Debian is a Unix-like operating system consisting entirely of free software. Ian Murdock founded the Debian Project on August 16, 1993. Debian 0.01 was released on September 15, 1993, and the first stable version, 1.1, was released on June 17, 1996. The Debian Stable branch is the most popular edition for personal computers and network servers, and is used as the basis for many other Linux distributions. Debian is one of the earliest operating systems based on the Linux kernel. The project is coordinated over the Internet by a team of volunteers guided by the Debian Project Leader and three foundational documents: the Debian Social Contract, the Debian Constitution, and the Debian Free Software Guidelines. New distributions are updated continually, and the next candidate is released after a time-based freeze. Debian has been developed openly and distributed freely according to the principles of the GNU Project. Because of this, the Free Software Foundation sponsored the project from November 1994 to November 1995. The popular Linux operating system Ubuntu was also released based on Debian. When the sponsorship ended, the Debian Project formed the nonprofit Software in the Public Interest to continue financially supporting development.
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