"Debian is a great implementation of Linux, but we were having trouble gaining traction against distros like SUSE and Mandrake that spend a ton on marketing," said Debian spokesman Richard Murdock. "Linux is all about giving back to the community. We thought we'd try that in a financial sense."
Murdock cautioned that the rebate does not necessarily extend to distros based on Debian. "Their maintainers will have to decide for themselves whether to participate." It is also not available from third-party vendors who sell CD sets.
The rebate program will begin on April 31. Any users who have downloaded the software are eligible. Debian will use registration data from Linux Counter, a site that currently tracks Linux users, rather than setting up its own registration site.