It is distributed with access to repositories containing thousands of software packages ready for installation and use. Debian is known for strict adherence to the Unix and free software philosophies as well as using collaborative software development and testing processes.
The Debian Project is governed by the Debian Constitution and the Social Contract which set out the governance structure of the project as well as explicitly stating that the goal of the project is the development of a free operating system.
Thus, the Debian Project is an independent decentralized organization; it is not backed by a company like other Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, openSUSE, Fedora, and Mandriva. The cost of developing all the packages included in Debian 4.0 etch (283 million lines of code), using the COCOMO model, has been estimated to be close to US$13 billion.
Andrew Keith Paul Morton (born 1959 in England) is an Australiansoftware engineer, best known as one of the lead developers of the Linux kernel. He currently maintains a patchset known as the mm tree, which contains not yet sufficiently tested patches that might later be accepted into the official Linux tree maintained by Linus Torvalds.
Since August 2006, Morton has been employed by Google but will continue his current work in maintaining the kernel.
Andrew Morton delivered the keynote speech at the 2004 Ottawa Linux Symposium. He is also a featured speaker at MontaVista Software's Vision 2007 Conference.