posted by Clinton De Young on Sun 27th Oct 2002 18:15 UTC

"System Configuration - Part I"
Once Debian has finished booting, you will be presented with the "Debian System Configuration" screen. Please read it and then press the Enter key.

Step 1 (Configuring the time zone)
The first part of the configuration stage is to set you systems time zone. You should now be on the "Time Zone Configuration" screen. It is asking you whether your system clock is set to Greenwich Mean Time or Local Time. Most PCs are set to local time, so you want to select "No", which is not the default, and press the Enter key.

The next screen, which is also titled "Time Zone Configuration", shows a list of countries or locations. Please choose the one closest to you and press Enter. For instance, I am selecting "US" since I'm currently living in the United States.

The next screen shows a list of time zones available in the location you selected. Pick the one that matches either where you live or the time zone you live in and press Enter.

Step 2 (Password setup)
MD5 passwords are more secure and allow you to use passwords longer than 8 characters. You should now be on the first "Password Setup" screen, which is asking if you want to use MD5 passwords. The default is not to enable them; however, unless you have a specific reason for not using MD5 passwords, I would recommend using them. Select "Yes" on this screen to use MD5 passwords, and then press the Enter key.

The next password screen asks about Shadow Passwords. You will want to use them since they are more secure, so select "Yes" and press Enter.

The third password screen is where you will set a password for your "root" user account. This is the password you will need to log in as root to administer certain aspects of your system. You must also log in as root to download and install packages using the apt program. You don't want people to be able to guess your password, so type something like this, "MyName^9". Remember that Linux passwords, as with everything else in Linux, are case sensitive. Therefore, "myname69" will not work when you try to log in. Select a secure password and type it in the text area at the bottom of the screen; then press Enter. Please remember this password. Write it down if you must. You will need it later.

The next screen is related to the last. Here you will type in your password once again to ensure you have entered it correctly. Type in your password again and press Enter. If by some chance you mistyped either of these passwords, the system will make you do this step again. The idea is to prevent you from entering a mistype as a password, since you would not be able to log into you machine. If you mistyped the password the same way twice in a row, then you are out of luck (well, not entirely, but that is beyond the scope of this article).

You should now be on the next password screen, which is asking you if you want to create a regular user account. Since it is a bad idea to run as root all the time, you will want to select "Yes" here.

On the next screen, enter a username for your account, and press Enter.

On the next screen, type your full name and press Enter.

The next two screens are used to set up your user account's password. They are identical to the two screens used when we set up the root user's password. Following the same instructions you did when creating your root user's password, enter you user's password and press Enter. Note: you password here doesn't have to be the same as root's password. In fact, it's probably better if they are different. That way, if somebody figures out your regular user account's password, they still can't log in as root.

Table of contents
  1. "Introduction and how to get hold of Debian"
  2. "Getting to the main installation"
  3. "Going through the main installation cycle - Part I"
  4. "Going through the main installation cycle - Part II"
  5. "Going through the main installation cycle - Part III"
  6. "Going through the main installation cycle - Part IV"
  7. "System Configuration - Part I"
  8. "System Configuration - Part II"
  9. "Installing XFree86 - Part I"
  10. "Installing XFree86 - Part II"
  11. "Synaptic, Mozilla, Conclusion"
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