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Linux has been garnering strength for a number of years now, and its still growing popularity drives more and more users to make the jump. The first step on that path is to pick a distribution. This is an important decision, because each distribution has its own peculiarities, and future migration costs can be avoided if the right choice is made from the start.
Debian GNU/Linux 是一个“通用”的 Linux 发行版本,适合于大多数用户。本书的目的便是介绍它的各个方面,从而帮助你在面临选择时作出明智的决定。

1. 为什么写这本书?

Linux has gathered a fair amount of media coverage over the years and is immensely growing, driven for example by the spreading use of virtual servers, embedded systems, and the use of artificial intelligence; it mostly benefits the distributions supported by a real marketing department — in other words, company-backed distributions (Ubuntu, Red Hat, SUSE, and so on). But Debian is far from being a marginal distribution; multiple studies have shown over the years that it is widely used both on servers and on desktops. This is particularly true among web servers where Debian and Ubuntu are the leading Linux distributions.
The purpose of this book is to help you discover this distribution. We hope to share the experience that we have gathered since we joined the project as developers and contributors in 1998 (Raphaël) and 2000 (Roland). With any luck, our enthusiasm will be contagious, and maybe you will join us sometime…
本书的第一版(2004年)填补了一个空白:这是第一本法语写的,完全专注于 Debian 的书。当时,其实有许多同类主题的书,是为法语和英语读者写的。不幸的是,它们几乎没有更新过。经过若干年,情况又回落到关于 Debian 的好书少之又少的情况。我们真诚地希望,本次的英文版本(以及从英文版本翻译得来的一些其它语言的版本)能填补这一空白,并帮助更多用户。