The Debsources Dataset: two decades of free and open source software

TitleThe Debsources Dataset: two decades of free and open source software
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsCaneill, Matthieu, Germán Daniel M., and Zacchiroli Stefano
Secondary TitleEmpirical Software Engineering
Date Published05/2015
ISSN Number1573-7616
Keywordsdebian, metadata, postgresql

We present the Debsources Dataset: distribution metadata and source code metrics spanning two decades of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) history, seen through the lens of the Debian distribution. Debsources is a software platform used to gather, search, and publish on the Web the full source code of the Debian operating system, as well as measures about it. A notable public instance of Debsources is available at, it includes both current and historical releases of Debian. Plugins to compute popular source code metrics (lines of code, defined symbols, disk usage) and other derived data (e.g., Checksums) have been written, integrated, and run on all the source code available on The Debsources Dataset is a PostgreSQL database dump of metadata, as of February 10th, 2015. The dataset contains both Debian-specific metadata -- e.g., which software packages are available in which release, which source code file belong to which package, release dates, etc. -- and source code information gathered by running Debsources plugins. The Debsources Dataset offer a very long-term historical view of the macro-level evolution and constitution of FOSS through the lens of popular, representative FOSS projects of their times.

Short TitleEmpir Software Eng