Chapter 1 - Preface
is intended to provide a broad overview of the Debian system as a
post-installation user's guide. Its target reader is someone who is willing to
read shell scripts. I expect the reader to have gained basic skills in
Unix-like systems prior to reading this document.
I made a conscious decision not to explain everything in
detail if it can be found on a manual page, an info page, or in a HOWTO
document. Instead of full explanations, I have tried to give more directly
practical information by providing exact command sequences in the main text or
example scripts under
examples/. You must
understand the content of examples before issuing commands. Your system may
require slightly different command sequences.
Much of the information included consists of reminders or pointers to the
authoritative references listed in References, Section 15.1.
This document originated as a "quick reference" but it grew.
Nevertheless, Keep It Short and Simple (KISS) is my guiding
For help with emergency system maintenance, proceed to Debian survival commands, Section 6.3
1.1 Official document
The latest official document is in the Debian archives with the package name
debian-reference-en and is also available from
The latest development version is
The project is hosted at
where this document is available for download in plain text, HTML, PDF, SGML,
and PostScript formats.