First translations of the Debian Wheezy Handbook: French, Spanish, and more to come?

I’m glad to announce that the Wheezy version of the Debian Administrator’s Handbook now sports two full translations with the French and Spanish ones.

French: Cahier de l’Admin Debian Wheezy

Cahier de l'Admin Debian Wheezy Not really a surprise since this is our mother tongue and since the last crowdfunding campaign made this work possible. Still, it’s an important milestone for us because this is first time Eyrolles publishes this book under a free license from the start.

The book is thus available as a paperback in all (good) bookstores as well as an e-book that you can read online and download.

Spanish: El libro del administrador de Debian

The Spanish translation team lead by Matías Bellone worked very hard to get back to 100% of translated strings and you can now enjoy the result.

Let us thank the translators:

  • Matías Bellone
  • Adrià García-Alzórriz
  • Rene Saavedra
  • all the persons who contributed to the translation of the former version of the book

Crowdfunding campaign for the Arabic translation

Muhammad Saied is currently running a crowdfunding campaign to gather the $4500 required to let him and Mohamed Amine complete the translation.

If you speak and read Arabic (or more generally care about spreading Debian in the part of the world that uses this language), click here and go support this project!

Other translations

There are many other translations that would benefit from some help to get closer to completion. You can already browse and download the corresponding books.

Here’s the progression of all the existing translations:

  • Arabic (ar-MA): 9%
  • Brazilian Portuguese (pt-BR): 36%
  • Chinese (zh-CN): 26%
  • Farsi (Persian) (fa-IR): 0%
  • French (fr-FR): 100%
  • Danish (da-DK): 0%
  • German (de-DE): 66%
  • Greek (el-GR): 1%
  • Hungarian (hr-HR): 3%
  • Indonesian (id-ID): 8%
  • Italian (it-IT): 64%
  • Japanese (ja-JP): 0%
  • Polish (pl-PL): 2%
  • Romanian (ro-RO): 1%
  • Russian (ru-RU): 29%
  • Spanish (es-ES): 100%
  • Turkish (tr-TR): 0%

Major update of the Debian Administrator’s Handbook for Debian 7 (Wheezy)

Cover of the Debian Administrator's HandbookWe’re pleased to announce the availability of “The Debian Administrator’s Handbook, Debian Wheezy from Discovery to Mastery”. This is the first major update of the book since the first edition (in May 2012).

We went through all chapters to update everything that changed with Debian 7. We also got rid of some really old content that was really no longer relevant. On the opposite, we added new stuff (such as a section about multi-arch), and addressed 16 bugs reported by loyal readers.

We hope that you will enjoy the result, browse it online or grab a copy (paperback/ebook). It should also be available as a Debian package (in Debian unstable but should be installable on any Debian system given that it has no dependencies).

As a special launch deal, you can get the paperback version with a 10% discount. Just click on this link and place your order before January 9th. Afterwards, the discount will be gone.

Just to give an idea of the amount of changes:

$ wc -l en-US/*.xml |grep total
  30263 total
$ git diff --stat debian/6.0+20120509 debian/7.20131230 en-US/*.xml
 en-US/00a_preface.xml                 |  202 +++++--
 en-US/00b_foreword.xml                |  314 +++++++----
 en-US/01_the-debian-project.xml       |  875 +++++++++++++++++-------------
 en-US/02_case-study.xml               |  210 ++++---
 en-US/03_existing-setup.xml           |  230 ++++----
 en-US/04_installation.xml             |  435 +++++++--------
 en-US/05_packaging-system.xml         |  738 +++++++++++++++----------
 en-US/06_apt.xml                      | 1418 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++--------------------
 en-US/07_solving-problems.xml         |  223 ++++----
 en-US/08_basic-configuration.xml      | 1166 +++++++++++++++++----------------------
 en-US/09_unix-services.xml            |  585 ++++++++------------
 en-US/10_network-infrastructure.xml   |  447 ++++++++-------
 en-US/11_network-services.xml         |  787 +++++++++++++++------------
 en-US/12_advanced-administration.xml  | 1188 +++++++++++++++++++++++-----------------
 en-US/13_workstation.xml              |  441 ++++++++-------
 en-US/14_security.xml                 |  270 +++++----
 en-US/15_debian-packaging.xml         |  164 +++---
 en-US/70_conclusion.xml               |   78 +--
 en-US/90_derivative-distributions.xml |  164 +++---
 en-US/92_short-remedial-course.xml    |  282 +++++-----
 en-US/Book_Info.xml                   |   13 +-
 21 files changed, 5567 insertions(+), 4663 deletions(-)

So about 20% of the book has been modified.

First chapters of the Debian Administrator’s Handbook updated for Debian 7

debian-joyI know that we’re late, but better late than never… we’re in the process of updating the book for Debian 7 Wheezy.

You can follow our progress in the TODO file in the Git repository.

Nothing is final yet, but if you’re interested, you can read and review the chapters that have already been updated:

If you find inaccuracies, typos, or spelling mistakes, please let us know. You can use the comments on this article or a direct email to the authors.

Update of 2013-07-31: Added the 6th and 15th chapter to the list.
Update of 2013-10-14: Added the 8th chapter to the list.

The French translation of the Debian Administrator’s Handbook is now online

Cover of the current French book (Cahier de l'Admin: Debian Squeeze)Thanks to the success of the liberation campaign of the original book in French, the Debian Administrator’s Handbook now has a second complete translation: after the Spanish translation, the French one!

You can browse the French book online, and download it directly from the main download page.

The book is based on Debian Squeeze as the Wheezy update is still in progress…

We would like to thank Eyrolles who made this liberation possible and offered nice ebooks as rewards for supporters. Thank you as well to the 721 supporters who contributed to this crowdfunding campaign, you have been awesome and reached all the targets we have set! :-)

Jumpstart a French translation of the Debian Administrator’s Handbook

One year ago, the Debian Administrator’s Handbook came to life as a translation from the French book “Cahier de l’Admin Debian” (published by Eyrolles). With the support of hundreds of persons, we also managed to publish it under a free license so that it could find its way into Debian proper.

Having done that, we were left in the odd situation where we had a free translation of a proprietary book. Now, together with Eyrolles, we have setup a new project to publish the French book under a free license and contribute it back to the Debian Administrator’s Handbook as the official French translation.

Liberate the Debian Handbook

The French book played a major role in my life and I would love to see it published under a free license (GPL-2+ / CC-BY-SA 3.0 just like the English book) and to give it the bright future that it deserves.

The Debian Administrator’s Handbook wouldn’t exist without the original book… so please consider supporting this project. This last step is an important one for me, I count on you.

Now head over there:

Thank you again for your support!

The Debian Administrator’s Handbook is available in Spanish

TranslationsThanks to the hard work of the Spanish translation team, the Debian Administrator’s Handbook is now available in Spanish. They have translated all the textual content of the book!

You can browse the Spanish book online, and download it directly from the main download page.

The book is based on Debian Squeeze as the Wheezy update is not done yet.

Join me to thank all the translators who made this possible:

  • Matías Bellone
  • Isma De Andrés Presa
  • Ricardo Mendoza
  • Iván Alemán
  • Marcos Mezo
  • Norman Garcia
  • Tzihue Cisneros Perez
  • Dario Java
  • José David Calderón Serrano
  • Roger Orellana

By the way other translations need your help to reach completion as well!

Updating the Debian Administrator’s Handbook for Debian 7.0 Wheezy

As you probably know, Debian is in freeze since July. Thus we’re hopefully only a few months away from the release of Debian 7.0 (also known as Wheezy). This means that it’s time to update the Debian Administrator’s Handbook to take into account all the changes and improvements that Wheezy will bring.

The process we’ll use

I have setup a TODO list for Roland and I. Each of us is going to update half of the book. As the work progresses, we will regularly push updated versions of the book here:

That way you can review the content as it evolves and submit bug reports to further improve the book! Bug reports must be submitted via reportbug debian-handbook just like any other Debian bug report.

I will keep you informed (on this blog) after each significant update (i.e. when a chapter has been fully updated).

Funding the work to update the book

This is also an important milestone for the project. We managed to fund the translation and the liberation of the book with the initial campaign but now we must ensure that sales of printed copies and donations cover for the time we’re going to spend in the next few months to update the book.

And this is indeed a concern because while the volume of sales and donations has been significant during the first 2-3 months after the liberation, it quickly dried up and we’re now down to about 100 EUR of revenues per month for each of Roland and I. This is much less than what we hoped for given the (potential) audience of the book. It’s already not enough to compensate for the time we spend on the book and it’s far from being enough to be able to fund our other free software activities.

This means multiple things:

  1. We must promote the book a bit more, and we need your help. Please share the word about the book, write some reviews on your blog and keep us informed!
  2. Please consider donating a few euros to prove that a free book can be financially viable in the long run.
  3. Alternatively, you can help one of the translation teams so that the book reaches an even wider audience than today.

Thank you very much for your continued support!

PS: In case you wonder, even though the book is now under a free license, we only got two small contributions besides typo fixes and translations. So it looks like that this book update will only happen if we take care of it ourselves.

The Debian Administrator’s Handbook in other languages

Several translation teams are working since a few months to translate the Debian Administrator’s Handbook in other languages… it’s a huge work so most translations are far from being finished but apparently the German team is getting close.

Even if the translations are not complete, I decided to publish their work in progress on-line. It’s always rewarding to be able to see the result of your hard work and hopefully it can also motivate other people to join the translations teams.

So here you go, have a look at the work of all the translators:

Translating the Debian Administrator’s Handbook

Just like any other good free documentation, the Debian Administrator’s Handbook deserves to be widely translated. And in truth, we had the chance to have several offers to help with translation even before the book was available…

Last week, I have written some instructions for translators. You can find README.translators and README.git in the Git repository.

So if you’re interested to help translate the book to your native language, read those files and join the dedicated mailing list ( You can either join a pre-existing translation team or start a new one.

Right now (2012-05-31), the following translations have already started:

We also contacted persons who (at some point) volunteered to help for the following translations:

  • Brazilian Portuguese
  • Czech
  • Dutch
  • German
  • Greek
  • Japanese
  • Polish
  • Romanian
  • Turkish

Do you like challenges? For any translation that reaches 100%, we will try to organize a print version of the book as well.

Looking forward to talk with you on the mailing list. :-)

The Debian Administrator’s Handbook is available

Cover of the Debian Administrator's HandbookWe’re pleased to announce that — after 5 months of work — the Debian Administrator’s Handbook is now available, both as a beautiful 495-page paperback and as an ebook (PDF, EPUB, MOBI formats).

The paperback’s usual price is €44.90, but we decided to make a special deal for the launch. You can get it with a 10% discount until May 18th. Hurry up and get it from

Download the ebookThe ebook is available for immediate download on the book’s website. There’s the PDF file corresponding to the printed book but also an EPUB version suitable for smartphones and ebook readers. You can also find a Mobipocket version for Kindle and other ebook readers that do not support EPUB (the open standard).

And of course, you can read it online.

Since the book is released under a set of free licenses (GPL-2+ / CC-BY-SA 3.0), it’s already available in Debian Unstable, just apt-get install debian-handbook. There’s also a git repository (git clone git:// if you want to contribute.

We hope that you will enjoy the book and we’re eagerly awaiting your feedback (but don’t expect quick replies, I’m going to take a much needed one-week vacation).