
7 Calculator Apps
8 Geometry Apps
Free Console Apps
14 Multimedia
8 Compilers
9 IDEs
9 Debuggers
7 Revision Control Apps
6 Doc Generators
'Free' Proprietary
21 Closed-Source Apps
Top Commercial Apps
42 Games
Free Web Software
21 Web CMS
14 Wiki Engines
8 Blog Apps
6 eCommerce Apps
5 Human Resource Apps
10 ERP
10 CRM
6 Data Warehouse Apps
8 Business Intelligence
6 Point-of-Sale

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