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The Debian GNU/Linux FAQ
Chapter 13 - Contributing to the Debian Project

Donations of time (to develop new packages, maintain existing packages, or provide user support), resources (to mirror the FTP and WWW archives), and money (to pay for new testbeds as well as hardware for the archives) can help the project.

13.1 How can I become a Debian software developer?

The development of Debian is open to all, and new users with the right skills and/or the willingness to learn are needed to maintain existing packages which have been "orphaned" by their previous maintainers, to develop new packages, and to provide user support.

The description of becoming a Debian developer can be found at the New Maintainer's Corner at the Debian web site.

13.2 How can I contribute resources to the Debian project?

Since the project aims to make a substantial body of software rapidly and easily accessible throughout the globe, mirrors are urgently needed. It is desirable but not absolutely necessary to mirror all of the archive. Please visit the Debian mirror size page for information on the disk space requirements.

Most of the mirroring is accomplished entirely automatically by scripts, without any interaction. However, the occasional glitch or system change occurs which requires human intervention.

If you have a high-speed connection to the Internet, the resources to mirror all or part of the distribution, and are willing to take the time (or find someone) who can provide regular maintenance of the system, then please contact debian-admin@lists.debian.org.

13.3 How can I contribute financially to the Debian project?

One can make individual donations to one of two organizations that are critical to the development of the Debian project.

13.3.1 Software in the Public Interest

Software in the Public Interest (SPI) is an IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, formed when FSF withdrew their sponsorship of Debian. The purpose of the organization is to develop and distribute free software.

Our goals are very much like those of FSF, and we encourage programmers to use the GNU General Public License on their programs. However, we have a slightly different focus in that we are building and distributing a Linux system that diverges in many technical details from the GNU system as originally planned by FSF. We still communicate with FSF, and we cooperate in sending them changes to GNU software and in asking our users to donate to FSF and the GNU project.

SPI can be reached at: http://www.spi-inc.org/.

13.3.2 Free Software Foundation

At this time there is no formal connection between Debian and the Free Software Foundation. However, the Free Software Foundation is responsible for some of the most important software components in Debian, including the GNU C compiler, GNU Emacs, and much of the C run-time library that is used by all programs on the system. FSF pioneered much of what free software is today: they wrote the General Public License that is used on much of the Debian software, and they invented the "GNU" project to create an entirely free Unix system. Debian should be considered a descendent of the GNU system.

FSF can be reached at: http://www.fsf.org/.

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The Debian GNU/Linux FAQ

version 5.0, 27 August 2011

Authors are listed at Debian FAQ Authors