Debian 6 linux installation in 26 figures for beginners.

In this article it is described how to install Linux Debian 6 on the computer equipped in one hard drive in the most simple configuration.

We boot computer from a netinstall.iso cd. Make sure that computer is properly connected to the router with dhcp server running, so installer can access Internet to download updates and extra packages. First stage of the installation process – every time to confirm press enter key.


Fig. 1 – Installation screen.

Next choose the language for the system – fig. 2.


Fig. 2 – language choice.

Choose a time zone and location – Fig. 3.


Fig. 3a – Time zone selection.


Fig. 3b – Time zone selection.


Fig. 3c – Time zone selection.

Now choose character encoding – fig. 4.


Fig. 4 – Encoding selection.

At these stage en_US is a good chose, later we will add coding appropriate for our country.


Fig. 5 – Keyboard layout.

Now we have to choose keyboard layout – choose one used by You – fig. 5.


Fig. 6 – Host name choice – default „debian”.

Enter a host name – e.g. router – fig. 6.


Fig. 7 – Domain choice – in my case.

Enter domain name for the server – in my case it is – fig. 6. It can be any name, but it would be the best to enter domain we own – fig. 7.


Fig. 8 – Set administrator password (root).

Now we must set administrator password – user root. It is necessary to confirm entered password. Every time we confirm password with enter key – fig. 8 and next screen. In next step system will ask what should be the name of the non-administrator user account.  It is poart of default Unix system policy to use regular user account for everyday tasks and switch permissions to administrator account only when necessary – fig. 9.


Fig. 9 – Regular user account – in my case: vberry.

A like to root account, here we also must confirm password for user vberry twice. – fig. 10.


Fig. 10 – User account – enter password.

Now we have to partition the hard drive. In this article we choose the simples way of partitioning. If You need to partition Your hard drive in custom way, I assume that You know what You are doing and this article is useless for You 🙂


Fig. 11 – We choose a way to partition the hard drive.


Fig. 12 – We choose on which hard drive system must be installed.

We have to choose on which hard drive new system must be installed – fig. 12. Next step can be difficult even to experienced system administrators, because it is very difficult to forecast partition usage. Luckily in Linux we can always add new hard drive and mount it under choose folder transparently for the operating system. The main question is why we would like to split our hard drive in to partitions? I can provide two benefits. First is that partitions fragment slower. Small write operation are mostly done in /var folder, sometimes in different folders too, depending on the system purpose, but if system is partitioned then partitions containing program folders (e.g. /bin, /sbin) are not affected, by fragmentation. Second advantage is that if one partition fills up to 100% then we have very high probability of system crash caused by disk running out of space in main folder /. If we have only small hard drive for our disposal or we can not predict what will be the purpose of installed system it is better to install whole system on one big partition – such a choice was made in the fig. 13.


Fig. 13 – Partitioning.

On the next screen we are asked to accept chosen partition configuration. Very interesting option in Linux system is software raid. I am useing software raid 1 matrix (data redundancy) for many years and in my opinion it is very stable configuration. Graphical installer allowes You to install operating system on the raid1 matrix, however in this article this option is not covered. We choose last option and continue installation process – fig. 14.


Fig. 14 – Partitioning summary.

Now we have to accept new hard drive partition and formating – fig. 15.


Fig. 15 – Accepting hard drive partitions and formating.

At this point system will install packages of the base system, which are the most basic files necessary for operation. Next we are asked to choose which server should be used for updates or additional downloads (fig. 16 i 17). I suggest to chose one close to Your location.


Fig. 16 – Choosing a server for updates and packages download.


Fig. 17 – Choosing a server in selected location – I suggest to choose one of servers.

We confirm with enter key fig. 18, no proxy server.


Fig. 18 – Here it is possible to enter proxy server address – leave empty.

Now system will update package database of apt-get installation tool. Next question is about popularity contest, we choose No here – fig. 19.


Fig. 19 – Popularity contest – choose NO.


Fig. 20 – Choose of installed packages – standard system utilities and SSH server are two necessary packages.

In fig. 20 we choose standard system utilities and SSH server, to make it possible to log in remotely to the server. All the remaining packages can be installed at any moment when needed. There is no point to install garbage on our new system. Please pay attention, to untick Graphical desktop environment, because it is a big piece of bloadware for server purpose. Pressing enter will start download and install packages to the hard drive. When system is installed it is necessary to set boot manager GRUB. I suggest to use default option – MBR – master boot record – fig. 21.


Fig. 21 – Install boot manager – GRUB.


Fig. 22 – Installation complete! Congratulations.

After You press enter key system will reboot (fig. 22). I suggest to login as administrator – root account.


Fig. 23 – US encoding (a), polish encoding (b).

At this stage it is good to check regional setting and encoding. As root user we enter command locale . As it is shown in fig. 23a systemhas US settings set as default, in Poland we use UTF8 encoding.  To choose encoding we enter command: dpkg-reconfigure locales . Now we scroll the list and choose two additional encodings: pl_PL ISO-8859-2, pl_PL. UTF-8 – fig. 24. The we confirm with the enter key.


Rys. 24 – Wybór polskiego kodowania znaków.

Now we choose Polish as default encoding – fig. 25.


Fig. 25 – Choosing system default encoding- it is necessary to reboot the machine.

After we change settings in fig. 25, it is required to restart the systemu. We check after reboot if encoding is set as in the fig. 23b. At this moment our system is configured and ready to use. To log in remotely it is necessary to know ip address if the system. To check it as a root user we enter command ifconfig. If network is operational we will see ip address – fig. 26.


Fig. 26 – Server ip address – in figure

We can use ssh client – e.g. putty to connect remotely to the server. Notice that in default configuration it is not possible to login to the root account directly. First You must log in as regular user and the use su – command to change permissions to root user.

The end!

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