Debian Developers' Corner
The information on this page, while public, will primarily be of interest to Debian developers.
- Debian Organization
- Debian has many access points, and many people are involved. This page explains who to contact about a specific aspect of Debian, and tells you who might respond.
- The People
- Debian is made collaboratively by many people spread around the world. Packaging work is usually contributed by both Debian Developers (DD) (which are full members of the Debian project) and by Debian Maintainers (DM). Here you can find both the list of Debian Developers and the list of Debian Maintainers, together with the packages they maintain.
- Joining Debian
- The Debian Project consists of volunteers, and we are generally looking for new developers who have some technical knowledge, an interest in free software, and some free time. You too can help Debian, just see the page linked above.
- Developer Database
The database contains basic data accessible to everybody, and the
more private data available only for other developers to see.
Use the SSL version to access
it if you're going to log in.
If you are going to be using one of the Debian machines make sure you have read the Debian Machine Usage Policies.
- The Constitution
- The document of utmost importance to the organization, describing the organizational structure for formal decision-making in the Project.
- Voting Information
- Everything you ever wanted to know on how we elect our leaders, choose our logos and in general, how we vote.
- This is the list of old and current releases, some of which have detailed information on separate web pages.
- Different Architectures
- Debian runs on many kinds of computers (Intel-compatible was just the first kind), and maintainers of our ‘ports’ have some useful web pages. Take a look, maybe you'll want to get another weirdly named piece of metal for yourself.
- Debian Policy Manual
This manual describes the policy requirements for the Debian
distribution. This includes the structure and contents of the Debian
archive, several design issues of the operating system, as well as
technical requirements that each package must satisfy to be included in
In short, you need to read it.
There are several documents related to the Policy that you might be interested in, such as:
- Filesystem Hierarchy Standard (FHS)
The FHS is a list of directories (or files) where things have to be put, and compatibility with it is required by Policy 3.x.
- List of build-essential packages
The build-essential packages are packages you are expected to have before you try to build any package, or a set of packages that you don't have to include in your package's
- Menu system
Programs that have an interface that need not be passed any special command line arguments for normal operation should have a menu entry registered. Check the menu system documentation, too.
- Emacs policy
The packages related to Emacs are expected to abide by their own sub-policy document.
- Java policy
The proposed equivalent for the above, for Java-related packages.
- Perl policy
A sub-policy that covers everything regarding Perl packaging.
- Python policy
A proposed sub-policy that covers everything regarding Python packaging.
- Debian CLI Policy
Basic policies regarding packaging Mono, other CLRs and CLI based applications and libraries
- Debconf specification
The specification to the configuration management subsystem "debconf".
- Spelling dictionaries and tools policy
Sub-policy for ispell / myspell dictionaries and word lists.
- Webapps Policy Manual (draft)
Sub-policy for web-based applications.
- PHP Policy (draft)
Packaging standards of PHP.
- Database Application Policy (draft)
A set of guidelines and best practices for database application packages.
- Tcl/Tk Policy (draft)
Sub-policy that covers everything regarding Tcl/Tk packaging.
policy for Ada
Sub-policy that covers everything regarding Ada packaging.
Take a look at proposed updates to Policy, too.
Note that the old Packaging Manual has mostly been integrated into the recent versions of the Policy Manual.
- Developer's Reference
- The purpose of this document is to provide an overview of the recommended procedures and the available resources for Debian developers. Another must-read.
- New Maintainers' Guide
- This document describes building of a Debian package in common language, and is well covered with working examples. If you are a wannabe developer (packager), you will most definitely want to read this.
Work in progress
- The testing distribution
- The ‘testing’ distribution is where you need to get your packages in order for them to be considered for releasing next time Debian makes a release.
- Release Critical Bugs
This is a list of bugs which may cause a package to be removed
from the "testing" distribution, or in some cases even cause a delay
in releasing the distribution. Bug reports with a severity higher
than or equal to ‘serious’ qualify for the list -- be sure to fix
any such bugs against your packages as soon as you can.
Also, take a look at the list of bugs that are more than two years old, and help us fix them.
- The Bug Tracking System
- The Debian Bug Tracking System (BTS) itself, for reporting, discussing, and fixing bugs. Reports of problems in almost any part of Debian are welcome here. The BTS is useful for both users and developers.
- Package overviews, from a developer's point of view
- The package information and package tracking web pages provide collections of valuable information to maintainers.
- The Package Tracking System
- For developers that wish to keep up-to-date with other packages, the package tracking system allows them to subscribe (through email) to a service that will send them copies of BTS mails and notifications for uploads and installations concerning the packages subscribed to.
- Packages that need help
- Work-Needing and Prospective Packages, WNPP for short, is a list of Debian packages in need of new maintainers, and also the packages that have yet to be included in Debian. Check it out if you want to create, adopt or orphan packages.
- Incoming system
New packages are uploaded into the "Incoming" system on the internal
archive servers. Accepted packages are almost immediately
available via HTTP,
and propagated to mirrors four times
Note: Due to the nature of Incoming, we do not recommend mirroring it.
- Lintian reports
- Lintian is a program that checks whether a package conforms to the Policy. You should use it before every upload; there are reports on the aforementioned page about every package in the distribution.
- Help Debian
- The Debian wiki gathers advice for developers and other contributors.
- Experimental distribution
- The experimental distribution is used as a temporary staging area for highly experimental software. Use the packages from experimental only if you already know how to use unstable.
Debian is a large group, and as such, it consists of several internal groups and projects. Here are those that have web pages, sorted chronologically:
- Debian Web Pages
- Debian archive
- Debian Documentation Project (DDP)
- The X Strike Force
- The Quality Assurance group
- Debian CD images
- The key signing coordination page
- Debian IPv6 Project
- Auto-builder network
- Build logs from the auto-builder networks for official architectures.
- Technical Committee
- Debian Description Translation Project (DDTP)
- Alioth: Debian GForge
- Debian Usability Research
- The Debian Installer
- Debian Live
- emdebian - Embedded Debian
- The Debian Security Audit
- Debian Women
A number of these projects aim to create Debian Pure Blends for a particular group of users while working fully within the Debian system. These include:
- Converting PGP keys to GPG:
There is information on this in the
developers' reference. You can get some more useful information
on signing a GPG key with a PGP key from the
/usr/share/doc/debian-keyring/README.gz file in the
- Setting up ssh so it doesn't ask you for a password.
- How to request a new mailing list.
- Debian OID hierarchy.
- Debian logos and banners.
- Information on mirroring Debian.
- The graph of all bugs.
- New packages that wait to be included in Debian (NEW queue).
- New Debian packages from the last 7 days.
- Packages removed from Debian.
- Managing Debian packages using CVS.
- Historical version 1.1 of the Debian constitution.
- Historical version 1.0 of the Debian constitution.
- Historical version 1.0 of
Social Contractwith the Free Software Community.
Here are some interesting external links: