Debian System

The Debian System
Concepts and Techniques
Martin F. Krafft
September 2005, 608 pp.

$1 from every purchase will be donated to the Debian Project.

Despite its reputation as an operating system exclusively for professionals and hardcore computer hobbyists, Debian's open development cycle and strict quality control have helped it to gain popularity. With an installed base that’s growing annually by an estimated 25 percent, Debian clearly has its fair share of fans (not to mention the newsmaking Debian-based Linux distributions such as Knoppix, Ubuntu, and Xandros).

Unlike other popular Linux distributions, the Debian GNU/Linux operating system favors text-based configuration over graphical user interfaces (GUIs). In The Debian System, author Martin Krafft, an experienced Debian developer, introduces the concept of the Debian operating system, and explains how to use its various tools and techniques as well as the pitfalls and the thinking behind each. Debian may appear simplistic, but it is actually quite robust, scalable, and secure. After reading The Debian System, you’ll see that strict adherence to standards, highly experienced developers, a clear vision and goals, and a certain degree of academic perfection make Debian the exceptional system that it is today.

This is a fascinating, must-have volume that UNIX and Linux administrators will find complements the standard Linux references and will quickly orient you to Debian's unique philosophy and structure. Co-published with Open Source Press, an independent publisher based in Munich that specializes in the field of free and open source software.

Visit the book's companion site for a discussion forum, errata, frequently asked questions, and more.

Author Bio 

Martin F. Krafft has been a faithful supporter of Debian since 1997, working as a developer and a PR person, and fielding user questions on mailing lists. He has experience administering mid-sized networks and providing user support, and is responsible for numerous university servers and a 40-node cluster of Debian machines. Krafft is currently working on his Ph.D. at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of the University of Zurich.

Table of contents 

1 Introduction
2 The Debian project in a nutshell
3 Installing Debian the right way
4 Debian releases and archives
5 The Debian package management system
6 Debian system administration
7 Security of the Debian system
8 Advanced concepts
9 Creating Debian packages
10 Documentation and resources

A Debian flavours and other Debian­based operating systems 559
B When is Debian the right choice?
C Miscellaneous
D The Debian Linux Manifesto
E Debian Social Contract
F The Debian Free Software Guidelines


Among noted security expert and blogger Richard Bejtlich's top 10 books of the year: "I would love to see a book like this written for FreeBSD."
Tao Security, December 30, 2006 (Read more)

"This is the definitive Debian manual . . . There isn't anything about this book I don't like. Except I wish it had been published years ago."
Groklaw, June 15, 2006 (Read more)

"A definitive resource for users who know how to use the command line and appreciate the Debian philosophy . . . A tour de force."
Major Keary's Book News

"Well written . . . if you want bedtime reading about the Debian project, it's a pretty good book.", April 2006 (Read more)

Book added to resource library: "Helped me understand the Debian package system. I reference this book frequently."
FreeBSD Diary, April 5, 2006 (Read more)

"Thanks to this book, both Debian beginners and experienced users have a detailed guide to the Debian world: its organization, licenses, and tools."
Free Software Magazine, March 16, 2006 (Read more)

"Comprehensive and well written by someone who clearly knows what he is talking about." (4.5/5 stars)
Salt Lake Linux Users Group, March 3, 2006 (Read more)

"This book will have something new in store for all but the most advanced Debian users."
MozillaQuest Magazine, February 24, 2006 (Read more)

“I was extremely impressed… strongly recommend for… anyone who wants to
get the most out of the unique techniques and tools found in Debian.”
TaoSecurity, January 21, 2006 (Read more)

“Likely to have a long shelf-life on most readers’ bookshelves… a
technical book for sure, without fluff or off-topic detours, and packed
with information. Still, Krafft manages to impart a personal feel.”
Linux Journal, February 2, 2006 (Read more)

“One of the most complete works covering any distribution or, indeed,
operating system, embracing the culture of the active community, key
technologies and the development model itself.”
Linux User & Developer, February 2006 (Read more)

“The Debian System is not just a manual. It's a philosophy tome. It's a
bible. It's a love letter.”
Linux Librarian, February 10, 2006 (Read more)

Comments on XYZ Computing interview: “I do so love the way No Starch
authors write.”
Linux Librarian, January 19, 2006 (Read more)

Cited in article entitled, “Why open source works for weapons and
Newsforge, January 21, 2006 (Read more)

“It is really impressive… writing a book about Debian is like hitting a
moving target with champagne bottle cork.”
Linux Gazette, January 28, 2006 (Read more)

"Its coverage of Debian's software management system and administration concepts, and of the way the Debian development project itself is organized, is impressive."
eWeek, January 2, 2006 (Read more)

"Kudos to Martin F. Krafft for putting together one excellent book about the concepts and techniques for the Debian Linux distribution... a big two thumbs up and two toes up!!"
Cariboo Computer Magazine, December 28, 2005 (Read more)

Extensive Q&A with author Martin Krafft
XYZ Computing, January 16, 2006 (Read more)

"If you're going to be running Debian, here's your Bible."
UNIX Review, December 2005 (Read more)

Included book in Christmas and Winter Holiday Gift Guide
Mozilla Quest, December 2005 (Read more)

9/10 stars: "Charles Darwin would 'get' the beauty Debian if he were alive today. Martin Krafft certainly 'gets' the beauty of Debian, and he wants you to get it too, so he has written a very detailed exposition of the Debian code and community."
Mad Penguin, December 14, 2005 (Read more)

Remarkable for providing a much larger view of the Debian Linux distro than any book we've seen. It delves into the philosophy of the system, explains how someone becomes a recognized Debian developer and details the way that Debian is licensed... Excellent and highly recommended.
Network World, November 28, 2005 (Read more)

"This reference and guide gives both the theoretical and practical information necessary to succeed in Debian."
Book News, December 2005 (Read more)

Notes from interview with author Martin Krafft: "It was clear that whatever Martin had set out to achieve with his book, it had found a very receptive and appreciative audience."
Red Monk, November 21, 2005 (Read more)

"No matter how skilled you are in administrating a Debian box... you are bound to learn something new. There is so much amazing information packed in this book."
DistroWatch, October 31, 2005 (Read more)

Honorable mention in list of must-have books
DigitalFilipino, September 25, 2005 (Read more)

Pre-review: "I plan to evaluate how I might integrate Debian into my lab."
Tao Security blog, October 23, 2005 (Read more)

"This book has the potential to become the future Debian Bible."
Freshmeat, September 10, 2005 (Read more)

Book announcement posted
Bookblog, September 15, 2005 (Read more)

Book announcement posted, September 15, 2005 (Read more)