Debian celebrates its 10th Birthday

August 11th, 2003

On August 16th, the Debian Project will celebrate its 10th birthday with several parties around the globe. The Debian Project was officially founded by Ian Murdock on August 16th, 1993. At that time, the whole concept of a "distribution" of GNU/Linux was new. Ian intended Debian to be a distribution which would be made openly, in the spirit of Linux and GNU. The creation of Debian was sponsored by the FSF's GNU project for one year.

Debian was meant to be carefully and conscientiously put together, and to be maintained and supported with similar care. It started as a small, tightly-knit group of Free Software hackers, and gradually grew to become a large, well-organized community of developers and users. To achieve and maintain high standards of quality, Debian has adopted an extensive set of policies and procedures for packaging and delivering software. These standards are backed up by tools, automation, and documentation implementing all of Debian's key elements in an open and visible way.

The most prominent guidelines are the Debian Free Software Guidelines which are part of the Social Contract and which direct Debian's interpretation of Free Software and upon which the Debian distribution is based. They were later adopted as the Open Source Definition.

More than 1,100 people are registered as developers in the Debian project and an additional two hundred have applied to join the project's ranks. Organisationally, the Debian Project has a project leader, who is supported by a secretary and several delegates. The distribution is tripartite these days, consisting of the stable release (current codename “woody”), the testing distribution (current codename “sarge”) which will become the next stable release, and the unstable distribution (codename “sid”) with more than 12,000 binary packages where development efforts are primarily focused.

The Debian Project is celebrating its birthday at various places around the globe, since a single large party doesn't seem appropriate for a project which is spread worldwide. Some parties are simply a social get-together at a restaurant, while others are organised for larger audience.

The following list only enumerates the largest birthday parties.

Czech Republic
Where: Brno
What: Celebration
Registration: required
Where: Turku
What: Birthday meeting
Registration: required
Where: Wallenrod
What: Barbecue and party
Registration: required

Where: Berlin
What: Party outside
Info: BUUG

United Kingdom
Where: Cambridge
What: Party and barbecue
Information: Wiki

More parties are planned in Alaska, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan and in the United States. For a party in your area, please check the full list of parties.

We invite all interested people to attend these parties, meet Debian developers and users, exchange GnuPG fingerprints, discuss various topics on Debian and Free Software, and otherwise participate in our vibrant community.