Debian Celebrates 10 Years of Innovation

The Debian Project, founded with the ideal of truly tapping the potential of an open source development model to create a new distribution of Linux, will celebrate its 10th anniversary Saturday, with parties in 21 countries across the globe.

On August 16, 1993, the concept of a Linux distribution was relatively New and the Internet — as we know it today, anyway — was in its infancy. Linux itself had only been introduced to the world two years previously as the hobby project of a graduate student at the University of Helsinki (“Hello everybody out there using minix — I’m doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won’t be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones,” Linus Torvalds told members of the comp.os.minix newsgroup on Aug. 25, 1991).

But two years later and a continent away, Ian Murdock, an undergraduate student at Purdue University, latched onto the idea of taking the Linux kernel and combining it with open source tools from The Free Software Foundation’s GNU Project (which was primarily supporting GNU Emacs and GCC at the time) to create a non-commercial Linux distribution that could compete effectively in the commercial market.