Debian GNU/Linux Hits the Shelves: VA Linux, O'Reilly, and SGI Team Up to Bring Popular Open Source Operating System to Major Retail Stores

In a groundbreaking move, VA Linux Systems, O'Reilly Associates, and SGI have joined forces to sponsor Debian GNU/Linux, the most popular non-commercial version of the Linux operating system, for retail sales. This marks the first time Debian will be available as a packaged product with commercial documentation and add-ons.

Debian, which has been largely distributed via the Internet until now, boasts over 500 volunteer developers worldwide who maintain more than 2500 free software packages. The distribution was voted a favorite at the recent LinuxWorld Conference & Expo.

The Debian package includes a CD with 1440 open source software packages and Bill McCarty's "Learning Debian GNU/Linux" book, published by O'Reilly. A demo version of Loki Entertainment's "Myth II: Soulblighter" game software is also included. In keeping with the spirit of Debian, O'Reilly will make the book available online under the Open Publication License for free.

The distribution's Internet-based development model has been instrumental in its unparalleled Internet functionality. One of its most popular features is "apt-get," which automates free network downloads of all software package updates, making the Debian CD the last one users would ever need to keep their systems up-to-date with Linux.

The Debian Project's unique development model has led to several key accomplishments, including the creation of Debian/GNU Linux. VA Linux Systems, O'Reilly, and SGI have ensured greater accessibility to quality Linux solutions by sponsoring this retail release. The package will be available directly from and through major retail and online stores.

"Debian embodies many of the best practices of open source development," said Tim O'Reilly, CEO of O'Reilly & Associates. "This distribution will not only appeal to hardcore Linux developers but to everyone."

The suggested introductory price for the Debian GNU/Linux package is $19.95. VA Linux Systems' vice president of marketing, Brian Biles, stated that Debian is the second most requested Linux distribution among their customers and they are excited about this collaboration.

The Debian Project, with its commitment to excellence in free software, has created a high-quality UNIX-compatible operating system complete with a suite of applications. For more information on Debian, visit