Bruce Perens, “Debian Free Software Guidelines”

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The Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG) are a set of guidelines that the Debian Project uses to determine whether the license used by a piece of software qualifies as a free software license. This distinction is critical because it determines whether a piece of software qualifies for inclusion in the Debian Project.

The idea of stating the project’s “social contract with the free software community” was suggested by Ean Schuessler. This DFSG was drafted by Bruce Perens, refined by the other Debian developers during a month-long e-mail conference in June 1997, and then accepted as the publicly stated policy of the Debian Project.

Key Points

Debian Social Contract, which includes the DFSG, states:

Discussion Questions

  1. What relationship does Debian have with open?

Additional Resources

Open Source Definition. (2014). Open Source Initiative. Retrieved from http://opensource.org/docs/osd

Debian Social Contract. (1997). Debian Social Contract, Version 1.0. Retrieved from https://edtechbooks.org/-NQxq

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