What is Debian Linux

1.3. What is Debian GNU / Linux?

The philosophy and methodology of Debian combined with the GNU tools, the Linux kernel and other important Free Software forms a unique software distribution called Debian GNU / Linux. This distribution consists of a large number of softwarePackages together. Each package in the distribution contains executables, scripts, documentation, configuration information, and has a Maintainer (Package maintainer) who is primarily responsible for keeping the package up to date, tracking bug reports, and communicating with the software developers. Our very broad user base combined with our bug tracking system (Debian Bug Tracking System) ensures that problems are found and fixed quickly.

Debian's attention to detail allows us to build a high quality, stable, and scalable distribution. Installations can be easily configured to meet a wide variety of requirements, from small firewalls to scientific desktop workstations to high-end network servers.

Debian is especially popular with advanced users because of its technical merits and its strong commitment to the needs and expectations of the Linux community. Debian also introduced many features in Linux that are now standard.

For example, Debian was the first Linux distribution to include a package management system for easy installation and removal of software. It was also the first Linux distribution that did not require reinstallation for a system upgrade (operating system upgrade).

Debian continues to occupy a leadership position in Linux development. Its development process is an example of how well the open source development model can work - even on very complex tasks like building and maintaining an entire operating system.

The feature that most differentiates Debian from other Linux distributions is its package management system. These tools give the administrator of a Debian system full control over the packages that are installed in the system, both if, for example, a single package is to be installed and for an automatic update of the entire operating system. Individual packages can also be protected from an update. You can even tell the package management which software you may have compiled yourself and which dependencies it contains.

To protect the system from "Trojan horses" (malicious programs that nestle on your computer and spy on data unnoticed or open back doors for further activities; also known as "Trojans") and other malicious software, the Debian servers verify that the uploaded packages from their registered Debian maintainer. It is very important to them to configure their packages as securely as possible. When security problems appear in shipped packages, fixes are usually available very quickly. Because of Debian's easy update options, security fixes can be downloaded and installed automatically from the Internet.

The primary and best way to get support for your Debian GNU / Linux system and to communicate with Debian developers is through the mailing lists maintained by the Debian Project (there were more than 276 of them as of this writing). The easiest way to subscribe to one or more of them is to visit the Debian mailing list subscription page and fill out the form provided there.