Home > Debian > Debian installation guide and tips Debian installation guide and tips Submitted by Rudi van Bavel 2004-10-13 Debian 25 Comments This guide describes in detail the installation process for a dual boot computer with Debian GNU/ Linux as well as some configuration guidelines. As an addition this guide has a section for bio-informatics tools installation. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 25 Comments 2004-10-13 7:24 pm A little more complicated than say fedora but i will still set up a dual-boot debian! 2004-10-13 7:54 pm Yes Slackware and Gentoo I have also been eyeing. slackware seems to be “more up to date” than debian. I also believe slackware has kernel 2.6 in /testing as an option instead of 2.4. Someone please correct me if I am wrong. 2004-10-13 7:55 pm The boot loader from Windows only allows a single operating system which has a multi-colored flag in it’s logo, and is invisible to the user. This is untrue. The NT loader can present a boot menu of different operating systems. The trick to using it with Linux/BSD/Whatever is to have the LILO/GRUB/Whatever bootloader installed to the partition (Not the MBR) and use the NT loader to chainload an image of the bootsector. Quite why you’d want to use it instead of GRUB is an entirely different matter. I don’t like his method of installing the NVidia driver. Follow this instead http://home.comcast.net/~andrex/Debian-nVidia/index.html). I’d also like to point out that you need a supported NIC for an FTP install. Pretty obvious I know, but if you only have an unsupported NIC then things get significantly more complicated (Installing Debian via my Atheros chipset wireless NIC provided plenty of adventures). Decent enough article though. 2004-10-13 8:00 pm “I also believe slackware has kernel 2.6 in /testing as an option instead of 2.4. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.” As does Debian in sid. Anyone talking about debian as if it was automatically out of date proves themselves from the beginning to not know what they’re talking about. 2004-10-13 8:04 pm what is wrong with those gentoo guys? in ANY forum on the internet there are gentoo-guys spreading fud about debian??? i haven’t met anything like this on any other distro… 2004-10-13 8:11 pm I’m running Debian Sarge which installs 2.6. Its quite up to date and stable I might add. 2004-10-13 8:12 pm I apologize for assuming wrong about debian. I was just getting my info from distrowatch and under sid and sarge it lists it as “100”(I have no idea what that means).I guess I am still a newb. And I do respect Debian. I also think the Ubuntu distro looks promising. 2004-10-13 8:20 pm GET ON TOPIC, and STOP the religious wars between distros. OR, EVERYTHING will be DELETED over here. 2004-10-13 8:30 pm Correct me if I’m wrong, but last I heard was that the latest Debian Installer PR supports partition resizing (NTFS at least). And there are other applications to resize partitions. Would that not make more sense than having to reinstall Windows? I would also suggest to the author to use aptitude/synaptic. 2004-10-13 8:41 pm I have installed Debian Sarge with the new installer and I have to say it is proving to be quite nice. Of course, _having_ to have stuff like udev, ALSA, 2.6.x kernel, etc. added some complexity, but overall it was mostly painless. I do install some unstable packages on top of Sarge, esp. Firefox and Thunderbird. I am debating just moving entirely to Sid, have folks running Sid seen a lot of noticeable breakage that will affect a desktop user? One thing I can’t wait for is for GNOME-2.8 to arrive into unstable so I can install those packages. 2004-10-13 8:45 pm Isn’t Sarge to be released last month? I really look forward to use the new installer. Anyone know if fonts are set up nicely in this new installer? 2004-10-13 8:45 pm Quote from article: If Windows is installed on a single partition you can resize the partition using tools like Partition magic, but I prefer to do a brand new shiny install of the complete system. The use of aptitude is a good point. Please note that I am no expert whatsoever, I just wanted to write an easy to follow installation guide. Suggestions are more then welcome and appriciated 🙂 2004-10-13 8:55 pm … I don’t like his method of installing the NVidia driver. Follow this instead http://home.comcast.net/~andrex/Debian-nVidia/index.html)… Actually the instructions coming in the debian NVidia package are by far the best and simplest 2004-10-13 10:11 pm Yes, the new Debian installer supports safe, non-destructive NTFS resizing (alongside W2K, XP, W2K3) during installation: http://mlf.linux.rulez.org/mlf/ezaz/ntfsresize.html http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/News/2004/20040930 2004-10-14 3:24 am the way i used to install nv driver: #apt-get install module-asisstant #m-a 2004-10-14 7:53 am This is untrue. The NT loader can present a boot menu of different operating systems So can Windows 9x. It can be used to boot e.g. both Windows 9x, MSDOS 7.x and MSDOS 6.x. Yes i know, cheesy example. It could also be used to boot say Linux using LOADLIN. In any case, using GRUB is far easier. GRUB even allows one to edit the config during boot. Which is awesome. 2004-10-14 8:03 am I do install some unstable packages on top of Sarge, esp. Firefox and Thunderbird. I am debating just moving entirely to Sid, have folks running Sid seen a lot of noticeable breakage that will affect a desktop user? I run Sid basically without any problems (I found Sid to be more stable than Testing). You should really install apt-listbugs if you haven’t already. It’ll save you a lot of headaches. 2004-10-14 9:09 am and it works perfectly. Because I needed to install 24 similar workstations, I mirrored sarge’s apt-repository with apt-mirror to a server in our local area network. After that I made a preseed-diskette, and a manual post-install script. I have now 24 nice workstatios with exactly same XFree-settings, KDE desktop and KDM login manager. My postinstall script installs also finnish Ispell dictionary, OpenOffice.org with finnish locales and quickstarter for KDE (oooqs-kde). I’m very happy with Debian Sarge, and I’m not going for Sid at this point (even if Sid might be more stable at times). For me Sarge is very good. For example the KDE version (3.2.3) is more stable than KDE 3.3, and while KDE 3.3 has some improvements over 3.2, the difference is not dramatical. KDE 3.2 does everything a decent desktop needs to do. Since Sarge is nearing it’s release, the packages are not changing so fast. This means that I can install more applications faster: I will not have that much upgradable packages after using the workstations for few weeks. Last year we were running Sid, and everytime we needed to install something, apt-getting took hours. Your mileage my vary, though. Eleknader 2004-10-14 3:10 pm I use net install everytime. Nothing is easier. Debian Sarge ,IMHO, would be like a late release candidate RC2. So most of the apps are quite stable but pretty up to date just not tested in as many situations as woody. Sid is the place where havoc ( not Pennington ) wreaks. Stay away unless you’re a developer or insane. Two afflictions that are arguably synonymous. Regarding the Gentoo camp…..nice distro…..but why would I want my install to take 2 days when I can install Slackware or Debian in 20 minutes. There is no difference in speed. Though those gentoo peep’s will tell ya differnt. BTW, I cannot speak enough good things of apt!! -nX 2004-10-14 3:25 pm Am dual booting Linux and W2K for the first time. In W98se dual boots I always successfully installed boot loader, both GRUB & LILO, to MBR. Have read several places this is a bad idea with W2K. Currently booting from floppy, which has capability to boot W2K as well as Linux. It looks as though it would do the same thing from MBR. What is the problem with using a linux boot loader in MBR with W2K? Thanks, Reid 2004-10-14 5:54 pm Nothing wrong with putting Grub or Lilo into MBR with W2K, XP, W2K3. It’s just an urban myth it doesn’t work …. or perhaps it was true many-many years ago but I’ve never had problems over the last 3 years, at least. Neither of my friends nor co-wrokers, nor I’ve seen any real technical argument why it wouldn’t work. 2004-10-14 9:18 pm What is so difficult about installing the latest nvidia installer? Steps to perform: 1) Download latest nvidia for you arch (ia32 or ia64) 2) Install with apt-get or synaptic the kernel-headers 3) Enter the following commands in a terminal: # telinit 1 ( The system goes single user) sh NVIDIA-Linux-x86-1.0-6111-pkg1.run 4) Edit /etc/X11/XF86config-4 5) Press CTRL+D to log out as root in single user mode,(note: if you have pressed CTRL+ALT+DEL at step 3 to get a terminal the system goes automatically back to full user mode with the new driver) 2004-10-14 10:04 pm at step 5 CTRL+ALT+DEL must be CTRL+ALT+F1 !!! 2004-10-15 3:25 pm Steps to perform: ……… I’ve tried that installation method with a previous version of the netinstall CD, it didn’t work for me at that time, Perhaps the new CD has improved at this point, but for convenience i’ve used the method as described in the article, that worked for me. 2004-10-15 4:47 pm If it works it’s ok.Btw i used the newest debian installer. Awsome distribution.Apt-get is very clever, i actually converted some rpm’s to deb packages with wajig and made a local repository.Only drawback i can think of is that i have to switch between 2.4.27-k7 and 126.96.36.199-k7 kernel.The 188.8.131.52-k7 kernel breaks cdrecord. Lol, i have to rip a dvd to the SATA HD on the 2.4.27-k7 and watch it on the 184.108.40.206-k7.I hope they will soon fix the cd/dvd/dvd-rw drives detection in the latest kernels.The 2.6.9-rc1 kernel is fine exept it doesn’t let me install the nvidia driver. I really like Debian.