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.
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:
- Package applications, for example those you have experience with or consider valuable for Debian. For more information on how to become a package maintainer, visit the Debian Developer's Corner.
- Help to maintain existing applications, for example by contributing fixes (patches) or additional information in the Bug Tracking System. Alternatively, you can join a group maintenance team or join a software project on Salsa (our own GitLab instance).
- Assist us by tracking and fixing security issues in Debian.
- You can also help with the hardening of packages, repositories and images, and other components.
- Interested in porting Debian to some architecture you are familiar with? You can start a new port or contribute to an existing one.
- Help us to improve Debian-related services or create and maintain new ones, suggested or requested by the community.
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.
- You can use our Bug Tracking System to report any issues you find in Debian. Before you do so, please make sure the bug hasn't already been reported.
- Visit the bug tracker and try to browse the bugs associated with packages you use. See if you can provide further information and reproduce the issues described.
- Test the Debian installer and live ISO images, secure boot support, LTS updates, and the U-Boot bootloader.
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.
- Join the Debian Documentation Project to help with the official Debian documentation.
- Contribute to the Debian Wiki
- Tag and categorize packages on the Debtags website, so that Debian users can easily find the software they are looking for.
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.
- Everything connected with Debian's internationalization is discussed on the i18n mailing list.
- Are you a native speaker of a language which isn't supported in Debian yet? Get in touch via the Debian International page.
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.
- The Debian project uses a lot of different mailing lists; some are for developers and some are for users. Experienced users can help others through the user mailing lists.
- People from all over the world chat in real-time on IRC (Internet Relay Chat). Visit the channel #debian on OFTC to chat with other Debian users.
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.
- Help out during the annual Debian conference, for example by recording videos of talks and presentations, greetings attendees and helping speakers, organizing special events during DebConf (like the cheese and wine party), helping with the setup and teardown, etc.
- Additionally, there are several MiniDebConf events, local meetings organized by Debian project members.
- You can also create or join a local Debian group with regular meetings or other activities.
- Also, check out other events like Debian Day parties, release parties, bug squashing parties, development sprints, or other events around the world.
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.
- You can donate money, equipment and services to the Debian project.
- We're constantly looking for mirrors worldwide.
- For our Debian ports, we rely on our autobuilder network.
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.
- Help to promote Debian by giving a talk and demonstrating it to other users.
- Contribute to our website and help us to improve Debian's public face.
- Take screenshots and upload them to screenshots.debian.net so that our users can see what software in Debian looks like before using it.
- You can enable popularity-contest submissions so we know which packages are popular and most useful to everyone.
Whether you work at an educational, commercial, non-profit, or government organization, there are plenty of ways to support us with your resources.
- For example, your organization could simply donate money or hardware.
- Maybe you'd like to sponsor our conferences.
- Your organization could provide products or services to Debian contributors.
- We're also looking for free hosting.
- Of course, setting up mirrors for our software, the installation media, or conference videos is also greatly appreciated.
- Maybe you'd also consider selling Debian merchandise, installation media, or pre-installed systems.
- If your organization offers Debian consulting or hosting, please let us know.
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.