Hi, the Debian System Debian Administration Team hereby announces an updated version of the Debian Machine Usage Policies (DMUP). It will become effective on July 04th, 2010 and is then the binding version.
Please note that this version only fixes the most important issues, such
as cleaning up DAM vs. DSA responsibilities.
While we are working on a new and improved DMUP that will hopefully fix
more warts and will concentrate on the really significant issues, this
is a work in progress which might take a while yet.
Therefore we release this version because we think it prudent to have a
DMUP that actually works within the way Debian is currently,
Debian Machine Usage Policies
0. This version of the Debian Machine Usage Policies becomes effective
on July 04th, 2010 and supersedes all previous versions. It was
announced on May 09th, 2010.
This document describes the policies for using Debian machines
and all rules surrounding those.
+ The Debian Systems Administration Team will do whatever is
necessary to keep all machines and services working and
running in a secure fashion.
+ Don’t by any wilful, deliberate, reckless or unlawful act
interfere with the work of another developer or jeopardize the
integrity of data networks, computing equipment, systems
programs, or other stored information.
+ Don’t use Debian Facilities for private financial gain or for
commercial purposes, including consultancy or any other work
outside the scope of official duties or functions for the time
being, without specific authorization to do so.
+ Don’t use Debian Facilities for unlawful activities,
including, but not limited to, software piracy.
This document contains two parts: policies and guidelines. The
rules in the policies are binding and may not be violated. The
guidelines specify rules that may be violated if necessary but we
would rather one did not.
2. General statements
1. Used abbreviations
o DSA – Debian Systems Administration Team
o DMUP – Debian Machine Usage Policy (this document)
o DPL – Debian Project Leader
o DAM – Debian Account Managers
Access to Debian Facilities is a privilege, not a right or a
commercial service, and DSA reserves the right to revoke this
privilege at any time, without prior notice. An explanation
will be given within 48 hours.
There is no guarantee of service. Although DSA will do its best
to assure that everything functions perfectly, they can’t give
If necessary to keep machines working properly the DSA is
allowed to edit user files. (for example modifying .forward
files to break mail loops.)
If someone violates the rules set in this document they will be
subjected to a penalty. The penalty depends on the number of
previous violations and the offense involved.
1. First offense
1. The accounts of the offender will be suspended and access
will not be available.
2. The offender will be required to contact DSA and convince them
that there will be no further breaches of the DMUP by the offender.
3. If the offender fails to contact DSA within 14 days, DSA
will suspend the corresponding account and propose to DAM the
expulsion of the offender from the Debian project. If the offender
has announced they will be on vacation in this time frame,
this period will be extended with the announced duration of
4. If the offender is expelled from the project they can
register to become a maintainer again after a period of a
month. The offense will remain on record.
2. Second offense
1. The offenders accounts will be suspended immediately and
DSA will propose to DAM the expulsion of the offender from
the Debian project.
2. If the offender does not file for an appeal within the
designated time frame the account is terminated.
1. The offense and the penalty will be announced to Debian
2. Should it, in the sole opinion of the Debian project
leader, be considered necessary, then a public
announcement will be made. This can include the offenders
1. If the offender does not agree with the decision made by
DSA they can appeal to the developers. This is only
possible in the 14 days directly following the day the
offender was informed of the sentence. This is done using
the procedure as detailed in section 4.2 of the Debian
2. During the time the appeal is processed the account will
4. The policies
This section lists the policies. This list is not and cannot be
All machines run a /tmp cleanup daemon and expire files
after a week. Some machines have /scratch partitions
specifically for storing large data sets without fear of
them being erased. If you receive an email notification
that your homedir is large and that more free space is
needed then please promptly take action. DSA may find
it necessary to clean up without warning.
Please use ssh/scp if at all possible rather than less
secure alternatives (rsh, telnet or FTP).
Idle connections are killed after an hour; this is easy to
bypass, but please don’t do so without good cause.
Mirroring via any private means any portion of the public
archives from the private servers is strictly forbidden
without the prior consent of the residing Mirror Master.
Developers are free to use any publicly available forms of
Do not run any long running process without the permission
of DSA. Running servers of any sort (this includes IRC bots)
without prior permission from DSA is also forbidden. Avoid
running processes that are abusive in CPU or memory. If
necessary DSA will clean up such processes without warning.
In general, web space on Debian machines is provided for
the purpose of communicating ideas and files related to
the project, or to the Free Software community in general.
Private ‘vanity’ pages on Debian machines are discouraged.
Commercial web pages are not permitted.
You are responsible for the content of your WWW pages,
including obtaining the legal permission for any works
they include and ensuring that the contents of these pages
do not violate the laws that apply to the location of the
You are responsible for and accept responsibility for any
defamatory, confidential, secret or other proprietary
material available via your WWW pages.
You may not advertise your WWW pages, or cause another
person to advertise it, by techniques that would be
classified as abuse if they were carried out from a Debian
Account. This includes, but is not limited to, bulk
emailing and excessive news posting. Such action may be
treated under the appropriate DMUP as if it had been done
from the Account, or as a violation of this DMUP or both.
Using Debian machines for reading mail is OK, please
choose a lightly loaded machine. We do not support the
use of mail download methods such as POP or IMAP, use your
ISP’s mail server and forwarding. As with web pages
incoming mail is generally encouraged to be of a Free
Software nature or related to the project somehow.
DSA may find it necessary to compress, relocate or erase
mail without warning.
If a Developer becomes unreachable for a prolonged time, their
accounts, data and mail forwarding/filtering/etc may be disabled
until they reappear.
Don’t use Debian facilities in a manner which constitutes net
abuse. Debian does not have any Usenet news servers. It may be that
some of the Debian machines have access to such a news server, but
their use through Debian machines is strictly forbidden.
Examples of what DSA considers net abuse:
+ Chain Letters and Ponzi Pyramid-Selling Schemes
Such messages work (or rather, don’t work) in much the same
way as their paper-based cousins. The most common example of
this in email is MAKE-MONEY-FAST. In addition to being a waste
of resources, such messages are illegal in certain countries.
+ Unsolicited Commercial Email (UCE)
Unsolicited Commercial Email is advertising material received
by email without the recipient either requesting such
information or otherwise expressing an interest in the
Since many Internet users use a dial-up connection and pay for
their online time, it costs them money to receive email.
Receipt of unsolicited commercial advertising therefore costs
them money and is particularly unwelcome.
It should be noted that a user has not expressed an interest
by the mere act of posting a news article in any particular
newsgroup, unless of course they have made a specific request
for information to be emailed to them.
+ Unsolicited Bulk Email (UBE)
Similar to the above UCE but not attempting to sell anything.
Its sole purpose is usually to annoy.
+ Forged headers and / or Addresses
Forging headers or messages means sending mail such that its
origin appears to be another user or machine, or a
It is also forgery to arrange for any replies to the mail to
be sent to some other user or machine.
However, in either case, if prior permission has been granted
to you by the other user or the administrators of the other
machine, then there is no problem, and of course “null”
reverse paths can be used as defined in the relevant RFCs.
+ Mail Bombing
Mail bombing is the sending of multiple emails, or one large
email, with the sole intent of annoying and / or seeking
revenge on a fellow Internet user. It is wasteful of shared
Internet resource as well as serving no value to the
Due to the time taken to download it, sending long email to
sites without prior agreement can amount to denial of service,
or access to email at the receiving site. Note that if binary
attachments are added to mail this may increase the size
considerably. If prior arrangement has not been made, the mail
will be extremely unwelcome.
+ Denial of Service attacks
Denial of Service is any activity designed to prevent a
specific host on the Internet making full and effective use of
their facilities. This includes, but is not limited to:
o Mail bombing an address in such a way to make their
Internet access impossible, difficult, or costly.
o Opening an excessive number of mail connections to the
o Intentionally sending email designed to damage the
receiver’s systems when interpreted; for example, sending
malicious programs or viruses attached to an email.
o Using a smarthost or SMTP relay without authorization to
+ Mailing List Subscriptions
You must not subscribe anyone, other than a user on your own
host, to a mail list or similar service without their
+ Illegal Content
You must not send via email any item which it is illegal to
send or possess.
+ Breach of Copyright or Intellectual Property
You must not send (via email) or post Copyright material or
Intellectual Property unless you have permission to do so.
+ Binary Postings to non-Binary Groups
Outside of the alt.binaries… and alt.pictures… newsgroup
hierarchies, the posting of encoded binary data is considered
most unwelcome. The majority of Usenet sites and readers do
not have the capability for selective transmission of articles
(kill-filing) and such posts can result in a significant
amount of resources being tied up and wasted in the
transmission process, and as such can be considered as a
denial of service attack on multiple recipients. [Example]
+ Excessive Cross-Posting
Simply put, this form of unacceptable behavior occurs when the
same article is cross-posted to a large number of unrelated
+ Excessive Multi-Posting
Simply put, this form of unacceptable behavior occurs when a
substantively similar (perhaps differing only in Subject
header) article is posted to a large number of unrelated
On behalf of the Debian System Administration Team
– Martin Zobel-Helas
– Martin Zobel-Helas