Debian Releases and Toy Story

By Susam Pal on 09 Feb 2020

Did you know that Debian releases are named after characters from the Toy Story films? I began using it with Debian 4 (Etch) in 2007. It was named after Etch A Sketch, one of Andy's toys. The latest release, Debian 10 (Buster), is named after Andy's pet puppy.

The name Debian itself is a portmanteau of the names Ian Murdock (the creator of Debian) and Debra Lynn (his then-girlfriend, later ex-wife). As a result, this name has been called a curiously personal name for such a community-oriented project.

I was using Fedora and Ubuntu in 2007 when a member of a local Linux User Group (LUG) introduced me to Debian. Its simplicity and elegance, its vast package repository, and its stability and robustness made me an ardent user of this distribution pretty quickly. Thirteen years later, I still use Debian on my laptops, Linode servers, and virtual machines. I run my personal website on Debian too. I have got so used to apt-get install and the large number of tools available in the Debian repositories that I keep a Debian virtual machine or a remote shell handy when I am working on a non-Debian system. Over these years, I have gradually moved from GNOME 2 to GNOME 3 and then to Xfce 4. It really helps that Debian still provides an installation CD with Xfce as the default. In case anyone is interested, I have documented and shared my Debian setup notes on GitHub.