Sunday, May 4, 2008

Installing Debian Etch for Dummies

Installing Debian Etch for Dummies PDF Print E-mail
Written by Schizzobau
venerdì, 11 maggio 2007

Installing Linux and in particular Debian ofter scares the newbie users: there is a myth that Linux is more complicated (than what? Windows was difficult the first times, wasn't it?). For this reason I wrote a brief tutorial which doesn't explain too much about the various parts, but it aims to have a working Debian on the desktop in few time.

1) The boot:

Of course, first insert the Debian CD and reboot the machine: in your BIOS the CD reader has to be set as the first boot device, so the menu will be loaded with a screen like this:

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to see the various options use the Fn keys, to start the installation type


2) Locate

Once the graphical installer is started, the first thing requested is the language, later the choice of the keyboard.

3) The network

Once you completed these steps, the installer will look for a working network card (if you have more than one, of course) through various tools; if this procedure doesn't end in a selection of the connected card, you must configure it manually.

Afterwards, set the machine's name (choose what you want :D) and the domain name, now go on with the partitions :)

4) Partitioning:

Here you can find different options: selecting all the disk if we don't care our datas, or partitioning manually. If you want to use all the disk it's still possible to choose between the usage of LVM (I suggest it) and cryptographed LVM, I never tried the latter for the paranoids :)

5) The clock and creating the users:

After formatting the new partitions go on with the clock configuration: if the Greenwich hour is set in the Bios (in Italy, one hour before) choose UTC: the hour will be set according to the language selected. Set the clock, choose the root password and a username/password pair for a normal user (I think I don't have to repeat the suggestions for choosing a secure password ;)

6) Software installation:

The last steps: choose a network mirror (with an eventual network configuration) and select the software. If you don't have particular needs (using Debian on a laptop or server) the default options, the standard system with desktop environment, are okay. Indeed, select the package categories you wish to install.

7) Bootloader and reboot:

Now Debian is installed on your hard disk, but how can we make it start? You have to install a bootloader, the default choice is GRUB, which can be installed on a floppy to avoid problems, but it's okay to install it normally on the first hard drive.

After this the Debian installation is completed, remove the CD/DVD, reboot and have fun ;) Free Image Hosting at

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