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Debian GNU/Linux Reference Guide
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2.1.3 The stable distribution

Package entries for the stable distribution, Debian Sarge (3.1r0), are recorded into the stable (symlink to sarge/) directory:

  • stable/main/: This directory contains the package versions belonging to the most recent official release of the Debian system.

    These packages are all free; that is, they all comply with the Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG) (also available as /usr/share/doc/debian/social-contract.txt installed by debian-doc).

  • stable/non-free/: This directory contains packages that fail to qualify as free according to the DFSG.

    For example, some packages have licenses that prohibit commercial distribution. Others can be redistributed but are shareware.

  • stable/contrib/: Each package in this directory is itself DFSG-free but somehow Depends on a package that is not DFSG-free.

Now, in addition to the above locations, new physical packages are located under the pool directory ( The pool directory, Section 2.1.10).

The current status of stable distribution bugs is reported on the Stable Problems web page.

Debian GNU/Linux Reference Guide
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  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire