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Debian Related Wikis Debian-related wikis:
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 * http://wiki.debconf.org - The DebConf Wiki  * http://wiki.debconf.org - The pre-2019 !DebConf (Debian Conference) Wiki. For content since 2019, see DebConf.
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Translation(s): English - Français - Italiano

Debian is a distribution, it is made of many thousands of (free) software.

This page is about official Debian Documentation.

There are other Debian Resources

Debian Documentation

For users

The most famous for Debian users are :

Many other Debian Documentation are available at www.debian.org/doc

At the moment, Debian doesn't have a System Administrator manual.

For contributors

The most famous for Debian contributors are :

Most documentation for Debian-developer (and package maintainer) are available from www.debian.org/devel/.

Official Websites of the Debian Project

The Debian Project has a constitution and an organizational structure

On Debian.org the official Debian site, you can find a section dedicated to documentation.


Advocacy, developers, inside information


Debian-related wikis:


Many free and non-free books are listed on Debian website.

Extra books could be listed below.

Instant Messaging

There are official Debian IRC channels.

You can also use Jabber

Program documentation

Each software provides has its own documentation.

Under Debian (Unix), a program's documentation typically consist of (one or more of):

  • A manpage (type man followed by a command name).

  • A README file, provided by upstream. (A text file located at /usr/share/doc/pkgname/README)

  • A README.Debian file, provided by the Debian package maintainer. (A text file located at /usr/share/doc/pkgname/README.Debian)

  • Programs with a graphical user interface (Gnome, KDE...) usually comes with help page (accessible through Menu > Help).

  • Some program provide their documentation as html, or info page.

Package Description

In the package description you can find some useful information, like a short description of the package, a link to the original website, a list of files contained, and more. The package description can be accessed at the url http://packages.debian.org/<package-name>. Or, try "aptitude show $PKG" (you may need to "apt-get update && apt-get aptitude && aptitude update" first).

One of the best places to look for help for a single package or application is to read stuff in /usr/share/doc/<package-name> (especially README.Debian). This is documentation written by developers or package maintainers. It is quite concise, but usually mentions most common problems and solutions, and new features and fixed bugs.

Bug tracking system

Many problems' solutions can be found as bug report responses. A search engine for bug reports is found on http://bugs.debian.org. Remember that if you want to search in archived (quite old) bugs you must chose "archived bugs" option. If you want to look at bugs of a specific package use http://bugs.debian.org/<package-name>.

Contribute to the documentation

  • {i} This is free software, you can contribute improvements to the existing documentation
    (i.e. you don't have to write your own HowTo!)

If you are interested in contributing to documentation, please check the following resources first, to get some feel for how other people contribute:

If you are interested in participating in the debian-doc group, please see the team page on the Wiki

See also