Ubuntu and Debian are closely related. Ubuntu builds on the foundations of Debian architecture and infrastructure, with a different community and release process.
Debian is “the rock upon which Ubuntu is built”.
Debian is a volunteer project to develop a GNU/Linux distribution. Debian was started more than a decade ago and has since grown to comprise more than 1000 members with official developer status and many more volunteers and contributors. It has expanded to encompass nearly 17,000 “packages” of free and open source applications and documentation.
Debian’s history, make-up, and position make it very good at certain things. Debian has a well-deserved reputation for integrated package management and access to a large list of free software applications. As a result, Debian has grown into one of the largest Linux distributions.
As a volunteer organization, Debian has historically been less good at making time-based or predictable releases, and has a difficult time providing accountability. Stable releases of Debian have been few and far between in recent years. The more raw unreleased versions of Debian do not provide security fixes for individual packages that are rapidly changing, but are incorporated in development work. While not important to many Debian users, these shortcomings have discouraged a number of potential Debian users. Still Debian is ported to more architectures than any other distribution, and allows for almost any combination of free software components to be mixed and matched as you wish.
The Ubuntu team hopes to address some of those issues and bring more people onto the Debian system.
read more on ubuntu.com
On Friday, 20th of May 2006 a bunch of Ubuntu and Debian people had a nice dinner and chatted about how we can improve our relationships. Here’s a summary of what has been discussed during that time. Many ideas have been thrown out. Not all of them may be implemented. Please check the last section (“Actions”) to see decisions that we’ll try to stick with
Ubuntu benefits from a strong Debian, and Debian benefits from a strong Ubuntu. – MarkShuttleworth
Every Debian developer is also an Ubuntu developer, because one way to contribute to Ubuntu is to contribute to Debian. – MarkShuttleworth
We incorporate Debian changes regularly, because that introduces the latest work, the latest upstream code, and the newest packaging efforts from a huge and competent open source community. Without Debian, Ubuntu would not be possible. – MarkShuttleworth
read more (this page lists resources useful in the field of Debian/Ubuntu collaboration)
Here’s a related specification for Edgy :
In February of 2006, a discussion and poll were held in the Debian community to determine the most appropriate way to handle the Maintainer field in package metadata for distributions derived from Debian.
Debian maintainers have expressed discontent about the Maintainer field being unchanged in Ubuntu, because this causes them to be contacted in some situations where they are not the correct point of contact.
I decided to write this blog post because I read :
This particular blog post is a bit misleading. Debian is great. Ubuntu is build on Debian. There’s stuff going on to improve the relationship between Debian and Ubuntu.