Happy Birthday Debian

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The community distribution Debian is 26 years old today. The Debian Project was founded by Ian Murdock on August 16th, 1993. The first version, Debian 0.01, wasn't released until one month later on September 15th, 1993.


The Debian Project is a non-profit organization which makes the Debian GNU/Linux distribution very different from commercial distributions like RHEL and Fedora from IBM and SUSE Enterprise and OpenSUSE from EQT Partners. Debian is actually a community project, it is not just a corporately controlled product with a in practice meaningless "community distribution" stamp on it.

Debian also differs from commercial distributions in another important way: It supports a lot more system architectures than commercial products. The latest version of the Debian distribution, Debian Buster, is available for ARM, MIPS, PowerPC and IBM System Z in addition to regular i386 and x86-64 computers.

Debian is also known for using older "stable" versions of software instead of newer potentially unstable versions. As an example, the latest bleeding edge Debian distribution Buster uses Xfce 4.12 instead of the newly released Xfce 4.14.

Xfce 4.12 running on Debian Buster.

26 years is quite a long time. Some of Debian's contributors and users have not been alive that long.

It is with great pleasure we say Happy Birthday Debian.

Debian users and contributors will be celebrating all over the world today. The Swedes, who now own the competing SUSE distribution, will be celebrating in Stockholm at four o'clock local time. Sweden is a creepy place and you shouldn't go there but if you are already there you might as well celebrate. There will likely be Debian celebrations in other parts of the world too.