About this web site

This is a public repository of screenshots taken from applications contained in the Debian GNU/Linux distribution and its derivatives like Ubuntu. It was created to help getting an impression of what a certain software will look like on your desktop before you install it. Everybody can take screenshots and upload them. Our admin team will just review your changes before they become publicly visible.

Who runs this site?

This site has been created and is run and paid for by Christoph Haas (haas). Paul Wise (pabs) helps with the moderation of new uploads. However almost all of the screenshots were contributed by countless volunteers of the open-source community. Feel free to leave feedback?

Cookies and privacy

I am very concerned with privacy myself. So this site stores as little information about your stay as possible. That is:

  • Cookies. Only if and when you upload a screenshot the website will send your browser a session cookie. That allows you to manage your own uploads while the cookie is valid. You can still upload screenshots even if you reject the cookie.
  • Log files. This web site is served by the nginx web server software. It creates one line for every request that you make which contains the current date and time, your IP address, the URL you requested, the user agent (browser) identification string and the referer URL (if you followed a link from another web site to get here). This information is used to resolve technical issues regarding the operation of this web application by optimizing the code and fine-tuning caching. It is also used to count how often a certain software package has been viewed so the website can find out which software is most relevant and display it first in search results. Detailed log files will get deleted automatically after 14 days.
  • Privacy. Under no circumstance will information about your person be analysed or given to other people. I am happy to have you here as my guest.

What is your motivation of running this site?

Do you wonder why this web site has been running for so many years obviously costing time and money? It's one of my pet projects and it is fun to develop and operate it. It was not conceived to make a profit from it. I'm just glad if you like the idea. If you feel you want to give back something then help the Debian project.

Which software packages are listed?

I import the package repositories from various Linux distributions once a day. However we already filter out packages that we think would not be able to have a meaningful screenshot. Like libraries or documentation or developer packages. So it may happen that you a package is not found on this web sites although it may be available in your favorite Linux distribution. Just let me know if you are missing packages.

The repositories that I am scanning frequently are:

Who is using this site?

Many users interested in Linux distributions and their applications visit this site either to look for specific pieces of software for certain use cases or just to see if there are any new applications they may have missed out on. And then there are several applications and web sites that use the screenshots from this site:

How you can use the screenshots

You can use the screenshots on your own website. Some useful URLs:

  • http://screenshots.debian.net/packages
    (List of all packages with screenshots)
  • http://screenshots.debian.net/package/PACKAGENAME
    (Page with details and screenshots for a certain package)
  • http://screenshots.debian.net/thumbnail/PACKAGENAME
    (Returns a thumbnail (160x120 pixels or less) of the package's most recently uploaded screenshot. If no screenshot was found then a dummy image will be returned along with the HTTP code 404.)
  • http://screenshots.debian.net/screenshot/PACKAGENAME
    (Returns a screenshot (2000x2000 pixels or less) of a package. If no screenshot was found then a dummy image will be returned along with the HTTP code 404.)

If you would like to get a complete list of packages or screenshots in JSON format then use one of these URLs:

  • http://screenshots.debian.net/json/package/PACKAGENAME
    Returns a JSON structure containing the URLs to the thumbnails and full-size images of the screenshots available on this site.
  • http://screenshots.debian.net/json/packages
    Returns a JSON structure containing information about all packages but not the actual screenshots. The returned object is huge so please use it sparingly.
  • http://screenshots.debian.net/json/screenshots
    Returns a JSON structure containing informatoin about all packages and one screenshot's URL each. There may be further screenshots that are not included.
  • http://screenshots.debian.net/json/packages-without-screenshots
    Returns a JSON structure containing the names of all packages that still lack screenshots. If you want to help contributing then this data can be useful.

Uploading new screenshots

Whether you are a developer or not - we appreciate if you upload screenshots. See if your favorite package does not yet have a screenshot and upload one.

Why isn't this a debian.org service?

Often experimental services start as something.debian.net. After a while they are handed over to the trusted hands of the Debian sysadmin team to be operated on Debian servers. This works best for simple services that are easy to deploy. The web application behind this website has been written in Ruby-on-Rails and uses sophisticated database and caching configuration to make it fast. That has been a showstopper in the past. Although the site is running as a one-man show it has proven itself with a nearly 100% availability over the past decade.

Can I see the source code of this web application?

The source code is available to fellow Debian Developers at salsa.debian.net

Statistics

There are currently 70627 software packages in the database. And 11712 screenshots have been uploaded.

Who is behind this site?

This site has been developed and is maintained by Christoph Haas as part of the Debian project.

What technology do you use for this site?

  • A custom made web application called debshots
  • Ruby-on-Rails
  • Shrine for file management
  • PostgreSQL to store metadata
  • The Zurb Foundation web toolkit
  • Icons from Font Awesome
  • Nginx as a caching reverse proxy
  • Debian as an operating system to run everything on
  • Dokku to make the deployment painless