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 Alioth (guest) account :: People willing to participate in the packaging or development of a software can ask for an [[#alioth|Alioth]] ''guest'' account, then ask for commit rights to a given project.  Alioth (guest) account :: To contribute to a project hosted on [[#alioth|Alioth]], [[https://alioth.debian.org/account/register.php|register]] for a ''guest'' account, then ask to have that account given commit rights.

Debian_Jargon-160x160.png


Debian Glossary Only.

If you don't find the entry you wanted below, check

Or you can add it yourself. If you can't define it yourself you can put ToDo instead, but always check the sites mentioned above - if it isn't Debian-specific, an existing definition elsewhere is likely to be more helpful.

Jump to : A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Symbols: .(dot)

A

Adoption

The process of taking over as maintainer of a package that has been orphaned or tagged RFA

Advocate

A Debian member who advocates an application. Advocates should know the applicant fairly well and should be able to give an overview of the applicant's work, interests, and plans. Advocates are often the sponsors of an applicant.

Alioth

Alioth is a collaborative development environment based on the FusionForge software as a service for the Debian project and community.

Alioth (guest) account

To contribute to a project hosted on Alioth, register for a guest account, then ask to have that account given commit rights.

Alpha

A port (formerly a release architecture and still available via debports) using the Linux kernel on (Compaq/Digital) Alpha hardware

AM

See Application Manager

Amd64

A port (and release architecture in squeeze) using the Linux kernel on 64bit PCs - technically x86-64 or AMD64 or Intel64, nontechnically most new consumer PCs

ANAIS

Short for "Architecture Not Allowed In Source"; used in bug reports for package removal, usually indicating that the number of architectures for which the package is to be built has been reduced

Applicant

A person requesting membership in the Debian project; prospective Debian developer.

Application Manager (AM)

A Debian member who is assigned to an applicant to collect the information needed by the Debian account managers to decide about an application. One application manager can be assigned to more than one applicant. Nothing to do with software applications or package management

APT

Debian's Advanced Package Tool (or perhaps Advanced Packaging Tool - neither is "official"), a package management library that handles fetching the list of packages, resolving package dependencies, etc. It then uses dpkg to perform the actual package installation, removal, etc. The package apt provides the commandline tools apt-get and apt-cache, but other APT front-ends exist such as aptitude and synaptic.

Architecture
The type of system a piece of software is built for:

  • (Not Debian-specific) A general category of hardware (such as "486" or "little-endian"), or a variant of some piece of software tailored for this hardware; may specifically mean the category as determined by some particular tool, such as arch or dpkg-architecture

  • One of the platforms for which Debian packages are built, known by labels such as amd64 or mipsel, and also differentiated by the OS kernel used - the same hardware (not literally an Intel 386 processor) may dualboot i386 and kfreebsd-i386 architectures. See also port, release architecture

Archive
A set of files:

  • (Not Debian-specific) A set of items combined into one file, such as a tarball or .deb file (technically an ar archive)

  • An organized, searchable collection of files, such as a software repository
  • Used as a synonym for suite by (e.g.) aptitude - "aptitude search '~i?archive(backports)'")

Area

The term used in Debian Policy for the main, contrib, and non-free divisions of the repositories (also known as components)

Arm

A port (superseded by armel and no longer maintained) using the Linux kernel on ARM/StrongARM hardware, a CPU type originally created for the Acorn Archimedes

Armel

A port (and release architecture in squeeze) using the Linux kernel on little-endian ARM/StrongARM chips, now common in embedded/mobile devices

Armhf

A (work-in-progress) port (not yet a release architecture but available via debports) using the Linux kernel on newer ("hard-float") armel-style hardware with an FPU

Avr32

A (work-in-progress) port (not yet a release architecture but available via debports) using the Linux kernel on Atmel's 32-bit RISC architecture

B

Backports

Backports are versions of packages from testing and unstable that have been rebuilt to be able to install and run on the stable distribution; especially those hosted on backports.debian.org

Base system

Binary packages with priority required or important; a minimalist set of packages installed before everything else on a new system. Designed to provide just the things you'd be surprised to find missing on a usable UNIX system. Not to be confused with essential, which is much smaller.

BD-Uninstallable

A wanna-build state

Binary
Several potentially confusing (but not Debian-specific) meanings:

  • Any non-textfile, such as a JPEG format image
  • Any ELF executable (often used generically to include shellscripts and other non-binary executables normally found in a bin directory)

  • The output of a build process - see binary package

Binary package

An installable .deb file as opposed to the source package it's built from. The idea is that this is the "binary" compiled in the package building process (regardless of whether the output .deb contains a binary executable, documentation, or indeed Linux kernel source code). See also Virtual package.

BinNMU

A binary(-package)-only Non-Maintainer Upload, often used in porting - see binNMU

Bo

The codename for Debian 1.3, release date: 1997

BoF

Short for "Birds of a Feather"; a common type of discussion session held at DebConf

BSP

Short for "Bug Squashing Party"; a get-together of Debian enthusiasts (either virtual or In Real Life) for the purpose of fixing as many bugs as possible.

BTS

Short for "Bug Tracking System"

BTS-link

A system for synchronizing bug status in the Debian BTS with external bug tracking systems like Bugzilla. See this mail.

Building

  • A wanna-build state

  • (Not Debian-specific) A piece of architecture in the non-jargon sense

Build-essential

The only package that's literally essential for building a Debian binary package is make (because Policy mandates the use of a Makefile), but the "build-essential" toolkit is a convenient short-cut: a standard set of packages defined to be required for all "normal" Debian packaging work, which can therefore be omitted from lists of build dependencies as obvious, just as essential packages are omitted from install-time dependencies.

Buzz

The codename for Debian 1.1, release date: 1996

BYHAND

The queue on ftp-master (alongside NEW) for uploads that need special manual handling, such as D-I images

C

CDBS

Short for "Common Debian Build System" (provided by cdbs)

Component

The term used in sources.list(5) for the main, contrib, and non-free archive areas

Conffile

A technical term defined in Policy; a file declared in a binary package's conffiles file is treated specially by dpkg to ensure that local modifications are not blindly overwritten by a package upgrade or deleted by a remove. Conffiles are (always?) stored in /etc, and are often conventional global configuration files but may also be initscripts, cronjobs, or similar.

Configuration file

Any file affecting the operation of a program, or providing site- or host-specific information, or otherwise customizing a program's behavior. May or may not be system-wide, or in an intelligible line-oriented text format, or marked as a conffile. Personal configuration files are traditionally stored as dotfiles in the home directory (see also rc-file).

Contrib
Additional, external software, in either of two senses:

  • In various project upstreams, a collection of extra software produced by third parties and included into a distribution "without warranty"
  • in Debian, software that is itself DFSG-compliant but requires software in non-free to build or run usefully (or the archive area such software is separated out into).

Control file

As defined in Debian Policy:

  • The control file included in the debian directory of each source package contains dependency information required to build the package, and has separate stanzas containing further information for each binary-package

  • The control file included in the DEBIAN directory of each binary .deb (formed from the corresponding stanza in the source control file) contains dependency information required to install the package, plus the package description etc.

  • Any "control file"; that is, any file with the same multi-field syntax as the above - for instance, .dsc files are also counted as control files.

  • Custom Debian Distributions (CDD)

    The old name for subsets of Debian configured to support a particular target group out-of-the-box. Now known as Debian Pure Blends

    Critical
    Has two related Debian-specific meanings:

    D

    Dak

    (Short for "Debian Archive Kit") The toolset used to manage the Debian repositories - see DakHowTo

    DAM

    Short for "Debian Account Manager"

    DD

    Short for "Debian Developer"

    DDE

    Short for "Debian Data Export"

    DDP

    Short for the "Debian Documentation Project"

    DDPO

    The Debian Developer's Packages Overview, which lists the packages maintained by a Debian Developer or Team

    DebCamp

    See DebCamp; the hacking session right before DebConf

    Debconf
    Two things distinguished by capitalization:

    Debian Account

    Typically the login account of a Debian Developer, but sometimes also used to refer to a Debian Maintainer account. See also Alioth account.

    Debian Account Manager (DAM)

    A Debian member who has been delegated by the Debian project leader to manage Debian account creation and removal. The DAM has the final decision over an application.

    Debian Contributor

    A general term for active members of the Debian community, whether or not they have DD status; sometimes used to mean the status of a non-uploading DD (as recognized by general resolution).

    Debian Data Export (DDE)

    A web interface giving access to Debian data in various formats. See DDE, ProjectB, UDD

    Debian Developer (DD)

    A Debian Project member who has gone through the New Maintainer process and had their application accepted is called a Debian Developer.

    Debian Documentation Project

    A Debian sub-project covering various documentation issues. See webpages

    Debian Installer (D-I)

    Debian Installer is the software used to initially install Debian on your hard disk. This should not be confused with the software used to install additional packages on a running Debian system (see APT).

    Debian Maintainer (DM)

    The status of a person who has passed the Debian Maintainer process. A Debian Maintainer is granted some rights over packages - in particular, the right to upload packages to the Debian archives. DMs aren't voting members of the Debian Project. See also Debian Developer, Alioth account. Not to be confused with the role of package Maintainer

    Debian Member

    Full members of the Debian Project are referred to as Debian Developers. (ToDo: link to one coherent central explanation of the distinction between contributors, developers, maintainers, and uploaders, assuming there is one)

    Debian New Maintainer

    The process of becoming an official Debian Developer, or a person going through that process. See also Applicant.

    Debian Policy Manual
    The document that describes what packages should contain, how they should be configured, and generally how packages fit together to create a Debian system.

    Debian Project

    An organization of free software developers spread around the world with a common goal: to produce a completely free operating system. See the Debian web pages for more information.

    Debian Project Leader (DPL)

    The official representative of the Debian Project to the outside world, with internal managerial and coordinatory duties; elected annually. See http://www.debian.org/devel/leader

    Debian Pure Blends

    A subset of Debian that is configured to support a particular target group out-of-the-box. Debian Pure Blends were formerly known as Custom Debian Distributions (CDD).

    Debian Security Advisory (DSA)

    A warning message sent to the debian-security-announce mailinglist about a security alert for Debian software with available fixes. Not to be confused with the DSA team.

    Debian System Administrators (DSA)

    The Debian System Administrators team, who handle the basic infrastructure of the project. Not to be confused with DSA messages.

    Debports

    debian-ports.org, a site hosting ports that do not currently qualify as official release architectures and are not yet (or no longer) integrated into the main archives

    Deferred

    A set of queues on ftp-master where the queue daemon stores packages that were uploaded to the corresponding delayed queue - see README

    DEHS

    Short for "Debian External Health Status"

    Delayed

    A set of directories on ftp-master (ranging from "0-day" to "15-day") that receive uploads not intended for immediate processing, usually to give the package's maintainer an opportunity to check the acceptability of an NMU before it goes into the archive. Compare deferred

    DEP

    Short for "Debian Enhancement Proposal", an RFC-like mechanism for planning efforts within the Debian Project

    Dependency-based boot

    A scheme, standard since squeeze, for organizing initscripts; "dependency-based" here means checking for things like networking and mounted file systems, not package installation relationships

    Dependency package

    An empty binary package that exists only for the sake of its declared dependencies on other packages, for instance to keep the current default version of gcc installed. See metapackage and transition-package for other common types.

    Dep-wait

    (Plus more rarely dep-wait-removed) A wanna-build state

    Derivative

    A term with various senses in finance, IP law, etc., but used in Debian for "child" distributions like Ubuntu; see the DerivativesFrontDesk

    DFSG

    Short for the "Debian Free Software Guidelines"; the rules of thumb included in the Debian Social Contract that can be used to judge whether material counts for the project's purposes as free. The string dfsg is often appended to package names and version-strings to indicate that the upstream version has been slightly modified to allow it to stay in main.

    D-I

    See Debian-Installer

    Distribution (distro, dist)

    • (Not Debian-specific) The complete set of software from one upstream project, considered as a unit. MacTeX is a TeX distribution, for instance, whereas NetBSD is a full Operating System distribution. This is the sense (often abbreviated "distro") in which Debian is "a distribution".
    • A suite within the Debian repositories capable of providing a fully functional OS on its own, unlike the supplementary ones such as "testing-security". This is the sense in which stable is "a distribution".

    • Used more generally (e.g. in sources.list(5)) as a synonym for suite; hence source URLs which put http://ftp.debian.org/debian/dists/experimental/ alongside all the other dists.

    Dist-upgrade

    • In Debian package management, the process of migrating a whole system from one release to the next (dist-upgrades skipping a release are not supported)

    • In apt specifically, an action that makes relatively aggressive (but intelligent) attempts to bring the system fully up to date, even if this requires some changes to the list of installed packages (that is, it may automatically install, remove, or replace packages). Compare plain upgrade, and aptitude's full-upgrade.

    DM

    See Debian Maintainer.

    DMUA

    Short for "DM-Upload-Allowed"; not to be confused with DMUP

    DMUP

    Short for "Debian Machine Use Policies"; the Acceptable Use Policy for machines on the Debian network. Not to be confused with DMUA

    DM-Upload-Allowed (DMUA)

    a field in control files that can be added (normally by a sponsor) to license uploads signed by a Debian Maintainer rather than a full Debian Developer

    Dotfoo

    For Debian-specific file extensions ("dotdeb" etc.) see . (dot)

    Downgrade

    An action not officially supported in Debian package management, though often possible (and where it isn't, a purge and re-install of the older version is often good enough).

    DPL

    Short for "Debian Project Leader"

    DPMT

    The Debian Python Modules Team, who work to improve the Python modules situation in Debian.

    DSA

    Short for either "Debian Security Advisory" or "Debian Systems Administrators"

    Dummy package

    An empty package created either to circumvent the dependency system (see equivs) or to express dependencies of its own (see metapackage, dependency package)

    E

    Emergency

    The highest upload urgency level, synonymous with critical

    Essential

    A set of binary packages providing the absolute minimal functionality that must be available and usable on the system at all times. The idea is, if you're hit by a software or hardware failure halfway through an upgrade, leaving your package database in an inconsistent state, the essential packages should still work well enough to let you perform repair work.

    Etch

    The codename for Debian 4.0, release date: 2007

    Experimental

    The experimental repository is an incomplete distribution which developers can use to try out versions of software not intended to migrate to testing, and which users are warned not to install

    Extra

    The lowest package priority

    F

    Failed

    (Plus more rarely failed-removed) A wanna-build state

    FHS

    See Filesystem Hierarchy Standard.

    Filesystem Hierarchy Standard (FHS)

    the FilesystemHierarchyStandard defines the main directories and their contents in Linux and other Unix-like computer operating systems. The Debian Policy Manual only explains the exceptions applying to Debian.

    Free

    Compliant with the DFSG, and eligible to go in main

    Freeze

    The distribution development freeze is a period of time when the Debian Project is working to finalize and stabilize the content of the testing distribution (resolving Release Critical bugs, making final tweaks to Debian-Installer, deciding the contents of the CDs, etc.) before its release as the new stable. Debian's release policy is one of Release when Ready, so the length of the freeze period isn't fixed, but it tends to last something like six months.

    Front Desk

    The front desk members receive the initial applications, advocation messages, and final application reports. They are the point of contact if problems arise with an application.

    FTBFS

    Short for "Fails To Build From Source", a bugreport type produced by the build infrastructure when a binary package cannot be compiled.

    FTP master
    Several things, none of which necessarily involve the File Transfer Protocol:

    • The ftp-master server, the primary copy of the Debian archive

    • The FTPMaster team that looks after this server, doing tasks such as checking the NEW queue

    • Senior members of this team also rank as "FTP Masters"

    Full-upgrade

    An aptitude action more or less equivalent to (and formerly known as) a dist-upgrade.

    G

    General Resolution (GR)

    A decision ratified by a vote of Debian Developers, according to the procedure specified in the Debian Constitution

    Giveback

    In autobuilder jargon, packages are "taken" when an attempt is made to build them. Failures are often transient, fixed by simply trying again after a few days, so a "giveback" removes the "taken" flag from the package in the wanna-build database and puts it back into the normal needs-build queue.

    GR

    Short for "General Resolution"

    Grave

    An RC bug severity

    H

    Hamm

    The codename for Debian 2.0, release date: 1998

    Hijack

    Adoption without prior permission, sometimes justified by a sufficiently buggy package and MIA maintainer

    Hppa

    A port (formerly a release architecture and still available via debports) using the Linux kernel on Hewlett Packard Precision Architecture RISC workstations and servers

    Hurd-i386

    A (work-in-progress) port (not yet a release architecture but available via debports) using the Hurd kernel on i386-style hardware

    I

    I386

    A "port" (or rather the original release architecture) using the Linux kernel on 32-bit PCs - the kind dominating the market through the 90s/00s and known variously as IBM-clone, x86, IA-32, or (W)Intel-compatible computers

    Ia64

    A port (and release architecture in squeeze) using the Linux kernel on Intel IA-64 AKA Itanium hardware, not to be confused with amd64

    IANADD

    Short for "I Am Not A Debian Developer" - a caveat in the tradition of IANAL

    IANAL

    Short for "I Am Not A Lawyer", often used on the debian-legal mailing list. Not Debian-specific; see Wikipedia's definition.

    ICE

    Short for "Internal Compiler Error"; used in bug reports for package removal, usually indicating that gcc does not yet fully support a new architecture

    Important
    Two Debian-specific meanings:

    Install

    • To set up an Operating System (e.g. with Debian-Installer), or otherwise introduce software onto a system. Examples include installing a bootable image to your boot-sector, a homebrew kernel in /boot, or a shellscript in /usr/local/sbin. The Debian system is designed to permit various forms of local installation performed outside the package database, but you have to keep track of them yourself.

    • In Debian package management, to put a binary package onto a system in a way that registers it with the package database. Note that the package management system sees package upgrades as a subcategory of installs.

    • In APT (or front-ends), a particular action. Note however that install and remove can each be used to perform the opposite function, if given an appropriate suffix (e.g.: apt-get install foo- bar- will remove packages foo and bar).

    Installed

    A wanna-build state

    IP
    (Not Debian-specific) A highly ambiguous initialism, which can mean:

    • Internet Protocol, the primary communications protocol on the net;
    • Internet Protocol address (as in "what's your IP?");
    • Instruction Pointer address (as in "segfault at ip 000000000000dead");
    • Intellectual Property, the intangible assets covered by copyright/licensing/patent/trademark law.

    ITA

    Short for "Intent to Adopt", used to track the status of orphaned packages (see WNPP) or documentation (see DDP).

    ITD

    Short for "Intent to Document", used by a documentation maintainer who intends to start writing a document. Using the WNPP system avoids duplicated effort; see DDP.

    ITP

    Short for "Intent To Package", used by a Debian Developer or Maintainer who intends to package a piece of software; see WNPP.

    ITT

    Short for "Intent to Translate", used by a translator who intends to start translating a document. This, like the above, is a mechanism to prevent duplication of efforts; see DDP.

    J

    K

    Kfreebsd-amd64

    A port (and "technology preview" release architecture in squeeze) using the FreeBSD kernel on amd64-style hardware

    Kfreebsd-i386

    A port (and "technology preview" release architecture in squeeze) using the FreeBSD kernel on i386-style hardware

    KSP

    Short for "Key Signing Party", a common event at DebConfs and other real-life get-togethers

    L

    L10n

    A tag indicating a bug in localization (en_GB: localisation) support

    Lenny

    The codename for Debian 5.0, release date: 2009 (oldstable)

    Lfs

    (A tag indicating a bug in) Large File Support (meaning individual files over two gigabytes). Not to be confused with the LinuxFromScratch distribution.

    Low

    The default upload urgency level

    M

    M32r

    A rumored port which has never made it as far as debports using the Linux kernel on Renesas M32R embedded hardware

    M68k

    A port (formerly a release architecture and still available via debports) using the Linux kernel on Motorola-680x0 CPUs, once common in Sun3/Apple/Atari/Amiga machines

    Main

    The "truly Debian" archive area, reserved for free software.

    Maintainer

    The maintainer of a package is the person or group of people responsible for package maintenance; see Debian Policy. See also Debian Maintainer and Debian New Maintainer process.

    Mass bug filing (MBF)

    Reporting a great number of bugs for the same problem. See the Debian Developer's Reference.

    MBF

    Short for "Mass Bug Filing".

    Mentee

    An occasionally seen word for "an individual being mentored". This term, like sponsee, may trigger responses of "that's not even a word" in some speakers (though alternatives like "mentoree" aren't much safer)

    Mentor

    An experienced Debian Member who takes responsibility for assisting a less experienced member or Applicant. Outside occasional efforts such as the Debian Women mentoring program, such relationships generally exist only on an informal and unofficial basis. Every Applicant has an advocate who may effectively act as a mentor; but despite the name of the debian-mentors mailing list, its primary function is to put new maintainers in touch with sponsors.

    Metapackage

    A dependency package designed to automatically pull in a family of packages; may function as a shortcut to simplify installation of a full desktop environment. Sometimes hyphenated ("meta-package"), sometimes used as a synonym for plain dependency package

    MIA

    Short for "Missing In Action"; (a database tracking) Debian package maintainers who have abandoned their duties without retiring

    Minor

    A low bug severity

    Mips

    A port (and release architecture in squeeze) using the Linux kernel on big-endian SGI-style MIPS hardware

    Mipsel

    A port (and release architecture in squeeze) using the Linux kernel on the little-endian version of mips-style hardware

    N

    Native

    A source package with no upstream and no use outside of Debian can leave out some complications in its packaging by using the "native" source format

    NBS

    Short for "Not Built from Source"; one of the criteria used to detect candidates for automated package removal, in this case removing a binary package that isn't built from any remaining source package. See ftpmaster_Removals.

    Needs-build

    A wanna-build state

    NEW

    The queue on ftp-master for packages uploaded for the first time, which need to be reviewed first - see REJECT. This includes renames, packages moving between areas, and source-packages that build new binary packages

    New Maintainer (NM)

    See Debian New Maintainer, Applicant, Debian Maintainer.

    NMU

    Short for "Non-Maintainer Upload"; a version of a package that wasn't uploaded by an official Maintainer, but rather by another Debian Developer. This typically occurs for security updates, Mass Bug Filings, and when the maintainer is on holiday - see Debian Developer's Reference.

    Non-free

    Not compliant with the DFSG; also, the archive area for software which is non-free but can be legally distributed by Debian.

    Non-US

    (Obsolete) A subdivision of the Debian archives needed for the slink/potato/woody releases to deal with US legal restrictions on the export of cryptographic software. Software such as GPG was hosted only on mirrors outside the USA.

    Normal

    The default bug severity

    Not-for-us

    A wanna-build state (not to be confused with non-us)

    NPOASR

    Short for "Never Part Of A Stable Release"; used in bug reports for package removal, implying that users won't see the package's absence as a regression

    NVIU

    Short for "Newer Version In Unstable"; one of the criteria used to detect candidates for automated package removal, in this case removing an experimental build as superseded by a more recent build already present in unstable. See ftpmaster_Removals.

    O

    O

    Short for the QA status "Orphaned"

    Obsolete

    • In aptitude (e.g. aptitude search ?obsolete), any currently installed package which is not available (in any version) from any known archive. This usually means that the system has dist-upgraded to a new stable release that no longer contains that package. Transition packages don't register as obsolete in this sense.

    • Also used to refer to automatically installed packages that are no longer needed (such as orphan libraries) and would be candidates for autoremoval.

    Oldstable

    The distribution before the current stable release, which continues to receive some level of security support for a while (commonly a year) after it is superseded.

    Oldstable proposed-updates

    The equivalent to stable-proposed-updates for oldstable

    Optional

    A package priority (the highest priority that's not installed by default)

    OPU

    Short for "Oldstable Proposed Updates"; used to tag subject lines of processing requests. See also PU.

    Origin

    In Release files and aptitude searches, the organization providing the repository - examples include Debian, Debian Backports, and Google, Inc.

    Orphan

    (Not to be confused with the following) In Debian package management, a stray installed package with no reverse dependencies (such as a library for which the corresponding executable has been purged), which can be detected with tools such as deborphan. Such unwanted relics are now increasingly tracked by APT itself.

    Orphaned (O)

    (Not to be confused with the above) Used in package QA to indicate that a package has no maintainer, and is in need of adoption (see ITA and WNPP). If the package has a priority of standard or higher, the severity of the orphaning bug report should be set to important. The term is similarly used to indicate documentation that the author is declaring abandoned; see DDP.

    P

    Package

    Package maintenance

    The software-development task of looking after a package within Debian (that is, bugtracking, following upstream development, etc. - see maintainer); not to be confused with package management

    Package management

    The administrative task of regulating the software installed on a particular system (using tools such as APT); not to be confused with package maintenance

    Package Tracking System (PTS)

    The Package Tracking System lets you follow almost everything related to the life of a package, and is of interest for co-maintainers, QA workers, and advanced users

    PAPT

    Short for "Python Applications Packaging Team"

    Pending

    A BTS tag indicating that "a solution to this bug has been found and an upload will be made soon". In practice this may mean anything from "my regular sponsor is away for the weekend" to "it'll be folded into the scheduled major release in the new year"

    Pinning

    APT pinning is the name given to the use of apt_preferences(5) to define a modified system of package-management priorities. This makes it possible, for instance, to run an essentially stable system but specify particular packages for which newer candidates (e.g. backports) will automatically be preferred for installation.

    Piuparts

    Short for "Package Installation, UPgrading And Removal Testing Suite" - see piuparts.

    Point release

    Point releases are updated versions of a release, with incremented minor revision number (hence the name), incorporating all accumulated security fixes and grave bug-fixes. (Also, In Real Life, a type of minor avalanche.)

    Popcon

    The popcon score of a Debian package (see webpage) is meant to reflect its "popularity"; it is derived from data generated via the package popularity-contest, which periodically and anonymously submits statistics about which binary packages are installed on a system and whether they are used.

    Port

    • (Not Debian-specific) A physical hardware interface
    • (Not Debian-specific) A TCP networking endpoint identified by port number
    • (Not Debian-specific) A platform that software has been converted to run on
    • A hardware/OS kernel combo for which some effort has been made to render Debian installable. See architecture, debports, Debian ports pages

    Potato

    The codename for Debian 2.2, release date: 2000

    Powerpc

    A port (and release architecture in squeeze) using the Linux kernel on IBM/Motorola PowerPC hardware, meaning PowerMacs and other pre-Intel Macs

    Powerpcspe

    A port (not yet a release architecture but available via debports) using the Linux kernel on a slightly more obscure variant of powerpc hardware; "SPE" stands for "Signal Processing Extension" (and not as you might have guessed "Synergistic Processing Element").

    Priority

    A ranking system for binary packages, indicating how important it is for users to have them installed, and ranging from extra to required. See Debian Policy.

    ProjectB

    A database storing Debian archive metadata (such as what versions of what packages are in what suites for what architectures) used by DAK. See ProjectB, DDE, UDD

    Pseudo-package

    (Not to be confused with virtual package, prospective package, or the package sudo) A BTS address that doesn't correspond to a package name; see definitions

    PTS

    Short for "Package Tracking System"

    PU

    Short for "(Stable) Proposed Updates"; used to tag subject lines of processing requests. See also OPU.

    Purge

    In Debian package management, to uninstall a package completely, deleting its conffiles. See remove

    Q

    QA

    Short for "Quality Assurance" - see qa.debian.org

    R

    RC
    Has several easily confused meanings:

    • Short for "Release Candidate", in version strings (v1.9~rc5 comes before v1.9)
    • Short for "Release-Critical" in the BTS

    • Short for "Radio Controlled"; one of the few original Toy Story character names never to have been adopted as a Debian release codename (it was a little buggy)

    • In a filename such as ~/.bashrc, indicates a type of configuration-file - usually interpreted as short for "runtime configuration", but apparently inspired by the following

    • In the sysv-rc system, indicates a type of set-up script (in /etc/rc*.d) - usually interpreted as short for "runlevel configuration", but apparently inspired by the following

    • In the MIT Compatible Time-Sharing System back in the sixties, "runcom files"

    REJECT

    A message from the FTP Masters denying entry to the Debian archives for a package in NEW, on the grounds of legality, namespace issues, or general bugginess; see FAQ

    Release

    see Debian Release

    • The occasion of a new stable version of Debian being declared ready for production use;

    • A suite that has been or is going to be released; more generally, a synonym for suite - even sid has a Release file and is traditionally (if oxymoronically) referred to as "the unstable release".

    Release Architecture

    An architecture supported as part of a stable release; ports qualify for this status when their autobuilders prove capable of "keeping up" and successfully building a sufficient proportion of the archive.

    Release Critical (RC)

    A bug that cannot be allowed in stable; a release cannot occur until all such bugs have been handled (by removal if necessary)

    Remove

    • To delete a package from the archives - see RM

    • In Debian package management, to uninstall a package, especially in a fashion that leaves behind conffiles (thus if you remove and then reinstall a package you won't lose your custom setup). See purge

    • In APT (or front-ends), a particular action. Note however that install and remove can each be used to perform the opposite function, if given an appropriate suffix (e.g.: apt-get remove foo+ bar+ will install packages foo and bar).

    RequestTracker (RT)

    The issue-tracking system rt.debian.org, used by the Security and DSA teams (among others)

    Required

    The highest package priority; not to be confused with essential

    Rex

    The codename for Debian 1.2, release date: 1996

    RFA

    Short for "Request For Adoption"; a WNPP bug tag indicating that (due to lack of time, interest, or other resources) the current maintainer is asking for someone else to maintain this package. They will maintain it in the meantime, but perhaps not in the best possible way. Compare Orphaned.

    RFD

    Short for "Request For Documentation"; a DDP bug tag indicating that a manual or other documentation on a given topic is not yet available on the DDP and the reporting user requests that DDP members should give it priority when deciding which documents need to be written.

    RFH

    Short for "Request For Help"; a WNPP bug tag indicating that the current maintainer wants to continue to maintain this package, but needs some help to do this. This may be because the maintainer is overstretched in general, or because this package is particularly hard to maintain, or because bugs require specialist expertise to fix.

    RFP

    Short for "Request For Package"; a WNPP bug tag indicating that the reporter has found an interesting piece of software and would like someone else to maintain it for Debian.

    RM

    Used in subject lines of package removal requests. It might look like it's addressed to the Release Manager, but it's just a shouty version of rm.

    Rolling

    A proposed distribution similar to testing but intended to be advertised as continuously usable. Work is in progress on an unofficial implementation

    RoM

    Short for "Request of Maintainer"; used in bug reports for package removal, to indicate that it has been agreed with the package's own maintainer.

    Root
    A word with several technical uses (not Debian-specific), all deriving from the same metaphor of a node structure with a root and branches:

    • The root directory (/) is the top level directory of the file system hierarchy - the part of the "directory tree" that everything else connects to.

    • The root file system is the primary mountpoint everything else is attached to; it contains the root directory, plus various other essential directories such as /bin and /lib, and may or may not include others such as /var or /home.

    • The root user (uid 0) is the so-called "superuser", with unlimited privileges - equivalent to the "Administrator" on some other operating systems. (This name might lead you to expect users to be arranged in some sort of organizational tree structure, but it just means that the superuser can modify the root directory.)
    • The root window is the desktop background, the element of the graphical environment that all other windows are defined relative to. (Thus "root tile" as a synonym for "desktop wallpaper".)
    • The root zone is the core of the DNS system, where the nameservers that are authoritative for Top Level Domains (the "root nameservers") live.
    • The directory /root is the home directory of the root user, housed on the root file system. Not to be confused with the root directory as defined above.

    • Not forgetting its senses of "inverse exponent", or "gain illicit superuser access, either for malicious purposes or to bypass a proprietary OS", or (in AU/NZ slang) "have sex with"... and it doesn't help that for some it's homophonous with "route".

    ROP

    Short for "Request Of Porter"; used in bug reports for package removal, to indicate that the package is no longer built on a particular set of architectures

    RoQA

    Short for "Request of Quality Assurance"; used in bug reports for package removal, to indicate that it has been agreed with the QA team (usually because the package is orphaned)

    RoRT

    Short for "Request of Release Team"; used in bug reports for package removal, to indicate that issues have been confirmed by the Release Team.

    ROSRM

    Short for "Request of Stable Release Manager"; used in bug reports for package removal, to indicate that it has been agreed with the powers that be

    RT

    Short for "Request Tracker"

    S

    S390

    A port (and release architecture in squeeze) using the Linux kernel on IBM s/390 AKA zSeries mainframe hardware

    Safe-upgrade

    An aptitude action more or less equivalent to (and formerly known as) an upgrade.

    Sarge

    The codename for Debian 3.1, release date: 2005

    Section

    • A notional subdivision of the Debian repositories into functional categories such as "admin", "kde", and "video"
    • Also sometimes used as a synonym for archive area

    Security

    The suite used to propagate fixes for security issues into stable, maintained by the security team

    Serious

    An RC bug severity

    Severity

    A ranking system for bugreports, indicating how important it is for it to be fixed, and ranging from wishlist to critical. See definitions

    Sh4

    A port (not yet a release architecture but available via debports) using the Linux kernel on Hitachi SuperH hardware (used e.g. in Dreamcasts)

    Shlibs
    Not a cross between a shrub and a blintz.

    • Short for shared libraries - that is, dynamically loadable subroutines compiled into object files so that a single copy loaded into memory can be accessed by as many different processes as need it. Normally have the file extension .so, followed by interface-version numbers.

    • A special file defined in Debian Policy for tracking shared library dependencies

    Sid

    The permanent codename for unstable. While other codenames cycle through from testing to stable to oldstable, the name "Sid" stays in the same place permanently.

    Slink

    The codename for Debian 2.1, release date: 1999

    Source

    • A package origin defined by a line in sources.list

    • A bash builtin that executes commands from a file

    • Compilable code, the input of a build process - see source package

    Sourceful

    Including source code - a term used e.g. to distinguish a "normal" NMU from a binNMU

    Source package

    • A unit of upstream software (with a single build system), which may correspond to several separate binary packages within Debian;

    • The bundle of files (.dsc file, upstream tarball, etc) used as input to the package-building process.

    Sparc

    A port (and release architecture in squeeze) using the Linux kernel on 32-bit Sun4-style SPARC hardware

    Sparc64

    A port (not yet a release architecture but available via debports) using the Linux kernel on 64-bit versions of sparc-type hardware

    SPI

    Short for "Software in the Public Interest, Inc.", the nonprofit foundation that manages resources and accepts donations on behalf of the Debian Project (which has no legal authority for doing so itself).

    Sponsee

    An occasionally seen word for "an individual being sponsored". This term, like mentee, may trigger responses of "that's not even a word" in some speakers (though alternatives like "sponsoree" aren't much safer)

    Sponsor

    A Debian Member with upload privileges who uses them on behalf of a package maintainer without such privileges. The sponsor is required to take responsibility for checking that there are no show-stopping quality issues, but is not recorded as the maintainer of the package. A sponsorship may be a one-off event, or the sponsor may also act informally as a mentor, helping to track down bugs and improve the packaging. See also advocate.

    Squeeze

    The codename for Debian 6.0, release date: 2011 (the current stable)

    Stable

    The stable suite is the distribution recommended for production use. Each stable release is "promoted" from testing status as the result of a cycle of development, debugging, and integration that usually lasts about two years.

    Stable-proposed-updates

    The suite where proposed fixes for major bugs in stable are queued for inclusion in a point release

    Stable-updates

    The StableUpdates suite (formerly implemented as volatile) is where proposed updates are queued for packages such as virus scanners that become uselessly out of date over the lifespan of a release.

    Standard

    A package priority (the lowest priority that's installed by default)

    Suite

    • A set of closely integrated packages (often multiple source packages), such as an "office suite"

    • Used in Release files and elsewhere to mean a repository holding one particular "branch" of Debian's development process - unstable, testing, and so on. Compare archive, distribution, release

    T

    Testing

    Testing is the Debian distribution automatically generated out of packages migrating from unstable. The first step towards a new stable release is that testing undergoes a freeze.

    Testing-proposed-updates

    The equivalent to stable-proposed-updates for testing, used only in cases where the fixes need to bypass unstable

    Testing-security

    The testing-security suite is only roughly the testing equivalent of stable's security support, because it is run by a different ?team and because most new package versions fixing security bugs can simply go through unstable as usual

    TINLA

    Short for "This Is Not Legal Advice"; compare IANAL.

    Transition

    Often short for "library transition". A new version of a widely-used dependency hitting unstable can mean that large numbers of related packages need rebuilds or significant fixes before the whole set can migrate to testing.

    Transition package

    A dependency package designed to automatically replace one package with another, to smooth over a rename or similar migration (especially for users performing a dist-upgrade). Not connected with library transitions

    U

    UDD

    Short for "the Ultimate Debian Database". Not to be confused with "Ubuntu Distributed Development".

    Ultimate Debian Database (UDD)

    A single SQL database gathering a lot of data about various aspects of Debian. See UDD, DDE, ProjectB

    Unstable

    The unstable distribution is where you can find the latest packages introduced into the Debian system.

    Update

    In APT (or front-ends), the process of refreshing the package-management system's information about what packages are available from the registered sources. Not to be confused with (or omitted before) an upgrade

    Upgrade

    • In Debian package management, the process of installing the newest versions of a set of binary packages (by default, all packages that have newer candidates available).

    • In apt specifically, the kind of upgrade that only fetches and installs new versions of packages, without changing the list of installed packages (so for instance a package whose new version has extra dependencies would be left unupgraded). Compare dist-upgrade, and aptitude's safe-upgrade.

    Upload

    Putting a package into (the appropriate queue for) a repository, usually meaning on ftp-master

    Uploaded

    A wanna-build state

    Uploaders

    An optional field in control files listing any co-maintainers for a package besides the primary Maintainer (each of which has upload privileges)

    Urgency

    A ranking system for uploads, indicating how important it is for the new version to reach the archives, and ranging from low to critical. See Debian Policy

    User
    A term with various potentially confusing senses (not Debian-specific):

    • An actual human being currently logged into the system
    • Any service recipient (including for instance remote processes accessing a web server)
    • An account, which may belong to a user in the first sense or just be a "system" account
    • In chmod(1), the specific user (in the above sense) with ownership of a file

    • Any normal, unprivileged account (thus "as a user" versus "as root")

    • Any normal, non-technical human user, likely also to be a user in the above sense

    • The name of the top-level /usr directory was also originally short for "user" (since at the time home directories lived there).

    Username

    The string (corresponding to a numeric uid) that identifies a user to the system. Ambiguous when written as "user name" - root is a username; "Professor Sam Q. McRandom" is a user name

    Userspace

    (Of a process) Running outside the kernel; everything up to and including init is a user process in this sense. Ambiguous when written as "user space" (which may mean storage capacity available to users).

    V

    Virtual package

    A binary package that exists in name only, with no associated .deb file; used to organize systems of alternative dependencies (multiple binary packages can claim to "Provide" the same virtual package).

    Volatile

    The volatile suite is (roughly speaking) the old name for stable-updates

    W

    Wanna-build

    A tool forming part of the autobuild system that maintains a database of the build status of packages; see definitions

    Wheezy

    The codename for the current testing

    Wishlist

    The lowest bug severity (which can include things that aren't literally bugs at all)

    WNPP

    Short for "Work-Needing and Prospective Packages" - a pseudo-package used to collect reports of packages (and potential packages) in need of (new) maintainers in Debian. See ITP, O, RFA, RFH, RFP.

    Woody

    The codename for Debian 3.0, release date: 2002

    X

    X Strike Force (XSF)

    The team responsible for maintaining packages for the X Window System in Debian

    Y

    Z

    . (dot)

    .changes

    The file extension used for a Debian changes file, which is a particular format of control file used by the Debian archive maintenance software to process updates to packages.

    .deb

    The file extension used for the standard installable binary package format used by Debian-based distributions.

    .dsc

    The file extension used for a Debian Source Control file, which is a particular format of control file forming a crucial component of a source-package

    .tdeb

    The file extension used for (proposed) separate translation packages - see Dep-4

    .udeb

    The file extension used for special binary packages containing Debian-Installer modules, not intended for installation on a normal system