The non-US archive
non-US is obsolete
Since the sarge release, packages that were formerly in the non-US part of the archive have been moved into the regular archive. If you have any lines referring to "non-us" in your /etc/apt/sources.list, you should remove them. (source: Debian Sarge release notes).
This page exists for historical purpose only.
In former times, it was illegal to export cryptographic code from the U.S.1 For that reason, there was a non-us archive until release of sarge, hosted on a server in the Netherlands. The conditions for programs in the non-us subsections (non-us/main, non-us/contrib and non-us/non-free) were the same as for the "normal" sections, with the addition that they could contain cryptographic code (quote: debian-policy).
Crypto in Main
The work to get Crypto in Main (Cryptographic Software in Debian's Main Archive) was done in 2001.
It is documented in http://www.debian.org/legal/cryptoinmain.
For historical purpose...
An abstract of the old archive's README file (full text)
United States laws place restrictions on the export of certain defense articles, which, unfortunately, includes some types of cryptographic software. PGP and SSH, among others, fall into this category. It is legal however, to import such software into the US.
An abstract of the old Debian Policy (<22.214.171.124). (Full text is available from debian-woody's debian-policy package.
The non-US sections:
Non-free programs with cryptographic program code need to be stored on the non-us server because of export restrictions of the U.S.
- Programs which use patented algorithms that have a restricted license also need to be stored on "non-us", since the non-us archive is located in a country where patenting algorithms is not allowed.
Non-US being phased out. Frans Pop proposed a paragraph about the end of the non-US archive to be added to the release notes since it is dysfunctional and not needed anymore. From the 29 packages still included, only five haven't been able to be moved into the main archive. (quote: Debian Weekly News - May 25th, 2005).
Moving Cryptographic Software in Debian's Main Archive explored (see http://www.debian.org/legal/cryptoinmain).
- new US Regulations governing cryptographic software.
The non-US archive was officially introduced (In DebianSlink ??)
The non-us is hosted at ftp://non-us.debian.org (see mail).
non-us archive, hosted at os.inf.tu-dresden.de, is mentioned for the first time in an official release for Debian 1.3.1 (actually, it is mentioned in DEBIAN-ANNOUNCE, but not on the website announcement).
It is archived at:
- Was non-US part of the distribution? was it supported ?
Yes, the policy used to mention The main and the non-US/main sections together form the Debian GNU/Linux distribution.