Pronounced “deb-EE-uhn.” Short for Debian GNU/Linux or Debian GNU/Hurd, it is an open source operating system that uses the Linux or Hurd kernel, respectively. Debian continues to be developed by more than 500 contributors who comprise the Debian Project. The software can be downloaded over the Internet or purchased on CD-ROM.
The Debian software project was started in 1993 by Ian Murdock. It’s name comes from a combination of the words Ian and Debra, Murdock’s wife. The term Debian refers to both the operating system and/or the group that maintains it.