Debian GNU/Linux Social Contract

  1. Debian Will Remain 100% Free Software
  2. We Will Give Back to the Free Software Community
  3. We Won't Hide Problems
  4. Our Priorities are Our Users and Free Software
  5. Programs That Don't Meet Our Free-Software Standards

  1. Debian Will Remain 100% Free Software

    We promise to keep the Debian GNU/Linux Distribution entirely free software. As there are many definitions of free software, we include the guidelines we use to determine if software is "free" below. We will support our users who develop and run non-free software on Debian, but we will never make the system depend on an item of non-free software.

  2. We Will Give Back to the Free Software Community

    When we write new components of the Debian system, we will license them as free software. We will make the best system we can, so that free software will be widely distributed and used. We will feed back bug-fixes, improvements, user requests, etc. to the "upstream" authors of software included in our system.

  3. We Won't Hide Problems

    We will keep our entire bug-report database open for public view at all times. Reports that users file on-line will immediately become visible to others.

  4. Our Priorities are Our Users and Free Software

    We will be guided by the needs of our users and the free-software community. We will place their interests first in our priorities. We will support the needs of our users for operation in many different kinds of computing environment. We won't object to commercial software that is intended to run on Debian systems. We'll allow others to create value-added distributions containing both Debian and commercial software, without any fee from us. To support these goals, we will provide an integrated system of high-quality, 100% free software, with no legal restrictions that would prevent these kinds of use.

  5. Programs That Don't Meet Our Free-Software Standards

    We acknowledge that some of our users require the use of programs that don't conform to the Debian Free Software Guidelines. We have created "contrib" and "non-free" areas in our FTP archive for this software. The software in these directories is not part of the Debian system, although it has been configured for use with Debian. We encourage CD manufacturers to read the licenses of software packages in these directories and determine if they can distribute that software on their CDs. Thus, although non-free software isn't a part of Debian, we support its use, and we provide infrastructure (such as our bug-tracking system and mailing lists) for non-free software packages.

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