Debian is a popular and freely-available computer operating system that uses the Linux kernel and other program components obtained from the GNU project. Debian can be downloaded over the Internet or, for a small charge, obtained on CD. As Open Source software, Debian is developed by over 500 contributing programmers who collectively form the Debian Project. New releases are provided from time to time. Ongoing service is available through subscription to a mailing list.
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Debian supports over 3,950 free, downloadable applications. Although some widely-used applications such as Microsoft Word and Excel are not included, Corel's WordPerfect and similar desktop applications are available.
Debian was one of the first free software projects, begun in 1993 by Ian Murdock. Debian is pronounced deb-EE-uhn since it derives from the names of Ian Murdock and his wife, Debra.