Home > Debian > Installing Debian, step by step, with LinuxBeta Installing Debian, step by step, with LinuxBeta Submitted by Chris Haney 2004-08-19 Debian 29 Comments With the release of Debian-Installer release candidate 1, installation is a snap. LinuxBeta.com walks you through the installation process step by step in this slideshow presentation. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 29 Comments 2004-08-19 4:45 am An intresting, and easy to follow guide on how to install debian. Personally though, I’ll just stick to installing a base install and apt-get’ing what I need. 2004-08-19 5:05 am Me too. Always, for many years now. This thing maybe useful for showing one way of installing for people who ignorantly repeat that Debian is hard to install. Today, for me, the ones that rock the most are Debian and Gentoo, Debian being my all times favourite. Keep rocking. 2004-08-19 5:10 am I never attempted to install Debian because (as a newbie) I thought it would be too confusing.. after seeing this slide show, i’d almost say it’s easier to install than mandrake… it looks like a piece of cake! Debian all the way! 2004-08-19 5:10 am This is just a series of screenshots of what it looks when someone who knows what they are doing installs Debian on a virtual hard drive with nothing to lose. It contains no help for someone trying to figure out what the confusing icons on the partitioning tool mean, nor does it show what manual partitioning is like. Also is it really necessary to have a dozen screenshots of the KDE menus? Although the new installer is an improvement over the old Debian installer, it still has some glaring weaknesses. A well-written guide discussing how to use the installer would be far more helpful for most users than a series of screenshot. 2004-08-19 5:23 am A picture says a thousand words. Both documentation and pictures would be a great asset to Debian. $ 2004-08-19 5:54 am > Personally though, I’ll just stick to installing a base install and apt-get’ing what I need. http://www.linuxbeta.com/slideshows/slideshow.php?release=59&slide=… So here you won’t select anything, right ? To install a gnome+xfree86 desktop what apt-get would you use ? Also when Sarge will be released it will be possible to install the 2.6.* kernel directly, right ? With the current RC1 2.4 will be installed by default, right ? Last, sorry too questions I know it’s not a support forum. I used reiserfs when I installed from the new installer. The default suggest ext3, what’s the right filesystem ? Thanks 🙂 2004-08-19 6:19 am To install a gnome+xfree86 desktop what apt-get would you use ? #apt-get install x-window-system gnome Also when Sarge will be released it will be possible to install the 2.6.* kernel directly, right ? Sure, for an Athlon XP, I use: #apt-get install kernel-image-2.6-k7 2004-08-19 6:21 am “So here you won’t select anything, right ?” If you want to do it that way, yes..you don’t have to select anything “To install a gnome+xfree86 desktop what apt-get would you use ?” apt-get install x-window-system gnome “Also when Sarge will be released it will be possible to install the 2.6.* kernel directly, right ?” You can do it now..2.4 is the default by 2.6 is an option at the boot menu for the install cd. “I used reiserfs when I installed from the new installer. The default suggest ext3, what’s the right filesystem ?” Reiserfs is fine..its what I use and I like it. Both XFS and Ext3 are fine file systems as well. 2004-08-19 6:25 am next week I’m installing a *nix on a dual P-166 to act as a server as I was trying to decide whether to go with Debian or a *BSD. Well I think it’s pretty much a done deal now. 2004-08-19 6:39 am I’ve been running Suse on my Linux box for a couple of years, and I just installed Debian a couple of days ago. It was quite painless to get running. Apt is very nice compared to my past experiences with RPM and installing software from source, and for some reason it feels much faster. 2004-08-19 6:49 am Debian is really accessable. I love this. The presentation pretty much lets us first timers know what we should bring to the installation, in terms of hardware and config info. Though there is a lot of good documentation and instruction at the Debian site, I do appreciate the illustrations. Feel like I am hitting the ground running. The linuxbeta.com site is cool. Thanks for posting this article. 2004-08-19 8:06 am Howdy, I went through this install procedure 5 times today. I’ll answer a couple of questios that were asked. The new installer gave me just one alarm. While installing Postgresql, it looked like it was having a problem, but it recovered. Using debian-testing, kernel 2.4.26-1 is installed. Both Gnome 2.6 ad KDE 3.22 are installed if you choose desktop. I tried debian-unstable several times, but it always failed while installing the base system. I wanted unstable,because my real goal was to go on and install UserLinux afterwards. There is some instability in xine or X. When you run xine, most of the time touching any control causes X to exit. Google shows other users with this problem, but no solution uet. Overall, it was a good way to get Debia installed. Good luck, 2004-08-19 9:57 am Funny… Often there’s just a story without screenshots. But this is a bunch of screenshots without a story. I guess that the story that illustrates these screenshots is the one found here: http://d-i.alioth.debian.org/manual/en.i386/index.html My own experience using this installer is mostly positive. I found partitioning and installing Grub difficult — but there’s documentation that helps to get over these difficult steps. The only real problem with this intaller I met when I ran pppoeconf… it didn’t work (although it worked OK with the beta4 installer). I know how to set up network connection but a newbie would have been in trouble. My advice, too, is that you should first install just the base system. When you’ve set up the network connection and configured /etc/apt/sources.list, you can run “apt-get update” && “apt-get upgrade”. Then you can launch Aptitude and install “x-window-system-core” and “wmaker” (or “kde”/”gnome”/”xfce4″/”fluxbox”). After that is done, you can install Firefox, Thunderbird, and other apps that you need from Aptitude. I recommend that you take 5 minutes to go through the Aptitude settings and read the help that pops out when you type “?” before using Aptitude. Apt-get is your friend in doing system upgrades but Aptitude will be your best friend in installing separate applications. 2004-08-19 10:04 am I forgot to say, but when you first boot the installer you should press F3 — it will show you some advanced options for booting the Sarge installer. The “expert” option will give you similar interactivity that you get in the Woody installer and “linux26” will install your system with the kernel 2.6.7-1-386. 2004-08-19 10:55 am “Apt is very nice compared to my past experiences with RPM and installing software from source, and for some reason it feels much faster.” The speed increase is something that many people report when switching from Fedora/Mandrake/SuSE to Slackware or Debian. They tend to say: “Wow! Debian is FAST”. The RPM-based distros may take a longer time to initially launch up, but that’s mainly because Debian and Slackware lack some useful auto-configuration services that the RPM distros automatically load (plus they use the bloated RAM-eating Monster-DE’s). I don’t really know what makes the RPM-based distros so slow. They just are slow, and that’s about it. My Debian Sid system with a 686-optimized 2.6.x kernel, ReiserFS, and Wmaker is quite snappy — it’s snappier (and better looking) than my WinXP system. For a Linux newbie I’d definitely recommend a slow RPM-based distro (Fedora/Mandrake/SuSE). After you’ve got some experience in running a Linux system you can try a fast distro (Debian or Slackware), which are not meant for newbies. 2004-08-19 11:53 am My first linux love. I’m still with her, we had so many great stories. We sure did break up sometimes, but it was her fault, or was it mine? Weird thing can happen when your girl gets “unstable”, but it makes you learn about her limits! Anyway, I always come back for more, and then some more. Long live to Debian Yanik 2004-08-19 2:08 pm I think this should be imported into a ppt file. Mostly so Corporate managers will look at it…they love Power Point. Even better….import it into a PPT file with OpenOffice, and Get a capture of OpenOffice running the presentation under debian. 2004-08-19 2:25 pm I’ve been wanting to try Debian for a while, and was just in the middle of downloading Yoper v2 (am running YOPER 2 dev release ATM). I’m curious, though: is the install process the same for Sid, and can Sid be installed via FTP? I looked around for Sid ISOs, and the complete set was like 14 discs or something. 8-| 2004-08-19 3:08 pm I like the new installer; what i don’t like is when you choose “desktop enviroment” you get both KDE and Gnome…ack! 2004-08-19 3:13 pm The Installer By Chris (IP: —.sbtnvt.adelphia.net) – Posted on 2004-08-19 15:08:53 I like the new installer; what i don’t like is when you choose “desktop enviroment” you get both KDE and Gnome…ack! —– by default yes. you can fine tune it 2004-08-19 3:15 pm I have been running sarge for a week or so (since the security team started supporting it). I installed it with the 2.6 kernel and every thing has been running smoothly. Pretty much all of the software I need is a few clicks away through synaptic, for the few packages not on the official mirrors (like mplayer and mame) I just go to http://apt-get.org and add the repositories. With both gnome and kde installed binary compatibility has been great. Games from years ago I got from loki just work, and new games like marble blast, gish, and bridge construction set, just work. Also utilities like real player 10, and skype run fine. It has amassed me how easy it is to run binary software. It is pretty much a process of download the tarball, extract it, run the program. I think it is because there is an almost defacto LSB for desktop software developing that seems to consist of: sdl and its dependencies, openal, gnome its and dependencies, and kde and its dependencies. With those installed binary software runs fine. There are a few issues that bug me about sarge right now, but I assume that it is because they are still working on getting everything ready for the release. For example the gimp does not install right now due to a missing dependency. Overall I have to say sarge will be a great release. This is the first sable debian release that has all of the software to be a great desktop. Software like gnome, kde, and openoffice have reached a point where they are usable for everyone, combined with debian’s package management and system maintenance we have a winning combination. 2004-08-19 3:18 pm “I’m curious, though: is the install process the same for Sid, and can Sid be installed via FTP?” Yes on both counts. The netinst d-i image can install any one of the three branches just fine, but I believe one has to be in Expert mode to be offered the choice (someone already specified how to get into that mode in an earlier post). But I’d recommend installing Sarge and dist-upgrading to Sid from there, *after* installing apt-listbugs in order to be forewarned in the event of some crucial component of Sid being broken at the time. It’s safer. 2004-08-19 3:55 pm by default yes. you can fine tune it —- Sure can. It was just something I noitced. Like a rpevious poster said, I usually do a base install and go from there. 2004-08-19 5:34 pm “next week I’m installing a *nix on a dual P-166 to act as a server as I was trying to decide whether to go with Debian or a *BSD. Well I think it’s pretty much a done deal now.” If you install it next week, i’d not choose Sarge yet. I’ve installed it two days ago and I already ran into dependency problems: in one case perl and cpp had to be downgraded, the other had no solution as alsa-utils depended on pciutils with which it conflicts too 🙁 But I think they’ll solve those things before the release. IMHO, the advantage of Debian for a server is the ease with which you can automatically patch your system. It only takes a one-line cronjob to get the security patches you need. On NetBSD , this is more difficult. On the other hand, Debian feels quite complex. For example, during boot all kinds of messages fly over the screen, sometimes with error messages, not immediately knowing whether they are important or not. NetBSD is kinda the opposite, it might offer less automated functionality but gives you the feeling that you are able to really understand the system. It also seems more like a real *NIX, made easy to use not by GUI layers but by comprehensible manual pages. 2004-08-19 6:25 pm How are the fonts on the default install? Clear and sharp? Does XMMS work without configuration for all users if my soundcard is supported? 2004-08-19 7:09 pm I’d recommend installing Sarge and dist-upgrading to Sid from there, *after* installing apt-listbugs in order to be forewarned in the event of some crucial component of Sid being broken at the time. Syntaxis is right on the spot here. You can use Aptitude even for dist-upgrading your Debian system (run “aptitude –help” to see the command line options). My experience is that Aptitude helps to keep control of packages that are to be installed. You can highliht a specific package in Aptitude and press the “=” key to “freeze” a planned upgrade. Using Aptitude and “apt-listbugs” you can fully control what is installed to your computer. It’s well worth the time to go through the Aptitude settings before using it. Aptitude also has an “online” help that can be accessed with the “?” key. In Aptitude it is easy to “freeze” packages that “apt-listbugs” tells have “grave” bugs reported against them. Run Aptitude again after a week and quite probably you can now update the “freezed” packages without “apt-listbugs” complaining against them. The Debian team fixes bugs really fast. @Daan: I use both NetBSD and Debian for my servers (and mainly Debian for my desktop). I agree with your observations, mostly. I, too, feel that NetBSD is better organized (although Debian is much better organized than the RPM Linux distros). But as a workstation/desktop system the Linux kernel has better hardware support than NetBSD. I just love NetBSD but for pragmatic purposes Debian simply is better (as a desktop system). Both Debian and NetBSD are community-driven distributions. That is the strength they both share. Neither NetBSD or Debian has to compete in the same arena that the commercial OS-distributions need to dabble with. It’s important that these community-driven OS distributions get all the support that they can get. For this simple reason I don’t like to set up Debian against NetBSD. I like them both (NetBSD is perhaps a tad better as as a server system, but Debian is also good as a server and Debian beats NetBSD on the desktop). I run NetBSD as my primary hardware firewall system. In all other purposes I run both NetBSD and Debian. They are both just great ;^) 2004-08-19 9:03 pm “Does XMMS work without configuration for all users if my soundcard is supported?” It should for the users who are in group audio. If you use ALSA, one common problem is that the default mixer settings are problematic. Important settings are muted or at 0%. If you don’t get sound but XMMS does appear to play then you should check out alsamixer or one of the GUI alsamixer configuration utilities accessable from your DE/WM menu. 2004-08-20 4:29 pm This is maybe a fiendish question, but does the new installer detect and install all that is required to drive TV cards and other multimedia hardware? Or, maybe the question should be: does it detect as much hardware as the other distros do (like SuSE or, the reference to me, Knoppix)? /JDS 2004-08-20 5:57 pm It turned out that the mirror I used, http://ftp.eu.uu.net, is rather outdated. The latest KDE it offers is 3.2.2, while other mirrors already have 3.2.3 in Testing and 3.3.0 in Unstable. @J. Doe: Debian now does have some kind of hardware autodetection. For example, it would automatically load the drivers for my network card, but strange enough it did not even detect my soundcard. @My Name: I too use both Debian and NetBSD and I like them very much. Still, they are very different. That does not mean that I want to set them up agains eachother, it is more that I think they complement eachother very nicely. The only advantage Linux offers on my hardware is support for CD playback, but that needs ALSA and I haven’t yet figured out what it needs to get it to work besides loading the correct modules. Also, while NetBSD requires recompiling to remain up-to-date, Debian requires you to choose either testing which will be outdated quite quickly, or unstable which is not really very stable. Therefore, to me none of them is better suited for desktop use than the other.