Open Source News

Happy Birthday Debian!


On Aug 16, 2016, the Debian project is having its 23rd anniversary. The Debian Project was originally announced Aug 16, 1993.

Debian was originally conceived and developed by Ian Murdock, while he was a student at Purdue University. The name is a combination of his name and that of his then-girlfriend, Debra Lynn. Debian was one of the first operating systems built on the Linux kernal (Linux itself was only announced two years earlier, in 1991), and since then has grown in popularity and use. Ubuntu is built on Debian, and thus so are the additional Linux distros built on Ubuntu, such as Mint and Xubuntu. When you combine Debian with all the different flavors of Ubuntu, you have one popular OS indeed.

The driving principal of Debian has always been to be open. Debian is one of the few democratically controlled and governed Linux projects, and is still not owned or controlled by any commercial corporation. Debian was also the motivation behind the formation of the non-profit foundation, Software in the Public Interest, Inc., which was founded to help Debian and similar organizations to develop and distribute open hardware and software. It’s no wonder then that the original developers of Koha chose Debian as the OS on which to build their open-source project. And like Koha, it is still volunteer driven.

Fun Fact: Each Debian release is named for a character from the Toy Story movies.
1.0 – Well, actually there never was an official 1.0 release.
1.1 – Buzz
1.2 – Rex (the dinosaur)
1.3 – Bo (Bo Peep)
2.0 – Hamm (the piggy-bank)
2.1 – Slink (the slinky-dog)
2.2 – Potato (Mr. Potato Head)
3.0 – Woody
3.1 – Sarge (the sergeant of the Green Plastic Army men)
4.0 – Etch (the Etch-A-Sketch toy)
5.0 – Lenny (the wind-up binoculars)
6.0 – Squeeze (the green three-eyed aliens)
7.0 – Wheezy (the penguin squeeze toy)
8.0 – Jessie (the cow-girl from Toy Story 2, and the current stable release)

And then there’s ‘sid’, which is the always-most-recent development version of Debian. The next version of Debian, 9.x, will be called ‘Stretch’ (the rubber octopus from Toy Story 3), but there is no release date yet for that.

So raise a glass today and toast Debian. Without it, we might not even have Koha.