25 years of Debian Linux

On Friday 7 April 2017 we launched the most recent version of the 1A-server. It is based on Debian Linux and brings us to the 5th version. Therefore, we have named it 1A System-5. Now, a year and a half later, the 1A servers in the field have been migrated to 1A System-5. This joyous fact coincides with the 25th anniversary of Debian Linux.


It has been twenty-five years since Ian Murdock, a former student, announced to the newsgroup comp.os.linux.development that a new Linux distro was coming. The release was nearly done, but it could take several weeks for the software to be ready. Finally, Debian 0.01 appeared on September 15, 1993. That release grew into the Debian Project. It is one of the oldest Linux releases and many other distros are based on it, such as the popular Ubuntu and Linux Mint. The name Debian is a contraction of the first names Ian and Debra, his girlfriend at the time.

It wasn’t until June 1996 until the first stable release followed. The basic principles of Debian are laid down in the Debian Social Contract and the Debian Free Software Guidelines. In addition, there is the Constitution, which contains the structure of the project and the Code of Conduct, the rules of conduct for all participants.

Today the project is a large and lively organization with many self-organizing teams of more than 1,000 volunteers. The software is used in many different ways. These include cloud servers, web hosting and internet-of-things, but also integrated systems such as car entertainment and flight control.

Debian and 1A First Alternative

We use Debian not only for the 1A-servers, but also the service-supporting servers in our datacenters (the NOC) often run on this extremely stable operating system. For example, the web hosting environment, the central VoIP servers and so on. We also supplement the operating system with additional software, both from third parties and written by us.

Our own code first goes through a review system, where the changes are assessed by colleagues. It is then tested and built by Jenkins. The 1A servers and the NOC servers are frequently updated with the latest stable versions. The switch from Slackware to Debian was a lot of work, but has already delivered a lot of advantages. It has taken us to a new level in delivering Enterprise ICT for SMEs.

Enterprise ICT for SMEs, the movie


Richard de Vroede

A perfectionistic Jack-of-all-trades who dedicates all of his passion to his work.