Chapter 13. Contributing to the Debian Project

Table of Contents

13.1. How can I become a Debian member/Debian developer?
13.2. How can I contribute resources to the Debian project?
13.3. How can I contribute financially to the Debian project?
13.3.1. Software in the Public Interest
13.3.2. Other organizations

Donations of time (to develop new packages, maintain existing packages, or provide user support), resources (to mirror the package and WWW archives), and money (to pay for new testbeds as well as hardware for the archives) can help the project. See also How can you help Debian?.

13.1. How can I become a Debian member/Debian developer?

The development of Debian is open to all, and new users with the right skills and/or the willingness to learn are needed to maintain existing packages which have been "orphaned" by their previous maintainers, to develop new packages, to write documentation, to do translation work, to help with the Debian website, to provide user support, etc.

The description of becoming a Debian member can be found at the New Member's Corner at the Debian web site.

13.2. How can I contribute resources to the Debian project?

Since the project aims to make a substantial body of software rapidly and easily accessible throughout the globe, mirrors are needed. It is desirable but not absolutely necessary to mirror all of the archive. Please visit the Debian mirror size page for information on the disk space requirements.

Most of the mirroring is accomplished entirely automatically by scripts, without any interaction. However, the occasional glitch or system change occurs which requires human intervention.

If you have a high-speed connection to the Internet, the resources to mirror all or part of the distribution, and are willing to take the time (or find someone) who can provide regular maintenance of the system, then please contact .

13.3. How can I contribute financially to the Debian project?

Donations from sponsors allow Debian to have machines, as well as other hardware, organise conferences and development sprints, amongst other things. For more information please visit Debian Donations. The page also lists the different methods that can be used to donate.

One can make individual donations to organizations that are critical to the development of the Debian project. The main organization is Software in the Public Interest, incorporated in the United States, but there are others.

13.3.1. Software in the Public Interest

Software in the Public Interest (SPI) is an IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in the United States. The purpose of the organization is to develop and distribute free software.

It encourages programmers to use the GNU General Public License or other licenses that allow free redistribution and use of software, and hardware developers to distribute documentation that will allow device drivers to be written for their product.

SPI acts as a fiscal sponsor to many free and open source projects. The Debian project has been an associate project since the organization's creation.

SPI can be reached at:

13.3.2. Other organizations

There are a number of organizations created in different countries that hold assets in trust for Debian. The donations page lists the trusted organizations individuals can donate to. At the time of this writing there are two of them: the Debian France Association (in France), and (Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein). Additional affiliate organizations in other countries are listed in Organizations page in the Debian Wiki.