How to join Debian
If you haven't already, you should read the sites linked on the Debian start page. This will help you to get a better understanding of who we are and what we're trying to accomplish. As a potential Debian contributor, please pay particular attention to these two pages:
A lot of our communication happens on the Debian mailing lists. If you want to get a feeling for the inner workings of the Debian project, you should at least subscribe to debian-devel-announce and debian-news. Both lists are low-volume and document what's going on in the community. The Debian Project News, also published on the debian-news list, summarizes recent discussions from Debian-related mailing lists and blogs and provides links to them.
As a prospective developer, you should also subscribe to debian-mentors. Here you can ask questions about packaging and infrastructure projects as well as other developer-related issues. Please note that this list is meant for new contributors, not users. Other interesting lists are debian-devel (technical development topics), debian-project (discussions about non-technical issues in the project), debian-release (coordinating Debian releases), debian-qa (quality assurance).
Tip: If you want to reduce the number of mails you receive, especially on high-traffic lists, we offer email digests as a summary email instead of individual messages. You can also visit the Mailing List Archives to read the messages of our lists in a web browser.
Are you interested in maintaining packages? Then please have a look at our Work-Needing and Prospective Packages list. Here you'll find packages in need of a (new) maintainer. Taking over an abandoned package is a great way to get started as a Debian maintainer. Not only does it help our distribution, it also gives you an opportunity to learn from the previous maintainer.
Here are some other ideas how you can contribute to Debian:
- Help us to write our documentation.
- Help to maintain the Debian website, produce content, edit or translate existing text.
- Join our translation team.
- Improve Debian and join the Debian Quality Assurance (QA) Team.
Of course, there are plenty of other things you could do and we're always looking for people to offer legal support or join our Debian Publicity Team. Becoming a member of a Debian team is an excellent way to gain some experience, before starting the New Member process. It's also a good starting point if you're looking for a package sponsor. So, find a team and jump right in!
So, you've contributed to the Debian project for some time and you want to join Debian in a more official role? There are basically two options:
- Debian Maintainer (DM): This is the first step
– as DM you can upload your own packages to the Debian archive
(with some restrictions). Unlike Sponsored Maintainers, Debian
Maintainers can maintain packages without a sponsor.
More information: Debian Maintainer Wiki
- Debian Developer (DD): This is the traditional
full membership role in Debian. A DD can participate in Debian
elections. Uploading Debian Developers can upload any package to
the archive. Before you become an Uploading DD, you should have
a track record of maintaining packages for at least six months
(for example, uploading packages as a DM, working inside a team or
maintaining packages uploaded by sponsors). Non-uploading DDs have
the same packaging rights as Debian Maintainers. Before you apply as a
non-uploading DD, you should have a visible and significant track record
of working inside the project.
More information: New Members Corner
Regardless of the role you choose to apply for, you should be familiar with Debian's procedures. This is why we strongly recommend reading the Debian Policy as well as the Developer's Reference.