Debian GNU/Linux is an open source Linux operating system build from scratch by a team of talented developers and hackers who wanted to create an alternative to existing Linux distributions, such as Slackware. Dubbed “The Universal Operating System,” Debian GNU/Linux is used as a base for hundreds, if not thousands, of Linux distributions, including the world’s most popular free operating system, Ubuntu Linux.
Distributed primarily as installable-only ISO images
It is distributed as network install images or installable-only CD or DVD ISO images, supporting the 64-bit (amd64, kfreebsd-amd64, ia64), 32-bit (i386, kfreebsd-i386), Armel, Armhf, MIPS, PowerPC, SPARC, s390, s390x, and MIPSel architectures.
Multi-arch ISO images are also available for download, but they only support network installations. Recent versions of the operating system are distributed with the KDE, Xfce and LXDE desktop environments.
Live CDs are available separately, as well as Rescue CDs
The project also provides Live CD images, which support only the 64-bit and 32-bit architectures, and can be used to test or install Debian with the KDE, GNOME, Xfce or LXDE desktop environments. Standard and Rescue CDs are also available for download on the official website, for anyone who wants to use a stable Debian base when dealing with various system administration and maintenance tasks.
Includes a wide-range of open source apps
Besides the default applications that are part of the GNOME, Xfce, KDE or LXDE desktop environments, Debian GNU/Linux also includes many other third-party apps for editing files, watching video streams, listening to music files, as well as numerous other essential core libraries and development packages.
Not a bleeding-edge Linux distribution
Unfortunately for some of us, Debian GNU/Linux is not a bleeding-edge Linux distribution. Instead, it is a very stable operating system that includes over 37,500 well tested packages, and precompiled software that can be easily installable. However, Debian GNU/Linux is the perfect operating system for those who want to deploy stable, reliable and powerful machines to their customers or friends.