Debian is the world's leading non-commercial totally free Linux distribution. Remaining loyal to the concept upon which Linux was created, it is produced by hundreds of volunteer developers around the world. The name Debian is derived from the names of the creator of Debian, Ian Murdock, and his wife, Debra.
Debian is developed by hackers for hackers who have formed a closely-knit team of around 800 developers around the world, who communicate through irc and mailing lists.
Contrary to a common misconception, Debian is not for Linux gurus only. As a matter of fact its' advanced package management system makes it one of the easier distributions for new Linux users to work with. Here are just a few of its' advantages:
* Free Download: Debian is available at no cost from websites. "No per-user licencing" common in the commercial propreitary world!!!
* Non-Proprietary: Debian is a true GNU/Linux distribution using the standard UNIX style commands. This ensures that what you learn today won't be obsolete in two years and makes it easier to also learn how to work with UNIX systems.
* Community Oriented: Debian is an entirely community oriented project, the pillar stone of this commitment to the Free Software Community is reflected in the Debian Social Contract.
* Easy Maintenance: A seamless, totally-integrated package management system makes it easy to keep your system up to date and free of orphan files and incompatible products. Most dependent packages are handled automatically so you don't get the "Failed dependencies" error commonly encountered when trying to add software on RPM-based systems like Red Hat and Suse.
* Platform-Independent: Support for many popular architectures. For eg: i386, Arm, Alpha, PowerPC, 68k, SPARC.
* Automated Patching: The Debian package system also allows you to use a single command to update your entire system (operating system and installed packages) over the Internet. This allows you to use a scheduler to routinely run a shell script to automatically update your system with the latest program, OS, and security patches.
* Extensive: Only free software packages (applications, utilities, etc.) are allowed to be included in the official Debian distributions, and the current binary distribution comes on seven CDs because there are over 8,700 of them. With Debian, you don't have different "server" and "workstation" or "personal" editions. It's everything all in one.
* Support Options: Peer support is available through a community of listservs (mailing lists) and chat rooms. Replies to messages may even be from those who helped develop the product. And since you're likely not the first person to encounter a given issue, there are also searchable archives of listserv messages. If your company requires commercial support contracts fear not. Numerous for-profit support operations offer a variety of technical support options. With Debian, you don't have to worry about forced upgrades due to vendors dropping support for older versions.
* Minimal Investment: Debian's peformance is excellent even with the modest hardware requirements Linux is famous for. While most OSs require newer, faster, bigger hardware, Debian allows you to utilize those old Pentium systems instead of throwing them into a landfill. This, along with the fact that you can load a single copy of Debian on as many systems as you want, means you can set up a full-blown enterprise at very little cost.
* Reliable: Debian's focus on stability and reliability results in servers that you may have to reboot once a year, rather than once a month.
* User-centric: New versions of Debian are developed when major changes warrant one, not to generate revenues from upgrades. (You need only look at the version numbers of the various distributions to verify this.)
Happy Hacking :-)________________________________________________________________________________