Version 1.3 Released

Software in the Public Interest
Debian GNU/Linux 1.3
Our first OFFICIAL Two-CD Set

Debian GNU/Linux is a free-software Linux distribution. Its creators are 200 unpaid volunteers from all over the world who collaborate via the Internet. Our goal is to keep Linux free. While other Linux distributions make their systems more and more dependent on commercial software, Debian is 100% free, and always will be!

This release introduces several new features:

FTP Sites

Debian FTP sites are everywhere from Kansas to Croatia!
A list of them is available at

The installation floppy disk images and a full installation manual are in the Debian-1.3/disks-i386/current [Note: this is no longer valid] subdirectory on these sites.

To Upgrade From an Older Debian System

This section is only for people who are upgrading an older Debian system. Everyone else must follow the instructions under Installing a New Debian System. You can upgrade automatically via FTP, or from CD or disk. With this release, it is very important to upgrade our dpkg package tool first, before you upgrade other packages in an older Debian system. To do this, change into the Debian-1.3/binary-i386/base directory on your CD or use FTP or some other means to get the .deb files mentioned below. As root, run these commands:

	 dpkg --clear-avail
	 dpkg -i ldso_*.deb
	 dpkg -i libc5_*.deb
	 dpkg -i dpkg_*.deb dpkg-ftp_*.deb
	 dpkg --purge --force-depends texbin

Once that has been done, you should be able to upgrade the entire system automatically using our dselect tool. If you are connected to the Internet you will not need to retrieve any other files manually, dselect will automatically retrieve and install the rest of Debian 1.3 for you.

If you upgrade from Debian 1.1 to Debian 1.3, on a system where Debian 1.2 has never been installed, you can expect to run dselect about 4 times to complete the installation. There will be a number of error messages leading to termination of dselect, but these are an artifact of the package order and your skipped upgrade to 1.2, and can be safely ignored.

Installing a New Debian System

You can access the installation manual using the URL The rest of the software packages are in the Debian-1.3/binary-i386 subdirectory.

Web Site

Visit our web site for more information about Debian GNU/Linux.

Mailing Lists

To subscribe to the mailing lists, send the word subscribe to one of these addresses:
There are a lot of experienced users on this list who can answer any question you might have. Questions are often answered in minutes, with positive results. There can be 50 messages a day or more on this list.
Major system announcements. Averages only a few messages per month.
This is a list for announcements of new package uploads with bug fixes for the stable version of the Debian system. It may carry many announcements per day.
This is a list for announcements of new package uploads and bug fixes in the development version of the Debian system. This is where you'll find out about programs that have just been packaged for Debian. It may carry many announcements per day.

Questions and Answers

How should Debian be compared to other Linux systems?
Debian 1.3 is at least as good as any other Unix or Linux distribution, even the most professional. One major difference between Debian and other Linux distributors is that Debian is a non-profit organization, and the others are commercial companies. Debian's aim is to work together with other Linux distributions rather than compete with them. We respect these organizations and their employees. We encourage all creators of Linux distributions to derive components or their entire distributions from Debian.

How compatible is Debian?
We communicate with other Linux distribution creators in an effort to maintain binary compatibility across Linux distributions. Most commercial Linux products run as well under Debian as they do on the system upon which they were built. Our alien program allows you to treat packages created for these other systems as if they were Debian packages.

What about Internationalization?
There's an active subgroup of our developers who are internationalizing Debian. Active development is in progress in French, Italian, German, and Spanish.

How do I become a Debian Developer?
We're looking for people who would like to contribute work to Linux and be members of an international community of software developers that's making something that matters! You can find all of the developer's information in the Debian Policy Manual and Debian Packaging Manual, which are both available in Debian packages.

Can I make and sell Debian CDs?
If you want to distribute the Official Debian Two-CD Set, please contact Bruce Perens at <>. There is no fee for you to duplicate or sell Debian CDs. You can get free access to the CD masters via FTP, or we can express ship you CD-writables ready for duplication for a $50 materials and shipping fee.

If you want to distribute a non-official CD, such as one to which you have added value, just download the files from our FTP site. Please only distribute the _released_ Debian versions.

What is Software in the Public Interest?
It's a non-profit corporation we formed to sponsor the Debian effort. The purpose of the organization is to develop and distribute free software. Our goals are much like those of FSF except that our main project is a Linux system. We encourage programmers to use the GNU General Public License or another license that allows free redistribution and use of software.

The trademarks Unix, Red Hat, Slackware, and RPM are the property of their respective owners. Ownership of the name Linux is currently in dispute.