The Debian Linux distribution is seeking a new leader.
Nominations for the unpaid position of Debian Project Leader (DPL) opened last week. The successful candidate will take over from current incumbent Anthony Towns in April.
The DPL is the most powerful person involved in the Debian project, which is an attempt to develop a free operating system. Each DPL serves a 12-month term of office, during which they are the official representative of the distribution. The DPL is responsible for promoting Debian at conferences and trade shows, and for building relationships with not-for-profit and commercial organisations. The DPL also has the casting vote on how Debian's finances are spent and can make urgent decisions without deferring to others.
Any of Debian's 1,016 developers can put themselves forward for the position prior to the deadline of 25 February. Candidates must provide a statement arguing why they should be the next DPL, and they are allowed to campaign for three weeks after the 25 February deadline. Debian developers can then cast their vote between 18 March and 8 April. The new term of office starts on 17 April.
The position of DPL is generally held by an experienced and well-respected Debian developer. Towns has been working on the distribution since 1998, during which time he was release manager for Woody, the third version of Debian, which was released in 2002.
The fourth version, code-named Etch, is expected to be released either in late February or March this year. It has been delayed due to a slowdown in the work rate of some developers following the making of financial payments last autumn to Etch's two release managers.