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VALinux, O'Reilly, SGI Partner to Support Debian GNU/Linux

Linux software distributor VA Linux Systems, book publisher O'Reilly and SGI Inc. Tuesday formed a partnership to bring the Debian GNU/Linux operating system to the masses by packaging the system into a CD-ROM book offering.

The companies will donate all sales profits to Software in the Public Interest, a Open Source project non-profit which also supports the Debian project. Debian is a popular noncommercial version of Linux used to develop over 2,500 free software packages, which until now has only been available as an Internet download.

The flagship feature of Debian GNU/Linux is "apt-get," which allows users to freely download all software upgrades contributed by the software's developers. VA Linux said the Debian GNU/Linux is its second most requested Linux package.

"The combined sponsorship of VA, O'Reilly and SGI is a unique effort allowing everyone to try the non-commercial Debian distribution," said Wichert Akkerman, the current Debian project leader. "The distribution has been built with the loving care of over 500 Debian developers, and we hope it will give everyone the same pleasant experience it gives us."

The Debian GNU/Linux package is priced at $19.95, and will include 1440 open source software alternatives. O'Reilly has also promised to offer the book for free online under the open publication license.