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DistributionWatch Review: Debian GNU/Linux 2.1 - page 2

Introducing Debian GNU/Linux

  • December 22, 1999
  • By Ed Petron

Debian, like most Linux distributions, can be downloaded via FTP or purchased on a CD-ROM. Users wishing to obtain Debian using FTP should first read the Debian FTP server network page. It contains several items of interest:

  • A list of links to primary servers.
  • A link to a full list of mirrors.
  • A link to a directory of sites that carry non-U.S. application packages. These are packages that cannot be legally distributed in the United States due to restrictions on export of software patents.

The Debian project itself does not manufacture CDs. Instead, it provides the distribution free of charge to individual users and to vendors who are interested in distributing Debian. The CD Vendors page contains information relevent to users. It contains a listing of the names, URLs and e-mail addresses of numerous companies that manufacture and sell Debian distributions.

Vendors who are interested in manufacturing and/or distributing Debian CDs have basically three options open to them:

  • Resell an existing vendor's CDs.
  • Produce CDs based on one of the Official Debian CD images. An Official CD image is a file that contains the exact physical image of a CD that can be used to install a Debian distribution. It contains boot images, installation tools and application packages, and is developed and tested by the Debian team. Thus, users of Official Debian CDs can count on the Debian developers for support. Note that a vendor can bundle one or more additional CDs with one of these and still call its product an Official Debian CD.
  • Produce a custom CD. These are CDs created from a local Debian archive using the the vendor's own structure and format. Support for these distributions is the responsibility of the vendor.
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