Contribute: How you can help Debian

Debian is not just an operating system, it's a community. A lot of people with many different skills contribute to the project: our software, the artwork, the wiki, and other documentation are the results of a joint effort by a large group of individuals. Not everyone is a developer, and you certainly don't have to know how to code if you want to participate. There are many different ways you can help to make Debian even better. If you'd like to join in, here are some suggestions for both experienced and inexperienced users.

Coding and Maintaining Packages

Maybe you want to write a new application from scratch, maybe you want to implement a new feature in an existing program. If you're a developer and want to contribute to Debian, you can also help us to prepare the software in Debian for easy installation, we call it "packaging". Have a look at this list for some ideas on how to get started:

Testing and Bug Squashing

Like any other software project, Debian needs users who test the operating system and its applications. One way to contribute is to install the latest version and report back to the developers if something doesn't work the way it should. We also need people to test our installation media, secure boot and the U-Boot bootloader on different hardware.

Writing Documentation and Tagging Packages

If you experience any problems in Debian and can't write code to solve the issue, maybe taking notes and writing down your solution is an option for you. That way you can help other users who may have similar problems. All Debian documentation is written by community members and there are several ways you can help.

Translating and Localizing

Your native language isn't English, but you have good enough English language skills to understand and translate software or Debian-related information like web pages, documentation, etc.? Why not join a translation team and convert Debian applications to your mother tongue. We're also looking for people to check existing translations and file bug reports if necessary.

Helping other Users

You can also contribute to the project by helping other Debian users. The project uses various support channels, for example mailing lists in different languages, and IRC channels. For more information, please visit our support pages.

Organizing Events

Apart from the annual Debian conference (DebConf), there are several smaller meetings and get-togethers in different countries every year. Taking part or helping to organize an event is a great opportunity to meet other Debian users and developers.

Donate Money, Hardware, or Bandwidth

All donations to the Debian project are managed by our Debian Project Leader (DPL). With your support we can purchase hardware, domains, cryptographic certificates, etc. We also use funds to sponsor DebConf and MiniDebConf events, development sprints, presence at other events, and other things.

Use Debian and talk about it

Spread the word and tell others about Debian and the Debian community. Recommend the operating system to other users, and show them how to install it. Simply use it and enjoy -- that's probably the easiest way to give back to the Debian project.

How your Organization can support Debian

Whether you work at an educational, commercial, non-profit, or government organization, there are plenty of ways to support us with your resources.

We're also interested in forming partnerships. If you can promote Debian by providing a testimonial, running it on your organization's servers or desktops, or even encourage your staff to participate in our project, that's fantastic. Maybe you'd also consider teaching about the Debian operating system and community, directing your team to contribute during working hours or sending them to one of our events.