Debian New Members Corner
The Debian New Member process is the process of becoming an official Debian Developer (DD). These webpages are the place where prospective Debian Developers can find all the details on applying to become a DD, the different steps of the process, and how to track the process of their ongoing application.
The first important point to make is that you do not need to be an official Debian Developer in order to help improve Debian. In fact, you should already have a track record of earlier contributions to Debian before you apply for the New Member process.
Debian is an open community and welcomes everyone who wants to use or help improve our distribution. As a non-developer you can:
- maintain packages through a sponsor
- create and/or review translations
- create or improve documentation
- help maintain the website
- help with handling bugs (by providing patches, filing good bugs, confirming the existence of the bug, finding ways to reproduce the problem, ...)
- be an active member of a packaging team (e.g. debian-qt-kde or debian-gnome)
- be an active member of a subproject (e.g. debian-installer or debian-desktop)
The Debian Developer's Reference contains several concrete suggestions on how to do several of these tasks (in particular, how to find willing sponsors).
The Debian New Member process is the process of becoming an official Debian Developer (DD). This is the traditional full membership role in Debian. A DD can participate in Debian elections. Uploading DDs can upload any package to the archive. Before applying as an uploading DD you should have a track record of maintaining packages for at least six months. For example uploading packages as a Debian Maintainer (DM), working inside a team or maintaining packages uploaded by sponsors. Non-uploading DDs have the same permissions in the archive as Debian Maintainers. Before applying as non-uploading DD, you should have a visible and significant track record of work inside the project.
It is important to understand that the New Member process is part of Debian's Quality Assurance efforts. It is hard to find developers who can spend enough time on their Debian tasks, so we find it important to checking that applicants are able to sustain their work, and do it well. Therefore we require that prospective members have been actively involved in Debian for some time already.
- is member of the Debian project;
- is allowed to vote about issues regarding the whole project;
- can log in on most systems that keep Debian running;
- has upload permissions for all packages (except non-uploading Developers, who have the upload rights of a DM);
- has access to the debian-private mailing list.
In other words, becoming a Debian Developer grants you several important privileges regarding the project's infrastructure. Obviously this requires a great deal of trust in and commitment by the applicant.
Consequently the whole NM process is very strict and thorough. This is not meant to discourage people interested in becoming a registered developer, but it does explain why the New Member process takes so much time.
Please read the glossary definitions before reading the rest of the pages.
The following pages will be of interest to Applicants:
- Checklist - required steps for Applicants
- Entry Form
If you are a Debian Developer, and are interested in participating in the New Member process, please visit these pages:
- Checklist for Application Managers
- Advocating a prospective member
- Mini-HOWTO for Application Managers
- Mini-HOWTO for Keysigning
- Status database for the New Member process
- List of current applicants
- List of current application managers
- A Debian Member that advocates an application. They should know the Applicant fairly well and should be able to give an overview of the Applicant's work, interests and plans. Advocates are often the Sponsors of an Applicant.
- Applicant, New Member, historically also New Maintainer (NM):
- A person requesting Debian membership as Debian Developer.
- Application Manager (AM):
- A Debian Member who is assigned to an Applicant to collect the information needed by the Debian Account Managers to decide about an application. One Application Manager can be assigned to more than one Applicant.
- Debian Account Manager (DAM): <email@example.com>
- A Debian Member that was delegated to manage the Debian Account creation and removal by the Debian Project Leader (DPL). The DAMs have the final decision over an application.
- Front Desk: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- The Front Desk members do the infrastructural work for the NM process like receiving the initial applications, advocation messages and final application reports, and assigning AMs to NMs. They are the point of contact if problems with the application arise.
- Member, Developer:
- A Debian member, who has gone through the New Member process and had their application accepted.
- A Debian Member who acts as the mentor of an Applicant: They check packages provided by the Applicant and help to find problems and to improve the packaging. When the sponsor is satisfied with the package, they upload it on behalf of the Applicant to the Debian archive. The Applicant is recorded as the maintainer of such a package, despite the fact Applicants do not upload packages themselves.