Donations of time (to develop new packages, maintain existing packages, or provide user support), resources (to mirror the FTP and WWW archives), and money (to pay for new testbeds as well as hardware for the archives) can help the project.
The development of the Debian distribution is open to all, and new users with the right skills and/or the willingness to learn are needed to maintain existing packages which have been "orphaned" by their previous maintainers, to develop new packages, and to provide user support.
To develop a Debian package, you should:
To do this execute
That is, send mail to the above address with the subject set to 'Subscribe'.
mail debian-devel-REQUEST@lists.debian.org -s Subscribe
Install the PGP package; read /usr/doc/PGP; generate a
public-secret key pair by typing
and answering the questions. (Be prepared to write some arbitrary text
when asked. PGP generates its true random numbers by measuring the
intervals between your keystrokes.)
Send emails to:
with this content:
dpkg*deb packages as guides,
and read the policy manual and dpkg programmers manual.
ftp://master.debian.org/home/Debian/ftp/private/project/Incomingusing your user-name and password, or
ftp://chiark.chu.cam.uc.uk/using anonymous ftp.
For instructions to upload to chiark, read this file at chiark:
chiark then sends the files it gets to master.
debian-devel, there are these mailing lists:
To subscribe to debian-devel, or other developers' list, send a message to Anders Chigstrom (firstname.lastname@example.org) with a one-line explanation of what you would like to test or develop.
Since the project aims to make a substantial body of software rapidly and easily accessible throughout the globe, mirrors are urgently needed. It is desirable but not absolutely necessary to mirror all of the archive. The current components amount to just over 1.1 GBytes, broken down roughly as follows:
Most of the mirroring is accomplished entirely automatically by scripts, without any human intervention. However, the occasional glitch or system change occurs which requires real personnel resources.
If you have a high-speed connection to the Internet, the resources to mirror all or part of the distribution, and are willing to take the time (or find someone) who can provide regular maintenance of the system, then please contact Bruce Perens (Email: email@example.com; Voice (work): 510-215-3502).
One can make individual donations to one of two organizations that are critical to the development of the Debian project.
Software in the Public Interest (SPI) is a non-profit organization formed when FSF withdrew their sponsorship of Debian. We are currently incorporating as an IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The purpose of the organization is to develop and distribute free software. Our goals are very much like those of FSF, and we encourage programmers to use the GNU General Public License on their programs. However, we have a slightly different focus in that we are building and distributing a Linux system that diverges in many technical details from the GNU system planned by FSF. We still communicate with FSF, and we cooperate in sending them changes to GNU software and in asking our users to donate to FSF and the GNU project.
SPI can be reached at:
Software in the Public Interest P.O. Box 70152 Pt. Richmond, CA 94807-0152
At this time there is no formal connection between Debian and the Free Software Foundation. However, the Free Software Foundation is responsible for some of the most important software components in Debian, including the GNU C compiler, GNU Emacs, and much of the C run-time library that is used by all programs on the system. FSF pioneered much of what free software is today: they wrote the the General Public License that is used on much of the Debian software, and they invented the "GNU" project to create an entirely free Unix system. Debian should be considered a descendent of the GNU system.
When you make a donation to FSF, please be sure to tell them that you are a Debian user. Please contact them at:
Free Software Foundation 59 Temple Place - Suite 330 Boston, MA 02111-1307 USA