Frequently Asked Questions

If you have other questions, please ask us at

1. Questions about the book

1.1 What is this book about?

The book presents the Debian GNU/Linux distribution in its 8th version (codenamed “Jessie”). After an introduction detailing the inner workings of the project, the book presents the Debian packaging system and the tools that operate on Debian packages (dpkg and APT). Next comes an explanation of the installation process. The other chapters are dedicated to the setup and configuration of all the most common services. The book concludes with more advanced topics like the creation of an automatic installer, the setup of SELinux/AppArmor, or the configuration of virtualized servers. Check out the table of contents of the online copy.

1.2 Who is this book for?

It’s for anyone who’s interested by Debian, either to try it out or to improve their knowledge of the Debian tools. From the administrator of a small familial network to one of a big company, everyone will find relevant information thanks to the numerous sidebars throughout the book.

1.3 How many pages does it contain?

The paperback contains 512 pages.

1.4 Which version of Debian is studied?

It’s Debian 8 “Jessie”.

1.5 What tools have been used to create the book?

The book has been written in Docbook (XML) with the help of vim for Raphaël and Emacs for Roland. Publican is used to generate the HTML output. dblatex handles the PDF output and dbtoepub has been used for the EPUB output. ebook-convert of calibre is then used to convert the EPUB file into a MOBI file. The diagrams have been created with dia.

2. Questions about the project

2.1 How can we support this project?

The best way to support this project is to buy a paperback or make a donation. The money allows us to spend more time working on the book to improve and extend it, and to update it for new Debian versions.

If you’d rather donate time than money, then check out the contribute page to find out how you can help.

3. Questions about the authors

3.1 Who is Raphaël Hertzog?

I am a Debian developer since 1997 and I would like to work full-time on Debian. You will find everything you want to know about my free software activities on If you read French, you might also be interested by (Free software blog) and (personal blog).

3.2 What is Freexian?

Freexian SARL is a company founded by Raphaël Hertzog to offer services around Debian GNU/Linux. If you have needs concerning Debian, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

3.3 How can we support his Debian work?

I am like everybody, I can only work on Debian once I have earned enough to pay my bills. I am trying hard to fund my Debian work so that I can spend 100% of my time on Debian related projects, and your support is important. Click here to discover what you can do.

3.4 Who is Roland Mas?

I’m a French free software developer, contributer and user; I’ve been involved in Debian since 2000, and became an official developer in early 2001.  My involvement was initially centered about packaging SourceForge, but one thing led to another, and I’m now also one of the founding developers of the descendant FusionForge project (which I also package for Debian, of course).  I’m too lazy (er… I meant “busy”) to maintain two separate blogs, so the main source of Roland-related news is at

3.5 What is Gnurandal?

It’s mostly a name for my freelancing operation.  Like Raphaël, I provide services such as sysadminning, maintenance, migration, training, local adaptation of software, and so on; I have a twin focus on Debian and FusionForge, which allows me never to get bored.  Website is at

3.6 How can we support his Debian (and FusionForge) work?

The best way to do useful stuff is to fix what needs to be fixed, or develop what’s missing. Most of the work I do for clients is contributed back to the relevant projects when it makes sense to do so.  This especially applies to fixes and integration work that are of immediate use to clients, but I also have a large TODO-list of longer-term things that would be nice to do; please get in touch if you’re interested in sponsoring them.