Backports service becoming official

September 5th, 2010

The Debian Project is proud to announce that the backports service, previously available at is now an official Debian service available at

Backports are packages from the testing distribution recompiled for the current stable (or even oldstable) release to provide users of the stable distribution with new versions of certain packages, like the Linux kernel, the Iceweasel browser or the suite, without sacrificing the overall stability of the system.

The archive currently has 528 packages backported for the Lenny distribution. As the infrastructure to accept packages for the upcoming Squeeze release is already in place, this allows Debian Installer images to configure the backports repository by default without generating errors on user systems. The service for Squeeze will be enabled at a later date, after the release.

Because of limitations in the Debian Bug Tracking System, any bugs relevant to backported packages still have to be reported to the debian-backports list, which have now also been moved to

Informations on how to use the backports service are available at the new backports website. Users of the old backports service should change their sources.list to point to deb lenny-backports main contrib non-free (or one of its mirrors). Please also note, that with the integration into Debian's infrastructure the GPG key used to sign the backports repository has been changed to Debian's official FTP-master key.


The backports service at was originally started by Debian Developer Norbert Tretkowski with much support from team(ix). It was later continued and improved by Debian Developers Alexander Wirt (organisation) and Jörg Jaspert (technical support) to host over 500 backported packages for various architectures.
We would like to thank team(ix) for providing a good home for this service for all these years.

About Debian

The Debian Project was founded in 1993 by Ian Murdock to be a truly free, community project. Since then the project has grown to be one of the largest and most influential open source projects. Over three thousand volunteers from all over the world work together to create and maintain Debian software. Translated into over 30 languages, and supporting a huge range of computer types, Debian calls itself the universal operating system.

Contact Information

For further information, please visit the Debian web pages at or send mail to <>.