01 01 | 2012

Debian Developper

Written by Tanguy

Classified in : Homepage, Debian

Debian red swirl

For this new year I got a quite specific “present”: a Debian Developer account. Of course this is not an end by itself but rather a beginning, or perhaps a continuation of my modest effort to contribute to the greater good of our users and free software. As an introduction, I would like to quickly explain how I came to this point, and I also have some people to thank.

Debianist journey

First family computer, a PC running Microsoft Windows 98. I became a power-user, and I progressively replaced all the pieces of that computer, except it operating system (though I reinstalled it several times).
First contact with GNU/Linux: at my preparatory school, we use XEmacs and Kile under Mandrake Linux 9.2 to do some works in Caml Light and LaTeX. I start enjoying free software at home, with Mozilla Firefox, Thunderbird and Libre^WOpenOffice.org.
2005, preparatory school
I try Knoppix at home and eventually install Mandriva Linux 10.2 for my own use. Since then I have never used Microsoft Windows for personal work any more.
2005, engineer school¹
I integrate Centrale Paris and I join the team of VIA Centrale Réseaux, which I believe is a known den of debianists. So I start using Debian on my personal laptop.
Debian power-user. I start reporting bugs.
First small contributions: some of my bug reports now include patches. I also start maintaining a French training document about Debian: formation Debian GNU/Linux.
First packaging work with the help of adn, a modification and split of frozen-bubble to have a server-only package (contribution finally refused, actually).
First package: I adopt dokuwiki with the help of adn. I become a Debian Maintainer, with the intent of applying as a Debian Member later.
I am now a Debian Developer, responsible for a handful of packages and able to do NMUs and to sponsor new contributors.

As you may guess, I have always been a tinkerer, about computers but also about bikes (the ones that work with manpower, not the ones that make noise and smoke ;-)). And I also always wanted to publish my works somehow, because I hate to think that someone could have to do again some reusable work I had to do before instead of taking advantage of it. Well, it happened that free software was a way to achieve both goals: to hack² and to make my work available for anyone.


I would like to thank all those who helped me to discover and contribute to free software, especially: adn, who helped me with my first steps to directly contribute to Debian, dererk and all the Debian Developers that patiently reread and sponsored my packages, and my Application Manager gwolf, who gave quite a lot of time asking me questions, reading my replies, and replying to some questions that arose during the process.

Outside of the Debian Project I have to thank Alexis de Lattre, who wrote the original “Formation Linux” that I am now maintaining under the name of “Formation Debian GNU/Linux”, a document which helped me to discover GNU/Linux and Debian specifically.

More generally, I would like to thank all the Free Software community that made that possible: Debian Developers, hackers and users from everywhere. We have built and we are still building quite an impressive pile of very useful work, and we can be proud of it.


  1. Here in the northern hemisphere our school years begin in the middle of the civil year, which makes it tricky to tell them apart…
  2. This is almost a synonym for tinkering, in the context of free software, is it not?


sunday 01 january 2012 à 22:48 Iain Lane said : #1

congratulations and welcome to Debian!

monday 02 january 2012 à 05:32 patrick_g said : #2

En tant que simple utilisateur Debian: Bravo et merci !

monday 02 january 2012 à 07:41 Olivier Berger said : #3

Congrats, and welcome to the club :-)

wednesday 11 january 2012 à 18:35 Aron Xu said : #4

Welcome! I wish it's not too late to see this post, ;-)

friday 27 january 2012 à 12:27 kaliko said : #5

Good news,

Congratulation Tanguy :)


monday 05 march 2012 à 19:34 antistress said : #6

comme patrick_g : Bravo et merci !

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