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Debian is a free and open source GNU/Linux operating system. It was founded by Ian Murdock in 1993. The first stable release was in 1996. Debian comes with over 51000 packages, so good chance that no matter what type of application you need you will find it in Debian. Being one of the earliest Linux based operating systems, Debian has been and is still very influential in the Linux and open source world. Many, many Linux distributions are based on Debian including SolusOS, SteamOS, BunsenLabs, Kali Linux, KNOPPIX, and most famously Ubuntu.

The Debian Project is an association of individuals who have made common cause to create a free operating system. This operating system that we have created is called Debian.


  • Debian systems currently use the Linux kernel or the FreeBSD kernel
  • A large part of the basic tools that fill out the operating system come from the GNU project
  • Of course, the thing that people want is application software: programs to help them get what they want to do done, from editing documents to running a business to playing games to writing more software.
  • Don’t take our word for it – try Debian yourself. Since hard disk space has become less expensive, you can probably spare about 2GB. If you don’t want or need a graphical desktop, 600MB are sufficient. Debian can be easily installed on this extra space and can coexist with your existing OS. If you eventually need more space, you can simply delete one of your OSes (and after you see the power of a Debian system, we are confident you won’t delete Debian).
  • Debian is produced by almost a thousand active developers spread around the world who volunteer in their spare time. Few of the developers have actually met in person. Communication is done primarily through e-mail (mailing lists at and IRC (#debian channel at — from Debian’s About Debian page.

Next Open Source Tuesday will feature the GanttProject project.