Marc Le Menestrel
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The Debian Project and the Linux Foundation

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by Marc Le Menestrel (26/11/2014)

The Debian Project in its own words

The Debian Project is an association of individuals who have made common cause to create a free operating system. This operating system that we have created is called Debian.

An operating system is the set of basic programs and utilities that make your computer run. At the core of an operating system is the kernel. The kernel is the most fundamental program on the computer and does all the basic housekeeping and lets you start other programs.

Debian systems currently use the Linux kernel or the FreeBSD kernel. Linux is a piece of software started by Linus Torvalds and supported by thousands of programmers worldwide. FreeBSD is an operating system including a kernel and other software.

However, work is in progress to provide Debian for other kernels, primarily for the Hurd. The Hurd is a collection of servers that run on top of a microkernel (such as Mach) to implement different features. The Hurd is free software produced by the GNU project.

A large part of the basic tools that fill out the operating system come from the GNU project; hence the names: GNU/Linux, GNU/kFreeBSD, and GNU/Hurd. These tools are also free.

Of course, the thing that people want is application software: programs to help them get what they want to do done, from editing documents to running a business to playing games to writing more software. Debian comes with over 37500 packages (precompiled software that is bundled up in a nice format for easy installation on your machine), a package manager (APT), and other utilities that make it possible to manage thousands of packages on thousands of computers as easily as installing a single application. All of it free.

It’s a bit like a tower. At the base is the kernel. On top of that are all the basic tools. Next is all the software that you run on the computer. At the top of the tower is Debian — carefully organizing and fitting everything so it all works together.

The Linux Foundation in its own words

More than 20 years ago, Linus Torvalds sparked an open source revolution with a short email declaring he was doing a new project “just for fun.” Today, Linux powers 98% of the world’s super computers, most of the servers powering the Internet, the majority of financial trades worldwide and tens of millions of Android mobile phones and consumer devices. In short, Linux is everywhere.

The Linux Foundation is here to help. By supporting the kernel development community — including employing Linus Torvalds himself — and fostering collaboration on a truly massive scale, the Linux Foundation unites thousands of curious minds in the free and open exchange of ideas. With this collective wisdom, people everywhere are using Linux to solve harder problems, innovate faster than ever, and change the way the world works together. We are here to provide the crucial services and collaborative infrastructure to continue Linux’ advancement and protection.

The Linux Foundation is also here to help companies and individuals navigate the ever-changing landscape of Linux. From new member mentoring programs to advanced consulting services, we’re here to guide you through the labyrinth of open source opportunities—so you can make the most of your Linux investment. Join us.

We are also dedicated to expanding the collaborative DNA of Linux to other industries and markets. Companies, open source projects and individual developers can work with our Linux Foundation Collaborative Projects to make collaborative development the de facto way of solving the world’s hardest problems. You can participate in large-scale, industry-wide innovation by joining a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project or starting one of your own.

Just like the Linux platform itself, our Linux Foundation community is intrinsically designed for flexibility. Whether you want to boost your open source compliance know-how, meet with developers from around the world, help staff build their Linux chops, or participate in massive collaborative efforts, your opportunities to get involved are literally wide open. Please explore our programs, events and training to see how you can get involved.

Question for preparation:

What would you like to learn about the Debian Project and the Linux Foundation?

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