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Debian Maintainers (DMs) are people who have a restricted ability to upload specified packages to the Debian archive.
Unlike Sponsored Maintainers, they can maintain these packages without a sponsor.

It is highly recommended to be a Debian Maintainer before applying to the Debian New Members process to become an official Debian Developer (see the Applicant's Checklist).

The Debian Maintainers concept was introduced on 5th August 2007 by General Resolution.
An up to date list of DMs is available at A list of the upload rights held by DMs is maintained by the Debian ftp-masters, and a few reports with the same information are maintained here.


Debian Maintainers have their keys in the debian-maintainers keyring (available in the debian-keyring package).

This keyring is used by dak on the Debian archive as part of the checks as to whether an uploaded package is to be accepted.
Packages signed by a key in the debian-maintainers keyring will be accepted if the key has upload right for the package.
For the new interface for managing DM permissions, refer to the mail Changes to Debian Maintainer upload permissions.

Debian Maintainer should read this DebianMaintainer/Tutorial to know more about the annual ping, key changes and uploading packages.

Advocating a Debian Maintainer

A Debian Developer should only advocate a Debian Maintainer candidate if

Debian Developers advocating Debian Maintainer candidates (or potential Debian Developers for that matter) must go into a bit more detail in their advocacy.

For example, if the Debian Maintainer candidate has good packaging skills,
go into a bit more detail about what's convinced you the candidate has got those skills?

Once you have decided to advocate a Debian Maintainer applicant, you should

Becoming a Debian Maintainer

Steps required to become a Debian Maintainer


Before becoming a Debian Maintainer you should have a history of contributions to Debian as a Sponsored Maintainer where you can meet and establish a level of trust with other project members.

step 1 : Identification

If signed by only one DD, try to make sure there is at least another trust path to your key.

step 2 : Declaration of intent

To become a Debian Maintainer, you must:

The prospective DM is highly encouraged to subscribe to the debian-devel mailing list.

Please check your key and fix any problem with your key.
Please read the document "OpenPGP Best Practices" by Daniel Kahn Gillmor (dkg).
Its OpenPGP key checks have been implemented by Clint Adams (clint) in the Debian package hopenpgp-tools and dkg's recommended settings has been put together in a gpg.conf file by Jacob Appelbaum (error).
Please check your key with clint's hokey lint command and use error's gpg.conf file as explained in dkg's document.

step 3 : Advocacy

Their comments will also be sent to the debian-newmaint mailing list.

step 4 : Objections

Your application will stay pending for four days, to allow time for any objections to be filed.

step 5 : Keyring update

When your application is complete, it will be sent to the keyring maintainers who will actually update the keyring.

This can take anything from days to weeks, and you will be notified when it happens.

Debian Maintainer retirement

Following each Debian release, all DMs who did not make an upload during the cycle for that release will be automatically retired.

For example: after the release of Stretch, DMs who did not make an upload since the release of Jessie will be retired.

There used to be an annual "ping" bug procedure to indicate continued interest: that is not required anymore.

Announced here.


Now that you are a Debian Maintainer, you have to read this DebianMaintainer/Tutorial

Granting Permissions

After a Debian Maintainer's key has been added to the debian-maintainers keyring, a Debian Developer may grant upload permissions to the DM for specific packages by uploading a signed dak command to as described in the FTP-Master's announcement to debian-devel.
This process can be simplified with the help of the dcut command from the dput-ng package. Note that this does not work with the dcut command from the dput package. You can check which one you have via apt list dput*.

For example, both of the following work [after the dak bug described below gets fixed]:

$ dcut ftp-master dm --uid "Jane Doe" --allow glibc
$ dcut ftp-master dm --uid 0xfedcba9876543210 --allow glibc linux --deny kfreebsd9

If the DM's key is not in the keyring package yet but in the DD's local keyring, use the --force option and the fingerprint, without spaces and, in this special case, without the 0x prefix and in all uppercase:

$ dcut --force ftp-master dm --uid FEDCBA9876543210FEDCBA9876543210 --allow glibc

Both the DD and DM will receive a mail notification about any changes taken.

NOTE: due to a bug in dak, you'll need to add  -m "Jane Doe <>"  to the dcut commands. The merge request to fix it is here:

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