User Support

IRC (real time Support)

IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is a great way to chat with people from all over the world in real time. It's a text-based chat system for instant messaging. On IRC you can enter chat rooms (so-called channels) or you can directly chat with individual persons via private messages.

IRC channels dedicated to Debian can be found on OFTC. For a full list of Debian channels, please refer to our Wiki. You can also use a search engine to check for Debian-related channels.

IRC Clients

To connect to the IRC network, you can either use OFTC's WebChat in your preferred web browser or install a client on your computer. There are lots of different clients out there, some with a graphical interface, some for the console. Some popular IRC clients have been packaged for Debian, for example:

The Debian Wiki offers a more comprehensive list of IRC clients which are available as Debian packages.

Connect to the Network

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:


The hostname is an alias for In some clients (such as irssi) you will need to type this instead:


Join a Channel

Once you are connected, join channel #debian by typing this command:

/join #debian

Note: graphical clients like HexChat or Konversation often have a button or a menu entry for connecting to servers and joining channels.

Mailing Lists

More than thousand active developers spread around the world work on Debian in their spare time—and in their own timezones. Therefore we communicate primarily through e-mail. Similarly, most of the conversation between Debian developers and users happens on different mailing lists:

You can browse our mailing list archive or search the archives without the need to be subscribed.

Of course, there are plenty of other mailing lists, dedicated to some aspect of the Linux ecosystem and not Debian-specific. Please 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.

Debian User Forums

Debian User Forums is a web portal where thousands of other users discuss Debian-related topics, ask questions, and help each other by answering them. You can read all boards without having to register. If you want to participate in the discussion and publish your own postings, please register and log in.

How to contact Package Maintainers

Basically, there are two common ways to get in touch with a maintainer of a Debian package:

Bug Tracking System

The Debian distribution has its own bug tracker with bugs reported by users and developers. Every bug has a unique number and is kept on file until it is marked as resolved. There are two different ways to report a bug:

Known Problems

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

Please pay particular attention to the release notes and the errata.