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Debian Tutorial (Obsolete Documentation)
Chapter 1 - About this manual

This is the Debian Tutorial. It is aimed at readers who are new to Debian GNU/Linux. It assumes no prior knowledge of GNU/Linux or other Unix-like systems, but it does assume very basic general knowledge about computers and hardware (you should know what the basic parts of a computer are, and what one might use a computer to do).

This manual is meant to be read in order; each chapter assumes some knowledge of prior chapters, though you may find it useful to skip around.

There is also a Debian Reference Guide planned, which will be more comprehensive but less introductory.

This tutorial assumes that you have already installed and configured Debian GNU/Linux according to the installation manual (which is incomplete as of this writing). However, you may want to look over the tutorial before you install, in order to learn more about Debian.

In general this tutorial tries to explain the reasons for things, and help you understand what's going on inside the system. The idea is to empower you to solve new problems and get the most out of your computer. Thus there's plenty of theory, history, and fun facts thrown in with the "How To" aspects of the manual.

Please send comments about this manual to the Debian Documentation Project mailing list debian-doc@lists.debian.org. We're especially interested in whether it was helpful to you, and how we could make it better. If you get confused while reading, or notice that we use a term without explaining it first, please email us.

Please, DO NOT send the authors technical questions about Debian, as there are other forums for that. See Getting help from a person, Section 5.5. Only send mail regarding the manual itself to the above address.

To find the latest version of this manual, go to http://www.debian.org/doc/ and follow the links.

1.1 Acknowledgements

Many people have helped with this manual.

The biggest thanks go to Larry Greenfield and his Linux User's Guide, which formed the basis for the manual. The Linux User's Guide is a part of the Linux Documentation Project.

Many thanks to those who have helped me edit the manual; they have made it far, far better. If you thought this manual was pleasant to read, send your thanks to Thalia Hooker and Day Irmiter.

Thanks to Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation for advice, editing, and offering to publish the text.

Thanks to James Treacy for letting me borrow some of his writings from the Debian web site.

Thanks to everyone who has written parts of the manual: Craig Sawyer wrote about shells, Ole Tetlie is writing about programming, Oliver Elphick contributed discussion of some basic utilities, Ivan E. Moore II contributed the discussion of PPP.

Many people have submitted patches and comments, including Eric Fischer and Mike Touloumtzis.

Many thanks to Ardo van Rangelrooij for getting things started and maintaining the DebianDoc DTD used to write the manual.

Of course, it's impossible to thank the hundreds of Debian developers and thousands of free software authors that gave us something to write about and use.

Thanks also to anyone I left out, since I'm sure I screwed this up. I hope no one will take offense --- please email me and let me know if your name should be here.

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Debian Tutorial (Obsolete Documentation)

29 Dezember 2009

Havoc Pennington hp@debian.org