Today is the 23rd birthday of Debian, the Linux based operating system established by the late Ian Murdock (1973-2015) on 17 August 1993 when he was just 20 years old. I was a relative late comer to the Debian party not adopting it as my Linux distribution of choice until Debian Slink, which came out in 1999. At the time using Debian was like being a radical die hard who refused to accept that proper Linux used used a distribution that used the Red Hat packaging system. Although Debian's radical edge would remain it became the de facto version of Linux packaging when it was adopted by Ubuntu and its derivatives like Linux Mint. Murdock has set up Debian to provide a more organised way to download a Linux system, but its lasting influence came from his 1994 Debian Social Contract that made Debian the centre of most libertarian aspects of the Linux community. At times the politics got in the way of the software and that is what led me to desert it for a few years of life with Apple, before returning to Debian via Windows and Linux Mint. The politics that once wracked the project have simmered down and hopefully Debian has many more birthdays to come as the techie libertarian source of the major Linux distributions such as Ubuntu and Mint.

© Mercia McMahon. All rights reserved


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