Chapter 1. About this manual
These classifications are roughly equivalent to the bug severities serious (for must or required
directive violations), minor, normal or important (for should or recommended directive violations)
and wishlist (for optional items).
Much of the information presented in this manual will be useful even when building a package
which is to be distributed in some other way or is intended for local use only.
1.2 New versions of this document
This manual is distributed via the Debian package
debian policy (
The current version of this document is also available from the Debian web mirrors at
/doc/debian policy/ (
) Also available from the same directory are several
package also includes the file
dicates policy changes between versions of this document.
1.3 Authors and Maintainers
Originally called Debian GNU/Linux Policy Manual , this manual was initially written in
1996 by Ian Jackson. It was revised on November 27th, 1996 by David A. Morris. Christian
Schwarz added new sections on March 15th, 1997, and reworked/restructured it in April July
1997. Christoph Lameter contributed the Web Standard . Julian Gilbey largely restructured
it in 2001.
Since September 1998, the responsibility for the contents of this document lies on the debian
policy mailing list (
). Proposals are dis
cussed there and inserted into policy after a certain consensus is established. The actual editing
is done by a group of maintainers that have no editorial powers. These are the current main
1 Julian Gilbey
2 Branden Robinson
3 Josip Rodin
4 Manoj Srivastava
Compare RFC 2119. Note, however, that these words are used in a different way in this document.