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Debian (also known as Debian GNU/Linux) is a distribution of GNU/Linux composed of free and open-source software. The project is well-known for having a hard-line stance on not providing non-free and commercially-restricted packages with its core installation media. The Debian Project was officially founded by Ian Murdock on August 16, 1993; Ian intended Debian to be a distribution which would be made openly, in the spirit of Linux and GNU. Debian remains the most significant distributor of GNU/Linux that is not a commercial entity. It is the only large project with a constitution, social contract, and policy documents to help organize the project. Debian is also the only distribution which is "micro-packaged"; detailed dependency information regarding inter-package relationships is maintained to ensure system consistency across upgrades.

Debian is a popular base for other distributions, such as Linux Mint, Ubuntu and Ubuntu's many different "flavours". The first version, Debian 0.01, was released on September 15, 1993, and the first stable version, 1.1, was released on June 17, 1996; the current version of the stable release branch is 10.2, while the latest version of the previously stable release branch version is 9.11. Debian major release names are often names of Toy Story characters.

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