Debian Developer's Reference
Chapter 4 - Mailing Lists, Servers, and Other Machines
In this chapter you will find a very brief road map of the Debian mailing
lists, the main Debian servers, and other Debian machines which may be
available to you as a developer.
4.1 Mailing lists
The mailing list server is at lists.debian.org. Mail
debian-foo is the name of the list, with the word
subscribe in the Subject to subscribe to the list or
unsubscribe to unsubscribe. More detailed instructions on how to
subscribe and unsubscribe to the mailing lists can be found at http://www.debian.org/MailingLists/subscribe,
or locally in /usr/share/doc/debian/mailing-lists.txt if you have
the doc-debian package installed.
When replying to messages on the mailing list, please do not send a carbon copy
(CC) to the original poster unless they explicitly request to be
copied. Anyone who posts to a mailing list should read it to see the
is a special mailing list for private discussions amongst Debian developers.
It is meant to be used for posts which for whatever reason should not be
published publically. As such, it is a low volume list, and users are urged
not to use email@example.com
unless it is really necessary. Moreover, do not forward email from
that list to anyone. Archives of this list are not available on the web for
obvious reasons, but you can see them using your shell account
master.debian.org and looking in the
is a special mailing list used as a grab-bag for Debian related correspondence
such as contacting upstream authors about licenses, bugs, etc. or discussing
the project with others where it might be useful to have the discussion
As ever on the net, please trim down the quoting of articles you're replying
to. In general, please adhere to the usual conventions for posting messages.
Debian servers are well known servers which serve critical functions in the
Debian project. Every developer should know what these servers are and what
If you have a problem with the operation of a Debian server, and you think that
the system operators need to be notified of this problem, please find the
contact address for the particular machine at http://db.debian.org/machines.cgi.
If you have a non-operating problems (such as packages to be remove,
suggestions for the web site, etc.), generally you'll report a bug against a
``pseudo-package''. See Submitting Bugs, Section 10.2
for information on how to submit bugs.
4.2.1 The master server
master.debian.org is the canonical location for the Bug Tracking
System (BTS). If you plan on doing some statistical analysis or processing of
Debian bugs, this would be the place to do it. Please describe your plans on
before implementing anything, however, to reduce unnecessary duplication of
effort or wasted processing time.
All Debian developers have accounts on master.debian.org. Please
take care to protect your password to this machine. Try to avoid login or
upload methods which send passwords over the Internet in the clear.
If you find a problem with master.debian.org such as disk full,
suspicious activity, or whatever, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
4.2.2 The ftp-master server
The ftp-master server, ftp-master.debian.org (or
auric.debian.org), holds the canonical copy of the Debian archive
(excluding the non-US packages). Generally, package uploads go to this server;
see Package uploads, Chapter 6.
The main web server, www.debian.org, is also known as
klecker.debian.org. All developers are given accounts on this
If you have some Debian-specific information which you want to serve up on the
web, you can do this by putting material in the public_html
directory under your home directory. You should do this on
klecker.debian.org. Any material you put in those areas are
accessible via the URL
http://people.debian.org/~user-id/. You should only
use this particular location because it will be backed up, whereas on other
hosts it won't. Please do not put any material on Debian servers not relating
to Debian, unless you have prior permission. Send mail to email@example.com
if you have any questions.
If you find a problem with the Debian web server, you should generally submit a
bug against the pseudo-package, www.debian.org. First check
whether or not someone else has already reported the problem on the Bug Tracking System.
4.2.4 The CVS server
cvs.debian.org is also known as klecker.debian.org,
discussed above. If you need to use a publically accessible CVS server, for
instance, to help coordinate work on a package between many different
developers, you can request a CVS area on the server.
Generally, cvs.debian.org offers a combination of local CVS
access, anonymous client-server read-only access, and full client-server access
through ssh. Also, the CVS area can be accessed read-only via the
Web at http://cvs.debian.org/.
To request a CVS area, send a request via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Include the name of the requested CVS area, Debian account should own the CVS
root area, and why you need it.
4.2.5 Mirrors of Debian servers
The web and FTP servers have several mirrors available. Please do not put
heavy load on the canonical FTP or web servers. Ideally, the canonical servers
only mirror out to a first tier of mirrors, and all user access is to the
mirrors. This allows Debian to better spread its bandwidth requirements over
several servers and networks. Note that newer push mirroring techniques ensure
that mirrors are as up-to-date as they can be.
The main web page listing the available public FTP (and, usually, HTTP) servers
can be found at http://www.debian.org/distrib/ftplist.
More information concerning Debian mirrors can be found at http://www.debian.org/mirror/.
This useful page includes information and tools which can be helpful if you are
interested in setting up your own mirror, either for internal or public access.
Note that mirrors are generally run by third-parties who are interested in
helping Debian. As such, developers generally do not have accounts on these
4.3 Other Debian Machines
There are other Debian machines which may be made available to you. You can
use these for Debian-related purposes as you see fit. Please be kind to system
administrators, and do not use up tons and tons of disk space, network
bandwidth, or CPU without first getting the approval of the local maintainers.
Usually these machines are run by volunteers. Generally, these machines are
for porting activities.