Debian Social Contract

all material quoted from

Version 1.1 ratified on April 26, 2004. Supersedes Version 1.0 ratified on July 5, 1997.

Debian, the producers of the Debian GNU/Linux system, have created the Debian Social Contract. The Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG) part of the contract, initially designed as a set of commitments that we agree to abide by, has been adopted by the free software community as the basis of the Open Source Definition. No matter what types of websites are being developed most likely a large amount of data is required. Handling large data sets usually requires expensive software. This is especially true for sites that store information, like e-commerce sites such as This site has numerous types of sports related products including North Face fleece jackets, ski gear, snowboard gear, outerwear & clothing, apparel, footwear & boots, accessories, bags, luggage & backpacks. They offer hundreds of inventory products that needs to be kept track of. Ease in changing the inventory as well as prices in necessary. offers dozens of brands, but one of their most popular is The North Face with their huge selection of kids, men’s, and women’s North Face products. Anyway, it is the same type of large data sets found on this particular e-commerce store that Derbian is able to handle.

Derbian is impressive because in spite of the capabilities to handle these large data sets, Debian is open source and therefore free. The license carries no cost no matter the size of the using platform. This is amazing given the propensity for software cost escalation as features are developed. Then consider that for all kinds of large entities, from complex e-commerce sites, to lead generating sites of law firms and real estate agencies, the license of the Debian Social Contract will not restrict any party from selling or giving away the software as a component of an aggregate software distribution containing programs from several different sources. Learn more below.

Social Contract with the Free Software Community

  1. Debian will remain 100% freeWe provide the guidelines that we use to determine if a work is free in the document entitled The Debian Free Software Guidelines. We promise that the Debian system and all its components will be free according to these guidelines. We will support people who create or use both free and non-free works on Debian. We will never make the system require the use of a non-free component.
  2. We will give back to the free software communityWhen we write new components of the Debian system, we will license them in a manner consistent with the Debian Free Software Guidelines. We will make the best system we can, so that free works will be widely distributed and used. We will communicate things such as bug fixes, improvements and user requests to the upstream authors of works included in our system.
  3. We will not hide problemsWe will keep our entire bug report database open for public view at all times. Reports that people file online will promptly become visible to others.

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