Debian Celebrates Its Birthday

The Debian GNU/Linux project celebrated its 25th birthday on August 16, 2018. Debian was created in 1993 by Ian Murdock. The name of the project came from the first three letters of his then girlfriend Debra and his own name – Deb Ian.

In the Debian manifesto, Murdock wrote, "Debian Linux is a brand-new kind of Linux distribution. Rather than being developed by one isolated individual or group, as other distributions of Linux have been developed in the past, Debian is being developed openly in the spirit of Linux and GNU. The primary purpose of the Debian project is to finally create a distribution that lives up to the Linux name. Debian is being carefully and conscientiously put together and will be maintained and supported with similar care."

Debian has evolved to become one of the most popular distributions. Its stable branch dominates the Linux-powered web hosting services. The popularity of Debian also lead to an entire generation of Debian-based distributions, including Ubuntu and Knoppix.

Debian has three releases: stable, testing, and unstable. Stable is meant to be used on servers and by users who don't want their systems to change frequently. Stable has packages that are very well tested; as a result, they can be old.

Testing has packages that are not part of stable yet but are in the queue. Most Debian-based distributions, such as Ubuntu, are based on testing. It's also suitable for desktop use on home PCs.

Debian Unstable is the place where all development happens; it's really bleeding edge and is meant only for developers.

Version 9 is the current version of Debian, and its code name is Stretch. Each version of Debian is code-named after a character from the movie Toy Story. The unstable branch is code-named Sid, because Sid is the character that breaks everything.

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