Debian manual preface


Table of Contents

1. Disclaimer
2. What is Debian
3. About this document

3.1. Guiding rules
3.2. Prerequisites
3.3. Conventions
3.4. Debian BTS
3.5. The popcon
3.6. The package size
3.7. Bug reports on this document

4. Some quotes for new users

This Debian Reference (version 2) (2010-04-15 15:47:51 UTC) is intended to provide a broad overview of Debian system administration as a post-installation user guide.

The target reader is someone who is willing to learn shell scripts but who is not ready to read all the C sources to figure out how the GNU/Linux system works.
1. Disclaimer

All warranties are disclaimed. All trademarks are property of their respective trademark owners.

The Debian system itself is a moving target. This makes its documentation difficult to be current and correct. Although the current unstable version of Debian system was used as the basis for writing this, some contents may be already outdated by the time you read this.

Please treat this document as the secondary reference. This document does not replace any authoritative guides. The author and contributors do not take responsibility for consequences of errors, omissions or ambiguity in this document.
2. What is Debian

The Debian Project is an association of individuals who have made common cause to create a free operating system. It's distribution is characterized by the following.

* Commitment to the software freedom: Debian Social Contract and Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG)
* Internet based distributed unpaid volunteer effort:
* Large number of pre-compiled high quality softwares
* Focus on stability and security with easy access to the security updates
* Focus on smooth upgrade to latest softwares with unstable and testing archives
* Large number of supported hardware architectures

Free Software pieces in Debian come from GNU, Linux, BSD, X, ISC, Apache, Ghostscript, Common Unix Printing System , Samba, GNOME, KDE, Mozilla,, Vim, TeX, LaTeX, DocBook, Perl, Python, Tcl, Java, Ruby, PHP, Berkeley DB, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Exim, Postfix, Mutt, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Plan 9 and many more independent free software projects. Debian integrates this diversity of Free Software into one system.
3. About this document
3.1. Guiding rules

Following guiding rules are followed while compiling this document.

* Provide overview and skip corner cases. (Big Picture)
* Keep It Short and Simple. (KISS)
* Do not reinvent the wheel. (Use pointers to the existing references)
* Focus on non-GUI tools and consoles. (Use shell examples)
* Be objective. (Use popcon etc.)

[Tip] Tip

I tried to elucidate hierarchical aspects and lower levels of the system.
3.2. Prerequisites
[Warning] Warning

You are expected to make good efforts to seek answers by yourself beyond this documentation. This document only gives efficient starting points.

You must seek solution by yourself from primary sources.

* The Debian site at for the general information
* The documentation under the "/usr/share/doc/" directory
* The Unix style manpage: "dpkg -L |grep '/man/man.*/'"
* The GNU style info page: "dpkg -L |grep '/info/'"
* The bug report:
* The Debian Wiki at for the moving and specific topics
* The HOWTOs from The Linux Documentation Project (TLDP) at