Frequently Asked Questions
- Table of Contents
Susan G. Kleinmann (
Sven Rudolph (
Joost Witteveen (
28 December 1996
This document answers questions frequently asked about Debian GNU/Linux. (See section
for the Copyright details.)
1.1 In what format is this document written?
1.2 Where do I get the latest version of this document?
1.3 Where do I send questions, corrections, etc. about this document?
1.4 (How) Can I redistribute this file?
1.5 What information resources were used to obtain the questions and answers presented here?
Definitions and Overview
2.1 What is Debian GNU/Linux?
2.2 OK, now I know what Debian is...what is Linux!?
2.3 What is the difference between Debian and other Linux distributions?
2.4 How does the Debian project fit in or compare with the Free Software Foundation's GNU project?
2.5 How does one pronounce Debian and what does this word mean?
3.1 On what architectures/systems does Debian GNU/Linux run?
3.2 What hardware is assumed by the stock Debian GNU/Linux boot disks?
3.3 What amount of disk space is recommended?
3.4 How should I partition my drive?
3.5 Are very large disks supported?
3.6 (How) Does Debian provide PCMCIA support?
4.1 How compatible is Debian with other distributions of Linux?
4.2 How source code compatible is Debian with other Unix systems?
4.3 Can I use Debian packages (".deb" files) on my RedHat/Slackware/... Linux system?
4.4 Is Debian able to run my old "a.out" programs?
4.5 Can Debian be used to compile "a.out" programs?
4.6 How should I install a non-Debian package?
4.7 Why can't I compile programs that require libtermcap?
4.8 Why can't I install AccelX?
4.9 Why do I get "Can't find libX11.so.6" errors when I try to run
4.10 Can I install and compile a kernel without some Debian-specific tweaking?
Software available in the Debian system
5.1 What types of applications and development software are available for Debian GNU/Linux?
5.2 Who wrote all that software?
5.3 How can I get a current list of programs that have been packaged for the Debian project?
5.4 What is missing from Debian GNU/Linux?
5.5 Where is 'which'?
5.6 (How) Does Debian support Java?
5.7 What are all those directories (stable/development/non-free/contrib/project) at the Debian FTP archives?
5.8 Is source code included with the system?
5.9 How can I check that I am using a Debian system?
5.10 How can I tell what "version" of the Debian system I am using?
5.11 How does Debian support non-English languages?
5.12 What about the US export regulation limitations?
Basics of the Debian Package Management System
6.1 What is a Debian package?
6.2 What is the format of a Debian binary package?
6.3 Why are Debian package file names so long?
6.4 What is a Debian control file?
6.5 What is a Debian conffile?
6.6 What is a Debian preinst, postinst, prerm, and postrm script?
6.7 What is a Required/Important/Standard/Optional/Extra package?
6.8 What is a Virtual Package?