The Debian Project is now 17 years old. Happy birthday Debian!
Debian celebrates its 17th birthday
The Debian Project is pleased to mark the 17th anniversary of its start. As the official project history states : "The Debian Project was officially founded by Ian Murdock on August 16th, 1993. At that time, the whole concept of a 'distribution' of Linux was new. Ian intended Debian to be a distribution which would be made openly, in the spirit of Linux and GNU".
Over the last seventeen years Debian has grown significantly. Initiated as a small project with just a handful of developers it now has more than 1000 contributors from many corners of the globe. Documentation has been written in numerous languages, and it now has tens of thousands of software packages, all following the Debian Free Software Guidelines .
Thanks to the contributions of individual developers, translators, graphic designers, system administrators, users and many others, Debian continues to thrive in the wider Free Software ecosystem. Debian is used by a number of "derivative" distributions that further expand the reach of Debian's software and Debian's philosophy of putting the user first.
Under the auspices of Software In the Public Interest  and through the Debian Partners program  Debian continues to work with some of the largest names in hardware and software development. Debian has always striven to support a broad range of hardware with high-quality, well tested software and continues to work with numerous partners in various industries to do so. Debian is also widely used in the computational and engineering disciplines in areas such as astronomy, bioinformatics, and physics.
The Debian Project continues to welcome contributions in all forms, from users to developers, encouraging people to download, use, modify, and distribute its source code in the hopes that it is useful. The project will release Debian 6.0, code named "Squeeze", at some point this year once the hard work of fixing release critical bugs is finished. In the spirit of the Free Software community, Debian welcomes everyone to participate in this and all of Debian's activities and looks forward to the next seventeen years.
Debian users are invited to use http://thank.debian.net/
to express their gratitude and submit congratulations.