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Linux Magazine: The Importance of Being Debian

May 28, 2002, 14:30 (16 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Robert McMillan)

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"Eight years ago, as Purdue undergraduate Ian Murdock flipped through a Unix magazine, he came across an intriguing advertisement. It was for a Linux distribution that promised to let you run your Windows applications on the free operating system. Linux had sprung into existence a scant year before and now -- according to the ad -- it could support Windows applications. This seemed too good to be true. It was.

"The distribution in question -- Murdock no longer remembers its name -- was released about a month after the WINE (which stands for WINdows Emulator or WINE Is Not an Emulator, depending on who you ask) project was launched, and it was clear to Murdock, an avid Linux enthusiast, that its claim of Windows compatibility was patently false. "There were companies springing up and selling Linux and making all kinds of untrue claims," remembers Murdock. He was angry, and the time had come to do something about it.

"There needed to be a distribution that this emerging community of Linux users could trust. And so, fusing his first name with that of his girlfriend Debra, Murdock founded what would become Linux's most popular non-commercial distribution -- Debian GNU/Linux..."

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