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Well, Debian turned 14 on the 16th of August.

That takes some thinking about. Although the number of Linux users has increased greatly in the past few years, it’s easy to forget how old the technology actually is (in relative terms). The Linux kernel we so love was Linus Torvald’s brainchild and has it’s own birthday on 17 September when it turns sweet 16.

Take a look at the original announcement of the release of Debian, dated 16th August 1993: Original Announcement.

Do you know how Debian was named? Well, the founder, Ian Murdock, combined the first name of his girlfriend, Deborah, with his own – hence, Debian. That also tells us how to pronounce Debian – I have heard many variants with ‘Deeebian’ being the most popular but take the two names and there you have it: Deb(orah)Ian.

I wonder if there has been any release that has been as influential in the wider Linux community as Debian has proven to be. Possibly Redhat?

Either way, Debian has been forked into many different distributions which is exactly what the founder, Ian Murdock, intended. According to Distrowatch there are 129 distributions directly related to Debian GNU/Linux (to give it the full and correct name).

Debian is well known for its slow release schedule. This reliance on stability and security is one of the main factors in the Debian influence. After 14 years we only recently had Debian 4.0 released. Rather sweetly, each release is named after a character from the Pixar movie “Toy Story”:

Debain 4.0 – Apr 207 – Etch

Debian 3.1 – Jun 2005 – Sarge

Debian 3.0 – Jul 2002 – Woody

Debian 2.2 – Aug 2000 – Potato

Debian 2.1 – Mar 1999 – Slink

There may not be a huge street party over this birthday but it may surprise you the number of celebrations that are planned. Is your local Linux Users Group (LUG) planning anything? Are you planning anything?

Maybe a small beer then.

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