Debian and its support are run by a community of volunteers. If this community-driven support doesn't fulfil your needs, you may read our documentation or hire a consultant.

On-line Real Time Help Using IRC

IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is a way to chat with people from all over the world in real time. IRC channels dedicated to Debian can be found on OFTC.

To connect, you need an IRC client. Some of the most popular clients are HexChat, ircII, irssi, epic5 and KVIrc, all of which have been packaged for Debian. OFTC also offers a WebChat web interface which allows you to connect to IRC with a browser without the need to install any local client.

Once you have the client installed, you need to tell it to connect to the server. In most clients, you can do that by typing:


In some clients (such as irssi) you will need to type this instead:


Once you are connected, join channel #debian by typing

/join #debian

Note: clients like HexChat often have a different, graphical user interface for joining servers/channels.

At this point you will find yourself among the friendly crowd of #debian inhabitants. You're welcome to ask questions about Debian there. You can find the channel's faq at

There's a number of other IRC networks where you can chat about Debian, too.

Mailing lists

Debian is developed through distributed development all around the world. Therefore e-mail is a preferred way to discuss various items. Much of the conversation between Debian developers and users is managed through several mailing lists.

There are several publicly available mailing lists. For more information, see Debian mailing lists page.

For user support in English, please contact the debian-user mailing list.

For user support in other languages, please check the mailing lists index for users.

There are of course many other mailing lists, dedicated to some aspect of the vast Linux ecosystem, which are not Debian-specific. Use your favorite search engine to find the most suitable list for your purpose.

Usenet newsgroups

A lot of our mailing lists can be browsed as newsgroups, in the linux.debian.* hierarchy. This can also be done using a web interface such as Google Groups.

Web sites


Debian User Forums is a web portal on which you can discuss Debian-related topics, submit questions about Debian, and have them answered by other users.

Reaching Package Maintainers

There are two ways of reaching package maintainers. If you need to contact the maintainer because of a bug, simply file a bug report (see the Bug Tracking System section below). The maintainer will get a copy of the bug report.

If you simply want to communicate with the maintainer, then you can use the special mail aliases set up for each package. Any mail sent to <package name> will be forwarded to the maintainer responsible for that package.

The Bug Tracking System

The Debian distribution has a bug tracking system which details bugs reported by users and developers. Each bug is given a number, and is kept on file until it is marked as having been dealt with.

To report a bug, you can read the bug page below; we recommend the use of the Debian package reportbug to automatically file a bug report.

Information on submitting bugs, viewing the currently active bugs, and the bug tracking system in general can be found at the bug tracking system web pages.


An important part of any operating system is documentation, the technical manuals that describe the operation and use of programs. As part of its efforts to create a high-quality free operating system, the Debian Project is making every effort to provide all of its users with proper documentation in an easily accessible form.

See the documentation page for a list of Debian manuals and other documentation, including the Installation Guide, the Debian FAQ, and other users' and developers' manuals.


Debian is free software and offers free help through mailing lists. Some people either don't have the time or have specialized needs and are willing to hire someone to maintain or add additional functionality to their Debian system. See the consultants page for a list of people/companies.

Known problems

Limitations and severe problems of the current stable distribution (if any) are described on the release pages.

Pay particular attention to the release notes and the errata.