DebianSqueeze Debian
1993 (edit)
Version: 9.3 (Stretch) (edit)
Release Date: December 9, 2017 (edit)
Next Release: Unknown (edit)
Platform(s): i386, x86-64, IA-64, PowerPC, ARM, MIPS, SPARC, S390 (edit)
Packaging: DEB (edit)
Interface(s): GNOME (default), XFCE, KDE, LXDE, (edit)
Derivative of: Independent (edit)
Home Page: (edit)

Debian is one of the oldest Linux distributions. Debian has one of the largest official repositories of any Linux distribution.



Debian has access to online repositories containing more than 43,000 packages. Officially, Debian only contains free software, but non-free software can be downloaded from the repositories. Debian ships with Libreoffice, Iceweasle (Unbranded Firefox) VLC, the GIMP, Evince, and more.

The latest release of Debian, 8.1, uses Systemd as the default Init System.

Desktop Environments

Debain offers ISO images specifically built for Gnome (The default) KDE, XFCE, and LXDE. MATE is officially supported, and Cinnamon is expected to be in the next release. Other window managers, such as IceWM, Awesome, Enlightenment, Openbox, Fluxbox, and others are also available.

The default desktop environment of version 7.0 was temporarily changed to XFCE, as Gnome did not fit within the limits of a CD. The default for version 8.0 was also temporarily changed to XFCE in November of 2013, but was restored to Gnome in September 2014.


There are three branches of Debian:

  • Stable is the current release and targets stable and well-tested software needs. Stable is made by freezing Testing for a few months where bugs are fixed and packages with too many bugs are removed; then the resulting system is released as Stable. It is updated only if major security or usability fixes are incorporated. This branch has an optional backports service that provides more recent versions of some software.
  • Testing is the preview branch that will eventually become the next major release. The packages included in this branch have had some testing in Unstable but they may not be fit for release yet. It contains newer packages than Stable but older than Unstable. This branch is updated continually until it is frozen.
  • Unstable is the trunk. Packages are accepted without checking the distribution as a whole. This branch is usually run by software developers who participate in a project and need the latest libraries available, and by those who prefer bleeding-edge software. Debian does not provide Sid installation discs. This branch can be installed through a system upgrade from Testing.


The code names of Debian releases are names of characters from the Toy Story films. Debian 8 was named Jessie, after the cowgirl in Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3. The Testing branch is currently named Stretch, after the toy rubber octopus in Toy Story 3. The trunk is permanently nicknamed Sid, after the emotionally unstable boy next door who regularly destroyed toys. This naming tradition came about because Bruce Perens was involved in the early development of Debian while working at Pixar.


Debian is one of the most popular Linux distributions, and many distributions have been based on the Debian codebase, including Ubuntu and Knoppix. According to Distrowatch, there are 135 active Debian-based distributions. Debian encourages derivatives to merge their work back into Debian, as Ubuntu does with the Debain Package Tracker.


To date, Debian has made twelve major stable releases.

Version Codename Date Released Full Support Ends Long-term Support Ends
1.1 Buzz 1996-06-17 n/a n/a
1.2 Rex 1996-12-12 n/a n/a
1.3 Bo 1997-06-05 1998-05-14 n/a
2.0 Hamm 1998-07-24 1999-02-15 n/a
2.1 Slink 1999-03-09 2000-09-30 n/a
2.2 Potato 2000-08-15 2003-06-30 n/a
3.0 Woody 2002-07-19 2006-06-30 n/a
3.1 Sarge 2005-06-06 2008-03-31 n/a
4.0 Etch 2007-04-08 2010-02-15 n/a
5.0 Lenny 2009-02-14 2012-02-06 n/a
6.0 Squeeze 2011-02-06 2014-05-31 2016-02
7.0 Wheezy 2013-05-04 2016-02 2018-05
8.0 Jessie 2015-04-25 2018-05 2020-05
9.0 Stretch 2017-06-17 Unknown Unknown

Debian Live

Debian Live is Debian in a LiveCD or USB keys that can use DebianInstaller to install standard Debian into hard disk, or boot via LiveCD.

External links