About us

Our mission, our story

Freexian SARL is a software company specialized in Free Software and in particular in Debian GNU/Linux.

Freexian can assist you in all your projects involving the use or development of free software, you’ll benefit for our expertise in this area. This can lead to missions of consulting, training, technical support, packaging, or software development.

Indeed, all of Freexian’s employees and partners are well-known contributors in the free software community, a choice that is integral to Freexian’s business model. Our mission statement is meant to resonate with Debian contributors in particular:

Our mission statement

Our purpose

Freexian’s mission is to help Debian evolve to be the leading Linux distribution and a model to follow in the free software world.

We want to achieve that by enabling passionate contributors to spend most of their time working on Debian and free software, combining lucrative work in support of enterprise customers, core contributions to Debian’s processes, and personal goals.

Our values

These high-level values should influence our day-to-day behaviour. They can be adapted into best practices to follow within each team inside Freexian.

Free software

We come from Debian and we intend to inherit Debian’s values. Thus anything that we develop will use free software tools and dependencies and be published under a DFSG-compliant license.

Our development work will happen in public repositories and we will strive to engage early with the upstream communities, be it Debian or other free software projects.


By default, Free software work funded directly or indirectly by Freexian should be publicly documented; when there is a choice to be made, activities should always err on the side of transparency. Indeed, Freexian should be open about as many things as possible but we should take care to preserve the privacy of our users, customers and collaborators as well.

Technical excellence

Striving for technical excellence is a key requirement if we want to have an impact in the open-source world. Furthermore we want to build software that lasts and that aims to be widely adopted.

People first

Our well-being as humans is a pre-requisite so we can give our best during the time that we spend working for Freexian. Each one of us should be able to set their own work/life balance: 4 days (or 32 hours) of work per week and 5 weeks off per year is our base reference, but we should be able to reduce or increase that depending on our personal needs, while still keeping some flexibility in choosing when we work.

To keep the motivation high over years, the work should be meaningful and everybody should have the opportunity to spend up to 30% of their work time directly contributing to Debian in the way that they find the most personally fulfilling.


Even if a task is owned by a single person, helping each other is a priority. Technical excellence depends on both peer review and constructive feedback.

We expect all collaborators to be kind, showing care for each others. We should assume positive intent when we don’t understand the behaviour of someone else.

Internal communication and regular updates are key to keeping all stakeholders up-to-date about the progress and challenges faced at both team and company level. We should celebrate individual and collective successes.


The financial remuneration of each collaborator should be proportional to the efforts and time that they put towards reaching the company’s goals.


We want our work to be highly efficient so that we can sustain our promise to let collaborators spend part of their work time on those Debian projects they care about.

To this end, we automate our processes as much as possible. We also document everything so that we can easily move responsibilities and share the workload when a team member needs to reduce their involvement.

We expect people to be their own managers when it comes to completing assigned tasks. They should have the freedom to organize their work the way they want, and they can take appropriate decisions to reach those goals. Accountability is maintained by evaluating against criteria appropriate to the task or project.

Our ambition

By 2030 we would like to:

  • Have at least 10 Freexian collaborators spending 30% of their time helping Debian.
  • Have enough customers so that we can distribute €20,000 per month of grants for projects improving Debian.
  • Be known as the reference company for Debian support.


Raphaël Hertzog has been contributing to Debian since 1997. In 2005, he decided that it was time for him to build a service for professionals to allow everybody to benefit from his experience in the field. His objective is twofold: to continue contributing to the Debian project while ensuring a regular income.

The company took a new dimension between 2014 and 2020 with the rise of the Long Term Support services (Debian LTS first, then Debian ELTS, and PHP LTS). In 2021, Raphaël joined forces with Sébastien Delafond to drive Freexian to the next level: we wrote our mission statement and we are now actively working to reach our ambitious goals. Consider joining if you share our values and our goals!