August 16th -- Happy Birthday Debian!

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The Debian Project http://www.debian.org/
Debian Community celebrates its 18th birthday press@debian.org
July 29th, 2011 http://www.debian.org/News/2011/20110730
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Debian Community celebrates its 18th birthday

The Debian Project is pleased to mark the 18th anniversary of Ian Murdoch's founding announcement [1]. Quoting from the official project history [2]: "The Debian Project was officially founded by Ian Murdock on August 16th, 1993. At that time, the whole concept of a 'distribution' of Linux was new. Ian intended Debian to be a distribution which would be made openly, in the spirit of Linux and GNU."

1: http://groups.google.com/group/comp.os.linux.development/msg/a32d4e2ef3b...
2: http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/project-history/ch-intro.en.html

A lot has happened to the project and its community in the past eighteen years. There have been eleven releases - most recently Debian 6.0 "Squeeze" [3] in February 2011 - and a huge amount of free software packaged. The current "unstable" branch consists of more than 35,000 binary packages for the amd64 architecture alone - over 44GB of Free/Libre Software! Throughout this history Debian has maintained its goals of technical excellence, accountability, and above all freedom.

3: http://www.debian.org/News/2011/20110205a

Of course that wouldn't be possible without the strong community which has developed around Debian. Besides more than 1,000 Debian Developers and Maintainers from all over the globe, there are in excess of 11,000 registered accounts for the Alioth collaboration platform, and that doesn't even include all those people contributing with translations or bug reports (and sometimes patches for them) and all those users helping others via our mailing lists, forums and IRC channels.

4: http://alioth.debian.org/

As a project, we would also like to take this opportunity to thank all our users and contributors, and of course also our upstream developers. All of them help to making Debian a great experience and a great project!

Across the world today, Debian Developers, Maintainers, Contributors and Users celebrate our birthday [5] with small conferences, with virtual parties, and even with parties in real life. This celebration is organised by the community, and it's not too late to start a party in your own city!

5: http://wiki.debian.org/DebianDay2011

Users can also use the web platform at http://thank-you.debian.net to express their thanks, and share pictures of their own Debian birthday celebrations. If you post on Twitter or Identi.ca please use the hashtag #thxdebian.

The Debian Project continues to welcome contributions in all forms, from everyone, encouraging people to download, use, modify, and distribute its source code in the hopes that it is useful.